Sunday, June 06, 2010

I've moved...

I have finally made the move to a new blog format with my a new domain name: http://ihavemorerocks.com.

It just makes sense. I just have more rocks. So bookmark me!

I also have a new gorgeous site designed by @napwarden which I'm loving... It's nice to get a fresh space.

So come visit me! I promise, I will be writing more these days!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

my small contribution to fighting cancer...


Last month I signed up with the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation program to dedicate my run with the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon to saving lives by raising money for cancer research, medical care and support for cancer patients. And specifically to support two close friends battling cancer now--Josh and Lani.

To be completely frank and honest, though I've always loved the aspect of dedicating runs to very deserving non-profits, I've never done it. I've always figured the race entry fee was manageable enough and the fundraising was too much for someone already juggling a family and heavy workload.

And then, the Rock n' Roll Seattle sold out this year. Raising money for cancer was my ticket to run it. It was a perfect opportunity, actually, because unfortunately cancer is pretty much the reason why it was so important for me to run it this year. It was one of those coincidences that couldn't be more obvious if it had smacked me in the face.


Last year for the Rock n' Roll Seattle inaugural race, the Shalom Bayit Running Club was formed. Comprised of a bunch of moms desperately needing the outlet (hence the name Shalom Bayit, which means Peace in the House in Hebrew) and one dad who pushed us harder than we'd go on our own, we'd meet once a week for our long runs. Lani was one who pushed for t-shirts, thus making our club OFFICIAL and even after she learned she was moving to Nashville, she postponed her move long enough to stay with us to do the run. We were determined to run the Rock n Roll half in Nashville on our birthday this year (We are Birthday Twins down to the same year and state...)


Just a few months after her move to Nashville, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. You can read about her story on her blog, ChemoBabe.


I've written about my friends Josh and Kim on this blog before. Josh is still fighting his fight and posting about it on his blog. But really, without Josh and Kim, I would've never developed a love for running. There were a number of treks up 95th with him, all three of us chugging away on that huge hill. And Kim pulled me through my first 10k, first half marathon and introduced me to the um, pleasures of Gu.


So it just seems natural that I'd be running for these two incredible friends of mine. And while it's a small contribution to the scheme of things, I've already gotten so much support from other friends and community members. And there's still work and kids to juggle and lunches to make and carpools to drive and all the craziness that comes with life, I feel like this run is one thing I can contribute to the cause of fighting cancer--this wretched disease.


Running this race is my way--albeit a small way--of fighting back against a disease that has taken too much. It's small. But it's something...


Please visit my DetermiNation fundraising page and support me with a donation so that together, with the American Cancer Society, we can help save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Monday, May 24, 2010

it's so nice to be thanked...

As I was cleaning out the lunchboxes this evening, I found this note from Tali, thanking me for lunch. Sometimes I send little notes in her lunchbox for her to find later in the day, but this is the first time I received a note back. And a thank you note, no less.

It totally took me by surprise. One, the fact that my daughter realized that today, my first day on a new job was a big day for me. And two, the fact that she was thoughtful enough to do what I did for her made me proud. It made me even think that I was doing a pretty damn good parenting job.

And then of course nobody would go to bed tonight and I ended up taking away screen time privileges.

Sigh... I'll take what I can get. Oh, and tomorrow, she's getting a pretty great note in her lunch box.

Monday, May 17, 2010

how i didn't embarrass tali at her oneg....

My kids’ school has this tradition of honoring a couple of kids at their Shabbat celebration each week and dedicating the Oneg to them. Each student spends time during the week writing a note and making a drawing for the kids being honored at the Oneg about why they are special and then on Friday afternoon, the kid gets to sit up in the front of the room with their family and special invited friends. During the service, for the primary grade, the teachers read from the notes to the group and then the kids get to choose from parents, teachers and friends to tell them out loud, in front of the whole assembly why they like that kid.

This is a huge event for the kids. They look forward to it all year and really, it’s incredibly adorable. It’s a truly big deal for them. They know they’ll get to pass the tzedaka box around, they know they get to sit up in front of the classroom, and they get their first experience with public speaking as they introduce their families.

