Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My Vegas trip in pictures

Just kidding - there was no Rabbi Elvis for us while we were there.

The most important part of my trip was visiting with my grandmother and driving her to the cemetary to see my step-father Z"L. I could not have asked for a more beautiful day for this visit. The weather was perfect.

I had almost forgot how beautiful Nevada was. And it still amazes me that I can see this at the same place I can see all of this:

The Strip at night

Fountains at the Fall of Atlantis - Caesars Palace

Outside Caesars Palace

Outside the Paris Hotel

We got comps for the Carrot Top show. I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this but he was very funny. It just so happened we were there on his birthday so they had a birthday celebration for him just as the show was over complete with birthday guests Louie Anderson and Robin Leach.

It was a nice trip but I am glad to be home, despite the fact that I brought home a horrible cold and I have to start baking hamentaschen!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Meshugganah Hamentashen

Here they are...our first attempt.

(Ok - our second attempt - our first attempt tasted like chalky rocks. We may be able to use them as paperweights or doorstops.)

Yes - this is what happens when an 8-year old and her non-baking/"should really stay out of the kitchen" mother attempt to bake.

Do they look meshugganah? If LO and I sent you mishloach manot with these included, would you eat them?

Friday, February 16, 2007

LO's Jewish Viewpoint

On Sunday, in the car while driving past a church...

LO: (on seeing all the cars in the parking lot) Wow, that temple sure has a lot of people at it!

Me: LO, that's not a temple, that's a church.

LO: Uh-huh, it's a temple. See that big "T" on the top of the building? (pointing at the cross on top of the church) That's a "T" for temple.

At Target in the card aisle...

LO: (reading greeting cards aloud) "Eater" is coming.

Me: Uh, that's EASTER not eater.

LO: Oh, I thought it meant it was time to eat.

At dinner the other night...

LO: Mama, do Christian people get to eat kosher food?

Me: Sure, they can eat kosher food if they like.

LO: So they can eat OUR food but we can't eat theirs?

Me: Sort of.

LO: That's not fair but at least we don't have to eat their ham or shrimp.

If only I could be inside her head sometimes and see just what was happening in there!

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day isn't all that bad

I haven't been all that lucky in love, plus as a Jew, celebrating a holiday named after a SAINT seems a little odd to me. I've certainly never been as anti-Valentine's as Jack but...Valentine's Day in the past has usually been no different than any other day. Until this year...

LO's teacher invited all the parents to school to surprise the kids with a party. When PHD and I showed up at LO's class, she ran to him and hugged him. Here is an idea of how happy she was to see him:

LO had a surprise for me too. She made me this heart:

(Forgive me for the bad cell phone picture.)

The heart she made for PHD said, "handsome, kind, praying, working, loving, a person who is cute, friend". She actually wrote the first word as "hamsom" which I thought was funny since she is the kosher police. (Oh and I thought it was interesting that she had written "praying" for both of us...guess she is REALLY used to seeing us daven!)

After the party I went back to work and it was basically an uneventful day although everytime I talked to PHD on the phone or via Skype, I could tell he was up to something but he wouldn't reveal anything.

We went to PHD's for dinner and when we arrived, the table was set beautifully with rose petals, cards and gifts for me and LO. He had spent much of the day decorating and making dinner. It was lovely, complete with a salad with vegetables that PHD had carved into little hearts. Dinner was tilapia with lemon sauce and capers followed by a dessert of chocolate mousse a la PHD. (Two of my very favorites that he makes!)

And here's a glimpse of what happened next....

(ed. note: Don't worry, I haven't thrown tzniut out the window - this is not an actual picture of me, I found it on Google somewhere. I WISH I were as thin as this woman and that I actually had a bathtub this large!)

Yes - I believe this one is a "keeper". (And LO agrees.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rabbi Elvis?

My relationship with PHD has been sort of a whirlwird romance. He is a wonderful man, I adore him, LO adores him, and he's Jewish - really what more could I ask for?

(Ok, you're right, I could ask for a lot more, and he actually is so much more than I could have ever hoped for.)

So, when I was telling friends that we were going to Las Vegas together, I was met with, "You're not going there to get married are you?" My response was, "Of course not...unless I can find a Rabbi who happens to be an Elvis impersonator." Yep - that got a blank stare. But afterall, if you're going to get married in Las Vegas, it has got to be by an Elvis, right? Then, I took it even further and asked, "Should it be the young hip-swinging Elvis or the old drugged up Elvis?" Friends who know me well know that when I say meshugganah things like this, there have been times when I actually was not joking, so I had to then assure everyone that I am not going to Vegas to get married by a Rabbi Elvis.

Later I was talking with PHD and he mentioned that when we get married (yes, you read that right) he would like two Rabbis to officiate - our Rabbi and a close friend of his who is a Rabbi. Jokingly I said, "Let's bring them to Vegas with us - we can have both - one dressed as the young hip-swinging Elvis and the other as the old drugged up Elvis."

So which would you choose? The young hip-swinging Elvis or the old drugged up Elvis?

