Facebook Note-Meets-Meme, Or Something Along Those Lines...

This was a "note" I got tagged in on Facebook, to which I actually responded... I usually don't, although I am a closet FB addict, I admit it. There should be a FB Anonymous group. I think I'd be the first to sign up.

Anyway. As I actually took the time to write all this stuff out, and because I think my answers are a good representation of so many parts of my life, I thought I'd share. If you've read this already, read it again (kidding). Actually, if you've read this already, I apologize. If you haven't, have fun! And if you have a blog and any desire, post your answers as well, I'd love to read them!

Finishing Sentences...

1. My ex is... ex is for existentialism and all of its lovely implications...

2. I should learn to... sew in a straight line. And maybe learn to sew curves, too. Or just learn to sew.

3. I love... anything filled with beauty and color... The smell of my little girls' skin and warm coffee in the morning and fog on the hilltops and the flames of autumn's trees and watercolor paints and soft-petaled tulips and the familiar taste of my lover's kiss.

4. People would say that I am... the (mostly) eternal optimist.

5. I don't understand... physics. Why change is so hard. How pharmaceutical and insurance companies can get away with what they charge and what they do. The mind of God. Why some questions just go unanswered. The American Justice (or lack thereof) System. And how, in this great country, it is still possible for a child to go without basic medical care and enough food. My three-year-old's mind. Why some people would choose to go their whole lives without watching "The Princess Bride." Stupid rules. People who abuse their power. Why more people aren't nominated for the Darwin Awards. Extremists, of any type. Why we don't allow the victims of child molesters to exact their own brand of justice on the scum. How great and wide and wonderful the world and its creation is... Lots of other things.

6. When I wake up in the morning... I drag myself downstairs and toward the nearest coffee.

7. I lost... my first car. It was stolen and stripped for parts. Poor car.

8. Life is... a daily adventure involving altogether too much yelling and not enough dancing.

9. My past taught me... never say never!

10. I get annoyed when... I have to spend hours arguing with insurance/medical/bank/cel
l phone companies trying to get THEIR screw-ups fixed so that MY life can continue to go on without red tape and/or bills we shouldn't be getting!

11. Parties... should be far more overdone and grand (and frequent) than they are now. Where are the days of the complex dances and where every detail was gorgeously over-planned? (Of course, the days of having several household servants would sort of need to go along with that :O)

12. I wish... that we could fly up to the clouds and I could take my girls and plop down on one of them and eat them like whipped cream with silver spoons.

13. Dogs and cats... like to eat chickens.

14. My childhood pets... were a strange collection of dogs with wonderfully odd personality quirks...

15. Tomorrow is... a day full of all the potential that today has already lost.

16. I have a low tolerance for... idiocy, in all its forms.

17. If I had a million dollars... I'd buy your looo-oooo-ooove! Actually, since that's silly and completely irrational, I'd buy a lovely house with a couple acres, a nice car, have someone to *always* do the dishes for me, own a horse, a few chickens, and maybe a goat or two... And I'd put some away for a rainy day, but not until I got my Dad the Rolex and Corvette he's always wanted, my Mom some great jewelry, and take the *whole* family on a month-long vacation to somewhere completely fabulous, like renting out a private chalet in Austria or something, or maybe a castle in Spain... Oh... AND... I'd replace all the stuff (except better) that those thieving bastards stole from us last year. :O)

18. I'm terrified of... living until I'm so old and feeble that everyone I know is dead and knowing that I have to watch the years pass alone until my own time comes. Either that or as Julie said, outliving my children (which is sort of part of that first thing).

19. I've come to realize... nothing is certain, but hope is eternal.

20. I am listening to... you *really* don't want to know. It's cheesy and I don't even want to admit that I am partially listening to it.

21. I talk... altogether too much.

22. My good friends... know that they are loved and love me in return!

23. My first kiss... was rather uninspiring - in a subway station just before the train left... My first French kiss was horrible and not worth remembering!

24. Love is... hard and complex and beautiful and tender and consuming and silly and laughter through the tears.

25. Marriage is... wanting to kill someone in their sleep and hide their body, but knowing that you couldn't live without them if you did.

26. Somewhere, someone is thinking... WHY did I just do THAT?!?!

27. I'll always be... my own worst critic.

28. The last time I really cried was... when I found out that my Mom had a stroke and I was afraid that she might die before I had a chance to see her again.

