Thursday, December 31

The Christmas Maple Sugar... Is Kosher!

Do You See What I See?

We were told to try the cafe con leches at the market next to Subway.

Adam points across the street, away from the Subway. "Here?"

I tell him, "Next to the Subway."

Adam looks at me as if I'm crazy. "I don't see a market!"

And he's already had three coffees today. Can you say, "Turning into
our parents"?


Tuesday, December 29

Third Thoughts

I'm actually starting to feel a bit hostile toward that burger with fried egg and duck fat fries. Good thing I'm headed toward a midnight show. A beer might make everything all better.

See, nothing's changed since 1988. Some thought age might bring wisdom. Glad to be living proof of the fallacy of that theory.


Second Thoughts

Suddenly that burger with an egg on top and fries in duck fat aren't seeming like such a good idea. Go figure.


A Tuesday Night

My mother has something to say. Or at least she did. Now she's caving under pressure. And my father wants me to leave. Not the rest of my family. Just me. And my friends? Well, Bettina left, Jennifer has nothing to say as usual, and Rachel is wisely ignoring me.

Yes, folks. It's the same trip to Miami Beach as it always is. Today was spa day. Mani/pedis, massages, facials. And martinis. Lots of martinis.

And then we went for burgers. On a Tuesday night. At 8:30. And it was an hour and a half wait. Hour and a half wait!. But we smartly got out order "to go" (and Adam and I were the only ones smart enough to order beers while we were waiting). But it was worth it. Because I had a burger. With an egg on top. Shall I repeat that? I had a burger. With an egg. On top. Oh. My. God. And what did I have with that? Fries. Fried in duck fat. Really! In duck fat!

Can we repeat all this? Mani/pedi. Facial. Massage. Hamman. Martini. Beer. Burger with egg. Fries fried in duck fat.

It's a beautiful world. Real life? I have my fingers in my ears. La la la la la! I can't hear you!


More Miami Effect

Did you know that when you don't have lunch, and then you have a martini, it really does something. Consider that a recession tip (thanks to Jen P.).

Now on to the burger bar.


Monday, December 28





The Miami Effect

I like to think of myself as a hardcore runner, but it turns out I'm pretty half-assed about it, because when it comes right down to it, I'm going to pick that second martini over a longer run the next morning. I call it "The Miami Effect."

Other manifestations of the Miami Effect? The ability to consume twice my weight in food, multiple times a day. The willingness to ditch my children at a second's notice on the Nana and the Peter to go out with grown-ups. Willingness to spend a small fortune pampering myself and my children, with spa days and ice cream. Total hedonism. The Miami Effect.

Last night first I had a surprise grown-up dinner. T. Rex and Pad were playing with my kids, and we were trying to figure out what we adults should do. Peter said, "I can watch T. Rex and Pad with Doodles and Pie." You've never seen adults leave a place so fast. We were afraid he'd realize what he said and change his mind. After a lovely dinner, I headed to a bar to meet up with other friends. I opened a tab. Let's examine those sentences. I was at a bar. And I had multiple drinks. And what do two drinks do to me? I left my credit card there. Retrieved it today.

And now I'm getting ready for another grown-up night out. Tonight is the annual night of the sushi boat. I love the night of the sushi boat. And my father is being a right pain in the butt tonight, and Peter, that was a well-deserved remark, because you know what you just said to me, so don't even act all offended now.

Sushi boat will make things all better. That's the Miami Effect.


Friday, December 25

The Land That Christmas Forgot

We survived the trip down. Somehow. It started with Adam insisting we needed to leave at 8 for our 11:10 flight, which seemed ridiculously early to me, but I figured he knew what he was talking about. So I woke up before 6 a.m. to finish packing and get the house cleaned, and sure enough at 8, he said, "Oh, wait. We leave at 11:10! I was off on my math. We don't need to leave for another hour." And then we left, all packed up and ready to go... except for all of Adam's New Year's cards, which he left sitting on a shelf. We had to call Beetle to let herself into our house to get the cards to mail. Then the friends we were traveling with had a very sick (read: pukey) daughter who decided to brave the trip anyway. And when we got down here, I realized I forgot something that was crucial to a promised activity for Doodles. And then tonight at bedtime, Pie decided to completely rebel. I mean totally. Wouldn't go to bed. Not at all. I was ready to throttle her. She was whining and crying and pouting and nowhere near her bed, so I did the only reasonable thing possible.