(Wouldn't it be funny if our Rabbi dressed as Elvis for Purim?)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Vegas here I come

Because of things like this and this, I don't generally enjoy traveling. I get shpilkes sitting anywhere (like on an airplane) for any length of time.

My Nana (who lives in Las Vegas) has been calling me constantly over the past few weeks. She always ends each conversation with, "So, when are you coming to see me? It's been a long time." (Yep - she's got that Jewish guilt thing down to a science.)

Also, it just so happens that PHD is going there for a conference.

So, I finally caved in and I am heading to Las Vegas to see my Nana and to share a little fun time with PHD. I haven't been out there since 1999 when my Stepfather Z"L passed away. I hear that I won't recognize the place. I'll be there over Shabbos, so if anyone has any suggestions for shuls, please let me know!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wedding "Vowels"

So apparently LO is not giving up on this whole marriage idea. She has continued to grill me about if and when I would like to get married to the man she has chosen for me.

(From now on, I'm going to refer to him as PHD since I am sure her quest is far from over and I actually relish the idea of keeping him around for a very long time.)

So, in the car on the way to his house for dinner last night (yes, you read that right, he actually makes dinner for us!) here was the conversation:

LO: Mama, if you get married to PHD are you going to have to say wedding vowels?

Me: (very confused) What are wedding vowels?

LO: You know, like with this hand I will lift your sorrows. Your cup will never be empty, for I will be your wine. With this candle, I will light your way into darkness. With this ring, I ask you to be mine.

Me: (in complete shock) LO, where did you learn that?

LO: From the movie "The Corpse Bride". (laughing) Those are the vowels he is supposed to say but he gets so nervous that he actually ends up saying, "With this candle I light your mother on fire." And then he lights her mother on fire. Isn't that funny?

Me: (At a loss for what to say) Um. Sure. I think.

I wasn't sure if:

  1. I should laugh at her use of the word "vowels" for the word "vows"
  2. I should worry that she is so fixated on marrying me off
  3. She was comparing me to a corpse
  4. She was telling me that PHD might light my mother on fire

One thing I do know for sure...I think she has watched that movie too many times.

Shabbat Shalom.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Homework or Lunchbox?

(Illustration by David Shannon- one of LO's favorite authors)

This morning as I was walking in the parking lot on the way to my office, another mother from LO's school was driving by and stopped her car near me. She rolled down her window and said, "I thought you might want to know that your daughter is crying." This took me by surprise as I had dropped her off only minutes ago and when I left she was happily waving, blowing kisses, and saying "I love you" as she went to her classroom.

She told her friend's mother that she had left her homework at home. I was confused by this since I remember her specifically telling me last night that she was double checking everything in her backpack to make sure that she had all of her homework.

Since she is always on the "A" Honor Roll and one of the top students (yes - I'm kvelling) I figured that I could call the teacher and she would give her a break for this one time. So I called the school. I explained to her what happened and she basically said it was no big deal. She then let me talk to LO. As LO was coming to the phone, I could hear her crying. I could also hear her teacher telling her, "I hope that crying isn't because of your homework, who cares about your homework? You don't need to cry sweetie." Through her tears she told me that she left her homework on the table. I knew this wasn't the case because the table was empty when we left. Turns out that she left her whole backpack in the car when she got out of the car at school this morning...she did, however, remember to take her lunchbox. Nice to know where her priorities are.

If only leaving my homework at home could be my biggest problem.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Here come the Kosher Police

LO and I were invited to accompany a very good friend to Parrot Jungle. Since it's pretty expensive to get in there (around $27 each). I jumped at the opportunity to go for free. (Yes, I admit it, I have a little schnorrer in me.) What I didn't understand from the invitation was that before we went to enjoy the Parrot Jungle, we had to attend a luncheon that was a fundraiser for the Archdiocese of Miami.

As many of you know, LO ALWAYS speaks her mind, so before we entered the banquet hall, I pulled her aside and explained that this was a luncheon for the Catholic church and that it was ok for us to be there. The onslaught of questions and comments from her at that point were hilarious..."Mama, we're Jewish", "But these people are scary", "Is this like going to church?", "Will we still be Jewish if we go in?" Just to name a few.

We went in and sat at our table. The lunch plates were already on the table and LO looks at the plate and here is the look she made:

The meal was a mixed green salad with grilled chicken. Next to the grilled chicken were several slices of mozarella CHEESE with tomatoes. I knew she was going to panic and I tried to explain to her that we didn't need to eat anything there. However...before I had the chance, I saw the look on her face which was followed by what I can only describe as a sound similar to an ambulance siren. This of course was followed by her reiterating the Laws of Kashrut to me and then by pointing to everyone's plate on the table to show them how they had meat and dairy ON THE SAME PLATE -- IN THE SAME MEAL! (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my kid is the "Kosher Police".) I politely put my hand over her mouth and got her to stop squealing. So that the people at our table were able to enjoy their lunch (despite the dirty looks LO was giving them) I tried to distract her for the rest of the meal by playing with her and Winston. It was one of the L O N G E S T lunches of my life.

Shabbat Shalom.