Sunday, March 28, 2010

sunday, march 28,2010

peace and quiet....

one of the really nice things about my community is that it totally clears out during sukkot, winter vacation and passover....nice and calm and quiet. the scary skinny people all go away...where they can be scary and skinny in nicer weather..though there are still quite a few scary and skinny people still at home-they are much less intimidating when they aren't in packs...

going to synagogue is so much less stressful-the walk of shame from the entrance to the women's section to my seat, which usually causes me so much anxiety(though it has gotten much better in the 12 years i have lived here...) is an easier walk to take-i might even skip down the aisle if the mood suits me...what am i talking about? i will most likely not be going anywhere-except to the kitchen to put on my apron and name tag and start taking orders...but i honestly don't mind, because this will be my last passover in my 30's and plan to enjoy every minute.

i am almost done cooking for the first days (and shabbos and the second days....) and ari and the boys are almost done not doing anything to help get ready for the holiday...but that is ok, because, as i just said, it is my last passover in my 30's and i am enjoying every minute....(and if i keep saying that, i might actually believe it!)

so i wish all of you a very happy and healthy holiday season-wherever you might be. I will be taking a few days off....but will be back with a recap of the first days before the weekend(unless I am in never know what could happen....)

Happy sunday

Saturday, March 27, 2010

saturday, march 27,2010


whenever i make the cake mixes for passover, i think about how my sister and i used to make them when we were younger and eat so much of the batter that there wasn't much cake left to make....and i wonder, how did my mother get us to make the cake mixes at all? no one is volunteering at this house...jack and jonah are playing march madness on xbox and matthew has gone across the street with ari to make pizza at the where did i go wrong? I have said it before and i will say again, when the boys bring home their futures wives, the first thing i will say to them is "i am so sorry....they don't know how to do here is some jewelry to make up for it.." UNLESS.....

I ran into a mother of four married sons this morning and she told me about the assignment chart she had for her boys and that helped her help them to become more helpful. So tonight, the ganchrow boys had a family meeting (ari wasn't there, it is too late for him....) and i told them about the chart and how we will put it into action after pesach (i have coddled them this long..i can wait a few more days) so here i thought I am putting my foot down and getting the troops in order and all of them start saying "oh, this family has that kind of chart" " so and so has been doing that for years.." just confiming the fact that I totally suck as a mom....and am W A Y too nice to my kids....(how i treat their father, however, is another story..)

So i am looking forward to seeing how this chart will work out...of course, i am cautiously optimistic...but so were the people who went on the titanic...

happy saturday

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, march 26, 2010

but i'm a girl.....

Jack and Jonah had their well-checks today....for the record, jack's birthday is in october but because i forgot to make him an appointment two years ago, in october, and because insurance only covers these checkups every 12 months, his birthday is now in March...please tell me that I am not the only mom who forgot to make their kids appt on time....but this is not the point.

Taking my boys to the pediatrician always make me aware of two crucial things..
1. i am getting older-i must be, if they don't fit in that little baby scale anymore and i don't have change their diapers before, during and after their appointments, i must be getting older...
2. i think maybe we need a license to become a parent...

when jack and i went into the exam room, there was a pamphlet waiting for us.."how to talk to your teenager about drinking." and this was our discussion..(ari, forgive me..)
"jack, drinking when you are a teenager is very bad. It will stunt your growth, ruin your brain and cause you do to stupid and irresponsible things. Now, mommy drinks because she has already finished growing-well, taller, anyway, wider is another story, her brain has already started to deteriorate and i am always doing stupid things anyway so, basically SAVE YOURSELF!!!"

I happen to like this pamphlet better than the "checking yourself for testicular abnormalities..." oh god...and then the doctor started talking to me about boys and puberty and then I think i might have passed out...i am hoping that their father will help me with this one, though i am pretty sure that my father-in-law still hasn't had "the talk" with ari, so basically, my boys are in big trouble...

Now, for the record, i toilet trained my boys, with no help from the member of our family that actually has a penis, and it was quite interesting-who knew that gravity did not effect the stream of urine and that a boy could pee in a straight horizontal line-just point, aim and shoot! amazing! miraculous! i had them aiming at cheerios in the toilet-hours and hours of fun....but that was when they were standing...when they would sit i would just keep saying "i don't know what to do with it, mommy doesn't have one...." but they survived and were all trained way before their father was....(was that too much information?)

but this puberty thank you....i can't help you....please ask daddy...or pa...or anyone that isn't me....but i will always love you! that is just the best i can do...

happy friday

Thursday, March 25, 2010

thursday, march 25,2010

the middle child....

my middle child woke up with a tummy ache. no fever, no gastrointestinal symptoms, just a "mom, my stomach really really hurts..." with four days left until we leave egypt, i was in no mood to do an accurate diagnosis so, my middle child is home with me today. he knows not to bother me, unless it is absolutely far, he has only requested tissues and toilet paper, as, apparently, the cleaning lady forgot to replace them(i am the cleaning lady, so the only person i am insulting, is myself, as usual). When you only have boys, a roll of toilet paper can last an obscenely long time, so unless I see that it is empty during my weekly fumigating of the boys bathroon, or they ask for is what it for now he is in my room watching espn...and he thinks that i am cleaning the house, which i was, until i took a is only 9:50 am and i have already done two loads of laundry, cleaned the burners, went through a bunch of drawers in the kitchen, changed the linens for when my guests arrive on monday...i know you don't really care, but i just wanted you all to know that i am earning my keep.

