Tag Archive: Noah


Where I’ve Been.

Hi.

I know, I haven’t blogged in awhile. Life gets busy and, with three kids, even the laziest days are filled with distraction and demand. But that’s not really why I haven’t been writing here.

I started feeling really awful over the Summer. My energy level took a huge dive and there were some alarming changes in my breast tissue. As I’m normally a healthy, fit person, I couldn’t imagine what was wrong with me – the vapors, early menopause, disco fever, cancer?? After endless blood tests, ultrasounds, and doctor’s visits, I was told that my hormones were in a precarious state of imbalance (in my mind, this looked like St. Bernard on a high-wire) and that it was probably due to a combination of insulin resistance and ovarian cysts. Not knowing the root of the problem was the psychological equivalent of walking around all day, everyday, with a sharp pebble in my shoe, so finding out it wasn’t something super serious was a huge relief.  I’m managing everything pretty well with meds, diet, and exercise. Trying to adjust to a life without sweets has been hard, but totally worth the effort. I feel a lot better now.

(Actually, disco fever sounds pretty awesome and I wish it had been the cause of my troubles. Any excuse to wear this.)

Other than being preoccupied by my own imminent decrepitude, time moves fast. The days bleed into each other like, well, like bleeding bloody days.  The kids are getting bigger and most of my domestic energy is spent trying to stop them from becoming more grown-up. This is obviously an exercise in futility, but like a pit bull, I won’t loosen my jaws until the struggle itself becomes futile.

This will be all too soon, in Noah’s case. He started 5th grade this year and turns 11 in March. He’s doing well in school and is enjoying his steadily increasing independence. His life is all about friends, school, camp, music, and fun these days. When he’s not busy with those things, he’s eating, growing, and taking things apart just to rebuild them.

The girls are good, too. Lilah is 8 now and still a wise, creative soul with an incredible amount of common sense. She’s super bright and expects a lot from herself, which is both a blessing and a curse. She loves to read and draw for the most part, but her feistiness comes out when she’s horsing around with her friends or playing soccer.

Aviva is almost 5, which blows my mind. She’s in that stage between preschooler and big kid – still biologically drawn toward cuddles and comfort, but unwilling to hold my hand when we cross the street. She’s a sassy, clever girl who loves preschool and playing with her friends. We’ll register her for kindergarten next month, which is something I’m not at all ready to accept. In fact, my insistence on keeping her small runs so deep that I’m planning to spend most of August at home with her, enjoying lots of carefree fun during the last few weeks before she starts elementary school.

See? Pit bull.

Now that I’ve bored you with a quick update, here are the highlights of the past 7 months in short order:

– Yoga. I started doing it because I lacked the energy to do my normal, cardio-heavy workouts and now I’m hooked. And really, really strong. Because my schedule is pretty packed and I can’t make it to a live class with any regularity, I take my classes online through Yogaglo. I love it.

– Noah went to overnight camp in Maine for 3.5 weeks over the Summer. We missed him like crazy, but he had an amazing time – learned lots of new things, made lots of new friends, and was really sad to leave when we picked him up. To cheer him, we ended his month-long Jewish indoctrination by taking him out for some delicious Maine lobster on our way home. Sacrilege never tasted so sweet.

– Aviva is learning Chinese in preschool. She’s picking it up so quickly that I’m thinking about hiring a tutor to help her continue the language when she starts kindergarten. She loves trying out her new words on actual Chinese people, so this comes in very handy when there’s a long wait to be seated at Hei La Moon.

– Lilah blocked all shots in goal during the Spring and Fall soccer seasons. Hell yeah!

– August brought us an ancient scourge: head lice. There is truly nothing like the moment when you realize that your child – your child with super thick, curly hair – has a head full of bugs. Thankfully, for me and for my children, this moment occurred in public, so I couldn’t fly right into screaming banshee mode. The delayed reaction proved to be advantageous because when I got home, I was able to just skip the hysteria phase and go right into the heavy drinking phase of head lice coping techniques. I only reverted back to the banshee phase once, when close inspection revealed that all three kids had it…and that I had it, too. The next 6 days were spent spinning through an endless cycle of combing, nit-picking, laundry, and stupid movies. Was it the end of the world? No, definitely not. Do I ever want to go through it again? Fuck no. In fact, if given the choice between Louse House: The Sequel and a non-serious injury, I’d take the injury…unless it was a bug-related injury, of course.

– We barely celebrated the high holidays this year. Our house was still somewhat disorganized from the lost week of lice, I was exhausted, and the kids had just started a new school year. We weren’t up for hosting Rosh Hashanah dinner for our extended family like we usually do, so we didn’t.  In hindsight, I missed it and plan to make up for it with a huge, fun Passover seder.

– Michael and I went to The Rally to Restore Sanity back in October. My parents had already planned to have the kids at their house that weekend anyway, so we went for it! It was the first time in five years that we’d been away without the kids.  It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but we had an amazing time – saw some sights, went to some museums, ate some fabulous food, and rallied sanely. It also made us realize that we should spend a weekend away without the kids at least once a year. Grown-up travel is much more relaxing than family travel.

