Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Past and Present

Halloween seems to be off to a good start this year, beginning with Hannah's school parade and assembly this morning. I'm not positive Hannah's costume, in its current, hemmed form, is going to make it through the school party tonight and trick-or-treating on Sunday, so I took the pictures this morning just in case. It's pretty funny how the kids ended up color coordinated this year.

As we waited at the bus stop, Hannah and I talked about all the costumes she has worn over the years, and we had a hard time coming up with them all (and actually forgot the year of the cheerleader). So I'm going to post some reminders of them here. It's a pretty amazing progression.







And 2010:

While I don't find organizing the costumes and the actual trick-or-treating all that fun, it *is* pretty cute looking back over it now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Twitter Success Story (My 33rd Birthday)

I don't wear a lot of jewelry. My wedding and engagement ring, watch, necklace, earrings. Usually the same things day in and day out. Shortly after getting engaged in May 2001, I bought a ring for my right hand, to match my new platinum band. I loved that ring and wore it constantly.

Constantly, that is, until I spent two months in bed with my back. During which time I lost weight. And the ring that had always been a bit loose was now falling off completely. I was so sad not to be able to wear it any longer.

So I began casually looking for a replacement for my right arm - a ring or a bracelet. Being a big fan of Twitter, I tweeted that I was looking for something new. Instantly, several companies started following me, to encourage me to look at their jewelry. It was quite a response, but there was only one company that caught my eye: Objets d'Envy.

I'm a sucker for colorful, shiny and sparkly (despite the fact that I wear black almost every day of my life), and in my opinion the jewelry is just gorgeous. So when they tweeted that a sale was coming up, I sent my favorite color of the Rock Candy bracelet to Marc, and it was a done deal. I just had to wait until my birthday to actually open the present! So here it is:

It's a true Twitter success story, don't you think? And if anyone needs ideas for Hanukkah...

PS: I'm wearing purple in the picture above in support of LGBT youth. The It Gets Better videos are amazing, and so is the Spirit Day campaign, but I really hope we soon don't need to have events like these, and that everyone gets the encouragement and love they deserve.

PPS: This is my 100th blog post! I began on March 16, 2007 with Mr. Bee and BusyBee and eventually BabyBee falling away as I began linking this to my facebook page. I've really enjoyed getting to share my little corner of the world with you all, and am thankful that you've come along on this journey with me. And thank you all for the wall posts, tweets, ecards and birthday love. Here's to the next 100!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Trip On My Own

Last week, I had the pleasure of traveling to Buffalo to attend an engagement party for my brother Ryan and his fiance Allison. I took the trip there on my own, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed getting some time away. I flew out early on Friday morning, and spent most of the day with my parents, Allison's family and the happy couple. We had excellent Buffalo wings and enjoyed a really nice art museum, and then Allison's parents threw a very lovely party. It was great to meet more of Allison's family, and I'm really looking forward to celebrating with them and the rest of my family next summer.

While I definitely missed Marc and the kids, it was wonderful to have a little alone time. I had so many uninterrupted conversations and really savored not having to take care of anyone but myself for a while. Allison's mom volunteered to spill a drink while at a restaurant, just to make me more comfortable, but I didn't take her up on that one. :)

When I got home on Saturday evening, everyone was happy to see me. We had a nice little dinner on Castle Island before driving the rest of the way home from the airport. On Sunday we took the kids to the playground, went out to lunch, and then tackled projects around the house. It was a great weekend - the perfect mix of time home and away. Too bad they can't all be three day weekends!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just for the Mitzvah

This post could be taken exactly as the title says, as I could be writing it just for the mitzvah of letting people know about this great company with the hard-to-find website. With last year's BBQ craft, apple picture frames, a huge success, I wanted to find something even better this year. So I had the idea to prepare Simchat Torah flags, and to encourage everyone to bring their flags back for our celebration of the holiday later that week. After a lot of searching around, trying to cobble together the items I'd need, Stephanie sent me to the following.

The company is called Just for the Mitzvah, and can be found here. You can't order things on the site itself, and it looks like the site is composed of catalog pages. So really, there's not a lot of detail. But I took a gamble and ordered the velour Simchat Torah flags, with glue-on Torahs and sequins. I bought glue and some markers as well.

