Friday, January 31, 2014

Teaching sad things to our kids

I often comment on things I read on Tablet magazine, since it's an interesting Jewish online magazine.  I recently read this article about teaching your daughter the torah and the Talmud.  While I'm definitely not at the point where EG and I can have story time with the parasha, I thought it was interesting that in the comments someone suggested that the stories mentioned in the book (anything about Noah or about Egypt) weren't appropriate for a five year old.

The commenter said, and I quote,

"Placing a baby in a basket and floating it down a river is child endangerment and potentially a homicide.

Why read that to 5 year old?."

The poster was a member of the American Federation of Teachers.  That is what made me worried the most.  I'm not saying that the story of Moses floating down the river doesn't have some bad connotations.  The reasons why his mom let him float down the river, rather than drowning him, the fact that Jews are enslaved, the fact that husbands and wives are seperated, etc.  All of these pieces to the story are terrible pieces.  But child endangerment, and a potential homicide as the take-aways?  I'm not even sure that I ever read that into the story at all.

What does this say about our teachers?  Do you not teach a five year old about slavery? What about the holocaust or the movement of the Indians in America?  I don't have an honest answer, but I'm disturbed that a teacher could read so beyond the story of Moses in a basket to think that it teaches about child endangerment and a potential homicide.

It got me thinking about what we teach out kids, and how there are so many stories I learned as a child that I had to 're-learn' as an adult.  Take the story of Purim.  Seems all well and good, Jews don't die, yeah!  But as an adult you learn about how we didn't 'not die', but we killed 75,000 people.  We don't go into that as we don our costumes, shake our fists and swing our groggers every year.

So when do we share the full story?  How do we take the sad things that have happened in life and not gloss over them?  When do we expect our kids to understand that when Abraham tied Issac down to the stone he was intending to kill him?

I've searched high and low for 'Jewish' bible books for my littlest.  A board book filled with bible stories that aren't leaning to far towards the Christian side of the spectrum.  But perhaps, rather than worry about that, I should be figuring out how to broach the touch subjects.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Review: The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge

Holocaust rememberance day just passed, and to honor the day I was reading The Invisible Bridge.  About Jews in Hungary it's entirely fictional, but what a powerful emotional story.

It follows the life of Andras Levi, when he leaves Hungary for Paris for school, his unjust return after his visa expires, his marriage, his subsequent forced work for the Hungarians on a Jewish Work squad and the end of his story during the Russian/Nazi occupation of the country.

If I'm honest, I didn't really know that much about Hungary and it's Jews, other than that it was on the side of the Axis and the Nazi's.  As such, I thought it was likely horrible to it's Jewish population, and assumed that many of them were decimated.

However, this story proves that as not quite true.  While it's true that Hungary had anti-semetic leanings, Horthy (Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary) was actually quite kind to them throughout World War II.  He limited deportations until the Nazi's actually stole his crown and invaded the country.  Of course, with Hungary so close to Poland, those deportations took Jews directly to Aushwitz, directly to death.

The book paints a stunning portrait of a young Jewish Life.  With intrigue and love, and all the normalcy at the beginning of the war.  Most interesting is the interpersonal relationships between Andras, Klara and the rest of the family.  Reading about how they came together, fought with each other, and leaned on each other.

An amazing story, definitely worth the time.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kosher on Campus

Sorry to come out of left field, but this article in Tablet magazine really struck a cord with me.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't keep kosher.  I never have, and though I don't rule out a time when I might, I don't yet.  I do however abstain from eating all manner of pork, so I guess that's something.

Back when I was a college student at Carnegie Mellon University, I was actively involved in our Dining committee.  We had a very crazy dining plan.  Esentially it was a debit card system.   You had a certain amount of money based upon what time it was (aka $5 for breakfast till 10:30am, then $6 for lunch till 3pm, then $7 for dinner until 1am when the last dining facility closed).  You could spend more than that amount, but if you used a 'meal block' it would be worth that amount of money.  Of course, no one had meals that you could just buy (say the subway lunch of a sandwich, chips and a drink).  Everything was priced as a regular restaurant would, ala carte.  So, getting together a meal was quite a challenge.

Nothing was worse than when it was Passover.  I keep kosher for passover.  I have a separate set of Passover dishes, I only use kosher meat, and I don't mix milk and meat.  During Passover the school used to bring in frozen entrees from somewhere.  You could get that, but they were always $8.  Not to mention the fact that they didn't include a drink, a side or even a slice of matzah.  Then the only options were to heat them in the communal microwave- which if you were kosher, wasn't a kosher option...

