Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gotcha Day

(photo taken: May 29, 2000)

In the adoption world the day that you finally meet your child is often referred to as "Gotcha Day". It's a day that comes after piles and piles of paperwork, after home study visits by a social worker, after loads and loads of money, after riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime, and for us...after a trip to another continent.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of that day that we now call "LO Day". The photo above was taken the very first time I ever held LO in my arms. I can't imagine a greater gift in life than the gift of my little girl. G-d has truly blessed us.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mi Sheberach

Please daven for Shlomo ben Miryam. He fell ill right before Shabbos and had to be rushed to the emergency room. I have been friends with him and his wife for almost 25 years and consider them my adopted Jewish parents. BeEzrat Hashem, they will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary on Thursday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kvelling on Shavuot

Shavuot is always a special time for us. It was the first holiday that LO and I "officially" celebrated as members of the Jewish people. So while we celebrate receiving our beloved Torah, we also celebrate the anniversary of our conversion. (It's an added bonus that the holiday comes complete with yummy foods like blintzes and cheesecake!)

This year we can add to our reasons to celebrate because LO will "graduate" from the Aleph Class in her Hebrew School. I've been told by the teachers that she is a model student and a pleasure to have in class (if that doesn't make a mother kvell, I don't know what would!)

I'm so proud of my little girl. And I feel so honoured every day to be a Jew.

Chag Sameach to you and your families from this kvelling Mom and her little orieyenta.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Chicago here we come!

(photo: Art Hill)

When I first met PHD he described himself as the true "wandering Jew" since he loves to travel and I can hardly name a place that he hasn't already been. (This will make choosing a honeymoon destination interesting to say the least!) While I have never been much of a traveler, PHD has decided this should change. New places and spending time with PHD...what more could I ask for?

I've always wanted to go to Chicago since the Art Institute has one of my very favourite paintings there. Then I found out that Chicago is the home of awesome authours like Elaine Soloway and Amy Guth. And now, most importantly it is where PHD is from and his daughter lives there where she works at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Well...looks like I am finally going to take that trip! We have plane tickets in hand and will be heading to the "Windy City"! I'm so excited (and thankful that he didn't decide this trip needed to happen in the wintertime.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

LO's little act of chesed

One of the qualities I love about PHD is that he is very outgoing and friendly. It seems as though he is passing this quality onto LO. It used to be that if we were meeting new people, it would take her a bit to warm up, come out from hiding behind me and actually make eye contact. Lately I have been witnessing the complete opposite.

We just took a trip to Disney World. At Epcot we were sitting in Germany and a man sat with us at our table. LO decided to strike up a conversation with him and so on she went with her 3rd degree....

What's your name?
Where are your from?
Are you here by yourself?
What's in your bag?
Are you Jewish?

This was just a snippet of the conversation but at the end of it all, she asked her new friend if he would like to spend the rest of the day with us. Apparently he was automatically ok in her book since he is Jewish and she didn't want him to have to spend his day all alone. (Is that chesed or what?)

We gave him our blog address (Hi Richard!) and wished him a safe trip home to Los Angeles. He gave us hope that some of our Los Angeles blog friends like Danny, Davi, Neil and Sophia, Jack, and Tamara may sometime end up on over here on the east coast. We'll meet you at Disney!

*I wish I would have thought to take a picture of him with LO but since I didn't, here's one of LO and Tigger instead!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Havdalah's New Friend

Anyone who remembers this story probably thinks I would be meshugganah to actually allow LO to have a fishtank. During a brief momentary lapse of reasoning at Chanukah time, I ended up buying her a small fishtank and a goldfish. She named the goldfish Havdalah since we went to the pet store and got him motzei Shabbat.

Well...Havdalah has gotten bigger and has been umm, er....dirtying up the fishtank almost quicker than I can change the water. So I decided that we should get him a larger tank. As we walked into the pet store LO ran down the aisle and she became more and more starry-eyed as she made her way down the line from small tanks to enormous tanks. We settled on a 10 gallon tank which should seem huge to Havdalah in comparison to his 2 gallon tank. I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

LO: Mama, the tank is really BIG. Don't you think Havdalah will be lonely?

Me: Um, I guess.

LO: (excitedly) So does that mean I can get another fish?

Me: (I was thinking no in my head but...) I guess so.

LO: YAY! (Off like a bolt of lightning she was to the fish aisle.)

The first fish she chose was the size of my hand and was $40. We examined several others (that were not quite as pricey) before she chose a nice little white and orange goldfish friend for Havdalah.

Me: So, what are you going to name your new fish?

LO: Can I name it something in Hebrew?

Me: Of course.

LO: I'm going to name it Batsheva.

Me: Batsheva? After PHD's friend Batsheva?

LO: No. You know, BATSHEVA. Her husband was some guy named Eria or Uriah or something like that and he got killed and then she was with King David.

Me: Um....ok, Batsheva it is.

