Monday, December 30, 2013

2013

My 2013 was full of family and friends. I strengthened relationships and worked hard to maintain treasured friendships.

I made time for the important things in my life including my beautiful children of course. I watched them mature and grow into real kids. They are no longer my babies. Okay, the two year old is still a baby but she talks and babbles and plays like the others.


In 2013 I resolved to eat healthier, exercise more, and take care of myself. It's a work in progress but I'm proud to say that I am already seeing positive results.


This year I organized some of my home. I established lunch and dinner schedules for my children, routines for homework, and special storage systems for toys, shoes, and knapsacks that make life simpler.


I focused on giving, welcoming a guest into our home when she needed a place to stay. I believe my experience taught my children what it really means to help others and share what we have.


My family enjoyed the outdoors for three days of camping and activities. We would have been better off without sleeping in the rain! 


Professionally, I am proud to say that I planned a $3.5 million fundraising event replete with shtick - a red carpet and a flash mob! It was a real hit.


I launched jCreate, an online Jewish crafting community along with my good friends Abbey Wolin and Mirel Goldwasser. I might have participated in one too many Google hangouts. But the work has paid off!


I joined the world of snapchat and obsessed over the selfies. I got to share a lot more with my cousin and her adorable dog Marty.

I hosted several birthday parties, attended many more, and enjoyed the holidays with family.

There is so much to be thankful for and my year has been very busy and fulfilling. I'm looking forward to greeting 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tzvi is Shabbos (Shabbat) Abba!

Tzvi is Shabbos Abba!

I really like the concept of Shabbos Abba (father) and Shabbos Ima (mother). Virtually all Jewish preschool programs assign one boy and one girl to take on this unique role. The children have to bring (actually, the parents have to send) a treat to distribute to the class for the Friday celebration. The children are the limelight of the pre-Shabbos excitement an have all the attention for the Shabbos party.

This role play is also a great opportunity for our children to enjoy being just like Mommy or Daddy. The Mommy lights the Shabbos candles and the Daddy makes kiddush. The children learn the correct blessings to say and mimic what we do in our own homes to welcome Shabbos. It is truly a beautiful way of engaging children in the meaning of this weekly routine of Shabbos.

The children are proud to bring home the paper that says they have been chosen and even prouder to go select the treat and bring it in. To top it all off, my son will be mentioned along with his Shabbos Ima in the Kindergarten weekly newsletter or the "Dear Parents" as we call it.

When I started writing this post, I was planning on being a lot more cynical. WHY does the teacher only tell me about it on Wednesday? WHY does my son leave the note in his knapsack and fail to mention it until AFTER I have done my Shabbos shopping? EVERY. TIME.

BUT after thinking more about it, I see the true meaning and importance of this traditional curriculum and my inconvenience is suddenly overshadowed by beauty and excitement for this "mitzvah." I am proud that my son is Shabbos Abba this week and that he is so excited about it.

I am EXTREMELY grateful to my friend Rebecca who heard during carpool that my son was Shabbos Abba and offered to pick up the treats (nut free facility, kosher brand cookies). You have made my life much easier this week! Thank you!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Siri, Almost 2!

I don't think any of my kids were quite like my Siri. At number four, she gets a lot of attention from the minute she wakes up, until she goes to sleep. The other kids play with her, make her "cuppy," feed her cereal and yogurt for breakfast, put her to bed (every so often), and take baths with her (if they are lucky!).
The older children are finally old enough to be helpful. They usually don't tease or bother Siri. Instead they parent her (sometimes a little too much) and care for her. I can trust them to watch her in the morning and while I'm busy doing something else. I can send them outside to the yard (gates closed) to run around and play. The older girls have learned responsibility by watching her.
This has made my parenting experience much easier, despite the fact that I have 4 (4!) children.
That's me and my big girl, Siri!

