My Life as a Movie

Every once and a while I like to think about what my life would be like as a Hollywood blockbuster film. Okay, maybe a little Indie one.

What would the soundtrack be like?
Who would star?
What would be the budget?
What would it be rated?

Well, today my friends, I think it would be rated R. This morning, my darling, precocious A dropped the F-bomb, or at least something that sounds awfully like it. Either way, since it was used in an expletive manner after she dropped something, we all know what she meant.

When I (calmly, I thought) asked her to repeat what she said, she burst into tears. She is much like me in that way. I hate getting caught doing something wrong!! So I took her away from B & C,(no need to embarrass her further) and tried to talk to her about it. When she still wouldn't tell me the word, I told her "If it is so bad that you don't want to tell Mommy, then you should never say it again."

Everyone keeps asking me where she heard it. Now, I take full responsibility for teaching them "Shoot!" And we had a babysitter who taught them "J****S C****T!" (That one was easy to un-teach "Those aren't words for Jewish people") This one however is not me!!

I am open to suggestions.

An Open Letter to the Insurance Company

To Whom it May Concern:

First, we want to thank you for the manner in which YOU have been managing our family's health care. Just in case our DOCTORS weren't doing such a great job, we know that you will keep them on their toes. Due to your regulations and ridiculous drug formulary list, they are forced to take creative care to a new level. Please continue to be last word in our care, after all, what to those doctors know anyway?

The reason we are writing today, is to officially put you on notice regarding the following:

1. People get sick on Sunday. People have emergencies and accidents on Sunday. Also interesting to note, banks, stores, movie theaters, and libraries are all open on Sunday. Even liqueur stores are open on Sunday. However, we would like to commend you on your stalwart commitment to NOT be open on Sunday, and only supply your subscribers with a Phone-a-Nurse who is not authorized to approve anything regarding our care. In response, my family has been committed to get sick and have emergencies on Sundays.

2. It IS possible for 2 (or more) people in one family to share the same last name, ID number (which you assign), and birthday! It sounds crazy, like something from science fiction, but believe us it happens. Your computer system does not seem to understand this phenomena and therefore has no override for such situations.

3. Regarding item # 2: Sometimes, said people need the same prescription. Especially for antibiotics. When they can't fill the prescription because your system won't recognize a different FIRST name, the pharmacist must then resort to creative care (see above.)

4. We have been informed that as of January 1, 2009 we will be enrolled in with another insurance carrier. It is our sincere hope that this company is as controlling of our care, as inflexible, and as unhelpful as you have been for the last four years.

Good Riddance,

Trip'n Mommy, H, and the TRIPLETS: A, B, & C

But I Never Win Anything!

I just won this!

From The Chosen Blog and PopJu

All I had to do was tell them
my favorite Holiday beverage.

My answer:

New favorite beverage for Shabbat, holiday, a rough day, or any excuse I can come up with is Gamla White Riesling.

I think we need to get a bottle and celebrate!!

Happy Chanukah!

Hanukkah Hullabaloo

Gave the Trips their first present tonight after we lit the Chanukal Licht.

Needless to say, any game the plays funky music, tells them to "crawl to a square," and screams "FREEZE!" is going to be a hit with 4 year olds.

But the BEST part!! It has four purple tiles with the Cranium characters. You know: Data Head, Creative Cat, Star Performer, and Word WORM!! A game with a purple wormy! You should have seen B's smile.

Things I've Done

Stolen from Trilcat

The idea is that you color or cross out the things you've done.

I am kinda embarrassed about #85, and not really sure if it's true. I mean, front to back? No. In pieces, very possible.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

The Report

Okay, so the Parent Teacher Conference wasn't ALL that surprising. Here is the summary:

1. My girls really look alike and sometimes the Morahs call them by the wrong name.

Our reaction:
NO, they don't! We also call them by the wrong name all the time. At least she never calls them by the dog's name (we do!)

2. They are VERY close and loving, and the Morah has to make an effort to make sure they go to different work centers and sit separate at Ma'agal (circle time.)