When Sam had his first oneg, I was nine months pregnant with Naomi. I’m pretty much a sap, anyway, but put my huge pregnant belly on an itty bitty elementary school chair to watch my firstborn’s class tell us they love him because he has a heart of silver and gold turned me into a blubbering mess. Tali watched in horror, the moment etched in her heart forever. Sam turned to me and told me frankly, “I’m going to have to call on Daddy next time.”

For Tali’s first oneg, she invited her Aunt Kate and cousin Asher, who showed up dressed as a tiger. He was roaring at her classmates, but guess who she was embarrassed about? At least she warned me ahead of time. “I’m sorry, Mommy. I want you to know I’m going to call on Aunt Kate because she’s not going to cry.” Fine. The teacher went on to say wonderful things about my wonderful girl, her friends professed their love for her heart of silver and gold and her aunt blubbered at what a wonderful person she was and how proud she was to be her auntie. Tali beamed proudly.

Last week Tali had her oneg. Because of the remodel we’re in the middle of, the job craziness B and I are in the middle of, the insanity of our schedules, we told my parents at the last minute and they came. I could tell Tali was surveying her options. Her teacher said lovely things about her, her friends still considered her heart silver and gold, plus she helped people when they fell down on the playground, and many of the pictures they drew for her proclaimed “Tali rocks!” I beamed.

When the time came, she chose me as her family representative to say why they loved her. She put her hand on my leg as she came up to me and then gave me a look that I would never mistake for being anything other than “Don’t mess this up.” Gulp.

I thought about baseball and those little charts Boaz uses to keep score with during the game. I thought about watching golf on TV. I thought about split pea soup. I said something about how I loved Tali because she had a great sense of humor, makes me laugh, and has the best hugs ever. She smiled broadly at me and moved on.

I didn’t cry.

But the thing is, I didn’t say anything about how Tali is one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. I didn’t mention the fact that when she was two and we took her to see the Pooh’s Heffalump Adventure, she sobbed inconsolably when Lumpy was separated from his mother, walked out of that movie and said, “There is nothing sadder than a movie where a kid can’t find his mommy,” and then proceeded to cry everytime she thought about it.

I didn’t say anything about the fact that Tali is capable of such incredibly silliness that she can make me forget that I’m a grown up. Her smile takes up her whole face and her freckles make you happy just by looking at them.

I didn’t say anything about how my sweet, gentle girl is a maniac on the soccer field and will throw herself into walls on an indoor court. She runs like a wild animal and when she’s concentrating on something, you forget she’s a child because her expression is so fierce.
And I didn’t mention that she is so sensitive that she already feels emotions so deep they make her physically sick to her stomach. But that she has the depth to understand that it is her
feelings making her feel a certain way.

When I was pregnant with her, I had some bad test results with my triple screen that implied that there were chances of her being born with some chromosomal abnormalities. I felt her first kicks on my way to the amnio and was devastated that it happened to be that I felt her on the day when I might learn so much about her future. Later that night, after the procedure while I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep and not think about the day, I felt her kick again. And I had such a strong feeling that she would be okay.

That is how I feel about Tali still. She is someone who will persevere and who will succeed. She is someone who can still look beautiful even while doing her infamous lizard nose (I’ve never seen a girl with such nose muscle control!!!). My Tali… I will listen to you and contain myself in singing your praises in public, but at least now I’ve had my say.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday, May 08, 2010

mother's day--not just another hallmark holiday. or maybe it is...

Before I was ever a mom, and before I had any idea what being a mom is about, I had a friend with two small kids. It was her first year in Seattle (also, I think it was her last) and it was rainy and gloomy out and she called me and asked if I wanted to join her for some spa time.

"It's Mother's Day... Don't you want to spend it with your kids?" I asked. (Oh, the naivete...)

"We had a great morning together before naps. But, boy, you just wait."



I'd shrugged off that conversation then--it was during the years when I wanted to start my family and had idyllic romantic ideas about what being a parent entailed--and, at the time even wondered if her reaction was really normal. But every year on Mother's Day, I think about that conversation and Sarah and my different reactions, because it was so blatantly obvious that I had no real idea how complicated it was to be a mother.