Siri is growing up so fast too. She repeats just about every word we say, runs around the house chattering, and has a little ponytail and curls that make her look like a big girl. Her sparkly eyes are curious and she loves to explore. She's a real pleasure tantrums and all. 

I'm truly grateful for all that we have.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Keeping Cool vs. the Emotional Wreck

I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. I'm street smart and can work well with others. I can negotiate deals and plan events.
But sometimes, I'm downright ditzy.
Today I took the wrong train. This is unfortunately not the first time I've done that. It's a slight inconvenience that costs me a lot of time. But it's fixable. There's a solution, a train that takes me back to my point of origin.
Today I decided to leave a few minutes early, hoping to shop for Shabbos. I apparently read the Penn Station board incorrectly (after 5 years commuting from NJ) and took a train that skipped the Secaucus transfer station. After arriving in Newark, I ran for the train back to Secaucus. Except the train skips Secaucus and goes straight to Hoboken. I needed that train, but let it pass because I was confused. Our track system is complex to say the least.
I finally found a staff member who told me to go to Hoboken where I could catch the train I needed home. OF COURSE!
My main question is, why can't I keep cool when I'm lost? As soon as I began talking to the man who WAS HELPING ME, tears began to flow. Slowly, but I couldn't control them.
I tried to keep my cool, but I lost it. There have been other, worse, more stressful train hazards and all of them make me an emotional train wreck (<-- intentional pun).
What happened to my put together, street smart negotiator? Where does she go when I board that train?!?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kosher Tuna?

The other day I was in Costco shopping for the usual. You know, I was buying more stuff than I imagine we could ever finish. Yet somehow we end up in that store every week.
I picked out my items and headed to the checkout line.
Pro tip: check your shopping list before you leave!
I of course forgot one item on the list so I let the woman behind me go first as I ran back to the aisles to pick it up. The woman behind me happened to be a religious woman but I did not know her. She gladly accepted my offer and watched my cart as I ran.
When I went to my car to unload I found a container of tuna, the prepared kind. I knew I had not purchased that and as I examined it, I wondered what the odds were that I got a kosher tuna in my cart. Kosher! It must be from the woman ahead of me (the woman who should have been behind me)! 
I checked my receipt to make sure I did not pay for it then quickly finished loading the trunk, determined to find the rightful tuna owner. At first I considered posting the story on the local Facebook page. Maybe someone would claim it. Then I realized that I had seen her schmoozing as she left the store with another woman. There was a chance that she was still in the parking lot. 
On my first aisle, I found the two women yapping away in front of her car. I pulled over and asked her if she had purchased the tuna.
"Yes! And it is missing!" 
As I handed it to her, she asked me my name and she promptly replied, "I know you from online, from the local Facebook group!" I recognized her name as well and thus began a new Facebook friendship.  I am happy I tried to return the tuna!
I know this is a random story but it was just too insane not to share. All's well that ends well. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Earrings!

This past weekend we celebrated Arielle's eighth birthday. I am proud to say she has really matured beautifully. We told her that if she was behaved like an eight year old, she could get her ears pierced.

Thursday was the fateful day. We took her before her Sunday party so she could show them off to the whole family.

Words cannot describe the sheer joy and pride on Arielle's face when she saw those new earrings. Her face was literally shining!

I was proud of her, but I think she was equally proud of herself. To Arielle, pierced ears is an inauguration into maturity (even though many of her friends have had them since they were babies).
She is prepared to accept the challenge... which begins with her independent ear care!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Knapsack Nook! A Life Saver!

This school year I installed a new nook for the kids' knapsacks and shoes. The hooks are low down so the kids can reach. They are directly opposite the kitchen so they can grab their stuff and go immediately after breakfast. The nook is in the back of the house so the kids do not dump their things on the floor at the entrance. It keep my house clean and organized!