Our reaction: Awww. We didn't realize they love each other so much. It makes us feel so good as parents. Thank G-d she separates them!

3. When one is absent, the other really shines. She recommends splitting them up next year.

Our reaction: Damn! It makes it MUCH harder on us, but if it is best for the girls....

4. A is very verbal.

Our reaction: Really?!

5. B is very, umm, determined, opinionated (insert any nice word for stubborn and bossy)

Our reaction: You don't say?! Actually, we see her as a bit Type A... But how is it affecting her socially?

Morah's answer: B is doing fine socially. She is not so bossy that the other girls don't want to play with her. She is also open to mediation when then Morahs step in.

Our reaction: Baruch Hashem!

6. A is more easy going, has a generous nature (will give things up if someone else wants it)

Our reaction: We see this at home (have for some time) and are trying to teach her siblings not to take advantage.

7. B needs practice writing her name, and give positive encouragement and don't let her become frustrated.

Our reaction: Oh, is she easily frustrated?! No problem, we will work on this.

8. The Morah sees no issues for them academically.

Our reaction: Baruch Hashem!!

We also heard how well-adjusted and sweet they are
from the Preschool Director.

The entire experience was humbling, encouraging, and generally painless.

We really do thank
Hashem everyday for the multitudes of blessings that he has bestowed on our family. We pray for his goodness and blessing to continue and our children continue to grow and flourish and follow in His ways and the ways of Torah.

Shh...Don't Tell

The Chanukah presents have started to arrive!

I am trying not to go overboard, since I know they will get from the grandparents and great aunts and uncles.

This is what has come so far:

Since our trip to Israel, A has really been into taking pictures. I thought about getting her a cheap digital camera, but then I saw the The Vtech Kidizoom Digital Camera She's going to have to share it, but I think after the initial novelty wears off, that won't be a problem. If it is a really big hit, their birthday is just around the corner. Funny, the price has skyrocketed since I bought it! I hope it goes down again...

I wanted something that they could all play together, so I was on the lookout for some board games. Zingo is a great game for Shabbos and came recommended by another parent. It's always good to have something to help them burn all that extra energy (x3!!!) and Cranium Hullabaloo seems like just the thing!

There's more coming...from here.
But more on that later. H is waiting for a belated dinner.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Tomorrow is going to be a historic day in the Trip'n house. H and I will be attending our very first official Parent Teacher Conference.

We have two appointments, scheduled consecutively, to discuss A and B with their lovely Morahs.

I am a pretty in-tuned, realistic mother. I think I know my kids with all their pluses and their faults. I am pretty sure I know what is going to be said.

So why am I so nervous??

Savta & Saba are Home!

And the universe is back in balance...

I know I shouldn't begrudge UM & AM any time that Savta & Saba are there because we have them the rest of the year. However, my life is so much easier, so much more right, when they are only 4 blocks away.

Don't get me wrong, Grandma & Zaide step up and help out as much as we ask them to, but it is just not the same.

My heart's doing a little happy dance.

Nachas Alert

Every once and a while, one of the Trips says or does something completely out of the blue that makes us think that we are getting some value from the exorbitant tuition.

Last night, I was looking for a smaller pocketbook to take to a shul sisterhood event (instead of the monster mombag that I take to work, etc.) I asked A to "Do a Mitzvah" for Mommy and see if it was hanging on my closet door. Usually one to be happy to help on tasks like this, this time A dawdled, hemmed, hawed, and basically didn't do it.

C says to me, "Mommy, I have something to tell you." He make me lean down so he can whisper something in my ear. On the first listen, I knew he was telling me that A needed something, but I couldn't decipher what that thing was! I was thinking "Yeah, a fire under her little tush..."

Well, in a manner of speaking so was he. We were finally able to figure out that C was saying that A needed Zrizus (Zrezut)!!

I asked him if he had it, and he RAN upstairs and got me my bag.