I left. And got ice cream. Because that's the main benefit of being in Miami Beach, having the Nana to take care of the Pie when she's out of control. While Pie screamed and fussed, Adam and I took a leisurely stroll down to Lincoln Road where we stopped into the Frieze for ice cream. Looking around Lincoln Road, you would have no idea it was Christmas. Folks were out en masse. Stores were open. The movies were sold out. Now, you're probably thinking, "Well it's because Miami Beach is full of Jews who don't celebrate Christmas," but you'd be completely wrong. The Jewish population of Miami Beach has completely dwindled, and besides, it is Shabbat, which means anyone who is actually an observant Jew is home with family. Miami Beach is now predominantly Latin American, and most of those folks like them some Baby Jesus. So I have no idea what so many folks were doing out tonight, drinking martinis, letting their way-too-young kids wreak havoc, and eating dinners at an absurdly late hour. "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 23

Yea! Adam's Back!

Tuesday, December 22

Survival Mode

Both Pie and Rebecca Rubin are doing well right now, thank you. It was really touch and go for both of them for a bit. Pie had such a fit this morning that I had a choice to make: Do something that would rightfully have DSS after me or take it out on Rebecca Rubin. I'm sorry Rebecca Rubin. But those moments you spent in the trash can were well worth it, in my book.

Adam's still in London and the kids have morphed into devil children. Pie refused to walk Doodles to school, which meant that either 1) she'd be home alone or 2) Doodles would miss school (which given what comes next, I don't think he would have minded). Out and out tantrum about getting on her boots to walk the boy. That's when Rebecca Rubin made a visit to the trash can (and no, I did not put a $100 doll in the trash can, but she took a little rest on top of the trash can). And then finally--screaming the entire three blocks--we get to Doodles's school where Doodles--Doodles!!!--had a horrendous drop off. He cried and cried and refused to go into school and his (yes, 1st grade!) teacher had to peel him off of me.

After school, Pie was whiny and insisted on a playdate. It was really against my better judgment, but I agreed. The girl who came over is a charming girl, who I actually really like a lot. (Does this mean there are kids I don't like? Let's not go there, shall we?) Let's just say the playdate did not go well. On either side. Pie didn't share. The other girl decided we were all mean (I was mean--I insisted she hold my hand when we crossed the street to pick up Doodles. Can you believe what a be-yatch I am?). No one could get along. The playdate ended very early.

I managed to keep both kids alive and occupied the rest of the afternoon without resorting to too much bribery (okay, there may have been a few extra marshmallows in the hot chocolate, but this is survival mode!).

And now? Now the kids are fed, in pajamas, teeth brushed, and parked in front of Phineas and Ferb. If I play my cards right, they'll both be in bed by 7 and I'll have my glass of wine at 7:01.

We're almost at the finish line. Almost....

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

Pie asks if we can play Pengoloo, and I say sure. Pengaloo is a memory game in which penguins sit upon colored eggs. You roll the dice and have to find the colors on the dice.

Pie finds the first two sets immediately.

"Wow, you're lucky!" I say.

"Well, I set up the penguins. So maybe I know where they all are."


Sunday, December 20

Snow Day

We all react to the snow in different ways. While a Sunday snow day is not a terrible thing, I was a bit disappointed because I had been looking forward to a few weekend activities that had to be reshuffled. The Tweedle Twirp was going to come visit, but that got canceled, which also means we were no shows at our monthly game night last night since we were suddenly babysitter-less. Doodles had a cub scout event today that I thought was going to be fun and interesting.

But my kids? My kids are thrilled. Doodles spent the entire day in his pajamas, playing with new Hanukkah presents. When I went out to shovel, Pie eagerly came along, and did "modern dance in the snow." She shoveled for a minute or two with me, and then promptly went across the street to help Tab shovel her walk.

Me, I've used the day to write about a zillion holiday cards (and yet, I'm still not done!). My apologies to those whose last names begin after the letter L; my handwriting completely deteriorated by that point. I also packaged the last of the boxes to be mailed and doing a little last holiday baking (well, not quite last, but I can dream). I also decided to take down the Hanukkah decorations. A little odd, considering most of the country is still putting up their decorations, but our holiday is over and I never like those things to linger. I left up all the lights and holiday cards, but the menorahs, the dreidel pictures, the Little People Hanukkah toy, the menorah tidbit tray, and all the little Hanukkah knickknacks returned to that great storage in the attic. The kids have spent the entire afternoon glued to the TV, which once in a while, is fine by me (Doodles said, "It's like when we have a fever and we can watch all we want!"). Yesterday was a hectic day--hockey and then to a friends to make ornaments for her tree and then my in-laws came to celebrate Hanukkah with us. So a rest day is well deserved.

