Tuesday, July 31, 2007

He's mine, all MINE!

LO is home at "Camp PHD" for the summer. They both thought it would be more fun to spend the summer doing things together rather than for her to go to her usual summer camp (which she has grown bored of). While PHD is great fun, LO has asked that every now and then Camp PHD recruit another camper....so today her friend "Nesya" came to visit. I assumed that they would have nothing but great fun today but....that was a bad assumption.

I just got a phone call from LO. She was crying and screaming hysterically..."Abba doesn't love me anymore!" "Abba wants to play with Nesya instead of me!" "I want my Abba back!" "He's MY ABBA!"

(ed. note - I am using "Abba" in terms of the Hebrew word for father not that Swedish band that Neil is obsessed with.)

I was shocked. She has never been overly close to her father (my ex-husband). She never really took well to anyone I dated after the divorce. But, then came PHD. She has gotten very close to him. This became obvious to me when she decided that she wanted to call him "Abba". And it is very apparent when I see the two of them together. And now it's even clearer to me.

I'm thankful that they have built this wonderful father-daughter type relationship. But I'm really at a loss of what to do about what is now appearing to be a little over-possessiveness. I explained to her that he absolutely loved her and even if he was paying attention to the other little girl that he still loved her. What else could I have done? Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our Chicago trip in pictures

Since this was my first trip to Chicago, I took over 300 pictures. (Thank goodness for digital cameras!) I've already blogged about meeting Leah and Amy, so here's a small sampling of the rest of our trip...

This was taken from outside the Adler Planetarium. As you can see, we were blessed with beautiful weather during our trip.

No trip to Chicago could be complete without seeing Wrigley Field. The Cubs won this day.

We stayed with some of PHD's childhood friends at their awesome contemporary home. They were lovely hosts (If you are reading this J & M, many thanks for your hospitality!)

PHD's daughter works at the Lincoln Park Zoo, so we went there for a visit. This was a real treat for me since there is never much of a chance for me to see a polar bear in Miami.

Leah and her yellow crocs inspired us to take this picture of us. This is us at the Lincoln Park Zoo. (I love my Crocs and my little Israeli flags on them!)

We went to Chinatown and I thought it was cute to see that their fire engine number eight also had the number eight in Chinese on it.

Next we headed to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. We walked all day and I am told that we didn't even cover 1/2 of it. What an amazing place!

Stopped in East Rogers Park to pick up some kishke. We managed to get them all the way home to Miami and I can't wait to eat them!

All you have to say to me is "Kosher Chocolate" and I'm there. :)

I saw more homeless people in Chicago than I see in Miami. It was quite sad really. But this lady amazed me. She was as happy as could be reading her book and I just want to know how she manages to schlep all that stuff around by herself. A true example of make the best of what you have.

And finally, a trip to the Chicago Art Institute to see my favourite Seurat painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

It was a wonderful trip and we already can't wait to plan our next one!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Accidentally Jewish and Big Mouth

Well, we just got home from a WONDERFUL trip to Chicago and I took over 300 pictures. This was my first trip to Chicago and I have to say that it is such a wonderful place that I now know why people brave the weather to live there. I'll post more about the trip as soon as I can go through the pictures but for now, here's a glimpse of one of my favourite parts of my trip....

I met up with Leah of Accidentally Jewish and Amy of Big Mouth Indeed Strikes Again. And from this meeting, I learned that not only is Chicago an awesome place...it sure has some awesome bloggers. Can't wait until my next trip there!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A blogger encounter

(I was going to title this post, "Amishav, JAP, PHD and Two Orieyentas" but I thought that might be a bit long!)

Guess who we had lunch with today? Amishav and JAP are in hot, humid, sunny Miami visiting JAP's family and we were lucky enough to have them join us for sushi. I've been blog friends with Ami for a while and although this was the first time we ever met, it was like seeing an old friend. JAP was beautiful and sweet and I am just thrilled that we were able to all get together.

LO had two teeth pulled this morning so she started out rather quiet and not like herself. I apologized when we first met because LO was not even half the fun that I describe her as. However, that changed as the meal went on and she came completely out of her shell complete with her declaration that Amishav was indeed Jewish since he does not eat crab.

So Ami and JAP - thanks for making time in your vacation schedule for us. We hope to see you again soon - maybe we'll even make our way to Colorado some day!

Oh and speaking of blogger encounters...next up, PHD and I will be meeting Amy Guth, the most beautiful and talented author of "Three Fallen Women" and if we are lucky we'll get to meet Leah too.

You gotta love the jblogosphere.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pink Cows?

At dinner last night somehow the conversation turned to milk. As usual, LO jumped in and took over the conversation...