Earning my keep? what does that mean? will ari make me sleep in the yard if he comes home and he doesn't have his fresh leftovers waiting for him on the table? Will he reprimand me for not having the cans lined up in the pantry in alphabetical order, by calorie and fiber content and according to expiration date? i do all of this out of the goodness of my heart, and because i haven't found a job that i really like (15 hours a week, 400 dollars and hour, doesn't require me to do anything....but totally legal...) oh, i also have a roast in the oven, ironed 12 pairs of pants, cleaned my middle child's room while he wasn't in it so he wouldn't yell at me for touching his stuff...and so on...and so on....and so on......

So i must leave you all now because in addition to being the maid, i am also playing the part of Florence Nightingale(i am wearing a nurse's uniform), top chef, rabbinical supervisor, beauty queen and a friend to all in need.....but I also might just go take a nap..

Happy thursday.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

wednesday march 24,2010

running away from home.....

when i was little, ok, i was never little, when i was younger I ran away from home. I was about 8 years old and i had just had it between my mom and my older sister always ganging up on me-i was leaving. so i packed my bag and left....and ended up in my next door neighbor's backyard where i hid next to the fence so no one would see me. A few hours had gone by (I was 8, so it was probably 20 minutes) and i hear my dad come outside and start yelling my name "Banji, where are you?"....a few minutes after that my mom came outside to tell my dad that she was going to play tennis and she had no patience to look for me... nice, right?

So, i think that i have finally gotten over the fact that my mom was not concerned that i had left home-now, was she really not concerned? or, did she know that i was safe and only a few feet away...frankly, I am afraid to ask her that question, even all of these years laters for many reasons 1. she probably forgot the entire incident and 2. she might tell me it was because I drove her crazy and she really didn't care where i was as long as i wasn't bothering her....(those are the only two i could come up bad) I have blocked out most of the incidents involving my persecution as the pudgy, under-achieving, middle child....because if i didn't, I would be a total basket case, instead of just a partial one....but this one, this one of actually leaving my house to find a better life, this one, i remember...and I remember which parent made the effort to find me(no offense mom, i do love you and will take care of you when you forget to leave the house without any accessories on....)

So this incident made me think about the fact that my son recently(two days ago)told me that I am cranky all the time. I am hoping that he will maybe forget about that when he gets older and will only remember me more as the funny-mom instead of the scary-cranky mom. After all, I am not cranky all the time-last week was a really long long week-we were all out of sorts with no power, moving into the witness relocation program in Fair Lawn...there was a lot going on. I had every right to be cranky. But, it still hurt my feelings when he pulled me aside and told me that it upsets him. So, we made a deal. If i am not cranky for the whole week, he has to give his brother(who he tortures on a daily basis...but in a good, kind way..) a hug. Just a simple hug. Now, it may surprise some of you to know(ok, it will surpise all of you)that i have not been cranky for almost two whole days. It is taking all of the will power i have, but the drugs have helped, and i am making a concerted effort to stick to the deal. (knowing, there is NO WAY he will keep his end of the bargain, but a mom can dream...)

I don't want my kids to look back at their childhood and only remember scary-mom....but compared to some other moms, I am so NOT scary!! i want them to remember their crazy-fun mom....the mom who lets them watch tv and play video games during the week (gasp!) the mom whose idea of healthy snack is fruit by the foot (gasp!) the mom who lets them stay up as late as they want because she is just to tired to argue (gasp gasp gasp...)

Truthfully, I just don't want them to leave me in a nursing home in minnesota..who am i kidding.

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

tuesday march 23

sorry about this....

i am technologically impaired, i tried to post something that i wrote in february, thinking it would come up today when you logged on, but it didn't...SOOOO, if you want to read today's post, you have to go to the archives of February 21-the blog that is titled March 23, is a good one(well, my narcissitic self thinks, anyway....)

PLEASE comment so i know you read it!!

sorry about making you work for it today....

happy tuesday....

Monday, March 22, 2010

monday, march 22, 2010 happy 40th Ari

the art of procrastination....

my brother is the subject of a documentary called is about fantasy baseball...i made the mistake of watching it today, 7 days before passover, when I have 11 rooms to clean, 3 chickens to cook, 25 cakes to bake, 2 roasts to roast, a kitchen to reconfigure, candy to find in the couches and a partridge in a pear tree. Anyway, apparently, insanity runs in our family because if you all think I am crazy, this movie proves my adorable younger brother is at a totally different level of crazy...if you are into fantasy baseball at all, catch this film at, or friend FANTASYLAND on facebook, and it links you to the movie. it was actually quite entertaining and...I AM IN IT!!! there is my plug for the film...i will be available for autographs anytime...

I failed to mention in yesterday's blog about the very best part of going shopping in monsey...some of the stores have their own mikva-so you can take your newly bought items and dunk, of course, you all know where my mind went...can you imagine....won't go into details, but just think about the large bottomed woman who pushed me yesterday-get that visual in your head and THEN go get a snack...i dare you :)

today ari is 40 years old....i remember when my mom turned 40 and the surprise party we had for her (well, the surprise part was ruined by yours truly-hard to believe, i know...) I was showing matthew pictures from the party last week, when we were living in fair lawn with no tv and were running out of activies that didn't involve the ganchrow boys killing eachother...and upon looking at them he said "wow, mama was a lot thinner than you..." yes, she was....but i was a real looker in my peach dress with matching peach ribbons in my pigtails and my orthopedist recommended shoes!! (i was almost 10 at the soiree..)

ari, unfortunately, is not getting a surprise party...too close to pesach..too many people who would be insulted(and though I love insulting, it would make ari sad) we are, the big 4-0
and all he got was Jack waking up at 5:45 this morning to give him 40 kisses and 1 for good luck...but isn't that the best present of all?

