Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Halloween Horror Snow

New Yorkers were taken by surprise today by the first October snowstorm in the city since....well, ever.

The snow messed everything up.

Occupy Wall Street protesters were brutally reminded of the generators they had lost just one day ago but chose to stay and freeze.

Other Manhattan residents were just dumbstruck.  Had it ever snowed in October? Well, technically there was a quarter inch in 1925 but with vanity sizing and all that a quarter inch in 1925 is probably less than a tenth of an inch by today's standards anyway.

What is the reason for this bizarre weather?

Well, some people think the end of the world is upon us.  One theory is that we all died May 21 and are now in some alternate universe without knowing it.

That's one way to go.

Another theory is that while the world didn't end on May 21, a chain of events was set off that will build up to our imminent destruction. 

People who subscribe to this theory were doing giant "I told you so!" dances in August after the Gotham City was hit by an earthquake and a hurricane, in the same week.   Since then, residents have been bracing themselves for locusts and cattle sickness, as surely these must be next.

Others are saying the May 21 date is really October 21, and they too are probably doing little dances today.

These are all interesting theories.  But we have another one.

You see, none of it made sense until now.  The earthquake, hurricane, both of those were rare, mild, and technically the earthquake wasn't even anywhere near New York.  So to link this recent snowstorm, a storm that brought us thundersnow, no less, to those events is odd.  Thundersnow, peeps!  Do we have to hit you over the head?

Clearly, we must blame the Canadians.

Is it a coincidence that the bizarre October event coincides with the arrival of several friends' relatives from up North? We think not.  Is it a coincidence that just one day prior, the team that won the World Series just happened to be the one closest to Canada?  Did you think it was a coincidence that this event happened exactly one hundred forty-four years, 3 months and 29 days after Canada officially became a country? Do you not see these facts staring at you in the face?

It was only a matter of time before those mild-mannered folk up North finally realized they had twice as much land as everyone else and set out to conquer the rest of North America.

It's a genius plan, really.  First, they hit us with their freak snow and next thing you know there's Caribou all over the place and every tap in the city is filled with Molson.  Then, when we're weakened, they hit us with (gasp!) their socialist medicine and gun control laws. We must stop them before it's too late!

Betcha thought those guys were dressed up for Halloween, didn't you?
Did you not see those Royal Canadian Mounties riding around the village today?  You didn't actually think those were Halloween costumes, did you?  That's exactly what they want you to think.  They're stealth, these snow-lovers, we tell you.  Stealth.  But what else would you expect from a nation whose first official citizen was named Snorri?*

Fortunately, we're onto them.   So next time you see a whole bunch of Canadian tourists "in town" after a bizarre aberration of Mother Nature, be on guard.  We're just saying.

*You can't make this stuff up! "Snorri", born in Vinland around 1000 A.D, was the first North American child to be born of European parents (Thorfin and Gudrid).

Saturday, October 22, 2011


It's amazing what a difference a few years can make.  A few years ago, still dealing with the shock of motherhood without training, I wrote a post about avoiding large groups of women like the plague for fear of being exposed as a fraud, and wondering how one learns what a real woman/mother is supposed to know?

Flash forward 3 and 1/2 years and it is these very same groups of women that quite possibly may save me.  Guess I got over the estrogen fear.

What happened?

Well, mini grew up.  And started school.  And there were classes and birthday parties and playdates.  Somehow, we were lucky enough to end up in a place where we actually like the moms.   And then, things started getting hard.  Really hard.  The kind of phase you're supposed to look back on those times and pat yourself on the back for the resilience you have in making it through to the other side.  I'm still waiting for that part.  But I haven't waited for, is much-needed support from my girlfriends.

Rather than mocking my cluelessness when it comes to so many things, these peep-e-lehs have asked me for food advice, bending over backwards to figure out how to feed mini at their place.  They've watched her when needed, they tell me what classes and activities we should consider.  They have taken mini and I into their home on weekends, snow days, holidays, even traveled with us on vacation.  Without fail, someone checks in daily.  They read my writing, and drag me to plays, ballets, movies, dinners, drinks, even shopping when I didn't want to go (can you imagine!?).  They make the manicure appointments, they lend me books, they listen and they make me laugh.  And they've (gasp!) trusted me with their own children.

Wait, what was that last part?!

That's right.  We seem to have passed the motherhood hazing ritual that is the 5-and-under phase, so I guess one doesn't need to know every 1950s thing to be a good mother.  I still can't do any of those "female" things I wrote about years ago, but I'm a damn good baker as long as you have 6 free hours and are willing to clean up a huge mess.  And while I'm still not fully versed in the etiquette involved in making playdates I'm trying. 