LO: I like chocolate milk. Chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows with some ice.

Me: Really? Well, where does white milk come from?

LO: It comes from white cows.

Me: And strawberry milk?

LO: Duh Mama! It comes from pink cows!

Shabbat Shalom.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Kvetching Jogger

One of the things that they do in LO's physical education class is run laps. At the end of the year anyone who qualifies gets to participate in what they call the "Panther Mile". For LO this means that she needs to run a mile in 10 minutes or less. LO has never qualified for the Panther Mile. But it's not because she can't run a mile in 10 minutes or less. It's because she is usually walking the track with her girlfriends. Instead of her feet running, her mouth is running...a million miles a minute.

It has never seemed to bother her that she and her girlfriends haven't qualified for the Panther Mile or that they are always the last to finish "running" the mile. But the other night when we were taking a evening stroll, she indicated that she wished she could run the Panther Mile. PHD told her that it would be easy and that he would help her do it. So this morning, training for the Panther Mile began.

(I was at work so this event is as told by PHD.)

The plan was to run one block and then walk one block for the mile. They started by running three blocks. Always the drama queen, LO started to pant like a dog that had been running on a hot summer day (complete with the sound effects and the tongue hanging out).

Then the kvetching began. PHD said she gave every excuse in the book. Some of the highlights were:

I'm sweating down my neck.

My arms hurt.

My eyes hurt.

My tongue hurts.

My tuchis is schvitzing. (I loved this one the most. How funny is a Chinese kid complaining in Yiddish?)

She called me and told me, "Mama, I'm a kvetcher!" Then she told me that the best part of jogging is stopping. Now I can't wait to go jogging with her. Although I fear it will be more about laughing hysterically than actually jogging.

Monday, July 09, 2007

16 weeks later....

(This is not LO, but isn't this little girl adorable?)

In preparation for our shul's trip to Israel (which ended up not happening) we applied to renew LO's passport back in May. Here we are now SIXTEEN WEEKS later. Guess what we just got in the mail? Geez, they sure weren't kidding when they said that there are currently delays in passport processing.

(I am also amazed that I applied to renew both LO's passport and my own on the very same day. I receieved my passport 2 months ago. How the heck does that happen?)

Her Dad wants to bring her to visit friends in Costa Rica. I want to bring her to visit friends in Israel. I wonder which wonderful and exciting destination will be the first stamp in her new passport?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I'm not ashamed to admit that I live a caffeine driven life. And I do know that it is important to taper off the caffeine prior to a fast. So, here it is the 17th of Tammuz. Guess who already has a headache? (Oy, somebody please remind me to lay off the caffeine before Tisha B'Av!)
May we all have an easy fast.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The kindness of bloggers

(art by: Naomi Ocean)

Whenever I talk to a non-blogger about any of you who I refer to as a "blogger friend", they look at me like I am meshugganah. They can't understand how I can call someone a friend when I have never met any of you (although that will change very soon) and only spoken to a few of you on the phone. I'm sure that this is no new subject for a blog post but it's actually a little surreal when you think about it. We watch each other's children grow and share fun stories about them, we mourn the loss of each other's family members, we dream about each other, we join together for support when one of us or a family member is ill, we celebrate engagements, marriages and the donning of tefillin for the first time...we do all sorts of things "together" yet we could probably pass one another on the street and never know it. And the kindness I have come across here never ever ceases to amaze me and I thought I would share one of those stories.

LO and I were supposed to go to Israel and meet up with PHD there. Our trip got cancelled, but PHD couldn't cancel his trip since he was going there to attend a family wedding. Every day that he was gone LO and I were missing him terribly, but Shabbats were always the worst. Turns out that he felt the same way. While he was enjoying his time with his family in Israel, Shabbat was not the same without us. Short of getting on a plane to fix the situation, I tried to think of what else I could do to make this better. My research for ideas led to many very EXPENSIVE solutions. I decided to turn to a blogger friend who lives in Israel for suggestions. And he went way beyond giving suggestions, he actually facilitated the whole thing and certainly made Shabbat for PHD and his family very special. (When I tell this story to non-bloggers, they can't believe that someone I have never met would do such a nice thing.) So Trepp, here's a HUGE THANK YOU! I am truly blessed to know you and to be able to call you my friend.

After that Shabbat, PHD arranged a meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Trepp. Here's a picture from that meeting (and yes, I'm still jealous!)

We had a beautiful Shabbat (as we always do) but this one was more special since it was the first one we shared since PHD returned home from Israel.

To all of our blogger friends out there, LO, PHD and I wish to thank you for your kindness and for sharing all your stories with us.

Shavua Tov.