I have just had the best Mother's Day I've ever had. And I think it's because finally, after 10 years of being a mother, I actually truly feel like a mother.

I know that sounds sort of bizarre, but this time I saw Mother's Day for what it could be worth. When I realized that nobody was making plans, I called my mother and along with my sister-in-law we made plans to go have have pedicures and drinks in the late afternoon and then meet up with the crew for takeout dinner afterwards.

The whole day was spent enjoying being a mother. I got my breakfast in bed. Twice. (Starting at 5:45am. Frozen Krusteez pancakes--I guess what goes around comes around.) I had amazingly adorable handmade cards delivered to me all day long. (Also starting at 5:45am.) I spent the day with the kids gardening, being silly, breaking up fights, kissing booboos, helping with homework and also engaged in some totally unfun disciplining. In short, it was a parenting day, but it was one where I remembered all day long how much I've always wanted to be a mother and how much I love being a mother to my kids.

And then at 5pm I got to sit in a chair next to my mom and Kate and sip a drink while someone else massaged my legs with hot oil and lotions. It was relaxing and lovely. And because the three of us are usually accompanied by six kids, it was a treat to actually be able to track each other's conversation. Kate even fell asleep in her chair while having her feet rubbed (ah, the joys of night nursing...) It was heavenly. The perfect mix of enjoying what you have and getting a break, as well.

Tonight I'm back to laundry and making mediocre lunches that will come back to me tomorrow night all smushed and uneaten. But anyone who says that Mother's Day is just another Hallmark holiday is... Well, they're probably right. But I'm certainly not complaining.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And the remodel begins...


Hey, if we stopped now, we'd at least have another bathroom!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

parenting techniques that work, but that you shouldn't be completely proud of...

This is the first of a series of parenting posts I am working on about techniques that work, but that you should really keep under wraps because they really don't project that all together parenting image you're probably going for.

And because I am over-worked, over-committed and a crappy blogger, I'm spreading this series out for as long as I can.


The Fake Phonecall.

This is a act of desperation. It basically involves picking up the phone in front of a screaming, tantruming, and otherwise totally hysterical small child and faking a call that will instill the fear of all that is holy in her (Does that last sentence make sense? I'm thinking not but moving on...)

For example:

Me: If you don't take a nap, you won't be able to come with the entire family to dinner at your best friend in the whole wide world's house.

Small Hysterical Child (SHC): (whilst rubbing eyes) I don't care. I'm not tired...

Me: Okay, then I will need to find a babysitter. [Pick up phone, dial fake number, and then hang up]

SHC: Noooooo! [pause] Okay, I don't want to go.

Me: Ignoring SHC and pretending, like the ridiculous loser that I am at times, to talk on the phone. To the dial tone.

"Hi [insert most hated babysitter's name here], Is there any possibility that you're free tonight?"

[SHC stops crying and perks up to listen to phone conversation]

"Oh great! There is? That's awesome. Because SHC had a very late night last night and won't nap today, and there's pretty much no way she's going to be able to make it through dinner at her best friend's house tonight."

SHC: Yes, I will!

Me: "Okay... Uh huh.... Mmmmm hhhhmmmm.... Yeah... Great! So you'll be over at 5 o'clock?"

SHC: Noooooo! I'll nap, I'll nap!

Me: "Okay, great. See you then. And wait, if by some chance she falls asleep and naps, I'll give you a call. Bye!"

SHC: I'm actually sleepy, Mommy. Will you pat me?

Me: Happily, baby...
-------------------
NOTE: Be sure to really hang up the phone. That off the ringer beeping is sure to give your plot away, if not to the SHC, definitely to her older siblings who have wisened up to you by now.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

why there is pride in choking it...

Juliet came to my twitty rescue when I tweeted about neglecting my blog and I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful. She's a wonderful and thoughtful writer and you should definitely be checking out her blogs: The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah Self & Thanksgiving Feast.

---------------------

Our seven year old, Eva, choked at her violin recital. I could not have been happier.

