27 February 2006

I, Supernanny

I helped a friend out a few days ago, and watched her young kids for her for a few (8!) hours. As I mentioned in a previous post, Hubby and I love Supernanny. Well, quite a few times during the day, we had some "naughty" moments (the kids, not me and Hubby) and I totally went Supernanny on these kids. Shockingly, it worked. A screaming 2-year-old really does respond when you get down to his level and tell him to knock it off.

On the other hand, explaining that he'll never get into a good university with that attitude, and no professor in law school would let him sit in class while flailing his legs around, had no effect.

I'm sure it also helped that I was the Babysitter - a new and exciting adventure - and not boring ol' Mom & Dad, whose buttons the kids know exactly how to push. That's probably why the show is called Supernanny, and not SuperMomandDad.

24 February 2006

Gotta start cleaning NOW

...cause my Mom is coming for Pesach*! Yay! How exciting that my Mom wants to spend Pesach with us!


Holy crap. My extremely secular "why do you go through all that trouble for just a few days?" "why can't I watch tv on Saturday - I'm not religious?" "What do you mean, 3 straight days of holiday restrictions?" Mom is coming for Pesach.

Oy vey.

Anybody have any experience with secular relatives visiting for holidays? I've already told her that I won't be offended if one full-on seder is too much for her and she wants to stay home 2nd night (she sounded very relieved at that!). And that if she doesn't want to come to shul with us, that's okay, too. And if she wants to run next door to the neighbour's to watch tv or check her email, I'll pretend not to notice. Any other suggestions/hints/advice? I'd like this to be fun for both of us, and the last time I had a secular relative visit for Pesach, well, let's just say a good time was not had by all. I'd like my Mom to see what I love so much about Pesach (and Orthodox Judaism), and even if she doesn't go home wanting to be more frum, I'd at least like her to go home with a happy memory.

*Update: Obviously, I'm so verklempt about my mother visiting, that I overlooked my non-Jewish readers. Pesach is the Hebrew word for the Jewish holiday of Passover. Thanks to Jenny for pointing out my goof. My apologies!

22 February 2006

Why not meme?

Inspired by Tertia. I wanna be blog ho, too!

I don't know where the dancing thing came from (I like dancing around the house, not on stage!) and math should be much higher and engineering should definitely be waaaay lower. Otherwise, I think it's pretty close. Never thought of English as a major, though...

You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com

21 February 2006

I shoulda just stayed home and banged my head against the wall a few thousand times

Last week, I was reading a paper I rarely read, and it just so happened there was an ad for an adoption information seminar that just so happened to be taking place the next weekend (which would make it this past weekend). I figured it was bashert (meant to be). Hubby and I discussed it and decided, well, how often do they have these things, and maybe it would be helpful to see what we’re really up against if we ever do need/want/decide to adopt.

So we went.

Okay, a lot of it was what we figured: if we can’t afford another cycle, we certainly can’t afford to adopt. Adoption costs range from $12,000 to well over $30,000. The low end is for domestic adoption, which means quite possibly waiting a very long time for a baby. And a baby is our preference. One of the reasons we want children is to pass on our religious beliefs and culture to our child(ren), and with an older child, we would be too sensitive to that child’s birth parents, birth culture, existing beliefs, etc., etc. There’s a conversion issue, as well, which I won’t get into right now.


As if it wasn’t depressing enough having our suspicions confirmed, there were adoptive parents present speaking about their experiences with the adoption process, and they thoughtfully brought all – ALL – of their children with them. And their children went running in and out of the room, eating all the snacks, throughout the whole seminar. Now, I like kids; that’s why I want ‘em. But when I’m at an adoption seminar because I can’t have kids, it doesn’t help me to have examples of what I can’t have running around being all cute and whatnot. I know not everyone who adopts does so because they’re infertile, but I can’t believe we were the only infertiles in the room.

After the break, a woman from the agency that sponsored the seminar, who had been standing out of my view for the first half of the program, stepped up to the front of the room to speak for the remaining time about the agency’s services. When she stepped to the front of the room, it became obvious that she was very definitely pregnant. And she rested her hands on her pregnant belly the whole time she was speaking. I have no idea what she said because I was so busy staring at those hands resting on that belly.

So let’s recap:
  • two hours of a beautiful Sunday afternoon spent indoors
  • we confirmed there ain’t no way, no how we can afford to adopt
  • I had to watch someone else’s beautiful adopted children be terribly cute
  • I had to stare a pregnant belly while listening to above children drown out the speaker’s voice telling me something about costs that are out of my reach.

Gee, can we do this again next week?

16 February 2006

525,600 minutes

“…how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.”*

Forget 525,600 cups of coffee, try 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups. Every year. Tossed into our landfills.