Finally, after a long time they realized that not only was the meal block system totally confusing and devoid of any ability to eat a nutritious meal, but that frozen entrees for Kosher students just wasn't cutting it.  Enter the Kosher Korner, and a Kosher restaurant on campus.

Here at UCLA where I work, things are about the same.  They have a grab and go section of Kosher food in Ackerman, and are incredibly expensive.  It seems like they are where CMU was about 10 years ago, still not really responding to the needs of students.  Hillel, however does have a hot entree and a full kosher meal available. 

This all falls back to what my father used to say about us being Jewish.  It's not about whether you need it or not.  Sometimes it's about standing with your fellow man and helping them get what they need.  Then occasionally buying in too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vacation Review Part 2: Holland America

When we went on our Carribean cruise this year we went with the Holland America Line, on the ship the MS Noordam.  I thought I would give you a general review while I'm trying to get the rest of the pictures off of Working Dad's camera.

Having sailed with HAL before, I was excited to go on this trip.  We actually cruised the exact same itinerary for our babymoon before EG was born, though on a very different ship.  They have a great kids club program, and though they cater to an older crowd, the ship isn't to large so that you get crazy lost.

The Ship:  The MS Noordam is not the nicest ship I've been on.  In fact, it's definitely beginning to show it's age.  The carpets were a bit worn, the seats a bit overused.  The 'grand' staircase didn't feel very grand at all.  Since we were there over the holidays the trees and gingerbread houses were nice, but that didn't necessarily make-up for the fact that the ship felt old...

Our Room:  We had a verandah room on the 6th floor, which in and of itself was nice.  The bathrooms on the ship all have bathtubs, which I really appreciated.  Though they take up more space than the shower bathrooms (obviously) having a little one with a bathtub was quite nice.  However, our bathtub wouldn't stop-up.  And there were a few cracks in the side that led to water draining out the sides a bit.  The pull out couch in our room was quite beaten, in fact you could see the springs from the inner mattress the whole time we were on board.  We had them remove some of the furniture to accommodate the crib (really a pack n play), and they were gracious enough to do that for us.  However, they would not remove furniture for Aunt K despite her requests.  They had connected staterooms on the 1st floor.  The doors on the floor didn't really close properly, and there was a dreadful high whistle that would penetrate the room and the hallway sometimes... yuck. 

The food:  While overall it was fine, it definitely seems to have taken a step backwards.  The two formal nights had filet and shrimp and lobster thermadore, rather than just lobster tails.  There were at least two nights where none of the food was particularly good.  We ate in the Lido buffet area for most of our lunches and getting a high chair (we needed two!) was almost impossible.  Not to mention finding seating for our group...  Additionally we had two guests who are allergic to milk.  Despite constant questioning, they eventually had severe asthma attacks due to the ships kitchen.  They mistakenly thought that they were lactose intolerant, rather than allergic to milk.  We ordered breakfast for room service every morning, and it was decent.  They finally got the message about sending in Hot milk for EG by about the third day...

The Kids:  We had 6 children on this trip. EG the youngest at 18months, then B at 21 months, J at 3 years, F at 5 years, R at 8 years, and H at 11 years.  All that could go to the HAL kids club absolutely LOVED it.  They had relevant activities (new year's eve resolutions, a talent show, etc.) They begged to go in the daytime, loved going during/after dinner at 7pm.  That was probably the best time, since we took the babies for a walk up to kids club, then the adults had dessert and coffee with only the littles to worry about.  However, despite it being stated on numerous websites they WOULD NOT allow our littlest ones to play in the kids club space at all.  They WOULD NOT loan out any toys to our kids under 3 years.  Thankfully we had kids over 3 who could borrow toys and they can share with the littles, but that was very disappointing.  However, we didn't have any trouble with our youngest, un-potty trained kids going in the pool.  I know, chastise me all you want about what would have happened if there had been an accident.  But there weren't any (though EG did jump in the water without someone there to catch her!).  Overall the staff was kind and pleasant to the kids, and they did a nice job of accommodation them.  In fact, many of the workers had children of their own they left behind, so our kids were just exciting to them.  They did have in-room babysitting, but we were never able to get someone when we asked for someone. They only do same sex babysitting, and having two girls meant it was a bit more difficult (since most cruise ship staff are men).