Eva is one of those people for whom things come easily. She knows all the spelling words before the teacher hands out the list. She memorized times tables without having to use flashcards.

Along came violin. It has rocked her world.

Violin is hard. There’s no two ways about it. I don’t think I fully appreciated how technically difficult an instrument it is before Eva began lessons. There are no “cheats” in violin. Her teacher embraces nerdy violin humor, Star Wars quotes, and a no-shortcuts approach.

In short, violin challenges Eva daily. It pushes her into what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes as the optimum autotelic experience: the golden flow zone where the levels of both challenge and skill are high.

When you challenge yourself, you are bound to fall down some of the time.

As I stood in the corner of Library Room B, videotaping Eva playing one of the eleventy seven versions of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star that Suzuki children learn, my heart sunk a little for her as she stumbled, tried to recover, stumbled again, then stopped.

“Whatever you do, just keep on going.” It’s the golden rule of all performances and recitals. Nothing is worse than that embarrassed, awkward silence: the throats clearing, the programs rustling, while the child’s cheeks grow redder and hotter.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity but in reality was only a few seconds, Eva signaled to the accompanist and played the last few notes.

She was as poised as a disappointed seven year old could be, and she’ll be even more poised next time it happens. There will be a next time because her teacher, in his infinite wisdom, sets a high bar. I hire him to do it because as her parent, I don’t always have the heart to watch her fail, even when I know she learns way more from recovering from mistakes than she does from cruising along on autopilot.

It took her a month to finally feel ready to watch the video to analyze what she did wrong. And there were a few tears as we ate our celebratory frozen yogurts that afternoon. But I think she really believed us when we told her we could not have been more proud.

Got a super successful, bright child? I recommend setting high standards in a safe environment, and letting her choke now and then. It’s the ultimate growth experience.

------------
Juliet also tweets at @batmitzvahat40.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

neti pots and oms... you're probably thinking i'm going all new age on you

Now that's I've successfully caught my 20 billionth cold of the year, I finally took the advice of a good friend and purchased a Neti pot.
For those of you not in nasal health know, a neti pot is a vessel designed to irrigate your nasal passage. Basically, you pour warm salt water up one nostril while you hold your head sideways and keep doing it until the liquid flows out the lower nostril. Then you repeat on the other side. It's supposed to totally clean you out. And apparently (as it says on the neti pot box) it's an ancient yogi practice that helps cleanse your energy channels and balances the right and left hemispheres (of what? yourself?) to "create radiant, energetic health and wellness."
All of that sounds good to me because I was really thinking I'd just pop a few Sudafed and cover up the symptoms until they went away. But you know, a natural yogic way to get better seemed like a good thing. And you know how good I am about my yogic Oms...
So I went to the supermarket natural healthcare section (because this is Seattle, afterall...), and I picked myself out a neti. I'm thinking what sold me was this picture:
I mean, if you can smile while spouting water through your nostrils, it must be a pretty good product. She looks happy and relaxed. She looks like her nose isn't totally stuffed up.
And being that I'm all about the aesthetics of things (some call that superficial, but I'd beg to differ), I was pleased to see that my neti pot was sort of cute, too. The white ceramic design matches my dishes, though that did make me worry that someone might accidentally mistake it for a creamer.
Unfortunately, B was pretty quick to point out the phallic nature of its look and design, and um, it sort of seemed a little less like a good idea to stick that up my nose.
Nevertheless, I'm about to go on a cross-country ski trip on Friday that involves hiking four miles up to a cabin in the snow with a three year old tethered to my waist in a pulk. This means that:
1.) If I'm willing to do that, I may be crazy enough to stick a phallic shaped teapot up my nose.
and/or
2.) If I'm willing to do that, I'd better try anything to get as healthy as possible by Friday.
Luckily, next to the natural healthcare section there is a very UNnatural healthcare section, which is where I picked up some Halls cough drops and that familiar and comforting red and white box of Sudafed.
I don't think I'm quite ready for the Neti. And I really could use a new creamer...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

my shattered attention span and why i fake my oms...