The new "hook nook" has eased my night time preparation tremendously and makes my mornings simpler. I now pack lunches directly into bags so they are never forgotten. I remember to check the kids' knapsacks for homework and sign the paperwork every night. I even remember to put the folders and loose leafs back into their knapsacks. I can't forget because I see the hooks as I leave the kitchen in the evening. The kids now have a place to put their shoes so they are never lost and we don't have to search for them in the morning. 

I can't believe it took me this long to think of it! Do you have a nook?


Monday, September 2, 2013

Kindergarten Switch

I have always believed in laissez faire parenting when it comes to class placement. I know many parents select teachers, peers, neighbors and friends for their children. Even though the school officially does not take requests, there are always some parents who "have connections" and call to get their way.

I strongly believe that the school knows all the kids and puts tremendous effort into determining the classes. My two older children have had good experiences with their classmates thus far (3rd and 1st grade). They are both well-adjusted children (thank G-d) and have been able to make and maintain friendships in the classes assigned to them.

Last week, my 4 year old son, Tzvi, started Kindergarten. Wednesday was orientation where mom and chid visit the classroom, meet the teacher and enjoy 30 minutes playing in the new classroom. Wednesday was the first complete day of school.

I was playing with my son at orientation when I overheard the teacher telling one mother, "Don't worry, we do not expect your daughter to know the ABC's." Then, "We hope the two young girls will play with one another - they will probably gravitate to each other." And the kicker, "This looks like a class that likes to do projects [rather than be active]."

After some inquiring and with the help of the class list, I discovered that there were 2 nursery aged children who were joining the kindergarten because the school did not have enough children to fill a nursery class. This meant that they were younger than the rest of the class. I then looked over the birth-dates and found that my son, a June birthday boy, was the second to oldest in the class. With the exception of those two boys, the rest of the class was Sept-next February babies. (I truly respect that the school felt a responsibility towards the nursery kids and did not just kick them out of the program entirely. Instead they found each child a spot in one of the lower classes and will place them in the older kindergarten classes in the coming school year.)

I know my son. He needs constant stimulation, constant action. He gets along well with older kids. He has always been among older children. He is verbal, active!, and a REAL BOY. How could he be placed in a class full of younger children?  

I was afraid he would soon lose interest in the class and start being mischievous (which he normally is not) or worse, aggressive towards the other kids.

I immediately called my husband and just broke down. I expressed all my concerns and frustrations never expecting to do anything about them. He told me I should not cry, I should protest! We decided I should call his teacher, Dana (name changed) from the previous year and ask her opinion. There were two other children in his class from Dana's nursery group so she would be able to assess if they were a good match and on equal footing. Dana felt that Tzvi should have been grouped with the older children and that I should certainly approach the preschool director with urgency to make the change before the first day. Sometimes directors (understandably) say, "try it" or "let's see how it goes." If I wavered one bit, Dana advised, the director would not make the change.

With that, I called the director (who was still busy with orientation) and left a message that it was urgent that we speak as I felt that she placed my child in the wrong class.

I was on the way to work in New York City but chose to turn back. My husband joined me as well (also from the city) and we decided to go to the preschool to have this conversation in person. Thankfully, the director was still in the building. She had my message on her "to do" list. But she was happy to resolve in person. I told her my feelings and mentioned that I always felt she did a good job placing my other kids but this was different. I was nervous he would develop bad character traits at this early stage when he realizes he is bigger and stronger than the other kids.

I know it is just kindergarten, but I wanted him to be with his peers rather than with nursery children. To her credit, the director heard our concerns and agreed to try her best to make a switch by that afternoon. She told us that there was no specific negative reason that my son was placed in a "lower class." There were no concerns after his interview. The boys in this grade skewed older while the girls skewed younger. This meant that they had to move more boys into the younger classes in order to maintain the ratio of boys to girls. This could be the reason for Tzvi's placement. She told us that she would have to speak to the English director and check the files of all the kids in the new class to ensure that it would be a fit for all. She had an idea but could not irresponsibly just move him. Then there are always logistics to consider. She had no cubby in the new class but perhaps she could place a hook and bin against the wall for Tzvi.