Santa was at hockey, and both my kids wanted to meet him. Santa made chit chat with Doodles first. Asked if he'd been a good boy. If he'll keep being a good boy. Told him that he (Santa) also ice skated up at the North Pole. And then he asked Doodles what he wanted for Christmas. Doodles merely said, "We don't celebrate Christmas." No elaboration. I think he threw Santa for a loop, but Santa finally realized what was going on and said, "That's fine!" By the time Pie got off the ice to meet him, Santa was a little more prepared for her response.

The one unfortunate about the snow is that it cleared up enough for Adam to be able to get out to head to the airport. He's off to London for a few days, which always makes me sad. Hanukkah over; the short, dark days; the oppression of the snow; Adam's trip overseas--this time of year always conspires to make me blue.

But soon enough it will be Christmas, which is a very special day in our house, because that is the day that Santa brings us sun. One of the best parts of being Jewish is being able to fly out on Christmas day for warmer climes.

So now, I just need to plug through the next few days. The light at the end of the tunnel is spa day. I just need to focus on spa day.... Ahhhhh....

Labels: ,

Friday, December 18


You know those days when everything runs so smoothly and perfectly, and things just get themselves done? Yeah, I'm not having one of those days, either. I've been having the kind of days where I manage to squeeze in a hair appointment before next week's trip (Pie was kind enough to say, "Mommy, show me your gray! Yep! There it is!") only to leave my earrings behind. To call the Pie's school frantically because I sent in a peanut butter sandwich but forgot to label it (they segregate the kids with peanut allergies from the kids who bring in peanut butter). I left a message but called back to make sure they got it... only to be told that I had labeled the lunch. I went to three stores looking for wooden swizzle sticks for treats I was making, only to abandon that. I fought my son on homework--our teacher conference last week determined that the boy can do schoolwork (and quite well); he just chooses not to. I fought my daughter on... well, just about everything. The whine is back.

On a side note, Pie and I are watching Eloise at Christmastime. That poor girl is going to be in serious therapy over separation anxiety!

Anyway, today was one of those days when Pie and Jasmine had a playdate that not only gave me no free time, but left me threatening to end the playdate if they couldn't get along. At Pie's dance class, I was stuck listening to these, these... well, let's just call them Mothers and leave it at that. They had a conversation about cleaning uncircumcised p*enises (and yes, they're husbands are also uncircumcised!) and other lovely crunchy topics. And then another mother came in with a Happy Meal toy she'd found in her car. Her two girls were playing with it and one asked, "What is it?" The mom responded, "Hmm, I don't know. It's really a boy's toy. Why don't we give this to a boy we know?" Grrrrrrr.

I still have dinner to cook. I still have packages to mail. I still have treats to make and crafts to finish. There's no point to this post, really. I just felt like bitchin'. Too bad for you.


Wednesday, December 16

Baker, Baker, Bake Me a Treat

If you're wondering where your holiday card is, it's right here because I'm supposed to be writing them right now, but instead, here I am on my blog. Oh well! I'm not excited about this year's cards because Adam was in charge of proofreading and I should know better than to let an MBA proofread; MBAs think "attriting" is a real word and that they can "talk around issues." So, yes, there's a typo on the card and it's way too late for me to put in an asterisks that reads, "Proofread by Adam."

Life has felt busy lately so I'm just now starting on my holiday baking and I have to say, I'm most excited by the-- Oops! I think some of the people I give my goodies to are reading this blog so I won't spill this year's concoctions.

Hanukkah so far has been fun, but it's a bit overwhelming for the kids who have too much sugar, not enough sleep, and total present overload. I've made and eaten more latkes than anyone has a right to. I made them Friday in Doodles's class, Friday night for our Hanukkah/Shabbat dinner, Sunday for our annual Hanukkah party, and Monday in Pie's class. I'm oozing oil out of my pores and it's downright gross. I'm actually craving vegetables. Of course, as the family cook, I could make vegetables, but that seems like actual work so I'll stick with the oily foods for now. And the sugar. Can't forget the sugar.

My holiday shopping has been done for a while now, except that my local B. Dalton's is going out of business so I've spent two days now scouring its racks for 40% off books (plus my B&N membership discount). I've got presents for the kids for the next three years (seriously--Beetle was in the store with me, and as her kids are 6 and 9, she showed me books Doodles and Pie will like in a couple of years).

I'm off now to get my son, then my daughter, and then off for a coveted H1N1 flu shot for the little one (the big one got his in school). And if I were you, I'd be seriously hoping your one my goodie list. Because these things look pretty good!


