Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

As you all know, it's important to dress for swing set construction. I'm sure you also know what a big help little ones are when building a swing set.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Combining Judaism and Non-belief

It seems like ages ago that I posted about my conflict over the Sunday School we had tried. I wanted Princess to know that we aren't the only Jewish family. I wanted to bring more Jewish culture into her life. I wanted to do this without the religious side of it. I thought I had found all this at Kol Shalom, a humanistic synagogue here in Portland, but after going three times and experiencing the class I didn't feel that I found what I was looking for.

This is such a long complicated path and I feel like I should share a little about how I got here as well as how it's possible to be a Jew and not believe in God. I didn't even know that there were others like me, but it turns out that others have believed as I do for a long time. Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine started the Humanistic Judaism movement way back in 1963.

Years ago I started to question things about my beliefs. A lot didn't make sense. I had issue with the fact that every prayer was, in essence, telling God how great he is. I even went so far as to talk with a rabbi asking why God was so insecure that he needed all this praise. He gave me answers, but I left feeling very unsatisfied.

My beliefs have changed over the years and I do still have beliefs. I believe that everything is energy and all energy if effected by all energy. I believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe that what you put out comes back to you.

I love the traditions of Judaism. After dropping the religious part of Judaism I really enjoyed the rest. It took me a while to realize that I didn't believe in a higher power, but once I realized that I was able to embrace the traditions of Judaism that I love so much. I just need to incorporate some changes into the way we celebrate, specifically the prayers.

Rather than go on and on I will post our celebrations as they happen and how they happen. I will try to include the changes that we make and how our celebration is different than the religious part. There are some holidays that we celebrate and some that, at the moment, we don't. I want to learn more about the ones we don't and decide if I'd like to incorporate them into our life.

I'm still at the beginning of this journey. I am looking forward to learning more and am happy to have you all read along.

Monday, April 27, 2009

and we're LIVE!

Finally! It's so good to be back. I can handle a day without connectivity, but a week and a half?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! Ridiculous! I seriously was about to begin a 12-step program.

Thanks to everyone for your emails and trying to stay connected to me. It was so exciting whenever I saw a familiar name from the blog world pop into my inbox. =)

First let me tell you that we love our house. I mean we really, really love this house. I am so glad that we were (sort of) forced into making this decision. We've been here for a week and a half now and I can see us staying here for a long time.

How do I explain how good this house feels? Well, let me try by telling you what happened when we moved into the last house. We moved in over a weekend and on Monday I called Freckle and HerbiFaery in tears. The house was horrible. The energy was terrible and there were so many things wrong with it that I just hadn't noticed before we moved in. This new house is the opposite of everything about the old house.

The energy here is fabulous. I love my yard. Yes, it's small, but it works for us. There is room for a swing set and for our garden (coming soon). The house is a good size, 1700 sf - not big, but not small either. The layout of the house is awesome. Space is definitely maximized. All the rooms are spacious. And now that we have internet and TV again it's complete.

The transition into this house has been the easiest by far for Princess. She loves it and is so happy here. We're all happy here. I didn't think I would say these words until we owned a home again...I really feel like we are home.

My back is doing really well. I'll talk more about that another time. I don't want to ramble on too long.

I know that I have questions to answer still, the biggest being about how I can be an atheist and a Jew. I will definitely address that and will go back and read all the comments again and reply where an answer is needed.

It's great to be back! I really did miss you all!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to Blog Without an Internet Connection

I have been without an internet connection since Thursday evening. Verizon was supposed to install FiOS internet and TV Friday afternoon. Contractors spend five hours cutting holes in my garage wall, tracking mud all over the Jeep carpet the Lizard King had just washed, and doing who knows what, in an effort to run the fiber optic cable to the house. They were unsuccessful.

I have not been able to get a definitive answer as to how and when I will have a successful connection. I am hoping that we will be live by the end of the week. Keep your fingers crossed. I also expect to be compensated to this huge inconvenience and for the aggravation.

I really miss blogging and reading and responding to your comments! I promise that I will respond when I am able.

I also miss reading all the blogs I follow!! I have no idea what is happening out in the bloggy world!! Truth be told, I’m sort of going through withdrawal. It’s baaad.

I have an internet connection when I am at Village Home, but I don’t have a lot of time to be online. In fact I am writing this post in MS Word while home in bed (Monday night), with the plan to copy it to my blog when I am at Village Home in the morning.

I will be back as soon as I can!! I miss you all! Please excuse the tear stained screen.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Third Time's a Charm

Hello to all my bloggy friends!! I am sitting in a smoothie shop, after trying the local library and evidently the wrong Starbucks, before finding a free and effective WiFi here. I'm in a bit of a rush because moving is still in progress.

We were supposed have FiOS (internet and TV) installed yesterday. "Supposed to" being the operative words. They didn't have the necessary equipment and I don't have internet access!! Aaaahhh!!! I miss all my bloggy friends!