That evening the director called me back with Tzvi's new class. It was the one she thought would work earlier. She would personally move his possessions into the classroom and leave a bin for Tzvi's cubby. I could walk him in to school the next morning and introduce him to the new teacher and classroom. The director was extremely kind, taking the time to read the full class list to me to see if I knew any other students' parents. I did!

The next morning, Tzvi and I met the new teacher. She is experienced and well-liked. We met some of the kids. Many of the boys go to our synagogue and will be his friends out of school as well. Tzvi is now closer to the median age of the class with some older and some younger students. The boys in is class are older and more mature and he has already begun to play nicely with them. There is even one boy from Dana's preschool!

I know that the classes get mixed up again for the coming year, but I truly believe that I made the right choice for this year. The adjustment was smooth and the benefits are already evident. I hope that Tzvi continues to have a good and meaningful kindergarten year. He has matured so much over this past summer and I know that this year will be a year of growth and development. This is the best environment in which to make it happen.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Today my four year old Tzvi showed his truly mischievous nature. He did something that all parents dread. Something I have dreaded since the first day he learned to use a pair of scissors. 

Today, Tzvi shaved his head straight down the center. Like this:

He found Jeremy's trimmer in the bathroom and zip! While I was fast asleep. I heard nothing. I saw nothing. Neither of the older girls saw him either. 

I have a friend who chopped off her hair when she was about 6 or 7. Her mother found her in her bedroom with scissors and locks of hair on the carpet. I always thought one of my girls would cut a strand of her own or her sister's hair. I never imagined that Tzvi would attempt his own haircut. 

One day I will laugh more about this. I thought about hanging this picture up in his room as a warning and a cautionary reminder. 

All I can say is thank G-d for baseball caps!

p.s. post-fix up haircut pictures to follow.

Update 7/3: As promised, here he is after we "fixed" his hair!

Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm Terrible at Bedtime! Stressing (again).

I know that bedtime is the best time of day to share with my kids. It's the chance they have to tell me about their day. They should be cuddly and cute right before they head to sleep.
In my house, bedtime is a battlefield. There are songs and stories and some nights we have nice talks.
Mostly, I just want them to go to sleep. So that tomorrow morning will be smooth. So that the day will be easy and the kids amenable. So that my day can come to a close. So that I can sit down to dinner.
I'll admit it. I get stressed out and bedtime usually turns into a fight.
My husband has it down to a science. I think I need some tips.
It's more important to stay calm than to get them into bed on time. The only problem is that this backfires and I end up keeping the kids up WAY past their bedtimes.
Please share your tricks and tips!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Salute to Israel Parade

Can you spot my kids? Specifically Tzvi at 8:11:


Looks like they were having a blast...
-E

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Smashing snacks!

I got the following text message from my son's preschool teacher.

Teacher: "Hi. All is well. The last few days Tzvi has been smashing his snacks into crumbs. When we asked him to stop, he sat on them... When I ask him why he's doing it he says cuz he doesn't like his snacks! He only wants veggie straws. I told Tzvi I would tell u. Have a good day."

My response: "LOL, he is hysterical! He is so strong willed. Sorry! Please tell him I say that if he stops smashing them, he can have veggie straws when he gets home. Thanks."

Teacher: "Ok. will do. lol."

My son is something else! This is his complex 3 year old logic. I only want veggie straws. Therefore all my snacks must be smashed to smithereens. This will bring me the snack I want!

This little child has a mind of his own. He wants things NOW and he wants to be heard. How stubborn and how hysterical!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

From Baby to Toddler

We packed up and went away for Pesach (Passover). The entire getaway was 10 days. I have much to say about this "vacation" but one thing upon which I'd like to to focus most is how the time affected my baby, Siri.

Siri is now almost 15 months old. During this 2 week period, she transformed from being a baby to showing signs of being a toddler.