HUGE nachas.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

One of the hardest things about returning to the US from Israel has been the return to the "holiday" season. When we left, there were whispers of Thanksgiving. We came back to full-on Christmas assault. Needless to say that we didn't really notice it was December in Israel.

As the Trips get older, they notice more and more. We needed to discuss Halloween this year, and I actually turned off a couple of Noggin shows. Santa is MUCH harder to avoid.
A few of our neighbors are actually (gasp!) non-Jews, and generally put up tasteful decorations. Yesterday, the Trips were watching the lights go up as H was coming home from work. He was greeted at the door by them declaring "It's Christmas!"


It is a great story to help me in my Aliyah campaign though!

The fight of the 18

Thanks to treppenwitz for sharing this!

From the website:

We look to the hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising for inspiration. In April 1943, a young Jew named Mordechai Anielewicz showed that a fearless handful of committed men and women can make a rebellion and he forever laid to rest the myth of the passive Jew.

All I can say is...It's about time!

(Anyone know who the speaker is?)

Uh Oh! Jetlag!!

Just finished the last post and called home to check in with H...All 3 Trips are asleep on the couch. It's 6:30pm. They have not had dinner yet.

Not Good.

We're Baaack!

So we've been home for a couple of days, and you would think things would be back to normal. I guess that depends on your definition of normal. A has not been to school yet, due to a funny little bug that starts with vomiting, moves on to a fever and congestion, and ends with a croup like cough. C had it too, but went back to school today. B is fine, if you call whining, kvetching, and beating on siblings fine. Ah, life with 4-year-olds. Oops, I mean 4 and 3/4...

Eruv Shabbos last week I received an upsetting email from my boss that included a list of all the projects that I was supposed to complete in the past year, but have not. I have never been one to deal well with failure, and this one hit especially hard. The fact that the email ommitted all the extras that I have done, and the real causes for the delay in the completion of those projects made it tougher to swallow. The advice I have received is "Don't respond, just get them done." It has made my return to work very hard.

The Mumbai Massacre reminds me that Jews are not safe ANYWHERE in the world. Aliyah is on my mind all the time.

Boy, this is a kvetchy post. Maybe I caught it from B! I guess I need 8 unpacked suitcases, a clean house, a stocked fridge, a good meal, feverless kids, and a full night's sleep...when is Shabbos?!

Living Up to Her Name

One of the biggest dilemmas we had planning this trip was figuring out what to do with Trouble. There is a local open boarding establishment that we, and she, love. However, the cost for the extended amount of time that we are going to be away was staggering.

We were able to find another frum dog lover who was willing to exchange dog sitting. So we watched her dog over the Yomim Noraim, and she now has Trouble.

Big Trouble.

Apparently, Trouble is having a hard time adjusting, and is using their ENTIRE house as a toilet. I am embarrassed, upset, frustrated, and feeling awful. But I am also thousands of miles away!

Thinking about how confused and angry she must be is breaking my heart. But thinking about cleaning up those messes is just terrible. It's a sacrifice that's hard to ask someone to make.

I have to give her credit though, the woman watching her is being a trouper. She just wants some ideas on how to deal with it.

I have no idea.


Jet Lag & a Quiet House - A Chance to Update!

Wow. We are really here. It has been such a whirlwind since we landed that I am actually savoring the peace and quiet now, even though I have been up since 6 am. Hey, with a house full of 7 kids (most of whom are under the age of 5) and 6 adults, you take it when you can.

Israel is amazing. UM and AM live on an absolutely beautiful Yishuv with a warm and friendly community. AM always says that since Olim very often do not have their own family here, their friends become their family and support system. You can really see how this is true, and how much they care for each other.

My nephew did unbelieveably well on his layning, even though he only learned the last 2 aliyot in the past few days, and apparently was being fed his Haftorah line-by-line.
He reminded me so much of UM at his Bar Mitzvah. You know, he has always been musical, even as a tiny boy when he hit the "star" in "Twinkle, Twinkle" with perfect pitch.

