No, not llama! Lamah. Why?

Yes ladies and gents, we've reached the age of "why?".

"It's time for bed." "Why?" "Because it's already 8:30."
"You can't have that cheese because you just had a hot dog." "Why?" "Because that's not kosher."
"You can't jump on Sophie's head!" "Why?" "Um....REALLY?"

I know that kids naturally start asking this question around the age of 3 so Yaeli is pretty much right on time. However, I didn't think she'd be asking why in such a pointed way. The examples above show that she's not just asking why to be a pest. She really and truly wants to know the answers and I'm very impressed. It will be my challenge to make sure to answer her in a truly informative manner. If she's going to internalize it I need to make sure she's getting the right message. And she often internalizes it the first time we answer her. Well, except for the one about climbing/jumping/shoving her sister. She still likes to do that one a lot. Of course some things will need sugar coated, but you can't really expect a 3 year old to understand everything.

On the topic of speech, Sophie is beginning to say some words too. She's been saying Mama and Papa for a while. The other day she said "Hi Bob" to her uncle Bob (Baruch) and then walked away with her face on her hand saying some version of "oh my goodness gracious!" (my father in law, Papa, says that to the kids a lot and that was one of Yaeli's first phrases too). And just yesterday when I went to pick them up after work, Sophie came running over to me with a huge smile on her face, gave me a hug and said "hi Ta"! Oh it was just so yummy.


Just One Word

It's just one word. Six little letters. Two syllables. Some words are more powerful than others. This one is, arguably, the most powerful of them all.


One of my dearest friends has cancer. I've known her almost all my life. She's not my mother but when I was growing up I considered her to be almost like my second mother. There were days when I stayed home sick from school and she took care of me. When I first arrived in Israel back in 2005 she made me my first meal there (hamburger soup, pita, chummus, maybe a fruit?). She's Stella, and she's one of the strongest people I know.

And yet, cancer is trying to steal her from me. From her husband. From her children. From her myriad of friends and supporters.

Her battle has had some ups and downs. Last year her husband raised somewhere around $40,000 in a solo charity bike ride. Cancer may be evil but on that day, cancer brought thousands of people around the world together in an overwhelming display of charity. Take that cancer!

As I've said before, I've been running lately and have already done a 5K race. I'm going to be dedicating my running career to Stella. Some day cancer may take her from us. But she will always live with me when I run.

Two years ago I read an amazing poem about cancer. I'm going to share it with you below. Please credit the author if reproducing it.

Cancer affects everyone. I can't think of anyone who remains untouched by this wicked disease. Who are you "running" for?

Just one Word
With just a word
A day could change
From great into despair

Or one small word
Could change a mood
From down to in the air

With just a word
The news it brings
Can kill or it can save

A tiny word 
Can build me up
And make me know I’m brave

Or one small word
Can break my heart
And know that I will lose

With one small word
I may be asked 
To be the one to choose

Just one small word 
Can say I love
Or fill me full of hate

Yes one small word
Can crush a friend
Or serve to elevate

With one small word
The time we have
May seem too short to spend

With one small word
I may find out
Our time is soon to end

Yes one small word
Can make or break
My outlook on the day

Oh God 
Please make the word I heard 
Be gone from yesterday

-Elana Miller 4/28/2011


That's Just Peachy

Yesterday a family that we are friends with contacted Rivkah in the morning and invited us to come peach picking with them. We didn't really have any solid plans for the day so we said sure. We restructured the day a little to make sure the visit to the farm fit into what we needed to accomplish.

So, we packed up our lunches and hit the road. The kids fell asleep within 5 minutes of leaving the house. We arrived at the farm about 35-40 minutes later and had some peace and quiet before the kids woke up.

After we had lunch we drove over to the peach orchard and started picking. It was a lot of fun finding good peaches and making sure they were ripe. We bought a peck box (not quite sure how much that is) and spent about 20-30 minutes filling it up. Yaeli got to pick a few of the peaches but wasn't really tall enough so she ended up being the relay person, taking the peaches from me and from Rivkah and putting them in the box.

The farm also had a petting zoo. Yaeli got to feed some sheep, goats, ducks, a turkey, and a pig. She was really brave and wasn't afraid of the animals at all.

When we got home Yaeli and Rivkah took naps and Sophie pretty much played by herself in the living room. I put on my brand new, handy dandy chef's coat and got to work. I made a peach salsa that the kids and Rivkah really enjoyed and then started into cooking our food for the rest of the week.

I really like the idea of supporting local farms. Even though this farm is a bit far from our house, I think we are going to try and get out there once a month or so and pick or buy some fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies. I hear they have good pumpkins in October. The produce is worth the drive.


It's A Date!

As is indicative by the fact that I haven't posted to the blog at all in almost a month, you can probably tell that I have been extremely busy and not making time to catch you all up. Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm sorry but I'm not going to. I've learned that playing catch up on a blog is a really great way to burn out of writing to it entirely. Own the fact that you haven't posted for a while but when you pick it back up, pick up where you are now.

Ok, there's my little blogging lesson for the day, now to the good stuff.

On Sunday, Rivkah and I went to a wedding at Phipps Conservatory. It was truly a beautiful wedding and we had so much fun there. One of the best parts was that we went without the kids. We met a lot of our parent-friends there who also were there without their kids and we were all reveling in getting "date time" with our spouses, in the middle of the day, dressed up nice and fancy, and barely a child in sight.

At first we parent types were feeling slightly guilty for feeling like this. How could we be truly happy that our children weren't around? But the truth of the matter is that our date time away was so refreshing. We got a chance to breath fresh air. We talked about wedding stuff and sunglasses and how good the iced coffee tasted. We did NOT talk about the color/smell of poop, food on the carpet, vomit in the car or anything else child related.

I've found that even if it's just for a few hours, getting out of the house away from the kids is imperative to a healthy marriage. Add in the part about getting to dress up and then also getting to leisurely stop at a coffee shop on our way to pick up the kiddos and we had a very good Sunday.