Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bring your kid to work day

Thursday was "Bring Your Kid to Work Day" and this was the first year that LO was eligible to go. She was thrilled to go but I couldn't help thinking at the end of the day that kids who's parents do something more exciting than an actuary (like a doctor, a firefighter, or an airplane pilot) must have had more fun than she did. Her big task was to help me with an insurance rate filing for the state of Utah. Good thing for the citizens of Utah that she was in a good mood and didn't want to raise the rates.

She had to fill out a form to bring back to school and she had to have my boss sign it. One of the questions on the form was "What was your favourite part of your parent's job?" She responded, "Talking to her friends." Oh boy, now my boss knows how much I REALLY work.

Monday, April 23, 2007

LO's continued matchmaking

With all the talk of marriage, you would think that LO was a shadchan in training. She has certainly made it clear that she approves of the shidduch between me and PHD. We had a conversation the other day when she explained how she would like to call PHD "Abba" once we get married. I adore how she has her own little "plan" of how life is going to be.

At the dinner table last night, came this conversation....

LO: Do you want to marry my Mom?

PHD: Yes I do.

Me: Why do you think PHD and I should get married?

LO: Well, he's Jewish.

Me: Well, yes that is important.

LO: And he's nice. And he's playful.

Me: Ok, those are good things.

LO: And he COOKS for me!

Looks like not only has he won my heart....but he has won hers as well!

Friday, April 20, 2007

LO's phone call to PHD

(This is one of my favorite pictures of PHD and LO - they are always goofing around and making me laugh.)

PHD had to go away on business for a few days. I knew I would miss him terribly but it didn't dawn on me how much LO would miss him. We were sitting in the house and out of the blue LO said, "I miss PHD. When is he coming home?" I explained that he would be home as soon as he could and told her that we could call him.

Here's how that phone conversation went:

LO: Hello? WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME? I miss you! I'M HUNGRY! I love you, ok bye.

She then proceeded to hand the phone back to me.

You know that old adage "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? I think it applies to LO as well.

Shabbat Shalom.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Guess who's going to Israel

The first time that we met our Rabbi he showed LO a book that had the most beautiful pictures of Israel. Ever since then, she has expressed an interest in going there.

While I would love nothing more than to hop on a plane with her, I had a few concerns (i.e. time off from work/school, is LO too young to appreciate it, etc.) the biggest being the cost (hamevin yavin).

Our synagogue takes a group to Israel every year. The time for this year's trip is rapidly approaching and our Rabbi has asked us to go. I explained how I would love to go but with the costs involved I really couldn't afford to pay for both of us and I don't want to make the trip without LO. He told me that I didn't need to worry about the money and that BOTH of us are going on the trip.

I am so excited because we are finally getting to make the trip to Israel AND we have been invited to Chez Treppenwitz AND because PHD is also going to be there. (There may even be a wedding to attend!)

Eretz Yisrael here we come!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Here's a picture of us so that Jack can’t call PHD a mystery man anymore. (Gotta love those self-portrait cell phone pictures!)

And here’s a little more about him…

~ I met him at shul. (Really can you think of a better place to meet a nice Jewish man?)

~ He is from Chicago.

~ He invited LO on our first “date”.

~ He is a college professor and he must be a pretty darn good one because just about any time we go out anywhere, former students come up to him and tell them how much they enjoyed his classes.

~ He has a daughter who’s Hebrew name is the same as LO’s Hebrew name.

~ He is an excellent cook. In fact, he is so good that I haven’t had to make a meal in ages.

~ I knew I was destined to fall in love with him the first time I heard him say the Shema and the V'Ahavta with LO.

~ He loves Israel and spends at least a month there every year. (Aliyah with him is most certainly a possibility.)

~ He has a PHD which made it easy to identify him using that on my blog. (However, it is also stands for a nickname that I gave him even before I blogged about him.)

~ When I met him, he had only said "I love you" to FOUR women in his entire life. I became the FIFTH one.

~ When I made the decision to move in with him, he basically told me that we could re-decorate and re-do anything in the house that I wanted to.

~ He promises me that we will live long wonderful lives together. I asked him if I could have that in writing. He said yes...complete with two Rabbis and two witnesses.

Yep, I'm keeping him...for ALWAYS. (And LO approves!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Where's LO?

LO came home with this class picture in her backpack. For some reason the picture made me giggle...

Can you pick out the Jewish kid in this picture?
(Hint: She's the one wearing the uniform that I've been told makes her look like a Catholic school girl!)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baking Challah

I learned how to bake challah a little over a year ago in the kitchen at my shul. Ever since then, I have made fresh challot for every Shabbat. To me, the smell of challah wafting through our house is such a sweet reminder of the coming of Shabbat. And as sentimental as this sounds, I also love knowing that while I am making my challot that there are thousands of other Jewish women all over the world doing the same exact thing as they prepare for Shabbat.