At Shabbat lunch, I was able to regale the entire crowd with funny stories of my nephew as a precocious todder. I was a big hit...maybe I have a career in comedy...

Little people have started to stir and A has just appeared with the cat. In typical A fashion, I am getting a full report on the status of the house, and hit with a ton questions. Uh oh, here comes C...

Better go. But will blog more on Israel, Yishuv life and more, when I get a little more quiet...

Leaving on a Jet Plane

All TEN bags are packed,
We're ready to go...

I don't have time to continue with a witty little version.

What is El Al thinking?? Their in-flight entertainment includes not ONE animated or little kid friendly movie. But I am really excited that I am going to finally see Mamma Mia!!

Emergency addition to our entertainment plan, 2 portable DVD players and any DVDs we could find in the house.

Kids are getting bathed, then lunch, and out the door!!

Next post will be from the Holy Land!

Bear apprehended!!

The missing "friend" bear was found today with just minutes to spare before candle lighting.

He was hanging out on the wrong side of the hamper indulging in his dirty laundry habit.

After Shabbos, we will be sent to detox to rid him of the smelly residue of this addiction.

C is said to be relieved.

APB: Bear

The Trip'n house is in a state of serious alert. Trip'n Mommy and H have issued an All-Points-Bulletin.

Bear is missing.

Suspect is a blue bear head with white arms and a blue blanket (with satin trim) attached. Known to be fuzzy, cuddle, and a little bit ratty.

Looks very similar to this photo (a twin?) but has no moon tattoo:
His absence had terrified a little boy, to be named here as C. C has been crying himself to sleep and fears Bear will miss his flight to Israel if not aprehended in time.

Anyone with any knowledge of Bear's whereabouts is encouraged to contact Trip'n Mommy immediately.

Thank you.

Okay, We're Going Already

Parshat Lech Lecha has the "moving" story of G-d telling Avraham to get up and leave his homeland, his father's house, and all that is familiar to go to a foreign land (Eretz Yisrael.) Well, this week there have been a number of things that have made me think about moving, going, traveling, growing.

1. C's school took up the theme and the boys were asked to bring in a transportation related item for Show and Tell. Now for a boy like C, this is a real challenge. How to choose from the plethora of cars, trucks, boats, roads, tracks, planes, and books? I was preparing myself for a long discussion and heart-rendering decisions. Once again, my Mommy radar was off. C walked into the playroom, picked up "Mr. The King" and was done. Being the Mommy Librarian that I am, I suggested on of his transportation books (Freight Train! Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
! My Big Truck Book!) Alas, to no avail. Mr. The King was already in his Cars backpack. I think the coolness factor has already taken hold of my precious little boy. *sniff*

2. We are leaving for Israel in matter of days and the house looks it. The fridge is empty (Thank G-d we are invited out for both meals this Shabbat!) There are empty,, and boxes piled up to be thrown out. There are 3 packed suitcases (yay!) and many more empty ones. There are mounds of clothes that seem to have a life of their own and are growing. We are definitely going somewhere.

3. The election of Obama this week shows that country is certainly moving on and moving in a completely different direction. I have serious reservations and concerns, but am hoping for the best. May this move be a good one for the world.

4. I have been reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next Series and listening to The Big Over Easy. Been fantasizing about traveling in and out of books and nursery tales. I know, weird librarian stuff.

5. Filling up my ipod with all types of music to keep me calm and serene on the trip. Today was Grateful Dead download day. So of course on my mind are Casey Jones, his train, and "what a long, strange trip it's been..."

Packing It In

I am now faced with the task of packing clothes for 5 people for 3 weeks, including formal wear, PLUS gifts, wedding paraphernalia, hand-me-downs from C to his cousin, Bar-Mitzvah stuff, shoes, toiletries...the list goes on...

Truth be told, we have plenty of room. We are entitled to 10 suitcases - 500 lbs!! But the logistics of pulling it all out, planning where to put it and actually putting it there are a challenge.

Quite frankly, it is daunting.

