Archive for the 'family' Category

Elijah is coming to town

You better watch out…

Now that the football season is over our minds and hearts can turn to that spring pastime that we call


Believe it or not, there are only 49 shopping days until Passover! And just to be sure that you are aware, the grocery stores have begun putting in their Passover food section (at least in NJ). Of course we still have Purim coming and most people have hardly given any thought to Passover, but it’s here and they want you to buy.

Not that we have not already begun thinking about it. For those who read my blog last year, the three moms (Marsha and two friends) have already made preliminary plans to do the Seders together again, and that puts us at about 23 people each night already.

So as we begin the season of Passover purchasing I will leave you with this youtube video.


New Year, More Blog

It’s hard to believe it is 2009. Some days I wake up and I can remember the mid 80s like it was yesterday. When people tell you that time moves so fast, they are certainly telling the truth. It’s been a while since I have written in my blog and one of my two real New Year’s resolutions is to get back to writing regularly. I’ll come to the other in a moment. I want to partially go back to my original plan for this blog which was to write about my family and I am going to do that. I also want to continue writing about things that I think about and current events. So as much as I loved writing a song of the day for every day, I am going to give that a rest. From time to time I may have a song of the day blog posting, but much less frequent. I have been thinking about starting to write movie reviews, so perhaps you will see some of those in the near future (or course they will mostly be reviews of movies I see on DVD and Blu-Ray as we rarely get to the movie theater).

So starting off this year of blogging I want to update on my family. I’ll start with the kids. Shayna is 3 years old and definitely going through a defiant stage. There is almost nothing that she will not try to defy us on, but unlike Avi, she does respond to the consequences of her actions, and I am confident that we will see the end of this phase soon. The other major obstacle with Shayna is potty training. When the boys were training I always remember people telling us that girls were so much easier. Well, I’m here to tell you that they must have been lying. She has been a nightmare with this. One of the main reasons we moved her to a different pre-school is because at her old school she could not be in the pre-school class without being out of diapers (but we are happy with the new school). Luckily, her class is doing a major push, since most of the kids in the class are not trained. God willing she will be a more regular pottier.

Noam is cursed with being the middle child. Definite Jan Brady syndrome. We try hard to give him the attention he needs, and I think much of the time we succeed. He is a fun kid, but is still hesitant with new things. He is starting to get into the cub scouts like Avi and I think he will slowly come out of his shell as he gets more into the scouts. He is really enjoying Solomon Schechter and soon he might know more Hebrew than me!

Avi’s ADHD (and maybe bipolar disorder) are continuing to be sources of difficulty in our home. He is still going to the special school (New Vue Academy) and is doing well there. They work on a point system and the max the kids can get in a day is 20. If Avi gets 20 points today it will be his tenth in a row and that will put him on honors (I’m not entirely sure what that he will get for that) and this will be the first time he will achieve that. Avi gets home at about 2:30 from school and Noam and Shayna at about 4. It is the time between 4 and when I get home that are the most difficult. Starting next week, we will have a behavioral therapist come to our house for 5 hours each week, so that will happen on two or three days a week during that time, so God willing things will get a bit easier.

Marsha is still doing the Pampered Chef thing and is working hard to build her business this year. If anyone wants to host a Pampered Chef party or do a catalog sale, let me know. You could get a lot of free stuff for hosting and you will certainly have a lot of fun.

Which brings me to me. Many people know that I have Crohn’s Disease. I have not had any major problems from this in years, but last week we got a little scare. I was in the hospital for a number of hours on Friday with abdominal pains. They did a CT scan and it was inconclusive (although now they think it was a kidney stone). I am long overdue for a Colonoscopy and I will get that done the week after next. I went to the doctor to follow up last night and he really scared me about my weight, and that brings me to resolution number 2. I really want to get down to a more healthy weight this year. Marsha is doing weight watchers and I have done that in the past, so I signed up to do the online version. I will update my progress here from time to time

Well that is enough information to last for a while. Happy new year to everyone!

Oh, and I was watching a clip from the amazing movie Fame yesterday. It is a great song from the 80s and one of the best movie songs ever.


Happy Birthday Avi

In many of my blog postings about Avi I have spoken about our problems getting him the help he needs and also about his problems in general. What I have not really touched upon is “just Avi.” Eight years ago today my little boy came into my life and forever changed the way I see and do things. I have grown and learned from him just as he has from me.