Nice to know that my Hebrew school dollars aren't going to waste. I shudder to think of what she might name a dog if she ever manages to convince us to get one of those. (Why does "Kelev" come to mind?)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lag B'Omer

Yesterday at our shul barbeque to celebrate Lag B'Omer...

LO: Rabbi, where is the bonfire?

Rabbi: Well...

LO: (interrupting) Because you know there's supposed to be a bonfire for Lag B'Omer.

Rabbi: (smiling) Yes, I do.

Leave it to LO to try to keep everyone on their toes, even our Rabbi.

(This is actually the second year in a row that we couldn't have a bonfire as we are under
drought conditions.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

LO's first sleepover

While LO has gone to many sleepovers at her friends' homes, I have managed to avoid actually hosting one of these giggle-fests for quite some time. Unlike Babka Nosher, Chana, Pearl, Trepp, Raggedy Mom, Jack, and especially PT, I am not one of those "Supermoms" (or "Superdads") who can manage more than one child at a time. Sometimes I can barely keep up with myself and LO so I am always in awe of those who can manage more and still remain sane.

I knew that there would come a day when I would have to give in and let her host her own sleepover. When she and I were discussing it with PHD, her biggest dilemma was which one of her two best friends she should invite. He told her not to worry about picking one or the other just to invite both! (I am certain I shot him a very evil look when he said this.)

And so last weekend, LO hosted her first sleepover. There was swimming, hot dogs and tater tots, brief moments of banging on the piano, movies, and a WHOLE LOT of giggling and screaming. (And I survived to tell the story.)

(Hey, couldn't they be a poster for the United Nations?)

They all had a great time but I heard from the teachers that there were some pretty sleepy girls at Hebrew School on Sunday. Oops!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Science Fair WINNER!

After I explained her failed science project experiment here yesterday...guess who won 3rd place in the Science Fair?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tzniut Meme

(photo: tznius.com)

Raggedy Mom tagged me with this meme started by Mother in Israel. It certainly has some thought provoking questions.

1. For married women, do you dress by the same standards as you did when you got married?
I’m not married (but will be soon!) but I don’t believe that my standards will change.

2. Also for married women, do you and your husband conflict about this issue?
As I said in #1, I am not married (yet! LOL) but we have discussed this and we feel that it is up to me as to at what level I feel comfortable. For example, we discussed the headcovering issue and he said he would support me if I decided to cover my hair and that he would also support me if I did not want to cover my hair (shul and other necessary places excluded of course!)

3. Have your standards changed from when you were growing up, and why?
My standards have changed from when I was growing up because I grew up in a more “Reform” type home. When I started working on my conversion and as my observance level became higher, the tzniut issue became more important to me. And now if you looked into my closet, I think I could be a spokesperson for this place.

4. Do you often feel uncomfortable when you are in the company of a group keeping higher or lower standards than you?
Not really. Although in South Florida there are often times when lower standards means women wearing next to nothing…and yes that does make me feel uncomfortable.

5. If you have ever suddenly changed your standard of dress, did people treat you differently or make approving/disapproving remarks?
As mentioned in #3, it was pretty obvious when my dress changed. I work in a building with approx. 2,500 people and I am the only observant Jewish woman here, so I stand out for my dress and my race. Being in South Florida, I hear “Geez, aren’t you hot?” or “I can’t believe you are wearing stockings in this weather” quite often.

6. How accepting is your community of women who "deviate" from the generally accepted mode of dress?
The community is very mixed and therefore pretty tolerant of the various modes of dress.

7. If you have a daughter, has tzniut become an issue yet?
It’s not an issue and I don’t think it will be because she has always been a skirt/dress wearer from before she could even talk. She feels more comfortable this way and she has always been aware of her clothing because as she likes to say, “No one should be seeing MY business.”

How come my bread didn't mold?

It’s that time of year again…time for the dreaded science fair project. Last year I won 1st place in the 2nd Grade Science Fair (oh wait, I mean LO won 1st place!) Ok, I admit, I probably helped her more than I should have.

This year I was determined to let her do everything she could on her own. She decided on the project of “Which Type of Bread will Mold the Fastest?” This sounded like an easy project to me – buy 3 loafs and bread and wait for them to mold…easy, right? What I didn’t realize was that the time allotted for the experiment would be right around Pesach. When I realized this I had to explain to LO that we couldn’t start the project until after Pesach. Even though this felt like waiting until the last minute there really was no way around it. Other than the fact that I knew we would have to adhere strictly to the deadlines for each part, I didn’t think it would make much of a difference. Boy, was I wrong.

Yesterday marked the 20th day of her experiment. The bread NEVER molded. LO and I joked that we should change the name of the project to “How come my bread didn’t mold?”

This morning I watched as she headed off to her classroom with her project board with her 3 pieces of non-moldy bread. Despite her failed experiment, she remained a good sport.

Note to self: Next year, no science projects involving chametz!