But the trip is less than a week away, and I CAN'T WAIT!!

Insomniac Ramblings

It's 4:30 am and it appears that I have insomnia. This is not surprising given all that is going on in my world and in the rest of the world.

Firstly, it's Election Day! Whoopee! Today we find out what the people of the United States are really thinking, and in what direction they want this country to go.
Some would argue, myself included, that the overwhelming popularity of Obama, and even the mere fact that he is a nominee is an indicator. Since I have been voting, the Presidential elections have been pretty exciting, but I have a strange feeling that this one is going to provide tons of stories for my grandchildren. Certainly, just the race and gender issues alone make it historic. Then there is the idea that an unpopular war and bad economy can make people so desperate for what they feel is "change," that they want to go in as far an opposite direction as they can from the current administration. It astounds me that the Cold War, the USSR, Cuba, China, etc. don't come to mind when people hear phrases like "redistribution of wealth" and a government health plan for "universal health care."

Now, I don't vote based on policies towards Israel alone. I don't think that is fair to the country of my birth and the one in which I live and pay taxes. However, as a student of Jewish history (my college major), a Zionist, and a Jew, I do take notice. How a candidate feels about Israel MIGHT be a good indicator of how he feels about Jews in general. It seems that even the most pro-Israel, well-meaning President and State Department (Pro-Israel State Department? Okay, that's an oxymoron...) can do great damage. It terrifies me what someone with ties to the PLO could do. Alright, I am selfish, I just want there to be an Israel left for me to move to when I want or NEED.

That's something to lose sleep over.

Next, is our trip to Israel. We leave in a week, and while I have begun packing, it is just in the beginning stages. We have a Bar-Mitzvah Shabbat and party, Wedding, Sheva Brachot, trips to the North and Eilat all squeezed into the three weeks we are there. Given the rate the Trips go through clothes (I think my girls are convinced that they are award show hosts who need to change after each commercial break), I feel like we could bring 5000 lbs of clothes and it would still not be enough. We are only entitled to 500 lbs...

Then I am worried about the dog. Trouble is going to stay with a new friend who's dog we watched over the Yomim Noraim. Funny how she already knows something is up. She gets weird whenever suitcases come out. Intellectually, I know she'll be fine, but emotionally, I know she doesn't understand what is going on. She is going to feel abandoned until we come back to pick her up. Then she'll pee on the floor, wag her tail like a helicopter propeller, and all will be good again. Also, how am I going to sleep for three weeks without her warm little body on my feet and her snoring like a freight train?

Next, I am a little worried about my general well-being. I popped something in my neck last week and have been suffering pretty badly. The doctor gave me a cortisone shot, steroids, and muscle relaxers to try to help me get better quickly. Later today I am going for an MRI and I am supposed to fit in a couple of physical therapy sessions before we leave. Right.

Finally, work has become incredibly stressful. I am so thankful for my position and my ability to work for an unbelievable institution that does really important work. My position there has evolved into a senior management position and I love most of it. Unfortunately, a huge part of my job has become finances and development. This is never where I expected to see myself! Let's just say I am more of a humanities person. Nonprofits suffer tremendously in economies like this one, and ours is no exception.

You know it's funny
(Baruch Hashem! Bli Ayin Hara! Poo-poo-poo! and all that) that none of the Trips are on my list of current worries .

Maybe that's something I should be worried about...

Air Tripping with the Trips

In a few short weeks are going to Israel for the first time as a family. We have a number of simchas to attend and it will be the first time that we will see UM &AM's house since they made Aliyah. We are all very excited, probably with the exception of Trouble, who has noticed the suitcases and realizes she's not coming.

The idea of an 11 hour flight with 4 year old Trips is daunting. I am trying to plan various ways to entertain and amuse them so they don't make the entire airplane crazy. (Although knowing my kids, they will likely be amusing and entertaining the entire plane!)