Here are examples of what I mean:

  • Siri has been walking since she was 12 months. But now she walks with a purpose. She has places to go, things to see.
  • Siri has needs beyond food, sleep and a diaper change. Now she wants to "go" or drink her "ba-ba" or play. She has fun climbing and sliding at the playground!
  • She also expresses herself very clearly when she wants to say "no." She screeches (I do not like this stage!) and says "nooooo" until the adult in charge agrees to oblige. 
  • She has learned to bite or tantrum when she does not get her way. She is searching for the words to express herself.

All these changes took place during the 2 weeks that we were with Siri. Perhaps I simply did not notice the signs before we left for Pesach vacation. But I believe that she really grew up when she spent time with us.
We are heading into the toddler stage. We must teach our baby how to express herself, especially as the youngest of 4. We must give her opportunities to explore, even if it means making a mess!

Siri has been a fairly easy and quiet baby. I am looking forward to seeing her personality (and attitude) blossom.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Friends: New and Old

This post has been brewing in my mind for many months. I want to talk about friends and what they mean to me. I do not think I have ever fully verbalized what it means to have a good friend.
I believe I have a few great friends. Some are old and some are new.

Lately, I have reconnected with a number of old friends. We may not have been in touch throughout the years, but we literally pick up right where we left off, with fun, memories and banter. We talk about our lives then and now. We share. We care. We may not be involved in each others' lives on a daily basis, but we stay in touch and catch up because we want to. When we do spend time together, it is almost as if time froze in its tracks and we are transported back to our young days, when we were carefree and spent every waking minute catching up with one another. My old friends remind me of the playdates we had when we were young, trips to the park or pizza shop, late-night phone calls, driving around town blasting our music, shopping, and eating when we were supposed to be studying for midterms.

I have other friends (old and new) who are more involved in my day to day life at present. We may carpool together, spend Shabbat, arrange playdates for our children, share a babysitter, and hang out with our families. My good friends offer friendship and support. They would literally drop everything to help with whatever I may need. They are the friends I call at 12am to babysit when I go into labor. They understand the dynamics of work, kids, and community. As friends, we recognize each others' strengths and weaknesses and are able to offer guidance and love. We grow together and become better individuals through our interactions. We laugh together and sometimes cry too.

I am proud to say I have very solid friendships and strong relationships. I appreciate my good friends and I feel that I reciprocate. I try my hardest to go out of my way to help my friends.

I think it is truly remarkable when friends become like family.

Thank you to my dear friends - you know who you are - for enhancing my life.

Please tell me about your friendships in the comments!

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Great Pesach Read: "Let my RV Go!"

We have all taken that journey. We know it well. We have looked inside to discover who we are and who we want to be. How will we adjust to our (new) reality?

Recently, I finished reading Let my RV Go by Nicole Nathan, an inspirational tale of Pauline Berkovitz, a Jewish woman who has chosen to live her life as an Orthodox Jew, leaving many of her experiences behind. She struggles to fit in to the community, a society that expects parents and children to act, dress, and speak a certain way. Pauline and her husband Sam have travelled the world, but this Pesach (Passover), they take the trip of a lifetime. Their trip (yes, in an RV) leads Pauline and company on a mysterious journey of self acceptance and discovery. Along the way, she meets and influences others, transforming from student to teacher.