I promise to be back as soon as I am able to get online.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Hello dear readers! I just looked at my email and I have 32 emails that need a response, including comments to my blog post. At the moment we are packing the essentials and heading over to "the new house". We are spending our first night there! I will be offline until our internet is hooked up some time tomorrow afternoon/evening. I promise to respond to everyone then. At least I will try. Our official move day is Sunday, so things will be crazy between now and then. I will miss you all!!

Sunday School

I wrote a post about Sunday School a while back. I was really excited about this Sunday School...until we actually went. I liked it because of the fact that Princess was able to be around other Jewish kids so that she didn't feel like she was the only one. I also liked that it is humanistic (read Atheist). But the thing is that seeing these kids twice a month for September through June doesn't really build friendships.

The other reason I wanted Princess to go was to learn about some of the holidays and traditions that I have forgotten. The problem with that? Well, the first couple classes we worked on making calendars (the entire class time) and I knew more than the teacher about the names of the holidays and what the holidays were.

I teach a preschool and kindergarten age class at Village Home, our homeschool school. I know I could do a better job than this woman.

I'm not sure what the answer is. Maybe I just need to relearn the things I've forgotten and homeschool that the same way I homeschool everything else. Maybe I can invite the friends Princess has close relationships with already to learn with us. Maybe I could start a Yahoo group to find other Jewish Atheist families who want to get together, form relationships and have my own Sunday School.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I guess I just wanted to put it out there and see if anyone has any brilliant ideas.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

Totally kicking myself for not snapping a photo of Princess yesterday. She was dressed ALL IN PINK, including PINK WINGS. She was a bird for the day and was so excited that she was able to wear her wings in her booster.

Alas, it didn't even occur to me to get a photo. Must be residual effects of all the drugs.

Here is a photo of Princess in one of her very own designer ensembles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gratitude & Pants

I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank my friends for all their help during my incapacitation. Everyone really stepped up to help me, even when I didn't remember much.

You see, I hit a moment where I thought my friends had left me to fend for myself. I had a house to pack and nobody was coming to help me.

This is the problem when people tell you something when you are stoned out of your mind. I had conversations with several friends, all of whom offered their help. The problem, I completely forgot they offered. Seriously, I had no idea; no recollection of the conversation whatsoever.

In the end it all worked out and now I am drug free...for the most part.

The most memorable time for me (I do remember some things) was when I answered the door to send Princess off with Rooster X to Freckle's house for her son's (Blue Eyed Boy) 6th birthday party.

As I opened the door, Princess says to Rooster X, "Mommy put her pants on all by herself!!!" I learned later that Rooster X was kind enough to share this exciting news with all my friends at the birthday party.

I thought you all might like to share in the excitement. Yes, I put my pants on all by myself!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dog Days

Moving day is fast approaching. We promised Princess that after we move we can start looking for a new family member. Yes, much to my surprise, we are looking for a dog.

Princess has been even more excited about the prospect ever since my sister got her dog, Jasper. He is a real sweetheart and so full of love. Isn't he so cute? Princess loves playing with him.

Our only issue is that Princess, LK and I all have dog allergies, so finding a hypo-allergenic dog is a must. We are choosing to get our dog from a shelter so I know that it may take some time before we find the right dog for us. Yes, we're just like the Obamas!

I have to admit, I'm getting pretty excited, too.

P.S. My back is so much better! Still not all the way, but it's a huge improvement. A special thanks to my friend Freckle for coming over to help with the packing yesterday. I love you! Thanks to Rooster X for being Princess' personal driver!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happily Attached

We were an AP (attachment parenting) family before I knew the term. We just did what felt right for us. I held Princess all the time. I sure wish I had known about slings and other wraps back then. It would have saved my arms and my back.

I occasionally received criticism for this choice. In fact, one day, a stranger told me that the reason Princess didn't crawl was because I held her too much. I wish I could have seen her a few months later, because Princess walked at 10 1/2 months.

We hadn't intended to co-sleep before Princess was born, but that is what we did from the moment she was born. Yes, she slept on me in the hospital. We should have skipped the crib purchase and spent the money on the glider/rocker.

Princess is 5 1/2 and we still co-sleep. We will continue until she is ready to move into her own room. It works well for us. I often turn to look at her and just watch her sleep, amazed at how beautiful she is and I feel so blessed that she is my daughter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Sid the Science Kid

In an effort to keep from boring myself with inane posts about pain, I now bring you something completely different.

A couple weeks ago we learned about animal homes on Sid the Science Kid. Then we built a nest and made a bird to live in the nest.We gathered materials from the yard: sticks, twigs, stems, leaves, dried grass We even found a bug in our materials that we gently returned to the outside.

We used a bowl to help form the nest...