so happy birthday ari dov and happy monday to everyone else.....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

sunday, march 21,2010

i am sorry sir, i left my streimel at home....

monsey...there is no place in the world like monsey. Except for maybe poland, circa 1929...oy my yiddeshe mama. I went shopping for the passover holiday in pants...i enjoy striking up conversation with the black hatted, long curly sideburned young men...the terror in their eyes-if only i only knew yiddish...only in monsey can you leave your stroller(sleeping baby included) right at the entrance to an already crowded, smelly store and just go and do your shopping with your 7 other dressed-in-matching outfits children...leaving no room for anyone else to get in....ah-the joy....the manners...the pushy, large bottomed women trying to get past you by actually, physically moving you.(and if they can move me, you know those bottoms must have been pretty large)...all this AND music from fiddler on the roof playing in the background. heaven on earth...

only in monsey do you see stores name "wok n take out"-get it? walk in-take out-love it!!
"Elegant heimishe dining and catering"-well what kind of restaraunt in a strip mall wouldn't be elegant and heimishe? "Nussy's Fine Cuisine"-need i say more? I am putting my house up for sale and moving to the promised doesn't get much better than that....

so many hundreds of dollars later...i am almost all done with my shopping (that is right ari, ALMOST...will be spending just a bit more....though the kind butcher did give me a FREE shankbone-only in monsey) and i finally realize why there is so much involved with this holiday-the jews in egypt did not have it easy-moving through the desert, carrying their birth to children and just scooping them up and moving my shlepping 30 bags of groceries and 12 bottles of orange soda so ari doesn't get kidney stones while his doctor is away for the holiday is almost as strenuous...i am getting a feel for what my bretheren in the desert went through ( bretheren should really be "sisters" as i am sure the wives did all the heavy lifting and kept yelling at their husbands for not helping....)

So maybe it really isn't the same....truth is, my favorite memories of my grandparents revolved around passover-making charoset with my papa, eating the matzo cereal he would make for me...i hope my kids will cherish the memories they are making with their grandparents over the almost makes it all worthwhile-actually, i found out that there IS kosher for passover vodka(only in monsey) so perhaps it will be totally worthwhile after all...

good luck to all of you staying home for the holidays...for those of you going away-i wish you safe travels (no, really, i do..)

happy sunday

Saturday, March 20, 2010

saturday night, march 20, 2010

why oh why and other random thoughts....

happy to be back in the land of power. came home thursday nite...took the ice holder out of the freezer to bring to the sink....left a large, wide trail of water on the floor...took off shoes because got them all wet, took a step and took a bad fall on the hard kitchen floor...landed on my shoulder...started to cry....heard my kids laughing in the background as i lost consciousness....woke up in the er.....joking about the er and loss of consciousness, wish i wasn't joking about the kids laughing at me....but, it probably was pretty funny watching their fat mom some good pain med from some friends....shoulder felt better and slept REALLY well - so a happy ending after all....

the weekend....i love when i get feedback on my blog. especially, when the feedback makes me laugh. Is there a point to my blog? is there a message? the point is there is no point. the message? i am nuts and i need you to get an insight into my nutiness(unless you are allergic to nuts and then you shouldn't be reading my blog-ok, that was SO NOT funny....) i have said before that I just want people to laugh-at me, with me, in spite of me-whatever.

my 13 year old son has been made the general manager of some sort of fantasy baseball team. he was recruited by two "we think we are 16 year old" men (boys?) from our community-they are good friends of ours, but we let jack go with them anyway. so our innocent son is now in some guy's basement, surrounded my beer, red bull and cigars, recruiting players for his team. I am thinking perhaps this was not the most responsible thing for us to do as parents...but the truth is, he is having a more exciting saturday night than we have had in good for him.(just say no to drugs, kid....unless they are the kind that mommy likes!)

tomorrow(in case you were interested) is a field trip to monsey to see if the passover stuff is cheaper there(i am refraining from inserting a cheap monsey joke, but it is truly killing me not to write it)...that is followed by an exciting day of pre-passover cleaning....i hope you are all as thrilled about it as i am...

happy saturday...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

thursday, march 18, 2010

day 5 under that godam pink canopy.....

I forgot to mention in my blog yesterday that I showed up at the gym for spin class in jeans. Why would i do something so ridiculous? well, being the selfless person that I am, i remembered to pack clothes for everyone else, except myself. 3 people actually asked me if I was at the gym for a tour....."No," i replied "I am just homeless." Had i been more on my game, i would have responded "It's st patricks day and I am drunk-i thought these were sweatpants..."
oh, well..will save that line for another time. 5. the boys shared a room again without fighting because i took jonah's i pod away and told him that the only way he will get it back is if he didn't give me any trouble going to sleep OR waking up. He was true to his word and was totally perfect...we got in the car this morning to go to school-no yelling, everyone calm and i said "isn't this nice-not starting the day with a headache-everyone getting along..." and he responded "this is not my family-i don't know whose family this is, but is is not mine....i NEED the yelling." so much for a peaceful start to the day....

day 5-i have become laura ingalls.....braids, prairie skirts and all...lugging my bucket to and from the pit, saving the prairie-pa is going to be so grateful that i am keeping the water in check...keeping it below the flooding..saving the chickens and the cows from a fate worse than slaughter....i am betting that i am one of the few women in my community who has emptied over 500 gallons of water from their sump pump...and I am proud-I am even considering getting a tattoo and buying a harley.

day 5-rumors are swirling-no power til sunday, no power til next week, no power until midnight tonight. I saw a bunch a PSE&G guys picking their noses while watching two guys in a bucket truck working on some wires and asked if i will get my power back today...i got the thumbs up, but he also could have been flicking whatever he was picking at yet another annoying woman asking him yet another annoying question....(ok, that was a gross visual...but i have regressed to an 8 year old, give me a break)

day 5-going to pick up the boys from school....will continue to pray for power (and good health and blah blah blah) cleaned my house today, changed the linens and set my table-all positive and hopeful(which, as you know, is so not like me) will all be good.