I appreciated many aspects of the book and was pleasantly surprised by how I connected to the protagonist. Here are some points that stood out for me:
1. Pauline and her husband Sam are not in the same spot spiritually, and that is okay. Their marriage is strong even though they differ in how they relate to their religious observance and their children. They complement one another and work together.
2. "Sam is still in a holy space, whereas I am the keeper of the mundane." As a Jewish mom, I can totally relate to that. I have to keep the laws of Kosher in the home, wipe the kids' noses, plan our holiday and Shabbos meals, carpool, and provide spiritual and emotional guidance to my children. All in a day's work! It is an important job even if we don't feel moved by it. We must realize we have the tools to help our children grow in an environment we feel is best for them. We should strive to appreciate the opportunity.
3. The author uses humor to describe life with young children. "I flushed? Am I insane? I wish I could take that flush back more than anything else." Self explanatory. We have all been there, done that. I am that mom.
4. The Berkovitzes do not fit into a box. They are not quite like anyone else they know (aside from the one couple they befriend, Mike and Julia who also found Judaism later in life). They do not squash their personalities and lose their identities as they turn to Orthodox Judaism. Instead, they embrace their past and use their experiences to be more caring, thoughtful, and emotionally intelligent people. "I may not be able to trace my lineage to a scholarly rabbi in Vilna but I have plodded across mountains and jungles to come back to my roots." With this ability, Pauline and Sam are able to connect to, teach, and inspire others.
5. Without giving away too much of the plot line, Pesach is a time to rejoice in our freedom as a Jewish nation, to celebrate life, revel in our personal freedom, and appreciate the ability to serve our Creator. We are individuals and we need to connect to G-d in a way that hits a personal nerve and touches us. Pauline exemplifies this concept. "Us... BT's [ed. note: baal t'shuvahs, or people who have returned to G-d and Jewish practice] should be happy to bring parts of ourselves into the rich tapestry of Judaism; and if this requires adding an extra splash of color to some of the more staid traditions, it can only be enriching." People should not lose their personalities just because they are religious. Our community should strive to be more accepting and open, to understand where people come from and that each person has his or her own personal journey.
Find freedom. Take your journey. Travel and laugh with Pauline.
To purchase/download the book, click here.
I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New shoes!

Siri got her first pair of shoes today. Here she is trying them on for the first time:
Watch "Chaya Sarah's first pair of shoes" on YouTube
Enjoy!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just a Headache

December 27. One month ago. One month of headaches.
I stepped off the train and walked to my car. I quickly saw the front left of the car was hit. Hard.
I am grateful that the perpetrator was a school bus. Grateful because it meant there was a police report of the incident. Ungrateful because the damage was that much greater.
Insurance. Adjuster. Police records. Claim number. Damage. Body shop. Car Rental. Carpool.
All of these words explain what I went through this past month. 
Thankfully today I am closing the file. I have processed the claim, repaired the vehicle, returned the rental undamaged, fared well during the period without my car, requested reimbursements. 
I got my beautifully freshly painted van back.
I had to pay $0.75 for the official copy of the police report which states that the bus driver is completely liable for all damages. "Driver of vehicle 2 misjudged the distance between vehicle 1 and vehicle 2."
I paid $135 for the car rental. This includes tax on the rental and $50 for one extra day because I could not pick up my vehicle within the 3 hour window they gave and instead left it there over the weekend.
I had to call the insurance company back to get them to reimburse the $50.
I had to process a personal claim to get reimbursed from the bus driver's insurance for the tax I paid, which is an out of pocket expense.
Phone calls. Emails. Files. Credit cards. Messages. Money. Time.

By now you understand the headache this was. But it was JUST THAT. Thank G-d no one was in the car at the time of the accident. I am grateful that I was able to handle the details and not have to worry about personal injury or disability. Damages. They are all relative.

I am proud to say that I did not get stressed about this. I had the presence of mind to see it in perspective right from the start. My car is just a tool (a convenient tool), a thing. We are all safe. Let this be the worst form of suffering that G-d metes out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Musical Rooms: Bedtime Bonus