So this one is a thank you to my girlfriends who have embraced me as part of a larger community that is motherhood in general.  Thank you for your support, your patience, for laughing at my jokes, for your funny and touching and educational updates, and for teaching me that even though things might not always be easy we will always be okay.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wouldn't Be Prudent

Last weekend, we went to one of those pop up stores to get a Halloween costume that mini will wear for five minutes before taking it off and declaring it itchy as she collects candy she can't eat from houses that scare her.

Forgetting for a minute why we would do this (she asked, really!) what shocked us the most was what's out there for kids' costumes now.  Especially the girls.  Everything is,  Really sexy.  As in totally inappropriate for a 6 year old, 10 year old, or 12 year old sexy. 

Why does a superhero or fictional character need to have a skirt six inches above the knees?  Is that really necessary?

Now, before you go all judgmental and tell this mother to lighten up, you should know one very important fact: we are cool.  Quite cool, if we may say so.  We wear jeans and blue nail polish to work.  So we know if we're thinking this we're not the only ones.  And we were grateful when our friends at the Mouthy Housewives beat us to the punch on this particular observation, saying it better than we could have ourselves.

So read, enjoy, and cover up your girls for a little while longer.  In the meantime, we'll be busy petitioning the NYC taxi commission so that our children no longer have to be subjected to riding in cars advertising strip clubs. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Confessions from the Sanctuary, 2011

Now that Yom Kippur's over, it's time to note a few things we learned this holiday, mostly by accident.
While we did fast, we're always amused that many people who don't fast still enjoy the "break the fast" tradition.  Then again, we suppose one can't eschew a religious tradition that involves cake simply because of a small technicality of not fasting.  That wouldn't be very inclusive of us, now would it?
  1. When you're spending $100 on lox while fasting because you suck at planning, pause to note both the hypocrisy of the event and the irony of seeing/smelling all that food while you can't have so much as a nibble. 
  2. There are times, however, when exposing yourself to food on Yom Kippur is a good thing.  For example, feeding your father and your almost 86-year old uncle lunch so that they'll eat is a good thing.  Even if it feels like torture.
  3. When you've gone 24 1/2 hours without food or drink (but who's counting!), and you're so lightheaded you're not thinking clearly, there will come a time when you simply cannot deal with your child's refusal to wear any of her decent shoes, and her suggestion to wear tap shoes because they look fancy will sound like a decent one.  Be smart.  Learn from our mistake and do NOT, we repeat NOT give in!  It will be a disaster at best.
  4. Your second favorite moment of the day will be when your child takes out her toy shofar and blows as loudly as possible with a giant group of kids at the conclusion of neila*.  
  5. Your favorite moment of the day will be finding out some bizarre family detail.  For example, for us, it was the fact that our "shul" bracelet belonged not to our grandmother, but our great grandmother.  Meaning mini's great-great grandmother wore it to her shul on Yom Kippur in 1920s Germany.  That just boggles the mind.
  6. No one will tell you this, but the four questions were originally five.  The fifth question is: "why is it on all nights, we say the hamotzi quietly, but on THIS night the whole room practically screams the hamotzi with joy?" This question is asked by the "bored" child.

*For you non-Jewish peeps, neila is the concluding service of Yom Kippur.  The hamotzi is the blessing on bread which Jews say before a meal.  Interestingly, this explanation just gave away the answer to this question.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No Peanut Allergies Allowed

Ok, seriously - what is wrong with these people?  Here is a link if you don't believe us.

Thanks to Gina at Allergy Moms for calling them out on it.

The Groupon Kidz Quorner: Your Ultimate Tree House

Hey, kids who have unlocked the awesome secret of reading! Here's your guide to building the ultimate tree house, tree fort, or awkward tree duplex you share with your former best friend who changed during summer camp. Let's get started!
  • Find a tree in the backyard that can support your ambitious plans and the growth spurt your lying mother insists is coming "any day now."
  • A well-armed tree fort needs plenty of ammunition. Fill your tin buckets with as many collected chestnuts, pine cones, dog bones, unseasonal snowballs, and dad tools as you can find lying around.
  • A good fort layout is still available in the 1952 Dennis The Menace story arc entitled A Few Good Menace, where noted terrible boy Dennis the Menace starts a counterfeit money ring.
  • Ditch that outdated "No girls allowed" sign in favor of the modern "No peanut allergies allowed."
  • Why go up into a tree, when you could go down into a well and become a TV star?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sanctuary Thinking in Progress

Happy New Year Peeps!

Hope those of you celebrating had an enjoyable holiday and enjoyed some non-dry brisket.  We are currently working on our pseudo-annual "Notes from the Sanctuary" post so please feel free to send any and all suggestions. 

In the meantime, please to enjoy the archives.

Thoughts from the Sanctuary, Part II

or the original

Confessions from the Sanctuary