Happy Thursday

ps if you hear a really loud scream at 12:01 is probably me, still in the dark :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

wednesday, march 17, 2010

the troops are getting restless....(and no rest....)

I have 6 minutes to write this blog. then i have to spend 10 minutes getting the boys out of bed, have them all yell at me about how tired they are, get them to school and get to the gym so i can watch tv and maybe even take a spinning class. then i have to go back to the house because the water is still rising and i have to bail out the basement, find some more clean clothes because the laundry is piling up and then decide if i should go to monsey to buy more food for passover(yes, passover is STILL coming, power or not)and then figure out where i am going to put the food since...well, i still have no power.

life is tough. didn't wake up under the frilly pink canopy because the boys needed to be separated last night....i screamed so loud I thought i would need my tonsils removed. it's not pretty kids....mommy is headed for the psych ward. i think they know that i am nearer to the edge than i was before. I hope they remember my behavior from last night and be kind to me today.

the biggest loser challenge from yesterday has made my legs charley horse and now i am walking around like the hunch back of notre dame...(or is is damn? where the hell is my power???)

my time is up....i must go, sorry this won't make anyone's top 10 for most amusing blog...will try to make up for it tomorrw

Happy godam wednesday.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

tuesday march 16, 2010

day 3 under the pink frilly canopy

Did you know that i have become a contestant on the biggest loser? I hadn't realized I was on the show until i found myself in the middle of a biggest loser challenge when I went to check on my home-sweet-home in war torn teaneck. The water in the sump pump pit has been rising, slowly, but surely, it has reached a point that is a little too close to the top for my the challenge began....

fill up two quart size containers with water from the to the laundry room to empty them out in the sink...trip over the laundry bags filled with clothes that ari must have brought downstairs before we lost power, spill the water on the floor, realize there are no lights on, try not to curse because you are on national back to the pit...fill two containers with water, run up the stairs to the kitchen, do not spill the water, empty the water in the sink...keep doing this until it looks like the water is going down...or, until you trip down the stairs and need to call 911, which you can't do because the only working phone is in your bedroom...

the water has receded...will be back in a few hours to check on it again. the power isn't supposed to be back on until then, after living with my parents for that many days, i would have regressed to age 8, which would make me younger than my youngest. lord help me. yes, i am thankful that i don't have flooding, yes, i am thankful that we are all healthy..blah blah blah I NEED POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

went to fairway this morning because kosher for passover cream cheese is only 99 cents. 99 cents...i don't care if i have to walk around with it in a bag of ice for the next two days..that is a sale you can't pass up!! i walked around the aisles, longing to buy things that need to be frozen, but if this power outage goes on much longer, i am going to forget which freezers i have things stored in, so buying more perishable items and storing them in yet another kind person's freezer is just not going to work for me...truly pathetic.

I sent matthew to school with a note today reading "matthew is being picked up by his frazzled mom at 3:20..his brothers will be picked up at 4:30 if we still do not have power, otherwise they should go on the bus." matthew reads this note, looks at me and says "mom, this note is too long...i am not sure they are going to be able to read the whole thing!" oh well....

So now i will continue about my day, trying to complain as much as possible because no one really listens to me anyway, and hope that thursday at 4:30 really means tuesday at 4:30...

Happy Tuesday

Monday, March 15, 2010


where do i begin.....

did you ever have one of those weekends, where everything was amazing, fun, terrific, relaxing, enjoyable and then you wake up and you are sleeping in your sister's old room with a canopy above your head? (without a hangover????) well, this past weekend was it for me.

I traveled to Dayton, home of the wright brothers, on a plane that i am pretty sure I was wider than, landed in an airport/farm and my weekend began. The bar mitzva I went to, aside from wishing I had brought my video camera to make a reality show, was just really, really special. My friends who live there are amazing and have raised an incredible, confident, independant brood of adorable kids...and I am not just saying that because I was able to wear pants to the party saturday night...

and then, I made the mistake of calling home after the sabbath had ended. why oh why? 72 mile an hour winds, trees down, no power "daddy couldn't find any flash lights" i asked if there was water in the basement, or anywhere else in our house "daddy couldn't find the flash lights, so we couldn't check" "the toilets aren't flushing, can we still use them?" "we are on our way to fair lawn...what should we eat there?" I quickly hung up the phone and pretended I had gotten the wrong number......

Upon arriving home...and surveying the damage, I knew to be grateful for not having a 3000 foot tree lying on my house....but, was equally distressed at all of the passover supplies that I so anally cooked 3 weeks in advance and now would have no, being the wonder woman that i am (no, i can't fit into the uniform)i went into action- i was going to save the dead cows and chickens in my freezer. (PETA be damned....)

But when I woke up this morning, and stared at that gosh darn canopy, it was like I was 10 years old and sleeping in my sister's room while she was away(and would hopefully, not find out, or she would kill me) Of course, when I was 10, i did not have 3 sons sleeping in other rooms of my childhood home....(did I? no...definitely not)

So now I am off to my home to see if we have thoughts go out to the people who were really affected by this storm-may god give them strength and comfort and may we all appreciate what we have just a little bit more....

Happy Monday

Thursday, March 11, 2010

thursday march 11,2010

becoming a martyr.....

