I <3 Twitter!

Gee, maybe my luck is changing...

First the Cork Menorah and now this!

I just started following Rubbermaid on Twitter this week. (You can too! Just click here.)

This morning, he tweeted the following:
Time for Fun Friday! 14th person to DM me wins six 5-cup Rubbermaid Premier food containers - http://tinyurl.com/5kh4f9
Since I happen to be at the computer, I figured, "why not?" and sent a DM (Direct Message) that read:
I'll give it a try. Did I win?
And surprise! I got the response:
You win! Please email me your contact info.
YAY! You can never have enough Rubbermaid!!

I love Twitter.

False Alarm

My kids don't get out much.

I think it is mother of triplets thing for me.  Taking out all three kids at once can be overwhelming. At first, it was just a physical impossibility.  I mean, how is one person supposed to take three infants/toddlers shopping?  Where are you supposed to put them?  Even if they all fit in a cart, nothing else will! So I got into the habit of going without them. In the rare circumstance that I HAD to take them, I took another adult.

Since they have gotten bigger, I have been more willing to take them into stores with me.  It is still a challenge, with a constant chorus full of "Mommy, I want...," "Mommy, can we...?, "Mommy, look at that!" I feel like I need a few extra set of eyes, ears, and hands. 

Savta and I took the kids to Michael's today.  Nothing is more exciting to my kids then arts and crafts, so they were in heaven.  The chorus was louder with stickers, markers, paint, foamies, and flowers enticing them.  We had a mild bumper cart session, 3 trips to the bathroom, and a stroll down the cake decorating aisle for birthday inspiration (no good ideas yet.)  

Finally, it was time to checkout.  I went to one checkout, Savta went to the one across from me. A was hanging out with me, B and C with Savta.  For the record, Savta had a clear view of the exit, but lacks the experience (or belief) that the Trips can get themselves into loads of trouble.   Anyway, as I am joking with the cashier about how the kids gang up on me to get in trouble, you know, one distracts me while the other two make mischief, the fire alarm goes off. 

I hear Savta exclaim "Did you touch that?" and turn to see B and C standing near the exit, next to the fire pull-box.  B is already in full "shut down" mode.  This happens when she does something wrong, someone insults her, or she gets hurt. She pouts, goes silent, and refuses to look at the offender or reprimander

Yes, it is true, B pulled the fire alarm. 

While the Michael's management tries to figure out how to turn it off, A is asking why no one is leaving.  After all, "in my school, when the alarm goes off, we all have to leave, so why is no one leaving Mommy?" Savta and I are apologizing to everyone, C is strangely silent, and B is indulging in lip-quivering, sulking embarrassment.  (I did try to get her to apologize, but she wouldn't talk to me, no way she was talking to anyone else!)

Needless to say, we high-tailed it out of there immediately.  Driving out of the parking lot the chorus became "Look Mommy, a fireman!," "Hey, a police car," and "See the flashing lights!"

Like I said, we don't get out much. 


I have been officially unemployed for three days. By unemployed I mean that I am not working outside of the home.  As a working mother, I used to joke that I have 3 other full-time jobs: wife, mother, and domestic manager.  Now that I am concentrating on those positions, I can really see how true this is!!

This has been a particularly busy week since the Trips have midwinter break.  Even so, I am not at a loss of things to do.  (Notice I am not blogging with any more frequency!) The kitchen is cleaner, more laundry is done, and the house has food in it on a Wednesday!! I have also changed cell phone plans, filed for unemployment, negotiated a severance package, and made arrangements for new health insurance.  Did I mention that 2 family members have been in the hospital?  Even though I am not the one running to and from the hospital, I have been providing support, worrying and davening.  B"H it looks like both of them are going to be okay.  One is home already. 

Tomorrow, I am dedicating the entire day to the Trips.  They have been asking all week to go to Fun Station, which is only open Thursday through Sunday.  So we are waking Savta up early and heading out. But they have not been wanting for adventure this week!  They have been to the library, Amazing Saving, pizza, ice cream, Slurpies,  Michael's (see next post for this particular adventure), and Carlos & Gabby's. A pretty full week for a trio of almost 5 year olds (and their mother and Savta!!)

I have stocked up on crafts projects to do with them to make up for lost time. I am planning on baking Challah with them Friday morning.