Recently I was having a discussion with a colleague about how audiences now ingest media so much differently than they did when we were kids (we used to have to walk six miles in the snow in order to get to the Macintosh with dial-up...). We talked about the obvious differences, including form factor due to technology advances, but the most drastic difference seemed to be in the ability or need we have to multi-digest so many different inputs at the same time.

We used to complain when the person holding the remote while watching television flipped through the channels endlessly, unable to commit to one show. And with so many channels available on cable, it really was hard to stay satisfiedwhen who knew what possibilities were awaiting on the mulititude of other channels.

But now, with multiple windows, TiVO, TV programming online, as well as a number of other options, you don't need to flip through channels. You can have everything at once.

Because there is so much to see, it's hard to know where to direct attention to. Our attention spans aren't just short, they're shattered into tiny multi-dimensions. Which is where the problem starts...






How many windows are open on your computer right now? At any given time, I have about the 15-25 open on my machine.


There is a mess of Sticky Notes on my desktop that pop up at me when I logon. I can't make dinner without doing at least one or two other things, and the same goes with talking on the phone. And driving? Well, it's even hard to just drive these days. Even with a hands-free device, I find myself constantly tempted to check mail on my phone while stuck in traffic, eat breakfast, lunch or dinner , depending on the time of day, and catch the news on NPR. And obviously, this is also where we have heavy talks with our kids or overhear what's going on in their lives.

A basic requirement of most jobs is to be able to juggle multiple deadlines, of which I always have multiples of, along with multiple email threads, meetings, projects and stakeholders. There are times when I have so much going on in a single moment that sometimes I find myself switching back and forth until I remember to stop and do one thing at a time.

Then there is the whole work/life balance thing and managing multiple schedules, activities, and responsibilities for a family of five. Granted, I'm not doing a perfect job, but everyone goes to bed at night clean, alive and fed. (Managing expectations is a also good thing.)

Meanwhile, kids and adults in record numbers are being diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. Is it a coincidence when we're trying to stuff as much as humanely possible into a single minute? There could be any number of causes. I'm not blaming the epidemic on technology, but it does make you think for a second about what could happen if we slowed down a bit.

I've begun going to yoga again and as a result, have begun to understand that concentrating on being in the present is extremely and painfully difficult for me. During the class, I struggle with trying not to do more than one thing at a time, or cycling through my massive to-do list. And it takes all my will to be mature enough to get through the chanting of the Oms without giggling. Especially when some of the yogis in class start harmonizing their chants.


But every once in a while, after I am able to actually concentrate on the moment, I find that
the results are exponentially beneficial. I feel focused and even more productive. And it feels good enough that I've begun trying to incorporate that practice at different moments in the day. And this actually takes some effort. Especially when you consider that this post has taken me a week to write because even in the last hour, I've been interrupted numerous times to explain why forks don't feel good up your nose. (Seriously, I just work here...)


After working so hard to speed up, it's even harder to slow down. And how amazing that the longer term perspective and a single focus is even more productive. Maybe I'll even get to a point where I'll be able to not fake an Om.


Or maybe not.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

overheard from the backseat: more birds & bees...

Tali: Hey Daddy, I got an inappropriate question for you.

Boaz: Um, Okay...

T: I get how you and Mommy made Samuel.

B: You do? Wait. You do?

T: Yes, and I get how you made me because Samuel was still little. But when did you guys make Naomi without us knowing about it?

B: Um, well...

T: Ohhhhhh, I get it! THAT'S why we go to school!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

we'll miss you, fred z...

I'm back in the air, flying down to Los Angeles to see my family and say goodbye to my Uncle Fred, who died last week. It was only a year ago that I flew down to say goodbye to my Aunt Liz. Though this time, the news was totally unexpected and it just doesn't feel right to keep having these family reunions for funerals. It feels a little empty knowing he won't be there with his constant smile and snarky remarks, and I wonder if this is just how it is as you get older and see how family dynamics and shape changes and evolves.