For the most part, Avi is a very happy boy who loves to play with lego, loves to play games with his family and loves to have fun. He is a real budding artist and is also very skilled at math. It is these qualities that we sometimes loose site of when dealing with the ADHD and other problems that he has.

My challenge as Avi begins his ninth year of life is to try and take a moment each day to see the boy I just described in him. I know he is capable to showing this and I just need to be strong enough to see it.

So happy birthday Avi. Here is one of his favorite songs.


Turkey Day

I am one of four children and it is a very rare occasion when we are all together. This year it will be twice since my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah was last month. Somehow my mother was able to arrange that we will all be together this year on Thanksgiving. It’s been quite a few years since we celebrated any holiday at my parents’ house. I work as a Cantor on Rosh Hashana, so we never go then. On Sukkot we build our own Sukkah and want the kids to have that experience, so my parents come to us for at least one meal. We might get together with my parents on Hanukkah, but rarely with all of my siblings. Passover is very complicated and we usually have my parents at our house for one seder. So when my Mother said we would all be together, it was a real surprise.

First order of business, where to house this meal as it will be quite large. Time for some math. We are five and with my in-laws who are coming as well, we are seven. My parents make nine. My sister makes ten.  My younger brother the first and his family is five plus his in-laws makes seven. That makes seventeen so far. My younger brother the second and his three kids makes twenty-one.  Finally my mom’s brother and sister-in-law makes twenty-three. TWENTY THREE!

My mother’s thought was to rent a room at our Synagogue and cater the meal. NOT! Thank God mkm and my sister-in-law were able to convince my mother to do it at the house and we are all contributing to the food. We are bringing the sweet potatoes and the cranberry sauce. Both are either made or in the oven right now.

But wait, there’s more!

After dinner we will be driving up to Mount Snow VT to spend Shabbat with friends of ours who own a house up there.

It looks to be a fun weekend; I just hope we make it through tonight with all the cooking and laundry to be done.

To all my friends I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.



After yet another long time away from blogging it’s time for a little family update.

I’ll start with Shayna. Shayna is now in a new school. She is in the 3 year old room at the Y at Parker at Stonegate. Don’t ask about the name, but suffice it to say she is very happy and she is in a group of kids her own age rather than being the oldest kid in the daycare where she was. The director of her old school would not promote her because she is not fully potty trained, and Shayna is being very difficult about that. So we moved her. The new school is in a wonderful state of the art facility and so far everyone is happy.

Noam is in his third week of 1st grade at Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley. He is also enjoying his time there, especially since his best friend is in his class too! Mkm will be going to back to school night there on Wed, so I am sure I will have more to report after that.

Avi has been at Nu Vue Academy all summer with mostly positive results. They were closed for two weeks in the end of August, and they reopened in their new facility which is also brand new and state of the art. He definitely likes the new building. Our main concern with the school is that it may not be challenging enough for Avi. Back to school night there is on Thursday so hopefully we will find out more.

In terms of Avi’s ADHD, there is really nothing new to report. He continues to take Abilify which is a medication for bipolar disorder, and it is possible that Avi is bipolar. No one seems to want to label him and we are fine with that. He also wears a Daytrona patch every day which is a transdermal method of taking ritilin.

So that’s it on one foot. Mkm will be preparing a holiday update about our family and I will post that here when it is finished.

Oh, yeah. I am getting very hooked on Facebook! Come find me there!

T Minus 6 days and counting

This coming Sunday we will be traveling to the happiest place on earth for our weeklong vacation. Of course, the “vacation” really starts now. Today mkm went to the local Disney Store and picked up our tickets for WDW and we have begun writing the lists. What clothing to pack. What supplies to pack. What food to pack. Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera! God willing everything will be done by Friday. Given that we don’t do any of this prep work on Shabbat, we need to have most of the packing done by Friday night as the plan is to pack up the car on Saturday night.

Yesterday, I helped my father-in-law but the carrier on top of his car so that will be ready. It is an SUV and we found that it is quite tall and not too easy to load and unload, but I am sure we will manage. Due to the lack of space, no suitcases for this trip! All of our clothing are going into these extra large Ziploc bags that are intended for clothing storage. Hopefully, we will go to bed (not too late on Saturday night and wake up ready to take on the day!

The plan is to leave the house by 8:00 am. We need to be in Lorton Virginia for the Auto Train by 2 pm for the 4 pm train (due to our oversized car). This gives us 6 hours to do a 4 hour trip. The real hope is to get there by 1pm so that gives us 5 hours and I think we will be fine.

So that takes us up to departure and I will pick up later this week.

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