I may be unemployed, but I have plenty to do!  

Today I...

1. Was finished cooking for Shabbos before 11 am, even WITH the girls helping.
2. Baked and frosted a cake with the girls
3. Made cookies with all 3 Trips
4. Took a nap by myself
5. Didn't yell (that much)

Who would've thought I would've gotten into SAHM mode quite so fast? The pressure is clearly off.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

Take This Job and Shove It?

Every day this working mother makes an inner Cheshbon  (calculation).  

Every day I think about my children getting home and my not being there. I thank G-d that they have no "real" homework and that they are not really going to suffer academically because I am not there until bedtime.  
I think about the missed baths, cuddles, stories, snacks, projects, opportunities. 
I wonder if the rush in the morning is worth it. Would I care about the girls fighting with me not to wear a particular shirt, skirt, pair of tights if it didn't mean another few minutes that I would be late for work. 

But then there is the flip side:
Health Insurance

Also, I do love where I work and the people I work with.  I admit I love the prestige of my job and the complements I get when people hear where I work. 

But lately, I don't love WHAT I do.  And some of the sacrifices AT work don't seem worth it. I am being backed into a corner and being asked to look at a future there that has a lot less appeal. 

There are also the little factors of my health, well-being, and happiness to consider. 

Lately, the scale of Cheshbon has been much more wobbly, much more tilted in favor of leaving this job.

But what about...
(I guess Camp would not be an issue.)
Health Insurance


It makes it harder to get up and go every morning. 

I am faced with what is perhaps the biggest dilemma of my life so far.

Knife in my Heart

This morning B was in a particularly b**chy mood

Yes, I know that's a terrible thing to say, but the kid is 4 going 14 lately! Permanent PMS, beyond cranky, it is really the only way to describe it. I know there are mothers out there who get what I am saying! Even Savta used the word to describe her lately!

Anyway, so this morning was really rough. 2 time outs and other assorted threats weren't getting through. Since mornings are pretty crazy in general, I was swallowing it the best I could and working on getting all the Trips out the door.

Everyone was ready, and I asked the girls how Show and Tell went this week (see above). B started complaining that she was the only one who brought a book and "I HATE BOOKS!"

Kid, your mother is a full fledged, Master's Degree toting Librarian!! Ouch!

Preschool (Mommy) Homework

So this is a pet peeve of mine, but probably because I am a working mother and don't have hours in the afternoon to brainstorm WITH MY KID, get the items together, and be ready on time.

From an educational standpoint I can make a ton of arguments in favor of most of these activities. As a former teacher, I know how hard it is to get your act together and send this stuff home with more than a few days notice. However, in my life, it is just ONE MORE thing this Trip'n Mommy has to do.

Here are some highlights of Mommy Homework:

1. Show and Tell - In Kindergarten it is themed by letter of the week. So we have it EVERY WEEK! At least the girls have the same letter because they are in the same class. C's class in doing Aleph Bais in order and ABC's out of order, so I never know what letter will be the next week. This how I handle S&T. IF I have time, I discuss the letter of the week and brainstorm with them about different items that start with the letter. If I don't have time, I brainstorm with H, Savta, co-workers, anyone who'll listen. After the kids are in bed, I search the house for different and varied items that start with the letter of the week, including at least one book. Then in the morning, the kids get to pick an item from the pile. (Then I leave the pile for the babysitter to put away...)

2. Shabbos Ima, Abba, Saba - Mommy has to go and by either a Parve, nut-free snack for the whole class or a Challah or two as per the Morah's instructions. (water, egg free, no seeds, large, medium, unsliced, etc.) Never mind the stress of trying to come up with a snack that is Parve, nut free, cool for the kids, and not so sugary, expensive, or inappropriate that the other mothers will hate you. (Special shout-out to the mom who sent in a Fruit by the Foot for each kid! That's like 4 boxes!)

This particular assignment is usually given on Wednesday, due on Friday. Since I usually don't see these notices until after 8pm on Wednesday (or even worse Thursday morning!) that means I only get one night to prepare. In an effort to squeeze a little more time, I am constantly asking the kids if they have a note from Morah. Honestly, I may be more Shabbos Party obsessed than the Trips.