The entertainment:  We hated the piano man.  Which was so sad, because that was our favorite part of our last trips.  This guy had a kindle or a tablet that held the songs for him, and he often made the songs techno, etc.  Not a fan.  We did love the New Year's eve show (grandpa watched over EG sleeping).  Otherwise we didn't really watch any of it, since it was all to late for EG.  We spent our nights on the verandah while the kiddo slept.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Working Mother Mornings

Typically I have good mornings as a working mom.  I know that we all have our routines, and that mornings can be rough for everyone.  A typical morning looks like this:

6:15ish- wake-up
Jump in the shower

6:25ish- get out of shower
turn on hot water
make bagel or muffin
make crock-pot dinner if making

6:35ish- finish getting dressed

6:40ish- get out the door to pick-up carpool

7:15ish- Working Dad wakes up
7:25ish- after getting dressed he wakes up EG
7:40ish- they leave the house to get to school
7:45ish- Working Dad departs school for work.

Since I carpool and my commute is a killer we have to get out early. My ideal time to be on the road is actually 6:35am, but we virtually never make that.  We usually get to work just after 7am, and then I work until 4pm, so I can go and pick-up EG and have more time in the evenings with her.

This is, of course, assuming that the morning goes well.

Then there are those working mom mornings.  Yes, everyone has hard mornings, and this isn't a 'my world is harder than yours' type of post.  But goodness- it sucks sometimes.

When little EG wakes up somewhere around 6:20am- before I get in the shower, but not get out of the house.  She starts to scream for mama, clutching her little blanket with tears in her eyes.  About 20% of the time I'm able to go into her room, shush her, tell her Daddy will be with her shortly and she'll go back to bed.  The other 80% though...they don't go well.

It's totally heartbreaking to have to leave your child in bed with her father only to have her screaming out for her mama.  While you try to get your morning started- showering, putting on make-up and jewlery, etc.

Sometimes I take her into the shower with me- which goes better for her, but often makes me late.

This morning was just so sad.  She still has a sore and scratch throat, and hearing her little cries for me- gut wrenching.  Working Dad is good- he tells me to make a break for it, to do my thing and get moving.  With a carpool partner waiting on me it's usually good motivation, since it's not just me who will be late for my job.

I shudder to think how our mornings will have to change when EG wants to dress herself- or coming much sooner- when she needs to use the potty in the morning when she wakes up.  My dear husband is a machine.  He has a routine and as long as it's followed everything is okay.  Throw in a wrench, and it's all over.

I don't know if it would be easier if I stayed at home.  Certainly while we were on vacation I realized the challenges of getting out of the house when you all wake-up at the same time.  Showering then becomes a different sort of challenge.  But on mornings like this I would just like to have those few extra minutes- to calm her in bed.  To know that she's okay.  To not walk out of the house to her unhappiness...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tu B'Shevat

We interrupt our vacation review and images to provide you with an important interruption.  Did you know that today was Tu B'Shevat?

On Tuesday night I went to the Manhattan Torah Center to learn more about Tu B'Shevat from the monthly women's class that I have joined.

Tu B'Shevat is the new year of the trees.  It celebrates the time in the middle of winter when the trees start their renewal process, when they begin to 'reach' for spring.

Oliver Bonas
Traditional elements of Tu B'Shevat include eating new fruits and vegetables, and there are 7 traditional 'fruits' associated with the holiday.  These are the 7 products of Israel, The class I had on Tuesday really illuminated the meanings behind these 'fruits' and why we talk about them on the holiday.  Think like the Passover seder plate, each thing has a purpose.

Wheat and Barley:  No they aren't 'fruits' per our technical definitions, but when you think about the fruits of our labors and the labors of G-d, they certainly qualify.  Layla and Sarah taught that the main difference between wheat and barley is that one is eaten more by animals and the other eaten more by human beings.  These represent our more animalistic self, and our 'higher' self.  I loved talking about this.  The idea of our two selves being there, constantly trying to move forward.

We talked about how our barley is our more immediate needs.  Our impulses, our selfishness... all the times that we move forward with the immediate.  Then our Wheat is our connection to G-dliness.  Our attempts to be better than our baser selves.  Why have both?  Each gives us the opportunity to connect to something higher than ourselves.  Each time we choose to overcome our baser animal instinct to respond with a higher tendency... that means we're reaching out to G-d.