Tomorrow I am flying, without my family, on a small plane to Dayton. Now, I am so excited about going to Dayton and celebrating with my close friends at their son's bar mitzva, but i am less than excited about flying. It isn't my favorite thing to do. When i am up in the air, i sometimes think that god can just look down at one of the planes and say "i don't like that one" and POOF..that's the end of that. i know that i shouldn't think that way, god is kind and merciful..etc etc, but during a rough patch of turbulence, not much else runs through my brain.

So if, god forbid, today is my last full day on earth, i decided to write a "grateful" blog....just in case it is my last blog and millions (ha ha) of people will be reading it after they hear that i have died...(sorry mom, i am biting my tongue...)

On more than one occasion, i have told people that i am going to die young, because when you die young, people remember you as being good and kind...not sarcastic and vindictive-truthfully, i want people to remember me as someone who made them laugh (or at least made them laugh by just looking at me...)

I am grateful for my bread machine, which is currently making challah for the the people who are feeding my family on friday night and saturday...(those people also know that i am making it for them because it is the only thing that Jack will eat at their houses...)

I am grateful for the extra room i have in my kitchen so I can bring up my passover items three weeks early so i won't have to yell and scream at my boys for not helping me...(boys includes ari..)

I am grateful that my husband was smart enough to know that the 2 ounce shot glasses i bought for the seder are to small for the required amount of wine needed and now i get to go back to the christmas tree shop and return them......(read that one any way you would like....)

I am grateful that i haven't had a housekeeper in almost 2 years and i got to iron 20 pairs of pants and 10 shirts so that if i do die tomorrow, i know my boys will have things to wear for the next few weeks that aren't wrinkled.....

I am grateful for my vacuum cleaner that allowed me to vacuum all of the crumbs, dust and dirt so that when ari comes home from work he will be happy that the house is in order.....(i guess you could read that one any way you would like as well...)

I am grateful that when i bought cans of diet doctor brown(kosher for passover) at stop n shop today, the price scanned incorrectly and i got one for free (in addition to the free boxes of matzo and the 5 dollars off my shopping order of 40 dollars or more....what a good day!)

and finally, I am especially grateful that i was granted permission to go away by myself this weekend and celebrate with my friends-Deva and I have been through a lot together and i still can't believe we are old enough to be making bar mitzvas!!!! .....I am also grateful that this weekend in Dayton won't be ending with 5 baseball games!! (baseball road trips...saving that one for another blog)

and for all of my readers out there-thank you for reading and if this is my last blog, i hope it made you smile at least once.

Happy Thursday, Happy Friday, Happy Saturday and hopefully, I will be back to wish you all a Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

wednesday, march 10,2010


In a 112 days, my three sons will all be leaving the nest for four full weeks of sleep away camp. that is right FOUR FULL WEEKS. what will i ever do with myself for four weeks without the fighting and yelling and negotiating. what will i do with myself without having to be a maid and a short order cook...a police officer and a prison warden. what will i do??? now i know that to pay for these four full weeks of camp, i will be giving blood every 3 weeks(depending on how long it takes to replenish in my system) i am participating in experimental, yet entirely safe, lab experiments and i have taken to singing outside of bus stations across the tri-state area-so, if you ever are taking a greyhound...stop on by and toss me a quarter or two!

i do not have great memories of camp. it started when my parents(ah, the folks with the good intentions)sent me to Camp Ramah in nyack. Every year, for about 8 years (could've been 6, could've been 20..who remembers) my mother would dress me in a shirt that said "hello, my name is Banji" i am not kidding. basically, i was being set up for failure every single summer. and when my brother was old enough to join the fun, he, too, wore a shirt that said "hello, my name is Jed" (that is his name) god help us all. My parents should have just sent us in shirts that read "hello, i am a giant loser, please do not be my friend."

The good parts of camp ramah? i learned how to read from the torah(totally useful at this point in my life) i learned that i am highly allergic to mosquito bites (always a plus on those ramah mountain sleepovers-my swollen face just added to my ever growing popularity)and i learned the joys of rocky mountain toast (or was it rocky mountain fever?) I also learned that i hate authority (still do, if you couldn't tell) and i was successful in making my counselors cry every single year. Yes, i have always been a role did they let me become a parent???

When the torture of ramah was over, I spent the summers enriching my cultural side. My sister went to sleepaway, my brother went to sleep away, and I participated in the fair lawn high school summer programs...I learned the flute with mr. delisio, the violin with mr maleveris...i learned how to type, to draw bowls of fruit and i took drama. So not only was i well rounded physically, i was also well rounded culturally!!! and then my dad would take off two weeks and we would go on a road trip (that is for another have NO idea....)

did i stay home all of those summers because my parents loved me so much and they wanted me around? or, did they want to torture me and keep me away from the few friends that i had?? One day a therapist is going to be lucky to get me (hey, maybe that is what i should do for four full weeks...months....years....)

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

tuesday march 9, 2010

random thoughts....

should i be worried that my boys are logging onto a site called Streak for Cash? is there streaking involved? i have no idea what that is about....

should i be worried that they are digging up an oil tank from my dead neighbors property when some guys said they were digging it up a couple of months ago? should i be outside looking for uncovered bodies? treasure? what are they really digging? WHO BOUGHT THE PROPERTY??who knows.....just what i need, more neighbors....

went to a really nice bat mitvza last night. was it only really nice because I like the people who made it?(and they don't even read my blog) we started thinking about jonah's bar mitzva and i am ready to cut cut cut, but ari is opposed-why is that? is it truly because he is a better person than I am, or is he just afraid of hurting people's feelings? (wait, that is the same thing, i think that DOES make him a better person than I am....but no newsflash there...)