3. Recycling, toilet paper rolls, grocery flyers, OJ containers and other project items - At start of the year, the girls' morah sent a note with items that she uses throughout the year and a request for us to send them in regularly. Great! I try to do this. It is her unanticipated requests and the requests from C's Morah that throw me.

First of all, these requests come in the Classroom OR Preschool newsletters on Friday. For the uninitiated, these are wonderful little weekly PR pieces where the Morahs and Preschool Directors share what has been happening in the Parsha, the class, the school, other classes, the world at large, etc.

Yes people, I have 4 newsletters to scour for information and Mommy assignments!!

THEN I have to remember to prepare the items for Monday. THEN I have to remember how many I need and which kids need them!!

4. Family Pictures - Seriously, in the digital age?! I have to sort through files to find the right one, get the damn photo printer to work, and print a copy. This week the girls needed ONE picture with EVERY member of the family in it. Yeah, right. The only one I had was a portrait from 2 summers ago. So then I had to perform copyright infringement, scan and digitize the image, fight with the photo printer and get 2 decent copies.

5. Aleph Beis Machberes - C's class is making a really lovely notebook throughout the year.
At the start of the year they made a stick puppet for each member of the kid's family (with a separate picture of each, see #4) that live in the machberes. It is filled with activities, songs, stories, etc for the puppets to do. Most Fridays, C brings home his machberes and puppets for us to see what he's done, review, and play with the puppets.

It is Mommy's job to make sure that A, B, and Trouble do no harm to the precious notebook or and of the 5 puppets, and ensure that all 6 items are returned to school Monday morning.

6. Costumes - Okay, so these are fewer and further between and you usually get a little more notice. This week, C came home on Monday with a note that for Friday's siyyum Sefer Bereshit. He needed not only to
bring in a Parve, nut-free snack for the whole class but also needed to dress up in a costume as a character or item from all of Bereshit.

Luckily, I was on the phone with the brilliant and more experienced AM, who said "put a robe and sandals on him and he could be anyone!" Since C shares a name with one of the Shevatim, and has a blue bathrobe with his name in Hebrew, this gave us a platform to really jump off. We added a laundry bag for a sack, and hyped it up for C. It worked. He really looked cute getting on the bus today.

Now I must stop, because I must tend to another crucial Mommy assignment - providing nourishment for the family through shopping and cooking!!

Sticker Sentiments

With thanks to West Bank Mama :

This is a new bumper sticker in Israel in support of the war in Gaza. The play on words is amazingly appropriate!

Sometimes you just need a reminder

I had a particularly rough day at work today. Actually, it has been a rough week. I have been sick and under stress.

Tonight I came home distraught, disturbed, and faced with rethinking my life and my priorities.

I did not get a chance to see the kids before they went to bed, so when I came up for the night I went to give them kisses in their sleep.

They were all together in C's car bed. B and C laying next to each other with their "friends" tucked in next to them. A was laying across the top of the bed, with her head touching C's and B's head in her belly. They looked so sweet, so loving.

Boy, nothing like a nest full of ducklings to get all those ducks in a row.

Winter Blues, Blahs, and Blechs

We have been home from Israel for a whole month, and life is just not back to normal. Just to highlight some of the major issues:

1. The house is a mess. Don't get me wrong, the house is usually a mess. However, every once and a while the mess builds and builds and gets completely out of control. Packing 5 people for a 3 week vacation and then returning from that vacation has created a situation that is just out of control. It is going to easily take a month of Sundays to fix...What's that? Pesach is coming?

2. We are sick! We came home with 2 sick kids, and all 3 have been rotating being out of school and on antibiotics for 4 weeks. If I see another runny nose, fever over 103, cup of Omnicef, or kid in their pajamas at noon, I might seriously lose it! Add to that my sinus infection that won't go away and poor H is ready to run screaming for the hills!

3. Work stresses. Mine bad, H's good.

4.Money Stresses. On our head: the economy, food prices, tuition payments, camp registration fees, the house not falling apart (poo, poo, poo) and so on...

5. The war in Gaza. Okay, this really needs a separate post, and I will get to is as soon as I can. Let me just say, we are worried. Very, very worried. Personally, I'd rather be there then here.

What a grumpy post. I could really use a funny Trips story. I'll let you know as soon as I get one.

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