Grapes and Olives: The grapes are really represented as wine.  The start of every simchas and festival for all of our traditional  holidays.  We learned that wine helps to bring the heightened happiness of our soul into alignment with our bodies.  A little wine can go a long way to helping you get some clarity, have some joy and really celebrate.  Olives start out so bitter, but when we struggle with them, press them hard, their oil comes out and is a delicious smooth treat.  These represent our struggles within ourselves and that we have to fight sometimes for things to be smooth.

Fig and Pomegranate:  These were probably my two favorites, because I think I feel them so keenly everyday.  The fig represents our need to be fully together in our mind/body/soul when we move and make decisions.  It represents our completeness, being as one as we move forward.  The pomegranate is the exact opposite.  It's seeds are all individual compartments, one not integrated with the other.  This is our ability to sometimes do without feeling it.  Sarah pointed out that sometimes you just have to do it!  Just do the mitzvah and that can make the rest of you get into it.  This has been so true for me.  Every day I feel like there are things I have to believe in with my whole heart, and then there are times when I  know I have to keep moving and do it anyways.

Finally it's Dates:  These are harmony and sweetness. The perfect balance of everything.  They represent the harmony we can find in our lives, and hopefully the harmony we will all share in.

So, that's Tu B'Shevat.  Are you going to celebrate?  If you can try to find a fruit you haven't eaten yet this year and recite the Shechyeanu prayer over it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I found this cute video of part of our day in Grand Turk...

Vacation Part 1:

It's finally here!  The moment when I can talk about our vacation.  As I've mentioned on the blog before, we decided to take a family vacation with Working Dad's side  of the family.  It involved his sister and her family (husband plus 5 kids) and his parents.  We took a cruise out of Ft.Lauderdale and enjoyed a week on a Holland America Ship.

We flew out on a daytime flight leaving at 2:30pm for the east coast.  EG had a good flight, and finally my MIL was able to get her to go to sleep for a quick nap.  By the time we got luggage and everything it was after 11pm to arrive at the hotel.  Getting the crib (they always promise, but it's NEVER there!) was a hassle, but finally EG went to sleep.  In the morning we took a shuttle transfer to the cruise terminal and got aboard the cruise very very easily.  

The ship we sailed on is called the Noordam:

Taken from the beach, with my water camera- hence the spots...
It's one of Holland America's older ships, and believe me it showed.  Not that it wasn't nice, it's just that despite their best intentions, the ship showed it's age.  Our room had a bed, a couch and a few tables.  The couch showed the internal sleeper springs the moment we walked in, despite us never opening it for a bed.  It had worn looking coushins, and I swear there was a crack in our bathtub.

Despite that, it's still a nice ship.  Not all the crazy bells and whistles of the celebrity ships, but two nice pools, good running space, and a lovely atrium.

Our first day was a day on the ship, and we basically spent it sleeping.  We didn't wake up to eat our in-room breakfast until after 10am.  Then we loafed around, and eventually made our way to the pool. 

The best parts of the trip for me were definitely all the time spent in the water.  EG is totally a water baby- she's loved it since she was super tiny and this trip was no exception.  We bought her this lifevest, which is a class V from the coast guard.  It gave us a bit of extra protection, but still allowed her to enjoy moving her arms and swimming.  No, she didn't wear it all the time, and yes there was that one moment when she fell in the pool.

Yup- you read that right.  EG just jumped straight into the pool- totally terrifying, but it worked out okay as I was right there to jump in after her. All of the kids had a great time that day in the pool, then we got ready for our dinner.  I'll have pictures from the dinner, but we bought one of the official cruise ones, and my father-in-law is making copies/prints for everyone...

The next day we landed in Grand Turks and Caicos.  Working Dad had his scuba trip planned, so he took off early early at 7am leaving me and EG to sleep a bit more.  We finally got our act together and departed the ship for the beach around 10am.

The beach here was totally lovely, and just a short walk from the cruise terminal.  The kids had a great time playing the in water with my Sister-In-Law, Brother-In-Law and Mother-In-Law.  Let's just call them Aunt K, Uncle S and Grandma.  Grandpa went with the my oldest niece to take her snorkeling for her first time.

None of my nieces are great swimmers (yes, they are from San Diego, but oh well).  However, the oldest were having a blast no matter what...
Not the best group shot, but it's almost everyone!