Last night I was trying to come up with some memories and I was talking with the kids about Fred. I told them the exciting stuff--how he worked in Hollywood on special effects and that as a kid, it was a thrill to see his name on the credits of movies I loved. That he'd worked with movie stars and had signed photos of them in his house. But mostly my memories aren't all that exciting to turn into stories for the kids. How do you explain the comforting humor in knowing that after a big holiday meal, Uncle Fred would sprawl out on the living room floor and take a nap? Or that it was inevitable at every family seder at his house, he'd hide the afikomen behind the huge Mickey Mouse clock? I remember his hugs were so strong they hurt and that his relationship with my dad, his brother, was one that I admired.

And then the bright side of seeing family unexpectedly.

Already I've connected with all five of my siblings and two of my cousins and I'm still in air. (BTW, I am totally loving the GoGo Inflight Internet Access). I saw some Hawaiian floral and fauna (Does a squishy niece count as fauna? I'm saying yes.) talking to my brother Dan in Kauai, and a coupla tan little nephews. And then loaded up my Google camera for a chat with David. Ahhh, the Interwebs are so cool. And they've absolutely helped me deal with the incessant and nauseating babytalk and macking the couple next to me has been practicing throughout this whole flight.

We've come a long way from Uncle Fred's cool Pachinko machine we played non-stop at his house. Somehow things don't feel all that different, though...

We'll miss you Uncle Fred...






Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the ashkenazy collective tomorrow @ egan's jam house in ballard...


If you don't have plans tomorrow night, you should definitely head out to Egan's Jam House in Ballard @7pm to see The Ashkenazy Collective, the New York-based band to see.* Along with their own original compositions, they also play jazz standards and folk music from around the world, including Yiddish melodies and themes from Spain, Israel, Mexico and China. It should be a good time.

Oh, and bring your kids. We are...



*They're also bunking at our house, so we're pretty objective here.

retro-noem and fun with the iPhone Polarize app...


wordless wednesday

Monday, February 15, 2010

in memory of the wheat allergy...

Okay, so remember Tali's wheat allergy?
You know, the one that cured her chronic stomach aches? The one that forced her to happily eat bread made out of tapioca and macaroni and cheese made from rice noodles? The one that made grocery shopping a sort of scavenger hunt type experience where I had to carefully read labels and get all creative about new dinner recipes? Remember how we've had sushi for dinner at least six times in the last three weeks because besides nachos, it's the only meal that all of us will eat (and it's slightly less of a heart killer than said nachos).

Oh, and remember how it was all worth it because Tali's chronic stomach aches finally ended? She went weeks without mentioning belly aches at school and everyone, including her, felt relieved because we'd solved the problem.

And remember how the only bad part of the whole diagnosis was the EXTREME parental guilt because for this whole time I'd thought it was all in her head--that it was emotional--and that we had to teach her how to deal with her feelings. But in the end, it turned out it was an allergy and I had to feel like a totally neglectful parent for not. even. noticing. that. it. could. be. an. ALLLERGY????

Well, that was then and um, this is now.
Apparently, she's sort of over being celiac.

I took Tali to the doctor's last week to talk to her about nutrition and getting tested for celiac. But the funny ha ha thing is that when you don't eat wheat for a month, you can't get tested for celiac because you don't have it in your system! Yeah... Smart mom, huh?

Doctor M. asks Tali about her symptoms and nodded when Tali said definitively, "I feel so much better. It must be the wheat." And I nodded proudly, knowing that we'd solved all of our daughter's problems.

"Well, sometimes you can get over a wheat allergy," Dr. M. tells us.
"Really?" I ask. "That'd be nice. That tapioca bread is awful."
"Maybe you should start testing out little bits of wheat..." she says, giving me a funny look.
"Wow, really?" I ask. "It's barely been a month."

But when Tali runs out to the bathroom, the doctor says to me, "Give the girl some wheat and don't tell her you're doing it. I'm not sure by her symptoms that's what's going on."

I nod and say okay, but inside I'm thinking, "Nope, no way, uh uh. You are WRONG, Dr. M."

The next morning, I sleep late and when I wake up, Boaz is making pancakes for the kids. They smell delicious and look pretty normal.

"Look at these wheat-free pancakes Daddy made me," Tali says proudly. I taste one and it's really good. And really not wheat-free.

"Her stomach ache is yours today, Buddy," I whisper to him.