The craft was great! The kids were really creative with how they decorated the flags, and since the projects took a few minutes to complete, it gave me time to chat up their parents too. And I did see a few of the flags at our synagogue celebration as well. All in all a great project, and I would happily recommend Just for the Mitzvah!

Meet Me at the Fair

Our plans for this weekend made it on the calendar several months ago. Fillis had mentioned wanting to go to a fair with all of us this fall, so I looked up the dates for the Big E, which typically conflicts with the Jewish holidays. But the fair concluded October 3, so we were able to find a day to go.

Being a bit tired from all of the holidays, we spent a lazy Saturday morning at home. Marc made us a brunch feast, which we all really enjoyed. Later in the day we made it to Hartford, where Hannah got to show off her attempts at riding a bike without training wheels. Nate and Evie were visiting as well, and we had a great time going to the playground with all four kids. After the younger kids went to bed, Hannah and Fillis settled in to watch "Meet Me in St. Louis" to get ready for the fair the next day.

Marc and I took advantage of the free baby-sitting opportunity to go see "The Social Network," which we really enjoyed. Afterward we went to the Goldroc Diner, which has become a bit of a post-late-movie-in-Hartford tradition for us.

Unfortunately, Evie woke up the next morning with a bit of a cold, so she and Fillis had to stay home. The remaining six of us piled into the Traverse, and the two little boys had a ball being in the car together, and later, sharing the double stroller. We had a great time walking all over, seeing the animals, sharing the junk food we bought, and putting Hannah and Max on a few of the rides. Nate behaved so well - far better than our kids would have at his age! We stayed until the parade had finished passing us by. After dropping off John and Nate, we headed home. It was a really great day!

End of September Catch Up

- Both kids are doing well at school so far. Hannah's enjoying the challenge of first grade, and is excited to be taking both karate and pottery during After Care this year. We went to the Back to School picnic and curriculum night, and later this week is the After Care potluck. Hannah also had her first "sharing day" today and she had to bring three special items. She chose her Torah from last year's consecration ceremony, her purple karate belt, a picture of her "Mary Poppins" Broadway show snow globe (no way was that being brought on the bus!). Max really enjoyed the JCC sukkah and is remembering more about his days at school too. I also attended curriculum night there, and did well on a quiz to identify each kid in the class. Max's clue was "I have an older sister and I love Thomas trains" - definitely accurate.
- Yom Kippur had a couple of nice moments this year. I took a vacation day the day before, so we had plenty of time to eat a meal together before the holiday began. Hannah joined me for Kol Nidre services, where I got the very special honor of holding a Torah scroll during the main prayer itself. I was pretty nervous, especially about how my back would hold up, but it went well. All four of us made it to the concluding services this year, and the kids loved receiving glow necklaces during Havdalah.
- Sukkot was a great success this year too. Fillis and John came to help us put up the sukkah, and we had plenty of time to get it all done in advance of the holiday - I even used the staple gun for attaching decorations this year. We had some very nice meals in the sukkah, including dinner with Julie and Mike, and threw our annual sukkah party. We had a great time catching up with so many friends and neighbors, and it was wonderful to actually get to be outside this year, on what turned out to be a very hot day! It was especially great to have Rachel and Jon bring my niece and nephew, Evie and Nate, to our house for the first time!
- The annual synagogue BBQ was also during Sukkot, and it was another great event. We rented an extra large bouncy house this year, complete with a basketball hoop and slide (thank you DifferRentals!). Once again, Ana did an excellent job with face painting, and the balloon twisters are always a hit. I also had a great craft this year, with more details to come in another post. (Marc also took Max to Touch a Truck while Hannah and I got everything ready at the BBQ!)
- Finally, Simchat Torah began on September 30. Marc let the kids take a day off from school on October 1 to join him at synagogue.

September was totally crazy, celebrating all the holidays during the start of the school year, but I think we managed to do everything we wanted to do and more (like getting the kids their flu shots, and getting our dishwasher, oil lines and sprinklers all fixed and/or maintained - oh joy! [Thanks, Marc!]).