29. My cell phone is... weird. I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone, for a variety of reasons.

30. Before I go to bed... I WILL finish this note!

31. My middle name... is Michelle with TWO L's.

32. Right now, I am thinking... that tomorrow morning will come much too quickly for my taste... Especially since the last two mornings I've been awakened in the midst of very lovely and intense dreams...

33. Today I... became the Mommy Monster because I had a splitting headache and wanted to listen to the sounds of happy little girls cleaning their rooms instead of arguing, screaming little girls not doing anything of the sort. I don't like the Mommy Monster. I can only imagine how the girls feel about her.

34. Tomorrow I will be... less the monster, more the Mommy everyone loves and who is kind, compassionate, and giving of herself.

35. I really want to... become the me I was meant to be instead of the me that I am currently battling.

36. The person most likely to re-post this is... on Facebook, in my friends list somewhere... Probably.

37. The person least likely to re-post this is... doesn't know me... Probably.

38. My relationship with my grandparents... is... interesting. I love both of my grandmothers dearly and they couldn't be more different. My paternal grandmother with whom I am very close was a pessimistic neat-freak who could never handle too much emotion (unless it was hers) until Alzheimer's claimed her mind a couple of years ago. She's happier and more carefree now, but she doesn't really know me any more, unless I'm visiting. But if I call, she has no idea who I am. I miss so much of her. My maternal grandmother is an extremely hard-to-know-and-deal-with woman with whom I had a HORRIBLE relationship with as a child, but as an adult we get along swimmingly. She's extremely neurotic, but she's been everywhere and done everything and has the most *amazing* life story you'll ever hear... And she adores the girls, and they adore her too, which is so good to see. I dream about my grandfathers, both of whom are waiting for me in heaven.

39. My most treasured possession is... my treasure is my children. Not that they are possessions, but they are the jewels and the gold and all the world's diamonds to me. As for a physical possession... I actually couldn't name one. I have so many little things that I love, most of which are tied into sweet memories. For now, I'll say it's the sweet post-it KayKay wrote and put in the kitchen that says, "Love you Mom & Dad."

40. My favorite pictures... are of my family... Particularly of the girls.

41. I sing... opera in the car. Even though I swore I never would (my Mom sang opera to me in the car as a child, and it drove me crazy)... And I often like to sing horribly off-tune, just because I can! :O)

42. If I were a crayon... I'd be something vibrant and joyful, like Watermelon or Mandarin or Periwinkle or Mint or Dandelion!

43. Someday I want to travel to... Italy. And France for the food. But mostly Italy. Venice, Rome, Florence. Northern Italy. Central Italy. Not really Southern Italy. Oh, and back to Israel.

44. I am wearing... my $.97 Old Navy shirt which is dark purple with darker purple flowers and my most comfy jeans. I'm surprised. I'm usually not this clothed at home.

45. My favorite class in my LAST semester (since I'm NOT IN SCHOOL)... was either "The Rise of Judaism," which was utterly fascinating, or "Israel in Modern Literature & Film" which REALLY tackled some hard issues and made me think in ways I never had before.

46. My favorite language is… Hebrew... It's amazing and complex and has such deep-rooted meaning... Literally!

47. It hurts... to think that my girls are getting older and I haven't appreciated them as well as I should. So many regrets in that department already.

48. I'm going to miss... my twenties. My babies, as babies... But I already miss them, and they're still young!

49. My profile picture is... one the Daddy took about two years ago. Not much has changed, though. :O)

50. I need... grace. In unlimited amounts. And change, in so many ways. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

So there you have it. Fifty insights into me, some totally useless and trivial, some not so much.

Only The (Sometimes) Lonely...

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack. Life has been... Hectic. Busy. Insane. Eventful. And I'm a SLACKER. Yes, I admit it. I'm a super-slacker. But I still love ya'll. I'm actually hoping to crank out about four or five posts this week, so keep on top of me about it! So here's a real post after two weeks of non-postiness on my little blog.

I'll admit it. I have a bizarre life story.

No, seriously.

I know, I know, EVERYONE has a bizarre life story.

But honestly, my life story is seriously complicated. And looooooooooooooooong. I'm not yet thirty, and I've moved so many times I've lost count. And that's just in the last decade. Through my childhood and teen years... Goodness! Lots of moving going on there. If I'm telling a story, they almost always start with, "When I used to live in... Fiji... Beijing... Las Vegas... Nova Scotia..." Or wherever the story happened to take place at that particular time in my life. Not that I've actually ever lived in (or been to) Fiji, Beijing, Las Vegas or Nova Scotia. Well, I have driven through Las Vegas a couple of times, but that's ANOTHER story (it is kind of funny, though, so it may end up on here).

