The big boy with Tatty!

The big boy with Tatty!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Busy, Busy, Ever So Busy!

This poor blog. Or maybe readers. I’m glad when I see that many articles are still be read despite my not having as much time to keep up with it. Maybe it’s time, or subjects. At some point after the last baby was born, time just began flying faster than I could even believe and I was no longer able to concentrate. I have so many ideas for articles, but I’m realizing it might be easier to reach a broader audience by professionally publishing my articles rather than on my blog. Perhaps my blog will be reserved for rejected articles that have been edited well that I can’t find a home for. I’ve been thinking of children’s books to write and even a novel.
            Every time I sit down to write, I get distracted. Catching up on the news, facebook, and sometimes I just need a mental break from all the business of being at home. There is no class that prepares you for having a husband who works full time and is in school part time and when he isn’t doing that, he’s studying. The unavailability is stifling and I find myself somewhat socially isolated these days. Thank God my kids get enough time with friends. Parks are great places to meet new people, but not always for mommy. Not always for a tired mommy, who is only thinking of the next activity to make it through the day. The dishes that I can’t keep up with, the pile of laundry collecting dust, what am I going to give them for lunch and at what point is my world going to calm down?
            I’ve even asked the Bubbes in the community, almost begged to promise me that my memory will come back at some point in the future. I feel like learning has become more difficult. Although now that my oldest is four I spent a great amount of time teaching him about Judaism and at times, even at such a young age he asks questions that I don’t know the answer to.
            During this time I have become creative in keeping my kids entertained and happy. We are learning Aleph bais and using creative ways to learn to write and recognize them. Most of the time it’s natural progression. Like one day, we used the mega bloks to make the letters and other days we’ve written them in dirt. I came up with my most brilliant idea yet of personalized illustrated siddurs. The goal was for each child to color their siddur and then somehow they decided they couldn’t color their siddurim.
            Each boy has a different siddur. Each is tailored to where they are holding in davening and we are asking the Rabbanim which davening to add, as they get older and more capable. Let me tell you I underestimated the impact of these siddurim. My kids are in love. Whenever we daven, they run to grab them, and most days if I forget they get them themselves and ask me. I had to get creative as there really aren’t illustrated options that follow the Chabad nusach but it was worth the time and creativity! I would definitely recommend it.

            More to come….errr….when I have time!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Respecting My Children's Right to Privacy

I recently discovered that reading news is fun. It’s even more fun to find a search engine like Yahoo and scroll through the random posts. Some lately, are posts that have gone viral on facebook of parents posting pictures their children. The cute, cuddly, and sometimes ones that break your heart. A few weeks ago one such mother posted a picture of her daughter now sporting a baldhead because her hair became tangled badly and her mother thought the best way to teach the lesson was to shave her head. If that wasn’t enough, she posted it on Facebook bragging to her friends, with her sweet broken hearted daughter’s face sadly staring at the camera and I have to ask, what was the point of that? So you teach her a lesson? Was not enough that her head was shorn? Not enough that she was going to have to go to school and face that humiliation? Not enough now, the entire world knows her face, and for ages to come is going to recognize her as the girl who’s head was shaved at five and posted online.
            In the past I’ve blown up about my in laws online, I’ve looked for help for my children, and even bragged about my husband. A few months ago I started thinking about the long term ramifications, what if I posted every picture online? What if someone shared it? Proof this can happen, a few months ago I got nearly 600 hits on my stroller blog alone, (http://thenewlywedsite.blogspot.com/2012/03/strollers-and-other-such-baby-supplies.html) 600…I never expected randomly for that post to get as much attention as it has, and to be passed around as much as it was. But that's the power of the internet these days.
            But what about my kids? What if one day, in the not too distant future, I am looking for a shidduch for my sons, and nothing is secret, because all the videos, moments and pictures are posted online? What if my sons at almost 4 and 18 months could tell me that they never wanted those pictures posted, those stories shared, that it was lashon hora and all I could say is sorry because I posted it years ago I cannot erase the damage that was caused by it?
            So forgive me, going forward on facebook and on my blog, I will no longer be posting stories of my children or pictures. I want them to enjoy a childhood with dignity and privacy. I don’t understand all the laws of Lashon Hora yet, but I know a good place to start is within my own family.
            Of course if I can turn it into a lesson than I would be more than happy to share it online, because who wouldn’t want their stories to be used for something holy? I just went to the most amazing women’s even, the Mid-Winter Convention, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I once thought Rabbi Lew was a little over the top when he gave a speech on the dangers of blogs and facebook and very slowly, I am seeing he was right, he is on to something that thank God I’m beginning to see.