One of the features we loved about our house when we purchased it was an additional room, "the bonus room." This room is not level with the upstairs and the other bedrooms. However, if you go down four steps from the main hallway you will enter this room. In addition, it is not a legal bedroom because it does not have a closet. What results is, for all intents and purposes, a fourth bedroom upstairs (the 5th is on the main floor).
We have had several opportunities to use this room. During the day, we have another child share the babysitter at my home. He sleeps in a pack n play in the bonus room. And at night, when my stubborn baby would not sleep through the night, we would use this room as her bedroom. That way, she would not wake up any of the other kids during the night. More recently, however, we have been having trouble with the two older girls going to sleep at the same time. They would disturb one other at bedtime. This one would be playing with the shades. The other one would be giggling instead of trying to fall asleep. We tried to stagger their bedtimes, but the second one to go in would simply wake up the first.
Last week, I decided the solution was to play Musical Rooms. Siri would sleep in her crib in the same room with Kayla. The oldest, Arielle, would have the bonus room to herself for a trial period. I was hoping that if she needed to read with the light on for a little longer, she would not disturb anyone. Furthermore, she would not wake Kayla when she went into the room.
So far, we have avoided many fights at bedtime. We have also avoided having either girl come in and out, in and out with various complaints about how the other one was keeping her up.
All of the kids, including Tzvi who has his own room, have been going to sleep fairly smoothly.
I am truly grateful that we bought a four bedroom house with a bonus room. It certainly feels like a bonus!

Please share any experiences that you have had with sibling rivalry at bedtime. What have you done to solve it?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My 2012

2012 was a fun year. Here's my best summary. I:
Gave birth to an amazing baby girl. Named her after my grandmother who I loved so much and still miss dearly. Nicknamed her Siri after the iPhone.
Watched all my kids grow and mature. Battled with the three year old. Toilet trained.
Established a solid night time and homework routine for my older girls.
Ran a $3 million charity fundraising gala. Worked a lot. Learned a lot. Gained a lot.
Began learning with my niece. Love the relationship we are building. Need to stay on schedule.
Lost a few pounds. Still going.
Went to a few tweetups and made many friends via social media.
Bought and returned too many pairs of shoes to count.
Got my own domain name. Thanks Jeremy!
Got a new babysitter and worked through the ups and downs.
Continued in my "War on Clutter." Convinced Jeremy to hire a cleaning lady to help.
Drove carpool every morning. Twice.
Threw 4 birthday parties for my adorable kids and hosted many guests.
Cooked a ton. Took a million photos of the foods I cooked.
Tweeted and Facebooked too much.
Nursed for 8 months and pumped too many ounces to calculate.
Built many structures out of Clics. What a great toy!
Read "Biscuit," "Pinkalicious," "Go, Dog Go," and more favorites hundreds of times.
Sent a gazillion emails. Yes, I counted.
Became an Amazon Prime member and enjoyed it.
Learned to polish my own nails.
Tried parsnip purée for the first time.
Guest posted on a friend's blog for the first time.
Gave and got advice. Lots of it.
Spent too much money in the Target $1 section. Bribed my kids that many times.
Reorganized the entire basement and toy room twice. Kids destroyed them both in 5 seconds flat.
Worked hard. Played hard.
Ate the taster's menu in February at Mike's Bistro and I'm still talking about it. What an awesome birthday!
Had 6 weeks off from work for maternity leave and savored my time.
Snuggled, cuddled, and giggled with my kids at bedtime. Threatened and disciplined at times.
Gave thousands of kisses to each child. And then some.
Ate lots of chocolate.
Tried to go to sleep early, but to no avail. Clearly.
Traveled to Cape Cod in April and went camping with my family in July. Priceless.
Got to hang with my siblings from Israel when they visited in the summer. Met my nephew for the first time. He is precious.
Bought a new and amazing camera. Never printed the pictures. But I will!
Got good reports at parent-teacher conferences. And the kids got solid report cards.
Celebrated many birthdays and births with friends and family.
Got to spend Shabbos and holidays with my family, which made every week and month more meaningful.
Met new neighbors and friends. Cherished old relationships.
Lived for a week without power in the aftermath of Sandy. Thanked G-d that everyone was safe and sound and together. We lit many candles and went to bed early.
Bought meaningful presents for others. Put much thought into what they might want.
Summarized my year in a blog post.
Shared it with the world because I...
Enjoyed every moment of 2012.
Come again!