Nice Try Mommy

Back in April when I was in Toronto I stopped at Niagara Falls on my way home and got souvenirs for Rivkah and the girls. I got Rivkah a nice pair of socks, I got Sophie a mug with her name on it and I got a T-shirt  for Yaeli.

Rivkah loved the socks. Sophie isn't old enough for her mug yet. And Yaeli refused to wear her shirt. She didn't seem upset by it, just would not even entertain the thought of wearing it. No explanation given. 

Initially I was crushed. How could she do this to me? I went out of my way and spent my money to buy her a gift and she flat out rejected it. Eventually, Rivkah helped me get over it but for a few days I tried pushing the shirt on her at every turn. 

Fast forward until this week and Rivkah decided she would "doctor up" the shirt and make it more appealing to Yaeli. She chopped it up a little and added cute laces and bows and we set it out for Yaeli to wear the next day. 

The next morning Yaeli came out from her room and we excitedly told her that her shirt looked brand new and awesome now. "Cool!" she said. "Do you want to wear it today?" Rivkah asked? 

"Nice try" was her cheeky reply. 


Commitment to Exercise

Back in May I wrote a post about my healthy way of eating and that I've been following that food plan for 5 years. During the last 5 years I have definitely gotten to a much healthier way of living and I've been at a healthy weight too.

Exercise has never really been a part of my "thing". I play ice hockey but even at my peak I never played more than once per week. Outside of hockey I have not done any other types of exercises. So, the other week I decided that exercise needs to be a part of my weekly schedule. I am getting tired of the flabby skin that has been hanging around as a tribute to the weight I lost and I am tired of my terrible endurance when playing sports. I shouldn't be completely gassed at the end of 1 period of hockey.

In came running. I actually got the itch to start running shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing. For some reason I felt a desire to stick it to the bombers and show them that they didn't scare people away from running. It's taken me a long while since then to actually get my act together but I've finally started to run regularly and I've mapped out some routes to run around my neighborhood. I signed up for a free online service called MapMyFitness and have started to track my workouts there. It even has a really cool iPhone app that tracks my runs via GPS and allows me to share them. Here's an example from my first run logged with MapMyFitness.

In order to help keep myself accountable and to share my workout success with my friends and family I've put a direct link to my MapMyFitness profile in the menu of this site. Notice that at the top of the page there is now a link called Yehuda's Fitness. Please feel free to check it out and see how I've been doing.

I hope to be able to keep up the work and run 2-3 times per week. I have already felt a difference in my endurance when playing hockey since I started running. Hopefully this commitment to not just eating healthy but exercising too will help me reach the fitness and health goals that I want to achieve.

As a parting thought from this post, I challenge all of you who have said "some day I'd like to exercise regularly" to make that day today. Just put on some sneakers and go for a walk, a run, play some basketball at a local park. Do something TODAY to promote better health for LIFE.


My First Father of Sophie Day

This week marked my fourth (if you count when Rivkah was pregnant with Yaeli) Father's Day that I've celebrated. It is, however, only the first since my beautiful Sophie was born. I'm the father of two amazing little girls with amazing, and quite different, personalities. And they both gave me quite a special day.

I woke up in the morning with Sophie asleep on top of my blanket, basically on my lap. She was so cute there that I just let her snooze for a while and keep me trapped in bed. Rivkah was planning on serving me my breakfast in bed so I texted her and asked her if she could get started. Sophie woke up within a few minutes and she and I had some really nice snuggle time. I swear she new it was a special morning because she was just smiling and cuddly from the moment she woke up. 

Yaeli came and joined us shortly. She and Rivkah had been up early (I don't remember why) and were watching Hercules. She made sure to be gentle with Sophie on the bed (she has a tendency to accidentally hurt Sophie when they are on a bed) and I had the perfect start to my day, made even better when my breakfast was served. 

Rivkah took the kids shopping in the morning which gave me time to do some organizing at home and to do some laundry/dishes. Of course my main win there was watching an episode of Game of Thrones during the day. Hard to watch that show with kids around. 

We had some very special friends come and visit in the afternoon and had a really great time catching up. They left Pittsburgh several years ago to move to Canada and since then traveled India and Nepal for a year. They had some fascinating stories to share. The visit ended way to quickly but they got to meet both the girls and we had a blast catching up. 

From there we went to the really nice wedding of some friends. We got all dressed up and and fancy and Yaeli decided she was going to marry Rivkah. I'm not so sure about that one, she'll have to fight me for that privilege. The wedding was really nice but the kids were melting down by the end of the chuppah. We basically bolted as soon as the chosson broke the glass. Came home for dinner and bedtime and the kids didn't really give us trouble with either one. 

To cap off a day like that I went out for a run in the evening. I jogged and walked a combined 3.57 miles and it felt great. I was pushing the limits of my distance a bit but I made sure to pace myself and walk if I needed a break. I took a much needed and refreshing shower when I got home and then said good night to cap a very special Father's Day. 

Thanks so much to my wonderful wife and my beautiful girls. Every day is special when they are in my life. 


Playing for a New Team

In the summer of 2010 some friends and I got together and formed an adult ice hockey team. We called ourselves the Net Crashers (I came up with the name) and began our first season at Ice Castle, going 0-10. The team has gone through many different players and seasons in the least 3 years. We've had a wholesale jersey redesign from red practice jerseys to blue ones with our logo. I changed numbers in the middle from 36 to 46. We've never had a winning season and somehow we kept on chugging along.

Tonight, that story of my hockey career ends. Tonight I take the ice as a Net Crasher for the final time. In the next couple of months I will be starting a new season with a team called Lokomotiva Hockey Club. We'll be competing at a higher level than I've ever consistently played in before. Our jerseys are going to look amazing. We even have a team website that I run (www.LokomotivaHockey.com) with a link to our schedule, player bios, and a running blog where we will have the latest updates from the team such as game recaps, point totals etc. All in all it's pretty a pretty exciting move in my hockey career.

After tonight the Net Crasher will live on. They may not even miss me very much. They certainly won't be retiring my number of anything like that. But tonight, I'm going to go out there and leave it all on the ice. I'm going to give it everything I've got and have fun doing it.

It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh!

Spontaneous Combustion

This afternoon at around 10 minutes after 5 Rivkah called me at work to ask if we could have a spur-of-the-moment afternoon barbecue. The weather was perfect, she was going shopping and could pick up some chicken, and we already had a bunch of veggies and a pineapple just itching to be roasted on a grill. I, of course, said that sounded great. I even invited my coworker and best friend Yosef to join us.

I got home around 6 and by 6:30 had the fire going and delicious food smells started filling the air. Rivkah set us up out front with a table and we already have a park bench in front of the house. The food was done shortly after 7 and Yosef arrived just as we were finishing our preparations. We even brought Sophie's highchair out so she could make a huge mess of herself with meatloaf.

We had an absolute blast. Conversation flowed, Yaeli made us laugh, Sophie made a mess. It was just a wonderfully spontaneous way to cap off a pretty tough day at work. I think this will be the first of many outdoor meals we have this summer. If you live in Pittsburgh and you'd like to join us maybe we can have a picnic in the park sometime.

Happy summer everyone!


Nasal Storage

Just a quick little cute story: On shabbos morning Yaeli finds a little screw in her room. Rivkah asked her to put it away. Yaeli says "Can I put it in my nose for later?"

Also, Sophie is now pulling herself up to a standing position and cruising everywhere she can. Great stuff.