Last week Babka Nosher shared her challah recipe which is a little different than my recipe. I decided that it would be fun to try another recipe. So here's a look at how our Shabbat challot came out. And oh were they DELICIOUS! Thanks Babka Nosher!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One step closer to the chuppah

Things have been going quite nicely with PHD. Together with him, LO and I feel like we have made ourselves quite a nice little family. He treats LO no differently than if she were his own daughter and he and I feel as though we "complete each other" (as cliche as that may sound).

So, I've decided to take one step closer to the chuppah with him...


LO and I are moving in with him. I LOATHE moving more than any activity that I can think of. I swore when I moved the last time that they would have to take me out of the house in a hearse before I would move again. But...PHD is worth it. And this makes me one step closer to my dreams...a family, the chuppah, and finally aliyah. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bagels at snacktime

As most Jewish parents know, Jewish Day Schools are expensive. And as a single mother, I have not been able to afford to send LO to one although I have never given up hope.

Florida is well-known for having some of the worst public schools. The saving grace for us is that my company has what is called a "satellite school" which is technically a public school but only children of the people who work for my company can attend. This makes for much smaller class sizes and allows for much more personal attention from teachers for the children. Ok, so it's no Jewish Day School but it has worked well for LO so far.

Snacks are provided for the children in the afternoon. Being the Kosher Police, LO is always checking for hechsherim but since the Pesach "rules" are a little different I made sure she knew that she should only eat what I had packed her in her lunchbox and nothing else.

When I picked her up from school I asked her what she had for snack. She told me that she had eaten the apple I packed her and then she said, "Mama! They had BAGELS for snack! Can you believe it?" How's that for chutzpah? No, I couldn't believe it.

Now where is that application for the Jewish day school? Maybe I should take out a second mortgage.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I know I don't LOOK Jewish!

I have this purse made by the Rabbi's Daughters which has a bunch of Yiddish words on it. When I carry it, the purse always seems to solicit comments. Some people think it's cute. Some people want to know what all the words mean. Some people want to know where I got it. Some people just stare at me confused - I'm assuming it's because they are wondering what on Earth a Chinese woman is doing with a purse with Yiddish words on it.

So I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office and a woman asked me where I got it. I told her and then I told her that I bet I have made the company some money because people are always asking me where I got it. I explained that I knew several women at my shul who have bought it after they saw me with it. All of a sudden, a man on the other side of the waiting room said, "Wow - you sure don't look Jewish." He then pointed to his nose and said, "I looked Jewish but then I had my nose fixed." I just smiled and nodded my head. I was in shock at how ignorant these sterotypes sounded to me. A few minutes later he was on his cell phone whispering (but not softly enough that I couldn't hear him), "You'll never believe this but I am in the waiting room at the doctor's office with a CHINESE JEWISH WOMAN! Can you imagine that?"

Thanks to him, I know what it's like to feel like one of those acts in a freak show.

Friday, April 06, 2007

On your doorposts and on your gates...

(photo: Candace West/Miami Herald)

My boss comes over to my desk every morning to check in and see how things are going. This morning instead of his usual work banter, he asked me if I have a mezuzah on my front door at home. Despite the fact that I was puzzled by why he was asking this question, I explained that not only did I have one on my front door but that I have one on the entry to every room in my home except for the closets and the bathrooms. He went on to explain that he was asking because he had read an article in the Miami Herald today about a woman who fought her condo association when they asked her to take her mezuzah down. (You can read the full article here.) The article states that Laurie Richter said, ''I figured it was going to be OK in light of the fact that there were wreaths hung all over the building when I moved in." Not surprisingly, she has won the battle against the condo association.

I am shocked that things like this happen in this day and age. And while I believe this should have never happened, good has come out of it because Florida State Representive Julio Robaina is now sponsoring a bill that includes a provision to ensure that residents will have the right to hang a mezuzah.

May we all always find the strength that Ms. Richter has displayed to stand up for what is right and always be unwavering in our faith.

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A LO Pesach moment

(This is a project LO did in Hebrew school. I think her depiction of boils may be my favorite of the lot.)

On the way to our first seder, I explained to LO that since she would most likely be the youngest child there she would be asked to say the "Ma Nistanah". Her Hebrew school class has been practicing it for weeks but I had only heard heard her singing the first verse and the refrain so I wasn't sure if she knew the whole thing or if she would need to read it. Since she is not the quickest reader when it comes to Hebrew, I asked her if she would be ok reading the Hebrew from the Haggadah or if she wanted me to find the transliteration for her. Her response?

"The Cantor told us in Hebrew school that one of the Ten Commandments is that we HAVE to read the Hebrew. It's against the law to read the transliteration."

I smiled and tried not to giggle. I explained that I was sure it was not one of the Ten Commandments but that I was THRILLED that she was choosing to work her way through the Hebrew rather than resorting to the transliteration.

She did a FABULOUS job at both seders. I am still kvelling.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Chag Kasher V'Sameach

Despite the fact that things are quite hectic here at this pre-Pesach hour, I thought I'd come and write a meaningful post to wish everyone a wonderful Passover, but I decided there was no way I could write anything as touching as Trepp has. Be sure to stop by his place to read this post.

Chag Kasher V'Sameach to all of you and your families from me and my little Orieyenta.