Friday, December 11

Drink Your Gin and Tonica and Smoke Your Marijunica

Tonight begins eight days and nights of greasy, oily skin... I mean Hanukkah! Hanukkah officially began about two hours ago, and I've already had latkes three times this season. Ugh. Today I went into Doodles's class to make latkes, but first I had to experiment and make them last week, because--due to allergies--I needed to make egg-free latkes. I did. It was brilliant. And I couldn't let the first night of Hanukkah slip by without more oily disks of fat. Mmmm, oily disks of fat!

I'm happy that Pie was pleased with her gift tonight. I had my concerns after listening to her talk to my father on the phone. Pie asked for an American Girl doll for Hanukkah, specifically "the Jewish one." I passed the request on to one of her grandparents, and I'm sure she'll be thrilled with the results. But in the meantime, I had a hand-me-down American Girl doll and a stroller for her that I wrapped up. She felt it yesterday before I could yell at her to get her grubby little paws off the gifts. And today, when she was talking with Peter, she said with great excitement, "We get to open presents tonight. I'm pretty sure there's a stroller in one of them! So that's mean we'll be getting a baby!"

Did anyone else just throw up a little bit? Anyway, she was thrilled with her doll, and the kids loved the gifts they got from the Tweedle Twirp. I'm preparing for our annual Hanukkah party (which Pie has apparently mentioned to everyone at school, regardless of whether or not they were invited, making for some lovely, comfortable discussions...Not).

Now it's time for little people to go to bed and for me to clean the oil off the kitchen walls... although what's the point? I guess I can just leave it there till Hanukkah's over. Back to baking, gotta get the holiday cards written, and bask in the peace of the season. "GET YOUR PJS ON ALREADY AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH!" Oh, sorry. I wasn't talking to you.

Happy Hanukkah!

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 6

He's Got a Point

Me: Did you do anything for Hanukkah at Hebrew school?
Doodles: Yeah. We played Hanukkah bingo.
Me: That sounds fun!
D: No, it wasn't it was really boring.
Me: Doodles, you are so negative all the time! You're the biggest Negative Nelly I've ever met!
D: Mom, you're going to live with me a long time. You gotta get used to it.


Saturday, December 5

"I Ain't People!"

I'm watching Singing in the Rain with my kids. We checked it out of the library, "we" being me and Pie, as Doodles swore he had no interest and all he wanted to do was listen to the Harry Potter book on CD he checked out. But about ten minutes in, Doodles wandered into the room and became hooked.

"You know," I told Pie. "Gene Kelly is a very famous dancer."

"Really?" she asked. "Was he in Mamma Mia?"

Of course, it didn't start out well. The MGM Lion? Well, apparently it's terrifying. It took a lot of convincing to get Pie turned around to watch the film. You know what else is terrifying? When Lena gets a Pie in the face. Yikes! Head buried! And if you're outside in the rain alone? Sc-ar-y!

But nothing, no nothing, is as terrifying to anyone as the romantic scenes are to Doodles. He literally cowers under the covers (he's watching in his underwear, beneath our couch blanket) anytime anyone embraces and makes whimpering noises if he accidentally sees kissing.

And did you know the movie is confusing. "Why did his face go all squishy? Who talks yucky? Why is that a yucky voice? Why is he going through that wall? Why is she wearing that?" And on. And on. And on.

Till she passed out. Leaving only Doodles glued to the screen. As long as no one is smooching, that is.

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 4


First in...

First out...


Wednesday, December 2

From the Mouths of Babes

Conversation with the Tweedle Twirp and her pregnant friend, kids playing nearby.
Me: And so then I got dressed for the party [my grandfather's 90th birthday party in Miami in July]. I was eight months pregnant and something just didn't look right. I called the Tweedle Twirp in and said, "What is wrong with this outfit? The shoes look all wrong. I've been wearing them for a year now and they looked fine. Why do they look so weird now?" Tweedles evaluated me for a good long while before she finally said, "Well, they looked better when you still had ankles." "Ankles!" I said. "That's it!"
The next night, I overheard Doodles talking to his friend J.
Doodles: Did you know that when women get pregnant, they lose their ankles?


Pie: Mommy, how does Chrysanthemum know who's Christian and who's not?
Me: Chrysanthemum?
Pie: Yeah. How does Chrysanthemum know who to bring presents to?
Me: Like in the book?
Pie: Yeah.
Me: The mouse? Who doesn't like her name?
Pie: Um, I guess.
Me: Do you mean Santa Claus?
Pie: Yes! How does Santathemum Claus know who's Christian and who's not?
Me: Remember I told you, Santa Claus isn't real. Mommies and Daddies buy presents for the kids. Santa is made up, but it's not something we talk about with our non-Jewish friends. Santa isn't real.
Pie: I know!
Me: Okay.
Pie: So how does he know? Who's Christian and who's not?

Labels: , ,