...and glue to hold it all together because we aren't as good at weaving these things as birds are...
and made a bird for our nest...

...and ended up with this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Going For the Drugs

Everyone around me knows that I am the all natural girl. I choose homeopathy and naturopathy over alopathic medicine all the time.

There are exceptions.
When I can't fall asleep (which isn't often) I take a Benadryl and within 30 minutes I'm out. Zzzzzzz.....

When my back acts up (as it often does) I go for the Ibuprofen and the chiropractor. A massage couldn't hurt either.

When my back completely locks up, sending me into body wrenching spasms, I go for the drugs. I believe that our bodies have the ability to heal. If the body can't relax, it can't heal. The muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory allow the body to relax and repair itself.

Here I lay, all drugged up, posting for my dear readers. I hope you aren't getting tired of all this back pain drama. There isn't much else happening in my life at the moment and this is about as exciting as it gets.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yes, it's come to this...

Day 2 in bed. I was originally going to post about how lame daytime TV is, but when I started to type, this is what came out.

Princess is off to Village Home again today, thanks to Rooster X. (Big thank you!!)

I must point out that this is a HUGE step for Princess. She is a very attached little girl and doesn't like to go anywhere without me. This is the second day that she has gone off without me. I am so amazed and pleased. I've always believed that when she was ready she would be able to do this. I have said, time and again, that you can't force independence. If you try to force it before a child is ready, they will cling more. We don't force it and look at this. No tears, no sadness, all happiness.

Go Miss Independent!

Perhaps tomorrow I will share the lameness that is daytime TV, perhaps not.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday?

I bet you're wondering what this is, right?

This is my wardrobe for today. I have hurt my back, but not just a little. I can't move. My back is in constant pain and spasm. When I do attempt to move, because there are times that I just have to, I am wracked with such excruciating pain and intense back spasms that I am frozen until eventually they subside. The only thing I can compare the pain to is labor, except the pain is in the back rather than the front. The "contractions" last about as long as labor contractions.
On top of it we are in the middle of packing and moving AND tonight was supposed to be our Passover Seder, the big dinner we have each year, AND we had 15 people coming to celebrate. It is cancelled.

Okay, I'm done complaining. Happy Wardrobe Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Adventures in Packing

Who knew a pile of boxes could be so much fun? Princess spent about 20 minutes sliding down the box pile over and over.

Monday, April 6, 2009

How cool is that?!

I have to say that after our experience with our current landlady I'm a little cautious about approaching our new landlord.

So far though, he has been awesome! We signed the lease on March 29th and after paying a half month rent for April, he handed us the keys. How cool is that?!

After we noticed that the dishwasher in the new house is getting rather worse for wear, our landlord offered to buy a new dishwasher. I was stunned! He called the other day to let me know that after talking with his partner, they decided to go with stainless steel and will be changing all the appliances over in time. He wanted to make sure that getting a new stainless steel (inside and out) dishwasher would be okay with me. Ummm....YEAH! How cool is that?!

We asked about putting up a play structure for Princess and about doing a few other things around the house. His response? Just treat this like it's your house and put everything back the way it was when you are done. How cool is that?!

I posted a while ago about wanting to go home and although we aren't buying this house, it's really starting to feel like home.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Is it finally here?

It worked! My Spring Spell worked! I knew that my Spring Green nail polish wouldn't fail me!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Modern Day Love Letters

This was the subject of the email my husband sent me yesterday morning. He does this every once in a while and it often brings tears to my eyes when I read what he wrote. Sometimes it is simply that, a reminder to do something or about something. Sometimes it's more. My macho, atheist, tough guy with the tattoos up and down his arms is really just a big softy.

This is what he wrote (name has been changed to keep our little one's identity private).
Good morning sweetheart,
Just a reminder that I am sooo in love with you…
I am truly blessed by you and Princess...
Isn't he just the most amazing man?!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Joke

If April showers

bring May flowers

What do Mayflowers bring?

Have you figured it out yet?

I learned this joke in first grade and tell it every April.

My husband rolls his eyes every time I tell it.


The Mayflower...of course in first grade, I didn't get the joke.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

So, the landlady called

It seems she received our letter notifying her that we will be out by the end of the month. This has her rethinking things. Gasp!

"We can lower the rent if it's that big a deal."
"Maybe we should replace the windows...and have some insulation put in the attic."

Ya think?!

Sorry, too little, too late. We found something better. Of course the Lizard King was very polite and professional, much more so than I would have been.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday - April Fool's Edition

I teach a class at Village Home called Sing, Dance & Play. As you might have guessed, we sing, we dance and we play. We also have story time and craft time. This week's theme was April Fool's Day! In honor of the day, I suggested that everyone dress a little silly.

Here is my April Fool's Wardrobe Wednesday! There are 5 things wrong with the clothing in this picture. Can you find them all?