In the bat mitzva's girl's speech she said that we should not be judgemental of others.....does that mean I have to walk around with no thoughts in my head at all? ever? are there really people who aren't judgemental? hmmmm

are the muffins at lazy bean really diet? do they become less diet when i put butter on them?

Why do people like the taste of coffee when the taste of chocolate is so much better?

Am i asking all of these questions because I am trying to put off cooking and freezing for passover? what do you think?

short, sweet and to the point.

Happy Tuesday! 3 DAYS UNTIL DAYTON!!!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

monday, march 8, 2010


how does one prove their love to their friends Is it A.candy or is it C. getting dressed, leaving the kids with a babysitter at 5 0'clock on a sunday afternoon in the midst of hockey, basketball and homework that should have been done three days earlier and spending the next 4 hours at a dinner?

If you chose C, then you are correct! Now, there is something very nice about bar, yummy food, socializing with people that you don't always see(and don't always like) showing the guests of honor that you care enough to spend the money(which sometimes goes to a good cause...)and put an ad in a journal for that more permanent expression of love, devotion and pride "to our dear friends...." I am still waiting for someone to write "to our annoying neighbors who guilted us into coming..." "to the man who none of us really like, but we had to come because you are really rich and we want to impress you..." "to the woman who always ignores us, but all of our friends were coming so how could we say no...."

those are the ads I really want to see-tell it like it is people!! None of this other bs "you are pillars of the community..." blah blah blah-tell it to the judge after you are indicted.

So last night, ari and i went to a chabad dinner for dear friends of ours (they actually really are...and they are reading this, so i wouldn't write it if it wasn't true-love you guys!! kisses!!) Chabad. It is an amazing organization. they do incredible things....the rabbi of our local chabad even donated a kidney-so organ transplants are one of the things they advertise! I was happy to see a picture of the rebbe...though, i was secretly hoping he would make an appearance...though some of the guys there were so stoned, they probably DID see the rebbe...not that there is anything wrong with that. All of the women looked really nice in 40 different versions of the basic black dress (no, I was wasn't one of them..surprise, surprise)there were a few screaming babies..nothing wrong with that either, especially because I did not have to take care of them....and a good time was had by all.

we made it home in time to put the kids to sleep (that's a lie...i was asleep before they were) and watch the oscars (that is a lie too....i just saw my big girl monique win-you go girl!!! and then i fell asleep) and all in all it was a lovely evening and we loved celebrating with our friends....but after all of the chabad talk-do we want moshiach now?

discuss amongst yourselves....

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

sunday, march 7...but a continuation of march 6....

omg....other people know we are getting old....

So last night I reported that Ari and I were going shopping for shirts(and I am sure you have all been waiting to hear how that turned out). This was our big sat nite activity..after shirts, we were going to the gap to trade in ari's old jeans for 35% off a new pair of jeans....really, it was all very glamorous and exciting....

we went to kohls for the shirts. it pains me to admit that. Kohls. for shirts. ouch. The highlight of kohls for me was being able to use the pole to get the shirts down off the highest rack-i was even thinking of applying for a job there after that-i know how to use a pole!! so ari picked out some very lovely shirts, on sale, of course AND we had a coupon-it doesn't get any better than that.

Off to the Gap. We were on a mission.. the gap will take your old jeans, which will then be used as insulation in houses somewhere and then sell you new jeans at a discount. So we were being green and in-style...oh boy! "excuse me sir (the kid was like 12), do you have any black jeans."

"Im sorry, we haven't carried black jeans in 6 years." oh no, i thought ari was going to cry. Apparently, black jeans are not in style. so we settle for a pair of comfort-fit light blue jeans, because they looked exactly like the ones ari has now, and why mess with perfection? here is where it went

"excuse me, where could i find khakis?"...and they sent us into the back. Where we came upon camoflauge pants, pants with paint stains on them, pants with strategically placed rips in them and pants that looked like they were shorts.....So the music is blasting, ari is yelling "i can't wear these...where are the regular pants??? why does all of this stuff look dirty??? who wears this??" and then, we met a nice young gap employee named Jamil...."Jamil," we pleaded...."where are the pants for older men? all of these pants look like they need to be cleaned..." Jamil informed us that lots of people buy these pants and, apparently, we have aged-out of the Gap...AGED OUT OF THE GAP (in case you didn't hear me) "but where do we go now? what store comes after the gap? Is there a store after the Gap?" Jamil looked at us with pity in his eyes and said "I think you might be happier at banana republic."

with tears streaming down our cheeks, we were escorted, in wheel chairs, out of the gap....ok, I am exagerrating....there were no wheel chairs.but it was depressing. And then I had a flashback to sara enker's sweet 16-i wore an outfit that was covered with splashes of paint-i think it was of course if I wore something with paint on it, it would be back in style all of these years later and now, ari and i are not allowed to wear it again. how is that for being in denial about getting older?

we took ari's jeans home...fed everyone pizza (costco-2 boxes for 15 dollars!!) and were grateful for what we have....because let's face it, by the end of the week, we would have forgotten what happened anyway....

Happy Sunday

Saturday, March 6, 2010

saturday night, march 6,2010

wouldn't it be nice...

wouldn't it be so nice if i could blog about the stuff you all really wanted to read? the good, juicy gossip...who is doing what to who? who is going where and when? blah blah blah....can't do it. I really, really want to...but I can't, and I apologize. I wish i could, but the backlash would be to great. But don't think I am not tempted. That being said....(dont get excited, this is another blog about getting old...)

