Life in General

She’s getting dirty!

Her clothes are getting dirty!! 

I’ve learned over the years that kids (especially little boys) get dirty and I’m mostly OK with it and don’t get bothered. This is different; my little baby girl in her girly girl pink clothes is crawling on the floor and she’s getting dirty. It’s very noticeable on light pink clothes. Finally having a baby girl after 16 years since my first girl and 9 boys later, I vowed that this little girl will only know pink. I’ll be honest; I didn’t ask her opinion on it, this is purely to satisfy my needs which is to buy a lot of pink. And I admit to going a little overboard. But in my excitement I hadn’t anticipated this issue; for 6 months her clothes were pristine and clean and gorgeous. And now she started crawling. On her stomach. It’s pretty cute. But she’s getting dirty. Filthy!

I take a deep breath and weigh out my options.

She can have dirty pink clothes. Ughh. That’s going to drive me crazy. And it’s so not cute.

And then I have another great idea; I could just not put her on the floor. I can hold her or have her sit in her exersaucer. I may be stunting her growth and delaying her milestones, but her clothes will be clean. So simple!

Even as I think it, I know it’s a ridiculous thought. But I still think it.

And it’s becoming more and more obvious to me that it’s not my baby that has to change, it’s actually me.

Maybe I need to change my only-pink policy. Or start liking the look of dirty pink clothing.

But I want pink! Pink makes me happy. I don’t want dark colors. Ugh they make me feel so blah.

One of us has to compromise and I’m knowing it has to be me  … and I’m not liking it.

It dawns on me that this is what being a mother is in a nutshell. From the moment they’re born these little humans try to let us know that they’re their own person and not just an extension of their parents. And for some reason, sometimes it takes years till we get the memo. 

It’s so much more empowering to think that as the mother of these little people, I get to choose how they will be and what they will like and how they will behave in school. What their interests will be, what talents they’ll have. Which musical instrument they’ll play, what school subjects they’ll enjoy and if they like to read. Who their friends will be and how they want to spend their time. What foods they’ll like to eat and how they will do homework.

Really, it’s the same two options all through the years as they grow up; come up with a solution that satisfies my needs and stunts their growth or work on myself and change my expectations and create the atmosphere for each one of my kids to thrive on their terms, with their strengths, in their unique G-d given way. And Hashem chose me to be the mother of these kids because somewhere in me I have this ability. Each of my children needs guidance, encouragement and support to be their best. And the hard mommy-work is to look and see beneath the behaviors and understand who they really are and what they really need. Beneath it all is a soul with a one-of-a-kind beauty and strength.

I might be blinded by the used-to-be soft pink colors of clothing that now look dingy, but if I just peek a little deeper I can appreciate that this little doll of mine has strong muscles and is using them well. It definitely is easier to do this with a baby; with my toddler, middle kids, tweens and teens it sure takes a lot more work and patience and alot of other things, but it’s still the same process.

Dear little pink princess, I’m thrilled you are crawling at six months. I’m supposed to be the grown up here so I will compromise. I will let you crawl and I will come up with another solution. Apparently we’re never too old for reminders.

(Originally written for Bodies & Souls Magazine – http://www.bodiessouls.com)

Life in General

Happy 6 months!

It’s Erev Shabbos Chol Hamoed, I have a to do list that outnumbers the alphabet, my Housekeeper decided this was a great week to go on vacation (I do not think this was coincidental… I was also tempted to take the week off!) and I’m pausing … not just because I hold the monthly pictures ritual in high priority – but to really acknowledge and take stock of what’s going on around me.
Yes, 6 months is a big deal for the milestone blanket … and yeah I got a little carried away dressing Mushka… but 6 months marks a lot more. 6 months ago today is a day I don’t remember, but all my family and friends do. Third day Chol Hamoed Pesach. The joy of Mushka’s birth followed by the fear and terror that followed it with my medical crisis. These 6 months have been like nothing else … from being completely immobile to slowly regaining strength, from Trauma ICU to Acute Rehab to home… to a night nanny for Mushka, home health nurse 3x a week for me, dinners delivered for 3 months, being tethered to a wound VAC and then slowly downsizing my household staff and taking my place back …planning from A-Z and then celebrating my son’s Bar Mitzvah just five weeks ago to where I stand today in the kitchen – unpacking my multiple Instacart orders while keeping an eye on the pots on the stove, putting chicken in the oven, cutting vegetables and making cakes and being surrounded by my (overtired!) kids, my husband is out with some of my boys on the Sukkah mobile, bringing the joy of Sukkot to people’s doorstep … and I’m as overwhelmed and joyful and stressed as anyone else running this Tishrei marathon – but here’s where I pause.
Because I feel so normal and I’m just doing the normal things we do today. And I am so grateful. It took time to get here, but I am here. And I know it was the endless praying of those who know me and those who don’t that got me here. So I encourage you all to take a moment in the hecticness today and just PAUSE, take a few seconds to breathe in the smells and sounds (even of kids fighting!) and acknowledge the normal. Good Yom Tov to you all!

Life in General

Just another Chol Hamoed Trip…

Full disclosure – it was actually Isru Chag. Since Chol Hamoed Succos was busy with our Sukkah mobile, we planned our Chol Hamoed trip to be delayed. Same planning strategy, same rhythm.

Thursday morning, as Isru Chag dawned, I was right on schedule and got straight to work googling – I knew what type of place I was looking for, something super cool and fun and exhilarating for kids ages 1-16, with more focus on the big kids that it should be up to par. After all, considering that we now had three kids in school a plane ride away, these trips didn’t happen as often.

I found the ideal place within minutes! Rappeling, zip line, rope course. Outdoors, gorgeous weather, it was all perfect! I couldn’t help but feel pleased with my quick work.

I tried to book online but it kept giving me an error, so I called the place. And they told me they were closed until Sunday.

Bummer. Back to google. One place opens at 4, another is closed on Thursdays.

Continue reading “Just another Chol Hamoed Trip…”
Life in General

Why can’t you just?!?

There’s so many things we want our kids to do. To succeed at. To respond to. And so many things we expect them to do.

And when they don’t, we can’t stop ourselves from saying it.

“”Why can’t you just…?!”

Why can’t you just do your homework and get it over with?!

Why can’t you just finish what’s on your plate?!

Why can’t you just put your shoes where they belong so you can find them in the morning?!

Why can’t you just listen to the teacher and do what you’re supposed to?!

Why can’t you just do what the other kids in your class do and follow the rules?!

Everyone else does it, why can’t you. I have no problem doing this, why can’t you.

Why can’t you just ….

Life in General

The big bad FORMULA!

I’m going through my mound of discharge papers one day a couple weeks ago, and it’s quite a book considering my postpartum complications – and one paper caught my eye. 

Risks to babies of formula feeding include an increased risk of:

And then it goes on to list over a dozen different conditions: Asthma, Allergy, Acute respiratory disease… and the list goes on and on.

As I read, my jaw drops in shock. Am I really seeing correctly?

What in the world is this all about?

Why are they trying to scare me?