I've wanted to write my life for a long time. If for no other reason than to chronicle the random chaos that has been my life. And so that my girls can one day sit down and, maybe, just a little, get me. But I think my life has been pretty interesting. Oftentimes more interesting than I'd like. *Wry Smile* But interesting, and unique, and possibly crazy enough to publish a book out of.

Anyway. So my life is weird. If you know me, you know that.

But I've been thinking a lot lately, about my life, and the events that (I think) have made it unique, and have helped shape who I am and yada, yada, yada... And one of those things is the fact that I'm an only child. Now, this in and of itself would not be all that unique or unusual. So you're saying, "Yeah, so what, you're an only child. There are plenty of those brats out there..." But then listen to these fun little fact about my onliness:

...I'm truly an ONLY. All of my cousins are either fifteen-to-twenty years older than me, or nine-to-twenty-five years younger. I have a first cousin who is two years younger than KayKay. And his SISTER (one of my closest cousins, being as she's only NINE years younger than me) has a son who is nearly two. So when we get together, it's cousins, nephew and uncle playing together and all within two years of each other. Freaky. And talk about confusing. Good Lord, it confuses me just writing about it!

...My paternal grandmother is an only child. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, Dad), that my great-grandmother was an only child. My father is the only child of his parents marriage, and was raised as a true only child as all of his half-brothers and sisters were nearly out of the house by the time he was born. In fact, one of his NEPHEWS is the same age as him (again with the confusing-ness of it all).

...On my Mom's side it's odd, too. My maternal grandfather was one of five, four brothers and a sister. Of those five, only one (the sister, my great-great-aunt Alice) had more than two children (I think she had three). All of the brothers had either no children or only one or two. It's not weird yet... But wait. So my mother and aunt are the only two of their parent's marriage. My grandmother had two daughters. My mother had me, and my aunt had no children, so I am literally the ONLY grandchild of my maternal grandparents. And I have two daughters. Even better is the fact that one of my daughters is so much like my Mom that it's truly scary, while the other reminds me SO much of my Aunt.

...And it gets better. I'm MARRIED to an only child. Nice touch, eh? It's rather funny in an ironic, cosmic sort of way. I feel certain that God giggled when He was putting together our life's puzzle. Our poor kids have no aunts or uncles other than the ones that they can sort-of glean through me or the Daddy or from friends that we adopt as "aunts". But it works. We even have a couple of "English Aunties." (More on them to come, actually!)

And of course, I'm like uber-extrovert. I would say that I'm an extrovert on steriods, but actually I met one of those recently (she's in my daughter's class, actually), and I don't think I'd go quite that far. But yeah. Classic extrovert. And oftentimes, no one to be extroverted with. Talk about Only the Lonely. Seriously. I didn't meet my best friend until I was eighteen. EIGHTEEN. And she didn't even like me all that much when we met. It took rooming together in a bizarre little hotel room in Moscow (ANOTHER story) for us to really bond and make our way toward becoming the sisters of the heart that we are now. We laugh about those early days now, too. So being the awkward social outcast I was through most of middle and high school, that basically means that there were eighteen years of imaginary friends and lots of therapy. (I kid... The therapy came later.)

And I'm married to the classic introvert. The introvert who would like nothing better than to move to a private island somewhere with nothing but the internet and maybe some coffee... Forget indoor plumbing or electricity (except how it applies to laptops and the internet)... The introvert who would probably be thrilled to hear that the rest of the world had suddenly disappeared in some random government experiment so that he never had to deal with nagging talky people again. One of those nagging talky people being me. Sometimes at least. Until he needs to come up for air and share some hilarious internet nerdery with someone... Or clean underwear. Sometimes it's for both. I'm not the best for keeping up on the laundry.

So yeah. I drive my parents crazy, calling them all the time. You'd think I was like ten, or an extrovert, or something. And my friends, too, I'm sure, though most of them are too sweet to tell me to knock it off.

