Sunday, May 29, 2011


For the first time, Temple Emanuel opened its annual 6th grade family retreat to the entire synagogue, and as soon as I'd heard about it, I wanted to go. I LOVED camp (hi, GUCI facebook friends) and have often said I'd go back today if they'd let me.

We spent the weekend of May 13-15 at Camp Yavneh in New Hampshire. It was a lot to pack up four people and the traffic to get there was hairy, but once we pulled in to camp, it was perfect. We stayed in a brand new bunk, and I was SHOCKED at how nice everything was. While it was secluded in the woods, everything was close together. We sang and prayed, ate and played, and mostly spent lots of time talking with one another. That's always the most difficult part for Marc and me - as much as we want to create a community at our synagogue and are often busy attending events there, we're still constrained by the presence of small children who interrupt conversations or need to go home to nap. The retreat gave us a prolonged opportunity to let those conversations develop and deepen. And of course the best part of the weekend was the unscheduled time spent with friends, laughing under a porch roof while the rain fell down around us.

I had a great time, and it sounds like we'll get to make this an annual thing. Temple friends, mark down May 11-13, 2012, and I'll see you there!

Friday, May 27, 2011

22 Hours Away

Gah, I can't believe May is almost over. It's been such a busy month, so forgive me for the gap between posting.

On Saturday, May 7, I got to spend a glorious day in NYC to celebrate my future sister-in-law Allison's bachelorette party. It was a surreal experience, mostly because it all went by so quickly, but also because I was without Marc or the kids for the day.

I took the Amtrak from the Rte. 128 station in to Penn Station, catching the train at 6:55 am. Which meant I was up from about 5 am on, heading in to a very full day. Maid of Honor Charlotte planned everything expertly and we all had a great time. After a really good brunch, some of the group took a bike ride through Riverside Park, and then we all gathered together for presents, cupcakes and bride-themed Pictionary ("to have and to hold" is very hard to illustrate!) while wearing our matching t-shirts. Allison and I got our make-up done at Sephora and then we all went to drinks and then dinner at Bread Nolita (the only place I'm listing by name here because it really was fantastic). We ended the night at a bar with the future bride and groom texting each other for most of the time spent there, which I thought was very cute. I caught a 2:40 am (no, that is not a typo) train back home. I managed to stay awake for 22 straight hours, but I had so much fun meeting Allison's friends and spending time with her that it went by in a flash.

Marc and the kids picked me up at 8 am and we went out for a Mother's Day breakfast. As wonderful as it was to be on my own for a day, I really missed them, and can't wait until we can all go to NYC together some time.

Thanks to Charlotte for such a wonderful day, and to Allison (and Ryan) for giving us all something to celebrate. Now on to California - July can't get here fast enough!

Monday, May 9, 2011

So long, sippies.

It's happened so suddenly.

Passover came, and Marc didn't buy any sippy cups to use during the holiday, when we swap out all of our usual dishes for the eight days. Max had been using "big boy cups" at school forever, but at home, he still loved his sippy cups. There were some tearful mornings, but by the end of the holiday, he'd gotten used to the new cups. And so I didn't bring back the sippy cups.

I should be thrilled. It's a milestone. Less plastic in the dishwasher. Less time spent making sure lids are closed properly. He's growing up.

But that's just it. My baby is gone. Other than his attachment to his beloved blanket, all the trappings of babyhood are behind us - diapers, pacifiers, formula, teethers, onesies. I haven't pushed to get rid of the sippies because they were the last signs of the baby and toddler that he was.

I recognize that it's really more about me than him. Max is probably my last baby. Carrying another child, both inside me and out in the real world, would likely destroy what's left of my back. That's the prevailing reason not to have another child, but I'm having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that the decision isn't really my own. I love Hannah and Max so much, and I know I have more love to give (the financial resources are another matter, but one that I'm sure we'd find a way to overcome). I'm only 33, and I just don't feel done. But I can't avoid the fact that not having another child is what is best for the children I already have, as well as for my marriage, since I'm not sure Marc wants to handle another episode of me being incapacitated with back pain to such a degree.

So I've got to put this chapter of my life behind me. No more reading up on baby gear; from now on I'll read about $1500 strollers as part of social commentary, not for just how awesome and life-changing the features might be. And I'll take every opportunity I have to hold someone else's baby, just to be close to that kind of sweetness again.

And I'll do my best to remember the sweet babies that Hannah and Max were for me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Hate Exercising.

Well, if that isn't the most obvious blog post title ever written, I don't know what is.

As I've said before, I've never really exercised in my life. There has never been a sport or physical activity I've found interesting. I get tired just thinking about moving. No matter how many times I've thought my weight might be holding me back from something, I never could get it together enough to do something about it, at least not for very long.

So I'm not sure what made me start now, except for the feeling that I've got everything else going so well, that I needed to finally improve this aspect of my life. In April I saw a personal trainer at the JCC for the first time, and have gone to the gym at least twice a week for the last six weeks (ideally, I'd like to get there 3x/week, but that hasn't happened yet). I've got a strength-building routine and then get myself onto the treadmill. I like my trainer, and I love being able to read on my phone while on the treadmill (especially since I can tweet about working out while I'm doing it - thanks to all those who send me encouraging tweets back!).

It's not fun. I can think of a million things I'd rather do than be there. I don't get a rush of endorphins from it. In fact, I don't think I get anything from it other than a lighter bank account. But I'm trying to stick with it and see if I can find some benefit. My back continues to be an issue - not that bad, but not totally perfect - so I'm being careful, but hoping this will help. I'm trying to model good behavior for the kids by doing it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life in pain, and I hope it will make some improvement to my weight. 

But goodness, I hate exercising.

Any tips to make this work?