Tonight i was hanging with my kids...only two are home, Jonah went to his first bar mitzva this weekend. I can't even believe it. He came downstairs, looking all handsome in his suit before he was being picked up before shabbos and I said "wait, I have to take a picture" "no you don't" he replied "yeah, I do, i took a picture of Jack before he went to his first bar mitzva" "no you didn't, you probably don't even remember whose bar mitzva he was going to."

Yes, that is true, I don't remember. Because I am pushing 40 and I don't remember lots of things. So Jack, Matthew and I were having a talk about boys and girls and they asked me when I broke up with my high school boyfriend and I said "march 1987" that was only a week or two ago...
Jack said "mom, that was 23 years ago." What???? 23 YEARS AGO?!?!?!?!?! holy crap-when did that happen? Man that went by fast...23 years. I am old enough to have had things happen to me 23 years ago that I actually remember. Do we need milk? I have no idea...only opened the refrigerator 15 minutes ago, but 23 years ago, I remember. Why is that?

I have ari looking for the anniversary present that my parents got us, but he doesn't remember my giving it to (i am pretty sure i did) and neither of us have any idea what happened to it (gift certificate to deli kasbah-anyone know where it is?) If we are so forgetful now...what is to become of us? Will we get lost at the mall? will we forget we are at the mall? the future is not looking pretty.

So for now I will remember that I had a really nice weekend with really great friends, my kids informed me that I am too critical so I have to change that (which I will probably forget to do-what a surprise), and Ari and I are going to buy him some new shirts because he keeps ripping his old ones (no, i have not been ripping them off of him ...) hopefully we will make it back in one piece.

Happy Saturday....

Friday, March 5, 2010

friday, march 5,2010

I got nothing

one of the three amigos didn't feel well last night. he apparently didn't get the memo that you only wake mommy up if you are A.throwing up B.bleeding profusely or C.on fire.....

my brain is working less than it usually does so I am having some trouble coming up with something clever. I apologize. But I wish everyone reading this a wonderful weekend filled with wonderful things....

and thanks so much for reading!

Happy Friday....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

thursday, March 4,2010

the joys of being a home owner...

When i came downstairs this morning, i heard a noise coming from the shower that we never use. It was coming from the drain. I have no idea what it was. I ran downstairs and heard water swirling around the pipes, but nothing was leaking. I ran out to the side of the house to see if it was water coming down the gutter, but all was silent (except for the annoying squirrels)..I ran back into the house and still heard the sound,( while cursing under my breath about why do i have to take care of everything in this godam house,) I called the plumber, but he didn't answer. I ran upstairs to wake up the boys. I ran back downstairs and still heard the noise...i called the plumber again, but he didn't answer. I calmly chanted "every problem has a solution, every problem as a &*&%$ solution..." took the boys to the bus, came back to the house...shhhhhhh. quiet. no noise. shhhhh. waiting for all of the pipes to explode....

A few years ago, when we did construction on the house, I told Ari that we needed the shower on the main floor. Who knows what the future holds? perhaps someone's parents will have to come live with us(does anyone out there need their parents to come live with us?), maybe god forbid, someone will break a leg a not be able to make it upstairs, we need this shower.... so we install the shower. A few weeks go by, I am in the house alone, and the shower turns on by itself-boiling hot water is coming out of the shower which no one turned on. Crap, it's my fault because I wanted the shower. Contractor comes and fixes it, didn't know why that happened "I have never seen THAT before..." never a good sign.

A few months later, it is 4 am and ari and I are leaving for the airport....the shower turns on by itself, again, boiling hot water coming out of a shower that no one turned on. Banji Villa runs downstairs and shuts the main water line off (pretty impressive...I know) leaves the contractor messages....please fix the haunted shower that I insisted on putting in. Yes, it's my fault.

About two years ago, come downstairs and the paint in the kitchen has some people pay good money for this effect, but we did not. Shower was on all night dripping on the floor, which came through the ceiling....but then our neighbors house exploded, cracked the paint and now, we can repaint...(but, of course, we haven't-so now we have a rippled-cracked effect, very HGTV....)

Two weeks ago, the family that pukes together had a toilet situation. When one toilet would flush, the other toilet would bubble. We googled it and google told us that it means there is a serious clog and we had better take care of it. We were all afraid to flush that night, so everytime time we did, we would close our eyes and say a little prayer..morning came, plumbers came, money went out the door with the plumbers who told us "everything is fine, you people were just flushing too much at the same time." Thank you Einstein and Isaac Newton....

The american dream is to own a home. I can understand this, I love my home, the boys love their home....but homes should not be sold to clueless jews who have no idea how to fix is all a big mystery to me....But i will continue to appreciate the fact that I have a home and pray that the shower doesn't start making that noise again....

Happy Thursday

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

wednesday, march 3, 2010

old by any other name is still.....

This week on the today show (which I only saw because i was at the gym on an elliptical type torture machine)they have the casts from "classic" television shows. The cast from Eight is Enough was on. Oy vey...poor Dick Van Patten had no idea what was going on , and Betty Buckley, who was sitting next to him, had to keep poking the poor guy so he wouldn't fall asleep. Some of the women who played the sisters either had so much botox that their faces didn't move, or no botox, and you had no idea who they were....classic equals OLD. (Though, the cast from 227 was on today...and they looked fine! The housekeeper from the Jeffersons, whose name totally escapes me now, looks unbelievable!! I need to find out who their plastic surgeons I guess how old you look depends on who you use..)

Vintage. I was in the drug store this week flipping through a magazine-I like to keep up with what the young folks are reading and wearing. I learned that sack-style dresses are out, which made me sad, because now that I am past having babies, I finally thought I could get away with a sack-style dress and not have everyone think I was pregnant BUT, the magazine said they were OUT and I, for one, am always fashionably IN...(as I sit here blogging in my TBO sweatshirt...)