I still get lonely sometimes. I have been recently, and I don't know why. Maybe it's because there's something lacking in my life that I am unable to be content with my loving parental relationships and amazing friendships. Maybe it's just because there can never be too many soul sisters for me. Maybe it's because nobody but Adonai really knows me, and most of our conversations are pretty one-sided, consisting of me whining and Him listening and nodding. I'd like to think that it's because He's got so many more wonderful people for me to meet and love that I'm just feeling empty because I haven't met them yet.

I Feel...

...Kind of guilty. My husband is playing a board game at the dining table. I should join him. But it's already 10:00!

...Enthusiastic. This week has held some VERY interesting things regarding job prospects. More on that later.

...Grateful. For sweet girls. A generous husband. A restful home filled with things that I love. Our soft bed. Coffee in the mornings. Amazing family. Answered prayers. Friends who accept me. Yes, I am feeling grateful.

...Inspired. I went to a dinner at a nice restaurant and came home with a uni-brow strewn across my forehead. I must've looked like a caveman, and I felt like Groucho Marx with boobs. At least several people got some giggles. It's a long story. Well, not really. I'll tell it sometime. Maybe.

...Tired. I've been thrift-hopping for most of the day (I'm a woman on a mission, don't try to stop me!) with two kids in tow and I'm beat.

Hmmmm... I think I will go join the Daddy after all. G'night!

Random Mutterings

I have 800 things floating around in the back of my mind that I'd love to blog about, but I'm fighting the beginnings of a sinus infection (I refuse to believe that it's a full-blown infection, no matter how much pain I may be in), and it's definitely affecting my brain function. So this is a random collection of whatever happens to float through the front of my mind. Anyhoo, let the mutterings commence.

Here are some of the girls' recent creative word usage... Too cute not to share.

Opposite! (The Ladybug saw an octopus on TV)

I'm making myself a taco. (KayKay at bedtime, when she wrapped herself in her blanket, burrito-style. She couldn't remember the word "burrito.") I now call her my "little taco" at bedtime. She thinks it's hilarious.

Seady, ret, GO! (The Ladybug wanted to race and needed me to say "Seady, ret, GO!" in order for her to have a race... Hee, hee!)

I recently had a conversation with KayKay that left me laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. The back story: when we were in Florida, KayKay watched several episodes of Raising Sextuplets, during which there were a couple of commercials for the show Little People, Big World. A very lively discussion about "little people" ensued after one particular commercial, during which KayKay was informed of the fact that not all people (or grown-ups) are the same size. Fast forward several weeks, and I got this conversation with KayKay:

KayKay: Look at that car, it's SO little!

Me: I know, it is pretty small.

KayKay: It's smaller than our car! (We have a Scion, so there's not much smaller than our car...)

Me: I don't know if it's smaller than our car, but it is small.

KayKay: Mommy, is that car so small because it's a car for those small people we were talking about?

Me: *Laughing hysterically*

Hopefully the fact that I find this funny doesn't offend anyone's sensibilities. If it does, however, that's just kind of too bad.

A recent conversation with the Ladybug, after repeated viewings of Toy Story 2:

Me: Let's watch something ELSE this time.

Ladybug: Okay, come help me pick.

Me: Okay, how about The Little Mermaid?

Ladybug: No. She doesn't has feets.

Me: *Chuckling* Okay, well, how about Aladdin? We haven't watched that one in a long time.

*Thinking to myself* Oh, wait, that probably wasn't the best suggestion, because the genie doesn't have feet, either. How much should I bet that she'll remember that and say, "No, he doesn't has feets, either"? Naaaaaaaaah, she won't remember that!

Ladybug: No. He doesn't has feets, either.

Me: *Laughing hysterically*

Ladybug: *Bursts into tears* THAT wasn't THAT FUNNY, Mommy!

Me: *Laughing harder* I'm sorry...

I ran over a butterfly the other day. I couldn't help it. It flew right in front of the car. *Sigh*

And then yesterday, I was driving along, minding my own business, headed with the family to Olivia and Jason's house (our dear friends), when wouldn't you know it, a squirrel waits until just about the time the car gets to it before it decides to RUN ACROSS THE ROAD. *Double sigh*

It brought back traumatic memories. For anyone wondering why that's relevant, please read this post here.

For anyone who doesn't know, I am an avid reader. I'm also a bit of a Holocaust scholar. I hope to go back to graduate school one day and get my graduate degree in Holocaust and Jewish Studies.