Please, please, when you get your coffee fix to go (and who doesn’t need that coffee fix?!), bring your own travel mug. Not only will you help save the Earth, you’ll likely help your pocketbook, too. Most coffee retailers offer a discount for bringing your own mug. To inspire you: what you save in a year could pay for 75iu of Repronex®.

Just one small step towards Tikun Olam.

*lyrics from the musical, RENT, "Seasons of Love", written by Jonathan Larson

15 February 2006

Bar Mitzvah blues

Recently, Hubby and I went to a family Bar Mitzvah. We debated about going, but since a) it was family we hadn't seen in quite a while, and b) all the kids are mostly grown up, mostly teenagers, and c) there are no babies in the family, we decided it would be safe and worth going.

We were wrong.


There was a baby there. One little baby who cried throughout Friday dinner. But, surprise, surprise - it wasn't the baby that got to us. It wasn't watching the mom cuddle and soothe the baby that made me have to excuse myself and pop into the washroom for a quick cry.

It was the Bar Mitzvah. The event and the child. It was watching the parents talking about how proud they are of their child, and their child's accomplishments, and how wonderful it's been watching their child grow up. It was the siblings talking about how great it was to be this child's sibling. It was the cousins putting together a little show for the child. It was the community all talking about what a wonderful job this child did on the Torah and Haftorah. It was the Rabbi talking about what meaningful d'var Torah this child gave.

It was recognizing that we will, in all likelihood, never, ever have this experience of our own. We will never shep nachas (receive joy) from our child reading Torah. We will never share the experience of practicing the Torah portion with our child, being so very proud of our child, pulling our hair out planning the dinner and the luncheon for our child, smiling until our cheeks hurt, getting hugged until our shoulders ache, having our hearts brimming so full that it feels like it might burst.

It wasn't the baby that got us. It was what that baby can become.

14 February 2006

For love of trees

Had an interesting Talmud class today. We interrupted our regular learning for some Tu B'Shvat insights, discussing, primarily, Devarim (Deuteronomy) 20:19 "ki ha'adam eitz hasadeh - is a man a tree of the field?" It is further written in this passage, "From it you shall eat; you shall not cut it down." And in the next posuk (verse), "You may destroy [the tree] and cut [it] down." Well, isn't that a contradiction?

The Talmud states that the implication is, if a teacher is a complete Torah scholar (my teacher explained, "a Talmid Chocham [Torah scholar] and a mensch [good man]), one may “eat" (Rashi says, study Torah) from him - as in, receive the fruit of his knowledge. If he (or she!) is not (again, from my teacher: "a Talmid Chocham but not a mensch"), one should "destroy" him (says Rashi, cut yourself off from him). The Rabbi also pointed out that we are all of us teachers. If you take the time to teach one person one letter of the aleph bet (alphabet), you are a teacher. You have provided fruit from the tree of your knowledge.

It was all interesting, and the Rabbi's commentary added new insights for me, but primarily, I got distracted when he started talking about the "fruit of the tree" being knowledge. He specifically mentioned Breishit (Genesis) 1:28 "p'ru ur'vu - be fruitful and multiply," which we always take to mean, "go have lots of children."

Understandably, for infertile couples, p'ru ur'vu is a painful posuk. Here we are commanded to have children, and it's a mitzvah (commandment) we are so desperately willing to fulfill, and can't. Thanks to my teacher, I now have a whole new way of looking at that posuk and that mitzvah, so my dread of reading Breishit will be greatly diminished. Instead of being a taunt, a reminder that I couldn't even fulfill the very first mitzvah given, I can now look at it as a commandment to increase my learning. To take every opportunity to improve myself and my Torah knowledge. I know I won't ever become a Talmid Chocham, but I can continually work towards being a "mensch" and enjoy the fruits of knowledge I gain along the way. And G-d willing, I will have plenty of opportunities to use that fruit to feed others on my journey.

11 February 2006

Help Bonei Olam

Bonei Olam is holding a Chinese Auction to raise funds. Bonei Olam (and their Canadian branch, Small Wonders) provides grants to Jewish couples seeking infertility treatments. Please help, if you can.

10 February 2006

Building tissue castles

A haiku:

Throat burns like fire
tissue piled up to the sky
I slug back Nyquil

::dragging myself back to bed::

Shabbat shalom.

01 February 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane

Hubby and I love to watch Supernanny. We watch, we learn, and then, in the privacy of our childless home, we discuss what our friends are doing wrong with their babies. We talk about how much better we'd be as parents, because "we'd never let our baby go to bed with a bottle/eat sugar/control his bedtime/run around with a sharp knife/etc., etc.".

But then, we can't even get our dog to stay off our bed.