So here is what I have gathered in my amusement efforts:

1. Music: SanDisk Sansa Shaker for each of them filled with all their favorites like Uncle Moishe, Sandra Boyton, YBC, Sesame Street, Laurie Berkner, Ralph's World (like B could live without The Mighty Worm), and Yisroel "Wiggiler."

2. Toys: I went to a local closeout store and got a Matchbox Car Wash Playset for C, and little Barbie Elephant Playset for the girls. I am happy to report that I paid
waaay less than Amazon's prices for either of those.

3. Games: I could give my kids each a deck of cards (no need to be a complete deck or even match!) and they could play "Coconut" for hours. Don't ask what it is, or how to play, it is one of those games only the Trips get. The idea of picking up a million cards from the floor of the plane, or worse, trying to get the kids to do it, is terrifying. So I ordered a Melissa & Doug Travel Memory Game and Magnetic Travel Tangoes.

4. Crafts: For the Trips last birthday, someone gave them these really cool 8 In 1 Crayon that seem perfect for a plane ride as crawling after rolling crayons is a worse prospect than cards! Luckily, I had some sort of prophetic moment and put them away, and now they are available and intact for us to take on the plane. I bought cheap coloring books and small sketch pads for each of them.

In case they tire of that stuff, I also have Crayola Color Wonder Glitter Coloring Kits and Magnetic Sketch Board for each of them.

5. "Friends" - A will likely bring her Abby Cadabby, B her Wormy, C his Bear.

So that should keep them entertained for about an hour. With the in-flight movies, maybe we are up to three.


Rain, Rain (Don't) Go Away

I was on the phone with UM this morning. (Funny how we speak more when Savta and Saba are by him then when they are home.) He was observing on G-d's greatness; I believe his exact words were: Ain Od Milvado. He was specifically referring to the amount of rain Eretz Yisrael has received within days of Tefilat Geshem. Apparently, the Kinneret, which was at severe levels, is replenishing pretty quickly.

Of course, UM being UM, he saw a direct correlation between this and the fact that Obama is going to lose the election. The typical UM logic goes like this: G-d loves us and is giving us rain, so therefore there is no way he going to put us in the danger we would be in if there is a President Obama.

On this side of the world it is also raining.
All this rain on the week of Parshat Noach.

Hmm...I wonder.


B tripped up the stairs this morning.

It was hard not to laugh.

I need a wife!

One of the biggest areas of tension between me and H is the management and pay of our domestic help.

We do agree that we need help, certainly to watch the kids from the time they get home until one of us gets home and to clean the bathrooms (which neither of us will do).

I need a (part-time) wife, domestic manager, homemaker, whatever you want to call her. I need someone who is going to help keep my house clean, do my laundry, keep a current shopping list (I will shop), load/run/empty my dishwashers, keep the scary things from growing in my fridge (I will cook.)

This seems reasonable to me. I work 32 hours out of the home (not including my commute!) and I am "on call" constantly. My blackberry is next to me all day Friday and Sunday (when I am not on site) and trust me, no one hesitates to call me with the most mundane, ridiculous of requests. When I get home, I want to have quality time with my kids and go to sleep. Honestly, there is not much time for much else.

Most important is that whomever we hire be exceptional with the Trips. Listen, I know how hard it is to deal with them. When people ask me "How do you do it?" I answer "I go to work." From the first time I gave three baths in a row, I knew that in order to be the best mother I could be, I was not going to be able to stay home with them full-time. Not to mention the fact that we could never afford that.

So right now we have exceptional childcare. AND she is a great cleaner as well. I think we could have a treasure on our hands. I know she needs more hours to be my "domestic assistant" and keep the house, laundry, and kids in check. She knows she needs more hours. Even H knows she needs more hours. The problem? We don't have the money to pay her for those extra hours! So H and I fight about it. I think we have to stretch to get those extra hours in so we don't live in a pigsty, or (as my girls say "Chas Ve'Shalom!") lose her. H says..."we don't have it."

I know he's right. The three yeshiva tuitions are wiping us out.

But must we be doomed to live in squalor?


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