EG loves the water!  She floated and swam, and the life vest made us feel very safe.  Though I wish I had thought to get a brighter color for extra safety.  Here she is with her Uncle S, who just adores her.  They had so much fun together throughout the trip.

I have to say that was my other favorite part- watching EG really get to know her cousins.  Saying their names, wanting to be held by them, just totally loving on them...

Grandma was brilliant and rented this sun shade for our littles.  There's B, and J with EG having a grand time with the buckets and toys.  We had brought a bucket, shovel and rake from home for the sand, and Aunt K bought two sets for her littles, since she forgot to pack hers.  Definitely worth it.  So much entertainment, and one of EG's favorite words is bucket.

These fish were just floating right beside us as we were in the water, and it was great for all the girls to get to see them.  They definitely had a nice extra in seeing those fishes.  By the end of the trip EG could identify fishes from all sorts of places.

Aunt K and her littlest, plus me and EG.  Not to mention the fact that both me and Aunt K are both pregnant with our next littles, due about 10 days apart.  It's so much fun to see these girls grow up together, and I know they had an awesome time on the trip together!

So that's Grand Turk.  We got back on the ship and had a great dinner that night.  We moved to a different table on the 2nd night that suited us a lot better.  And all of the girls started getting into ordering something more interesting than the kids hot dog.  My little EG's favorite words during dinner "My soup..."

More pics and review coming later this week!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Babies and Brides

Does it ever seem like the cycle of life is threatening to nip at your heels?

This past week we've received 3 save the dates, 4 bridal shower invitations, and have heard about two baby showers.  Maybe we're just too social, but at some point I thought that all of these were going to stop.  Not that I'm unhappy, it's just that it's so much work.

My current big project is the bridal shower we'll be throwing for our cousin R, who is getting married in May.  We've chosen the date, and now I'm trying to work out the invitations.

The event will be held at a local tea house in Orange County. Tea, scones, etc.  Should be a really really cute event.  The colors of the wedding are blue, gold and purple (the colors of their college's together).

But my question is, what do I do for the invitations.  I love the idea of this:

From Here

But how can I really make that work?  I love the delicacy of the white paper doily, it's just so quaint and cute.  But do I do a colored doily to really get at her wedding colors?  Do I just do bold paper, maybe a purple page with a blue one inside of it, then a printed white sheet?  So many questions, so many design decisions...

What do you think?  Purple?  Blue?  Gold?  I could get a colored doily?  Or is it too much and I should stick with something slightly more classic.

Vacation pictures coming tomorrow, at least that's the goal!

Monday, January 13, 2014

When it rains

When it rains, it pours.  That's seemed very true in our household as of late.  Ever since the beginning of November we've been struggling to get our from under one cloud or another.

On Friday I told you about our terrible journey back to the west coast.  But, we made it.

However, I didn't tell you about my trip to the Emergency Room with little EG.  We spent 6 hours in the ER this past Friday, culminating in me singing Shabbat songs in the pharmacy...

Oh the things you'll do..

EG had a 104.1 fever when she was at school.  Not able to find an urgent care, or get an appointment (don't even get me started on the 45 minute wait to hear from a nurse on the phone!) I did the only thing I could do with my little girl.  Headed to the emergency room.

I was blessed to find a parking spot, and walked right in with her.  Her ashen face, her weezing coughs and her body temperature so so high.

They took us almost immediately right back, but as you know, in an ER visit going to the back is just the beginning.  From there we got Motrin, finally met a doctor who ordered a breathing treatment and a chest X-ray.

What a horrible moment.  The first time I had to 'sacrifice' one child for the good of the other: EG's X-ray.  I couldn't be in there with her, holding her, carressing her.  With the new baby inside of me the risks to my unborn child were just to great.  The X-ray techs were wonderful, but I felt so terrible when they strapped her little body to that plastic board and secured her legs and arms.  So terrible.

Luckily she responded well to the breathing treatment (Even put the plastic piece in her mouth for a bit!) and finally the tylenol brought her fever down.

What would follow was a few nights of exhaustion, fitful sleeping and general unhappiness in the household.  When Working Dad and I are prepared for a miserable night we do a good divide and conquer.  But g-d forbid you catch us off guard (as happened last night!) and it's just total hell.

She's on the mend, though I'm not sure what my poor body is really doing anymore...

But no, it's still raining out here in the south bay- at least on top of my house.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stuck on the East side

Sorry for being a bit MIA around here.  I try so diligently to post to this blog everyday, hoping that whenever you come to visit you see something new and interesting to read and respond to.

