Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Okay. So I'm slightly freaking out. It appears that I have the opportunity to actually go for my dream. And so I stop and wonder, did I really think this dream through? Did I analyze it enough? Did I get enough outsiders opinions to validate that this indeed is the correct dream for me and I should not alter it?

Still sounds dreamy, eh? The reality of going for your dream is so much less romantic than the dream itself. It's panic filled and scary. It's full of second guessing, and crunching numbers, and leaping so far out of your comfort zone you have no idea if your falling or flying.

And yet, if I don't go for it, how could I ever look back at my ten year old self and say, yeah, this is what you become later... A coward, too afraid to go for it.

Of course there is a middle, safer route: I could spend the next five years planning, saving, educating myself and go into this with a firmer step. Yes, that is probably the smart option. And yet, somehow I know that if I don't take this opportunity now, it may never come again. Or I may not grab it the next time it comes around.

But really, I feel that if I am to uproot my children and start a whole new lifestyle with them, it should be as soon as possible. My son is almost six. He has lost two teeth and is starting to form lasting memories. It will never get easier, only harder.

My dear friend who works with clay gave me this beautiful analogy: She said that our souls, neshamas, are like clay in this world. Death is the kiln. We are ever forming through our speech, thought and action.

This feels so true. But I think there is more. I believe that as we age we lose moisture and the clay gets more and more stiff. My children are more pliable now than they will ever be. I want to use that to their advantage. I want to offer them a different kind of life. And the sooner I start, the more they will be formed to see the world in a wholly different way. Hopefully a more holistic, organic and simple way than conventional city life offers.

Sometimes I am shocked to see that any lessons I try to instill in them actually get through. As my mother (known simply as nana) turned to my son and said, "Let us thank Hashem for this great thing that happened," my son replied, "The best way to thank Hashem is by being the best Nana you can be."

I mean, wow.

And yet, I am scared. So scared that my making a mistake will cost them their childhoods. Scared that I won't be able to provide for them what an established community can. I am scared I am not enough.

Maybe it's true. Maybe I'm not. If so, I hope that, as I have the courage to take this leap in life now, Hashem will also give me the courage to admit that to myself later. Until then I say...


1. I made it another day alone with three sick kids in the house
2. An opportunity to give of myself to the world
3. Hot running water
4. The ability to talk to loved ones on the phone
5. The way my baby opens his mouth desperately wide anytime something comes even remotely near
6. How I feel every time I stop and make a gratitude list

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word pamper? I know, it's the diaper. That's where our dirty minds go, us mothers. You know, in the non-parent world, words like spa, wine, or new shoes are associated with pampering. But not for us. No we hear the word pamper and think, 'why buy pampers or huggies when you can get generic for so much cheaper!' (And those seventh generation all natural brown super expensive diapers? Guess what- they're dyed to look more natural! So keep your $11, and get generic!)

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, pampering. This morning it worked out that my mother-in-law was in Pittsburgh and could bring my eldest to school. Oh, and did I want a coffee since she was stopping anyway? Yes, thank you!

It was such a different morning from the usual bundling of the two babes into the hard to push double stroller, walking up hill in two directions, too tired to do anything by the time I get home, morning. I felt pampered! And it felt good!

And so I wonder... Is there a way to replicate this feeling without being dependent on other people to step into my life? Well, I think of the other times I've felt similar... When I wake up and my downstairs is swept. A clean floor free of toys... I can wake up and not feel immediate pressure to start putting things away. Yeah, that makes me feel pampered. And I can give that to myself each night.

Or having breakfast made for the kids all ready to go (remember the breakfast cake I mentioned in an earlier post?). Or putting a Shalom Sesame Street DVD on so that I can have 22 minutes to type this blog. That feels like pampering.

So here I open the blog... As well as your Good, I would like to hear how you pamper yourself. And please, no vacation talk, only real, everyday options we can all share and use. Wouldn't it be nice to have a bunch of pampered mommies tending their kids with a relaxed love? I think so!

1. Children's DVDs
2. My daughter pooped in the potty again!
3. My swept floor
4. My baby sucking his thumb (it's so freakin cute!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I am overwhelmed.  I am confused.  I am scared.  I am excited.  So many things are happening all at once.  Or maybe it’s just a few things.  But really big things. 

My husband and I are making what will probably come to be one of the biggest decisions we have made as a family.  Should we buy land in the country and start our dreamed of community?  The property is there, the price is right.  It will go fast if we don’t make an offer soon. We could do it.  But should we?  After years of fantasizing, I feel I am so unprepared for this question.  My biggest fear?  Isolation.  If we build it, will they come? 

I thought sure, if we get one or two other families to join up from the start, at least we wouldn’t be alone.  But in my heart I always knew that I needed the courage to make this decision without a safety net.  I always looked like a brave kid.  Sure I could jump in the cold water first.  I could go on that rollercoaster.  I could stand on stage and sing.  But I could do it if I knew others would right after me.  If I knew others would be around.  I didn’t go to the lake myself and jump off the docks. 

And now, now that I so badly want the security of knowing other people will make this leap right after me, I need to make the leap alone.  And I’m scared.  But a decision needs to be made.  And it needs to be made soon.

So while I am obsessing over the future, the here and now are happening and I’m not present.  I am not on top of dinners, laundry, clean up, discipline.  And so yesterday morning things spiraled out of control.  Instead of sticking with the 1,2,3, Magic system, which has really been working so well, I reverted back to being a frustrated, angry mom. 

At one point it got bad.  It got ugly.  Instead of trying to discipline my needy son (of course he was needy, I was out to lunch), I tried to just ignore him and read to his sister.  That really ticked him off. So he starts with annoying noises.  They get louder.  And then the poking.  Oh the poking.  My G-d that is annoying.  So without even turning to look at him I reach out and grab his PJ’s and pull him to me so I can yell at him.

Since I didn’t turn my head, I didn’t see that instead of a handful of clothes, I got a handful of hair.  And I yanked.  Yup, some of his hairs came out in my hand.  Did I suddenly break down and apologize for my unbelievably immature and unthinking action? Inwardly.  But outwardly I just told him to leave me alone.

All I can think is, I am the worst mother.  When you read about parents with difficult children, you never hear about the parent who lost it and back handed the kid, or pulled their hair out.  No one ever admits to that.  But it happens to me.  I do lose it every now and then.  And I get so ashamed for how I screamed directly into his ear, or pushed him away a little too hard and he fell back.  Or some other unintentional, or slightly intentional but not really, action.

But no one ever talks about it.  And I am left to feel that I am the only mother who does this. 

My father comforted and reassured me that I simply fell off my supermom throne and joined the rest of humanity.  And hopefully I will work my way back to being supermom again.  I am trying.  And I suppose that’s all I can do, try.

And the truth is, the more I can forgive myself for not being perfect, the more I can forgive my son for not being perfect.  And my husband.  And my extended family.  And the mean sales clerk.  And the guy who cut me off.  We can’t be perfect.  I know I can’t be perfect.  And it’s a good lesson to teach my children too.

As for my dream of building an organic, eco-sustainable, orthodox Jewish farm community?  Well, if you’re interested, let me know!

1.    The chance to live my dream
2.    Fresh air
3.    Learning opportunities
4.    The librarians (I mean really, they’re awesome!)