But the thing is, she never gets that stomach ache. That night he gives her noodles and tells her it's okay to eat them. Again, no problem. And then yesterday she eats a burrito.

"Is the flour tortilla bad for me?" She asks. And then before I can tell her that it's probably okay, she says confidently "I'm just going to eat it. I need to start working wheat back into my diet."

She ate wheat all day today. And when I came home from work, I asked her how she felt and
she said fine. "My wheat vacation did it for me," she said proudly. And then she went to bed without a stomach ache. "Dr. M. is really smart."

Huh. Okay... So that's it? I'm bracing for what's coming next.

In the meantime, I've got a whole arsenal of wheat-free goodies. Anyone want some donuts made from tapioca?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

sorry, facebook... i'm a twit now.

Dear FB,

It's happened. I've found someone else.

It took awhile, I'll admit. For a long time I withstood the pressure to fall madly in love with Twitter. I did set up an account a long while back, but after a few quiet chirpy little tweets, I decided that I did not need another addiction (really?). I held the position that Twitter basically mimicked the worst part of Facebook--constant mindless updates that I'm not saying I don't participate in, but I didn't really need another outlet to promote my evening status trifecta of weather, drink, and exercise. And I sounded just like my parents. I don't get that Twitter thingymabob.

I couldn't hold out for long, though.
I tried again using TweetDeck and the heavens parted and I totally understood.

Twitter is not a stunted Facebook. I'm not looking for anyone on there (because I've basically already found everyone I've ever known on FB) and I don't feel social obligations to friend people and keep them as friends even when I'm not really interested in their status updates. (I feel comfortable saying that because the people I'm referring to would not be reading this.) And while there is some networking going on, it's mostly about transferring information. I've found the coolest sites and people on Twitter. Where else can I follow @davidlynch, @aplusk, @jesus_m_christ and @princessmikkimo on the same feed? Plus, through retweeting, I've found amazing resources for social and digital marketing sites. And don't even get me started about the marketing opportunities being tapped into for businesses... You don't just have to be a "Fan"--you can view the personality behind a company and get notified of deals and offers.

And the best thing is that my social media short attention span is placated with short, clever tweets that just say what they need to say. No more wasted hours.

I'm sorry that I rarely come around anymore, Facebook. It's true, I still enjoy Bejewelled and Farmville (Damn you, Farmville, for tempting me with your inane and pinhead simple click-farming. But you played on my competitive spirit and I couldn't let my 9 year old beat me without a fight.). But Facebook, I'm just finding that I need my social media to be smarter. And you're so in my face all the time. Plus, I feel like you take advantage of me sometimes. You do not need to go into my privacy settings all the time and then "accidentally" sign me up for things like "Fan of K-Y Jelly" that nobody comments on because um, they really don't quite know what to say.

I'd say that it wasn't you, it was me, but that's actually not true. It's really you.
I'll come by and check that my crops don't wither, and play the odd game of Bejewelled, but I can't waste time on you anymore.

I'm through,
Amy

Friday, January 29, 2010

fave sites of 2009...

Okay, I know 2010 has been around for about a month now, but I'm a little behind. And so now a little late, my fave sites of 2009:


10. Mashable -- It's not news that this a great social media information site. Still, it's one of my faves so it's on the list. So there.

9. Gilt Groupe -- I am admitting to you all that I do have snobby tastes, but this site is so fun because often the cutest things offered fit my budget! Seriously you guys, I got an Orla Kiely bag for $49 and that makes me almost able to forgive them for the foofy 'e' at the end of their name! Oh, and if you sign up, tell them I sent you with this link (http://www.giltfuse.com/invite/amyash) so that I get the referral bonus and then can buy more bags. Super fast shipping, too, so it's almost instant gratification, which is the best kind.