            Have a great week everyone, I plan to write about what I learned at Convention soon! School is out and thank God, things seem to be relaxing a little bit!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Blessed Facebookless Life

I did have withdrawals in the beginning…I’m not joking. I’m a stay t home of two small children who literally demand my attention 100% of the time despite my objections that yes, the two of you should be able to handle life without me, for simple things like doing the dishes, and going to the bathroom and no I am not going to spend the entire day entertaining you and yes you will spend your every last breath in time out if you don’t give me a few minutes when I ask, or when I need to focus on clean up. It’s not an option, so what did Facebook become? My only interaction with the outside world.
            But it was a shallow interaction with the world. It meant I could like and comment on friends photos and pat myself on the back because I had contact with people, it meant that I could get annoyed by what I saw and wonder why in the world would someone post that. And finally I realized that it was just not the right place for me. Superficial facebook relationships were just not good enough. I could never dream what would happen once I decided to leave Facebook behind.
            I discovered that yes, I can call friends on the phone and we can talk. I could hear the beautiful voices that I thought I would never hear again and that I was always too busy for. I could reconnect with wonderful people, who I thought I had lost touch with and mostly, once again I could experience what I’ve been missing, deep relationships. Don’t get me wrong, facebook has it’s uses, and in the beginning my intentions were noble, it would mean an easier way to keep in contact with people, but easy quickly became lazy and lazy became superficial.
            So here I am a few months later, I think and I’ve only popped back on to wish mazal tov to friends who are getting married, or friends who waited for years for children and were finally blessed with one and get to see what people have been up to.
            It’s also meant I have time for things…no seriously, even when I with part time work, part time school, and full time mommy hood, I have time to write, I have time to read, I have time to think. I have time, for the things that actually matter, and I have time to really spend with my kids and I no longer really resent the fact that they take up my entire life and they no longer clamor for attention because I am not as lost in computer land as I used to be.

            This also brought about a renewed nursing relationship with the baby I thought I had weaned. Yep, we lasted two days…when Tatty was gone on the third day, YY proceeded to demand nursing and nothing would calm him, when I caved, and cave I did, he stayed latched on for an hour or more, and you could tell his expression was, “oh thank God…this is what I missed!” Thank God. Life is hard sometimes but the major lesson I am learning, is that Hashem wants our lives simple, the more unnecessary things I start to get rid of, the more I realize how much time I have for the things I truly love.

Oh and hits on my blog have nearly doubled. Coincidence?? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Leap of Faith-Conversion to Judaism

I remember finding out about this documentary, I'm not sure if it was around the time I first started dating my husband.

Words don't quite describe, I suggest watching it yourself. I remember so clearly those moments, trying to figure out who I wanted to be, was I making the right choice. So many years later, I don't regret a thing.

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/leap_of_faith

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Israel the Consolation Prize