So I happened across a photo spread of Rachel Bilson (I have no idea who that is, or what show she is on...) and she was spotted wearing a VINTAGE green pocketbook with like, 4 different outfits-the same pocketbook..OMG, I had that pocketbook in 1979...huh, vintage, who knew that was back in style...vintage equals old.

But vintage and classic or so much nicer than saying..."man, you are getting old." "man you are sooo classic," or "man, you are totally vintage.." is so the way I am going now, because I am vintage. If you wore something the first time around and it is back in style again, forget about not being able to wear it, but take pride in the fact that you, yourself, must be back in style..

So, as i S L O W L Y approach 40, which is so vintage, classic and frankly, depressing, I will have a new positive outlook on the whole situation. I will keep a big smile on my face and age gracefully, but the day that someone doesn't recognize me because I have become so classic (old, follow along) is the day that I take up drinking full time (instead of the part time job it occupies now....)

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

tuesday, march 2, 2010

it's a boy.....

For all of you reading this who have girls, this is not to be taken personally.....

I woke up to wonderful news this morning. Good friends of ours(and yes, we have some) had their fifth boy last night. Baby is healthy, mom is healthy, dad is excited about having his own hockey line, the brothers are excited not to have to introduce any pink into the house....everyone is thrilled. And I am sure the mom is thrilled too....but, as someone who only has boys, who thought this friend was for-sure having a 4 boys, she deserved a girl!! But what does that mean? deserved a girl....I gave my mom (and continue to do so) a really hard time, I mean a really, really, really hard time growing up-did she deserve that? (questionable...just kidding mom :) )

When you only have boys, people are always quick to say"oh, maybe the next one will be a girl.." why? why would we want the next one to be a girl? Maybe she will be bitchy and obnoxious and be the girl that is mean to other girls...maybe she will be the girl that just can't get it together and is made fun of by the mean girls....maybe she will be the girl who has the really big nose, or the really big tush....why can't my boys be good enough?? huh? WHY WHY WHY?????

Is is a guarantee that my daughter won't put me in a nursing home? NO
Is it a guarantee that my daughter will love me and not inherit my mood disorder? NO
Is it a guarantee that my daughter will be beautiful and thin and fashionable? NO NO NO NO

There is one woman, who everytime she sees me says "you know what comes after 3 boys?"
and I say "2 miscarriages" I know, that is just terrible, but she can't really hear that well anymore and I don't think she can understand what I am saying. Ari, on the other hand, does here me and resists the urge to punch he often does....what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man....

I went to a class on in laws last week, and I learned that a wife needs permission from her husband to take care of her parents. Could you believe that? who knew? I have to ask Ari, if it is ok, to not make him dinner, so I can go take care of my parents,if, GOD forbid, they need me.

Now, the husband(get ready feminists, this will not make you happy...)does not need the wife's permission to take care of his fact, I will get extra bonus points, if I help too (stop laughing, this is all really true....ask rebbetzin samet)

I happen to think that no one knows about these "laws" and even though I know them now, I am still not taking it as a guarantee that all my sons will leave nearby...or even close enough to fly to.....but even if I had a daughter, would things be all that different? I know daughters who are closer to their husband's family than they are to their own, I know daughters that can't stand their mothers....there are always exceptions....and that is all ok.

Boys love their moms because they are never in competition with them. And we love our boys because they don't expect anything from us.....except for our love and devotion. It is almost the perfect relationship, until we, GOD willing, hand them over to their wives and apologize that they don't know how to do anything themselves....(and I will take full responsibility for that)

So to my friends, congratulations....we are so excited for you...there is nothing like living in a phallic wonderland....may they all grow up to be good men, good husbands, good fathers, happy and healthy and may you have the continued good health and tuition to enjoy them all!

Happy Tuesday

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010...8 months to go...

the gym

The gym was a great invention. Even though everything we need to workout we can find in our homes or at our local parks, someone sold us a bill of goods that we need the gym. For motivation, for encouragement, to build our self-esteem and to make ourselves stronger, fitter, healthier and thinner.

Now, when I belonged to Lucille Roberts, I did feel thinner-but not because I actually was. It was because everyone else there MADE me feel thinner(because they were so large)-and that, in itself, was a great motivator. A motivator to come home and eat because hey, I am the thinnest person at my gym! (I am just kidding, I never did that...)

Nowadays, that is not the case. I will never be the thinnest person at my current gym, unless I have been stranded on an island with no food for a few months.(though, the good news, is that I am not the fattest person at my gym either, but those numbers are constantly dwindling as the fatter people either pass out, quit, or die...) But I still enjoy the machines, like the tv's and really like that it is right underneath a supermarket.

There is a gym nearby that is called The Gym..I am not allowed in that gym because there is a fat alarm that goes off when you walk into that place.(those are the rumors, I don't know for sure...but it sounds good). From what I have heard through the fatty-grapevine, there are no fat people in The Gym...none. And, the other rumor traveling through the cholesterol-laden grapevine is that not only are none of the people fat, but they have never been fat and have trouble associating with anyone that is fat. Now, I am happy to tell you that this rumor is NOT true, because I happen to be the token fat friend of several members of that gym- and I truly appreciate them taking pity on me and being my friend. So that rumor is false, but the fat-alarm rumor, I have yet to disprove-but will keep you posted. I am planning a covert mission to The Gym, where I will be dressing up as an air-conditioning repair person(because the skinny women need their air conditioning or they will pass out from the combination of no food and high caloric burn)I plan on walking right in, wearing a stylish, yet, loose fitting uniform. If the alarm does not sound, I might even consider joining.......not a chance...

Happy Monday