Life in General

Enjoying my morning coffee

“It’s perfect weather to have your morning coffee outside,” my husband tells me when I come into the kitchen Sunday morning.

And he’s right. Crisp low 60s, it’s quiet and still with the birds chirping. It’s my absolute favorite weather in general, and it’s perfect for sitting in my backyard and enjoying my morning caramel-macchiato flavored coffee. And this Sunday morning I’m not rushing anywhere, so the opportunity is perfect.

I head outside for some moments of morning meditation, coffee and calmness… mommy style.

If mommy goes outside, so does everyone else. I straighten out the table and chairs that tend to wander away from their dedicated spot and settle in for feeling the still freshness and sounds of nature, mingled with the sounds of my entourage.

My one year old is happily walking around in her walking/sitting rolling seat. My two year old finds a cozy coupe that’s clean enough for his liking and takes off. Two of my boys head to the trampoline. Someone heads to climb a tree and someone else goes straight to digging.

I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. The freshness, the birds chirping, the slight breeze. I take my first sip of perfectly just-right sweetened coffee, allowing myself to taste every droplet.

“Mommy!!!!” I quickly pause my mediation.

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Life in General

Trauma ICU, Matzah and Miracles; The Full Story

I wrote this article for the Nshei Chabad Newsletter; it was featured in the Nissan 5783 issue, celebrating one year from this miracle.

Tuesday Morning, Chai Nissan, I packed some food while grumbling that I had to take my pesach chocolate-banana-walnut muffins to eat instead of my customary boxful of Resimans brownie bars that I usually indulge in right after birth, and my husband and I headed to the hospital. Relieved to have the hecticness of the sedarim behind us, I was looking forward to giving birth and being back home in time for the second days; to bask in the joy of Pesach and enjoy the time with all my kids home.

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Life in General

This Pesach is different; here’s why.

Last year I didn’t pack up Pesach. 

While I lay in the trauma ICU, awake but oblivious to my surroundings, my husband and kids packed up all my carefully chosen Pesach items and put them back into storage. A task I usually oversee, a task I was not part of last year. My future was unclear.

This year, I feel so privileged. Privileged to be unpacking all my pesach stuff, piece by piece, as I set up the kitchen for this exciting and hectic holiday. Privileged to be on my feet all day cooking. Privileged to be stressed about Pesach. And I’m looking forward to the privilege of putting it all away too.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel the privilege and sometimes it takes a lot of internal work and focus to get in touch with it.

The reality is, that Pesach always is a privilege, but somehow between the endless cleaning, preparing and cooking, the feeling is completely disguised by sheer exhaustion and to do lists that only get longer instead of shorter.

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Life in General

Don’t follow someone else’s ideas!

One of my kids once asked me, “Why do we hardly have any sleepovers? Can we go on a sleepover?

I looked at my 8 year old and I said, “We are so lucky, our whole life is one big sleepover!”

And that’s the truth. Being the mother of 9 boys and 2 girls ka“h, my children have stretched my limits in ways that I never imagined, including living the life of one big sleepover! They’ve taught me that my job as a mother is not to make them into who I want them to be but rather to embrace who they are, as they are, the way Hashem created them. They are not my report card and it’s not about me; they each have their own talents and strengths, my job is to help them use it to succeed.

I never imagined I’d be the mother of a baseball team or nearly a minyan. But what I’ve learned on the job has made me who I am. Granted, boys don’t whine. But there’s plenty of other stuff they do that’s not for the faint of heart. I love pink, bows, dolls and dollhouses. After the fourth dollhouse was once again used as a stool and parking garage and dolls were missing too many limbs too many times, I came to terms with the fact that I had to learn their game. And really that’s how it all is; to be there for each of them is to learn their game. To try to understand life through their eyes and value their strengths, so that I can help each child succeed.

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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.

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