I cannot escape wanting to spend the entire day waiting for updates on Israel. Have they gone in by foot, are they going to? What about rockets, are my friends safe? I cannot stop thinking about the war and the constant anti-Israel propaganda like somehow we are supposed to stop everything and show restraint while rockets are hailed down on our civilians. Undoubtedly whenever these thoughts cross my mind, I drift back to the 1940’s and what accelerated the declaration of the state of Israel.
            The Holocaust.
            It is common knowledge and recently declassified information that yes, all of the governments knew about the Holocaust and the Death Camps in Germany and Poland. They knew that millions of Jews were being sent to these camps and exterminated and yet, America, England, France, Poland, every did nothing. They didn’t get into the war sooner, they didn’t unarm Germany before it became a roaring monster, no one did anything except for those that were willing to stand against the Nazi’s and hide Yidden, oh and Denmark. Denmark saved nearly it’s entire Jewish population.
            Right after the war ended, the movement to create the state of Israel increased. The need increased, we needed a land that would not turn us away, that would not in the face of our doom send boat loads of women and children to their deaths, this was the state of Israel. At that time it was under Brittish mandate and no the “state of Palestine” did not exist either. But my brain still wonders, why didn’t the US and England make a larger push to open their own boarders? I mean take in all those broken and sad immigrants? Why? I believe because once again we were saying, “well…we sort of let you all die horrible deaths…but we still don’t want that many of you in our borders so do us a favor and here, have your land, make your own government, and by the way, can you deal with our Palestinian issue?”
            Thus Israel was born again in 1948, a new and wonderful nation, full of people with hopes and dreams for peace, only to be attacked by the Arabs a day after the state was born. And over and over again, we have shown that the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers or sleeps and that Hashem is with us.
            And somehow we are once again the bad ones. First we were bad because hey, we “let the Nazis take us like sheep to the slaughter,” and now that we are fighting back we are criminals. I don’t understand world, what do you want? Do you want us to allow ourselves to be slaughtered by the nations, or do you want  us to live. In order to live we have to fight, not by becoming animals but by protecting our women and children.

            If you haven’t noticed, Iran gave lots and lots of weapons to Gaza, they also have some of the most advanced building designs in the world meant to withhold earthquakes and rocket attacks. If Palestine cared so much about it’s citizens, why not smuggle that in eh? Bomb shelters could save lives, actually, you know, creating a government could save lives…world why do you decide to remain blind to the plight of others until it’s too late by about 6,000,000 lives? Oh wait, excuse me 60,000,000 lives? 14 million in the camps and many others, soldiers, civilians, literally one third of the earth’s population at the time…don’t be silent world…don’t be silent Yidden this time we will not accept a consolation prize. We will prevail with Hashem’s help.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Stay Positive While You Mourn

I do not remember when was the last time I have cried such bitter and unbearable tears. My whole body was quivering and my heart sunk…I stared at my own beautiful boy, who just turned one and felt guilty that my day with my family started off in celebration. Yosef Yitzchak has brought us more joy this year than we could possibly dream of. The gift of this little baby has brought out the hero in his older brother, who only for the most part wants to share, and be the caretaker to his little brother. And with all this, came the most tragic news, the death of three very young Jewish teenagers. I felt ashamed, embarrassed that I wanted to celebrate the day of my son’s birth, while the mothers in Israel are wailing, bemoaning the fate of their sons.
            And then came the news feeds online…we are raging, as a nation, we want war, we want to punish the people responsible, and this drive always scares me. It scares me because when we lose sight of what we are supposed to be doing with our lives, it can lead to the kind of hatred that annihilated millions in the holocaust, to the same hatred that steals lives like Gilad, Eyal and Naftali. It leads down a path we are not meant to walk as a Jewish nation.
            In his book, “Baalam’s Prophecy,” Naftali Lau-Lavie, who experienced indescribable hardship, starting as young boy of fifteen when he was taken his father’s place to Auschwitz, before it was the slaughter factory it became, escaped and returned to his parents only to once again board a train this time to Buchenwald with his young brother. At the end of the war, Naftali is asked by some of his friends, why isn’t murdering the officers that were caught, why isn’t raiding the houses and stealing from the Germans and looting, and all he could answer was, “it just wasn’t right.”

            We are a nation in mourning, and we seek vengeance. But may the vengeance for this despicable act of abducting and murdering three Jewish boys on their way home from school be an act that brings an eternal peace not a fateful war. We are not tormentors, animals or God forbid depraved of humanity…please remember this as you grieve these boys and do something good, use your words to give someone a bracha (blessing) instead of words that are to be honest, not even helpful. Light Shabbos candles if you don’t already, study more Torah, do another Mitzvah, make one even more beautiful than you did it before, let their life legacy be, that they brought more people closer to Hashem and us closer to Mashiach. My heart aches and I am broken, no parent should ever have to experience the death of their child.