– Lilah turned 8 last month. We celebrated by getting her a fancy new bike and letting her host her very first slumber party. Seven extra girls invaded our house and, even though we braced for chaos, everyone behaved really well. The giggles tapered off around midnight and we didn’t hear another peep until 7am. This has led me to conclude that these children could stand to spend some time with 8-year-old me and my 2nd/3rd grade friends. We’d teach them to raise some sleepover hell. None of this “asleep at midnight” malarkey.

-The December holidays were good. Chanukah was fun, as always, and the surrounding weeks were punctuated by visits with dear friends. We welcomed the new year at home with the kids, playing games and dancing.

Happy 2011 to the handful of you who read this blog. I hope to be here more often this year.

Poems by Noah

The school year is nearly over. This morning, we went to Noah’s class breakfast, which celebrated the end of 4th grade. While we groggily sipped our coffee and ate our baked goods, we also got to see a lot of Noah’s school work from the past couple of months.  His hand-drawn map of Colonial America was great and his science folder was well-organized, but his poetry journal is just fantastic…and absolutely MUST be shared.

So, unedited, the following are a sampling of poems by Noah…

An Alphabet Pyramid

M

Marker

Mellow Marker

Marker Marker Mocks

Mellow Marker Mocks Mythically

A Poem in the style of Langston Hughes

In Time of Frosty Snow

In time of frosty snow

I see a village

covered in frosting

The smell of maple

Syrup steels my nose

In time of frosty snow

I see a chanukia

In a window

And a Christmas

Tree as bright as

The stars in the night sky

A loud steam engine

Roars its way by

The horse drawn sleigh

Rings its way by

And the kids

Come out to

Play.

In the time of frosty snow

I feel

Like an angel

An angel

An angel

Cinquain

Blood

Red and Salty

Always rushing around

Coming out of a big red scrape

Liquid

Poems in the style of William Carlos Williams

Computer

I went on your

computer and

accidentally

erased your

presentation

I knew it was

tomorrow but

I did it anyway

Forgive me

it was fun.

and the

laptop was

so cool.

—————

TJs

The produce section

of

Trader Joe’s is where

food

begs to get out

of their packages

which shine like

A brand new lightbulb

Old Pizza

Pizza with old trout

the smell of rotten sourkraut

my nose is really scrunching up

my face looks like a wrinkled lump

Tomato sauce is starting to ooze

I smell the smell of worn out shoes

it’s even worse than rotten dairy

and highly toxic, so DO NOT CARRY!

Remember, in junior high, when your pit-stained social studies teacher explained the meaning behind the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”?

I think kids should learn that concept much sooner than 7th grade.

Perhaps a change in the curriculum is due.

Due like the $150 we owe to the school cafeteria because Noah has been buying lunch IN ADDITION to eating the ample lunch that I pack for him everyday.

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY AMERICAN DOLLARS.

Since September, he’s been using his school lunch PIN-code to buy extra food. Last week, he was sent home with a detailed printout of his account along with a bill and a note from the cafeteria saying that we should regularly check his school lunch account online.

It was shocking to me.  Sometimes he bought as much as another full meal.  Other times, he purchased ice cream or cookies.  Either way, in the last six months, he’s augmented his lunch at least three times a week and it’s added up very quickly.

Because we pack his lunches, it never occurred to us to check his account.  He never complained about needing more food or mentioned buying extra from the cafeteria. We had virtually no reason to think that we owed a balance, nevermind one that surpassed $100.

Obviously, we needed to confront him, which we did after his sisters went to bed.

At first, he denied EVERYTHING.  But, given the fact that his school picture would have appeared to the lunch room staff every time he entered his PIN, we were pretty sure that the printout was legitimate.

We weren’t angry, but explained that we wished he’d been honest with us from the start and made it clear that we expected his honesty henceforth.

He grumped and grumbled and said we were being mean when we told him that his allowance money would go into a jar until he had enough to pay his debt.  He nodded begrudgingly when we explained that anymore cafeteria purchases would be met with severe limitations to his social life.

On the other hand (and with some supervision), he’s now allowed him to make his own bigger, better lunches.

A few days after we confronted him, he apologized and admitted the whole truth about buying extra food.

“I didn’t think it would cost anything”, he lamented.

“Everything costs something, Noah”, I said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Weird Science

We got Noah a microscope for his birthday earlier this month, a gift that was totally worth the shocking price tag.  He uses it almost everyday, taking a closer look at whatever piques his interest.

Yesterday, he came bounding down the stairs, exuberantly imploring,

“Mom!  Look at my blood!  It is so PRETTY!”

It was, quite possibly, the darkest thing anyone had ever said to me in such an excited, cheerful tone.

While I peered at his platelets, he started to leave the room, so I asked where he was going.

He replied,

“Oh, I need a band-aid.  I picked the scab on my knee to get the sample. “