However, this last week we were finishing our vacation in the Caribbean.  Yes, I'll tell you all about that, with some cute pictures, but for now, this is just about out final days trying to get out of the cold snap of the east coast.

When we arrived at the airport on Monday morning, all was right with the world.  We believed ourselves heading home, happily getting out our luggage.  Then came the news that we'd be stranded, stranded for somewhere from two to five days...

But, we're finally home.  Next week I'll post all about the trip.  For now, thanks for checking back in, and I'm sorry I was gone...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sharing a bedroom

Now that we've announced the new baby, I can discuss all the things we're trying to figure out.  Chiefly among them is the 'where will the baby sleep' discussion.  There are many parts to this question, including the all important transition for EG from the crib to a toddler bed.  But I don't want to talk about that, instead, I want to figure out if it's possible for EG and the baby to share a room.

We have a relatively small house.  It's common areas are large, and please understand that I LOVE our house.  It's got great natural light, wonderful flow from space to space, and lots of room for all of us together.

That being said, it's a tiny beach cottage and it has no storage and the bedrooms are tiny.  Tiny! 

Currently EG's room looks like this:

Yes, that is her changing table behind the door.  Listen, it's worked for us!  Now however, I'm not so sure.

Ideally I'd like for the two kids to sleep in the same room.  I think it will be a tight fit, but I'm not ready to give up our guest bedroom.  Add to that the fact that I think it builds good mojo between your kids (that adorable pillow talk) and I think it's a great idea.

Working Dad, he thinks I'm nuts.  He has a few valid points.  The concern about one of them waking each other up all the time- valid.  The pointed comments about how the Guest bedroom has never really been finished, and is often a spot where we throw a ton of junk- valid. 

However, we do have guests.  I like having guests. In fact, I love it.  It's one of the big things that my mom didn't do, that I really enjoy.  Want to swing by and stay the night- I love it!   What am I going to do without that space.

Did you share a bedroom?  Do your kids share a bedroom?  What should we do?

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Sensitive Heart

This is something I want to address, because I know there are people who are reading this who may not be able to conceive, or who may be wanting a child but facing fertility issues.  I can't speak to what you are going through.  I've had no first hand experience with trying to conceive, I only know what friends and relatives have gone through.

I just want to say that I'm thinking of you.  I'm praying that your heartache ceases and that you are able to conceive.  That the child you want comes into being.

Through fertility treatments, through adoption, through whatever means ends up being your path, all are equal ways to motherhood and fatherhood. 

Many of you may not know that my mother had trouble conceiving.  Her story isn't my story, but I do know that when we got married she worried desperately about both my sister and me, and our abilities to have children.  She tried for just under 6 years, and at a time when fertility treatments were still very new and difficult.

This is another area of struggle for all women.  To feel joyful for another in the face of your own struggles. Know that I understand, and that it's okay.  That I don't pretend to know what you are going through with waiting, wanting, injections, medical treatments and thousands of dollars. 

But do know that I care.  That my heart is thinking of you, and praying for you, and hoping for you.

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Creating a family of Choice

When we got married, I started to create my 'family of choice.'  The first of many choices of how our family would be.  Decisions that we made that were for the two of us, our plans for the future, our decisions.

Sometimes it was a challenge to stand by each other in the face of our families of origin.  The first few months with Working Dad unemployed were rough on our budding marriage, but we perservered, overcame and have become better for it.

 Having known each other since high school, finally getting to the point of being a Mrs. was the best decision I've ever made. Everyday I know we both made the right choice in choosing each other.

Since then, obviously, our family of choice has expanded.  We've added our darling amazing EG, who has made our lives all the better and more full.  Our love has grown with her love, and we couldn't be happier to have added her to the family.

She's an amazing tiny human, and guiding her through life, teaching her all the things she needs to know has been a blessing a a joy. 

Being a family of three has helped our marriage grow only more solid.
We're excited and thrilled to announce that we'll be adding a new bundle of joy in July.  
Our family will be expanding by one more. 

No, we don't know what we are having.  No, I'm not sharing our due date (I don't want to be beholden to it, or have people harassing me!) No, this pregnancy has not been the same as it was with dear EG, and no, I'm not sure if that means we'll be having a boy. 

We're just thrilled with the news, and I'll share more details after the holidays.

Thanks for listening, and sharing in our wonderful Joy this holidays season.

Happy New Year!


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