Anyway. I'm reading an amazing book right now by French author, Irene Nemirovsky, called Suite Francaise. Irene and her husband were both Jewish, and both became victims of the Holocaust, which makes the book that much more important. Suite Francaise is the first two novellas of what was intended to be a quintet, about the Nazi invasion and occupation of France. They were never finished because Irene was deported to Auschwitz and murdered.

Irene's writing in absolutely AH-MAZING. Her descriptions are tight and brilliantly vivid. her characters, while not always fully developed (it was translated from a manuscript her daughter found in the 1990's), are well-written and conflicted. Simply amazing. Although I really do want to be able to write like This Is Yellow, as I mentioned in my post about color, I also really do want to be able to write like Irene Nemirovsky. What an incredible writer she was. What a loss for the literary world.


Speaking of books, I've also started the well-known parenting book, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. I've wanted to read it for a while, and so far (I'm only about 30 pages into it) I'm quite impressed with it. A lot of it seems like it should be common sense, but simply isn't.

I've already tried out a couple of things with limited success (but I just started it yesterday, so it's too early to tell), and I'm going to continue to try out some of the techniques that are suggested in the book this week. We'll see how it goes.

I really am hoping that practicing this stuff will open up better communication between myself and the girls, particularly KayKay. I'm also hoping that it will help give KayKay the vocabulary she needs to express her emotions in more constructive ways.

Alright. I'm done. That's all folks!

Massive Manic Mermaid Mumblings...

First PICTURE POST on my bloooooog! Yay! Enjoy!

KayKay turned SEVEN this past Saturday. SEVEN. As if I wasn't dealing with enough psychological trauma over the fact that she's in Second Grade.

We had a Mermaid party. It's been party central around our house for the last two weeks as I have been frantically trying to get everything together for this party. Because we do themed parties around our place, and because I'm all about fabulous *AND* frugal. Emphasis on the frugal part.
Align CenterSo I made 90% of the decorations we had. As in, bought on sale and then painted/put together/altered and otherwise totally overworked myself.

There were Mermaid invitations, hand-painted and glittered by myself and the little ladies:
(Aren't they adorable? I didn't want to give them away after we made them!)

And a Mermaid Lagoon sign that is too cute for words, but I haven't taken a picture of it yet. We are SO keeping that! And Mermaid food, of course... Lots of Mermaid food. Because mermaids are hungry, you know.
And as if that wasn' t enough, I found these by the ever-fabulous Bakerella, which were SO totally adorable that I immediately decided that I HAD to make them for KayKay's big day. In mermaid colors, of course. With candy seashells on top. And edible glitter. Because everything tastes better with edible glitter.

My dear friend, the always-practical Miss Jessica Phillips, asked me if I was making them for KayKay or for myself, and I freely admit it... They were totally for me.
After having made them, though, I will not make them for any event in which I need a specific number again. At least if I can help it. Say it with me, Kandy Kote is NOT your friend. It is a maniacal beast in candy form that when unleashed will take over your kitchen with its drippy, melty, candiness and leave you for dead after it dries its smooth velvety exterior all over you. I just discovered several drips of BLUE Kandy Kote smeared through the undersides of one of my rings. Five days AFTER the party. Almost a week after making the cupcake pops. I wonder if it's still good... Hmmmm...

Anyway. Four hours for a meager THIRTY-TWO pops. Four hours. Not that I'm complaining or anything. Fortunately, Miss Jessica came to my rescue in the making of these. I had been planning on making them for everyone at the party - two per person - which would have meant making about 65 of them. but when I was talking about the prep for them, she wisely suggested I make a sheet cake for the adults and leaving the pops for the kids. What a great idea! My frou-frou self would never have considered something so fabulously simple as that. And it worked out beautifully.
But they sure were cute. And tasty. And I definitely will make them again. But only when I need like, ten. And with a big sword in hand to beat back the beast that is Kandy Kote. And rubber gloves.

So a Mermaid party it was. We had starfish sandwiches, and the table was covered in little painted seahorses and seashells and aqua tulle. There were mermaid tails and little glitter fish and it was held at the only ocean-themed park that I know of in this landlocked state. It was beautiful, if I do say so myself.
And several of friends who are also our neighbors came in costume. How fantabulous is that?!?!
And to top it all off, our neighbor Paula, who sadly couldn't make it to the party, planned a mermaid-themed scavenger hunt for KayKay and the Ladybug later that afternoon!
It was a good day. Happy birthday, my sweet girl.