8. Tweetdeck -- All my social networking and information lists in one spot. Handy!

7. Chemobabe -- My incredibly lovely and totally geeky birthday twin, Lani, launched this site a couple of months ago and she's totally inspirational and incredible, besides being an amazing writer, mathematical genius and mother of three. Also, the site is keeping her from launching any more Facebook Gift Apps. (Though, she's now the Mayor of everything on FourSquare)

6. Cake Wrecks -- The utter stupidity combined with snarkiness never fails to crack me up. Hee hee...

5. Mayo Clinic -- Okay, I know this one looks weird on this site, but hey... I am a mom. I also am a bit of a control freak and so I find this site useful when I'm getting my facts right for a doctor's visit. Also, they have a great symptom checker tool but if you're a total hypochondriac, I suggest you maintain some serious distance from it. But they also have cool pictures, like this one of your small intestine.




4. Laughing Squid -- It's random. Enough said.

3. Unhappy Hipsters -- It's sort of the Cake Wrecks of Modern Architecture. Photography shots. Think Dwell spreads with a bitchy narrator. It's nice to see that not everyone takes hipsterism so seriously...

2. Kidelity -- This beta site is a financial management system for you and your kids to manage their allowances. It basically works as an online banking system for the Bank of Mom/Dad, but it does help you and your kids keep track of what they may actually be doing to earn allowance, helps them learn the power of saving, and ends the argument about how many weeks in a row you've forgotten to give them their allowance.

1. Etsy -- Again, most of you know about Etsy, but seriously, if I was to plan on wasting a lot of time online (as opposed to not planning on it), Etsy is a place I'd waste some valuable time. Besides being a cool site where you can find beautiful and original handmade gifts, home decor, jewelry, clothing, etc., it makes you want to go out and make stuff. Or maybe it makes you just buy their stuff and say you made it. Either way, super cool site.

Monday, January 25, 2010

1,000 cranes for josh...

Sometimes when someone you love is going through a hard time, it's hard to know what to do to help cheer them up.


But over the last three weeks, many of Josh's friends and family came out to fold origami cranes to fulfill the Japanese tradition of giving him 1,000 cranes to make a wish on.

It was an amazing experience to meet all of these people connected to our friend Josh and to see them all come out for the same reason--to send him our love and good wishes.

Plus, it was fun to see who had the skills and who were very good at fold origami turkeys. (I'm in the turkey club.)

Thank you to everyone who came out and folded, and also to those of you who mailed in and dropped off cranes. The result was spectacular and I think Josh really appreciated them.






































Friday, January 22, 2010

what's to eat without wheat?

So, if you know Tali, you know that she frequently suffers from stomach aches. This has been going on for years now and though we've been to the doctor a number of times, nothing ever comes up in her tests.

So for awhile now, we've attributed it to nerves.
Which frankly seems a bit like a cop-out. It's true, she doesn't like loud places with lots of people (oh wait, can you say school?) and she is a total slave to schedule, which is something I'm um not that much a slave to. Nor is her dad.

Last summer the poor kid carried around a plastic bag, even to Disneyland, for fear of throwing up. And though she only did once (and I'm 99.9% certain that was carsickness), I think she actually likes to drive her brother crazy by embarrassing him with the bag. And also, it does make a mighty nice windsock when you're riding a bike.

But this has been going on forever. I'd thought that if it were a transitional thing, we'd be transitioned by now. We've tried giving up lactose and dairy, and that helped a bit.

But now we're giving up wheat.
Which is a problem. Because that is sort of what kids eat.
Tali is up for it because the pain is real enough. But she doesn't like meat and well, she loves her some carbs.

Anybody have some experience in with the wheat free world out there? Recipes? Web sites? Insights?

When I announced last night that we were going to try this, Tali nodded and then laughed.

"Oh great. Now Mommy is going to have to learn to cook again. Maybe we should just keep going out for sushi."

Sigh... So much confidence. (Help? Anyone?)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm here... Really...

I know I have a bad track record of disappearing from my blog every once in a while. And okay, I've never really been good at maintaining an everyday posting kind of thing even though I'd like to. But you know that you've let things slide when you're advertisers send you messages that say "We miss you!"

And the funny thing is that usually when I'm super busy, I am at my happiest, but somehow I'm so full of things to do that um, some things aren't getting done. Sorry, blog.

So while I get my act together and finish up this campaign I'm working on for my day job (the one that actually pays me), check out the Suncadia article I wrote for the Examiner and see how happy my children were to visit there.