Sunday, January 30, 2011

SuperIma Sunday Check-in: The Feminine Mystique Edition

It is 5:24 PM and I am just now sitting down to write the SuperIma Sunday Check-in.  If you've been waiting all day to link up (Shannon?) I'm so, so sorry.

David and I reached an all time low last night.  Not in our relationship, just, you know, in our general being.  We both fell asleep on the couch, I think around 9:30, and didn't rouse until right before 3 AM.  When we dragged our sorry selves upstairs to our bed, the sound of us walking up the stairs woke Nesyah (who was in another room, behind a closed door.)  By the time I got her back down it was 4:00, by the time I fell asleep again it was 4:30.  So, I "slept in" till 6:45, meaning I didn't get my grocery shopping done super-early as usual.  I ended up having to stay at Sunday School longer than expected, meaning I didn't make it to the mobbed grocery, Asher in tow, till almost 1:00.  I got back home at 2:30, stuffed my face with something, peeled some carrots, chopped some onions, made some baby food, entertained the children, fetched snacks and juice, cleaned all the floors, managed some laundry, baked a batch of Mara's pumpkin muffins, changed diapers, did potty time.  Now I'm feeding the baby one of the muffins and some cottage cheese for her dinner, and typing this between spoonfuls.

When I was shopping, I found these alphabet crackers.  Aren't they cute?
(Not really physically, even.  More emotionally.)

It took me 25 minutes today, between tasks, to order some %$#*ing diapers on Amazon.  And *that* was my quiet time.

I can't find my water bottle because the boys are obsessed with drinking from it.  They have stolen it and stashed it somewhere, so I don't even get a drink of water.

David isn't slacking.  He's got a big presentation at work on Thursday, and he's been using every free moment to prepare.  That is his job.  This is mine.

Terry Gross interviewed Stephanie Coontz about her book about The Feminine Mystique this past week.  Ms. Coontz mentioned that she had never read The Feminine Mystique before writing her own book about it, and I realized that college-educated me had never read it either.  I downloaded it to my Kindle and you guys?  Check this out - an interview with a woman for the book:

"I love the kids and [my husband] and my home.  There's no problem you can even put a name to.  But I'm desperate.  I begin to feel I have no personality.  I'm a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker, somebody who can be called on when you want something.  But who am I?"


"Then you wake up one morning and there's nothing to look forward to."

Yes, yes, yes.

I'm whining.  I know.  I'm fortunate.  My husband has a job.  My children are healthy.  I have a roof over my head.  Oh, wait.  What's that, Ms. Friedan?

"The problem was dismissed by telling the housewife she doesn't realize how lucky she is - her own boss, no time clock, no junior executive gunning for her job.  What if she isn't happy - does she think men are happy in this world?"

There's more like that.  A lot more.
Of course the difference now is that I could, theoretically, get a job.  But it doesn't really help my sadness that I'm sitting and reading a book that my grandmother probably sat and read, and nodding in agreement at all the parts she did.

Anyway.  The check-in.  I did an okay job at my writing for pleasure this week, and I'm going to keep that as my goal, because it feels good when I get a lot of words done, and I don't know what else would.  I chopped and baked today so I don't have to do it later in the week, and I'm folding laundry tonight so I don't have to tomorrow.  The floors will be slightly dirtier than they should be.  And no one will die.

What about you, fellow Super-Imas?  How did last week go, and what are your plans for the one ahead?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shekels Worth Spending - The Importance of Learning CPR.

Okay, frugalistos and frugalistas, I know there was no recipe posted yesterday, as has been my Thursday custom.  Thursdays are normally pretty chill around here but yesterday things were crazy - and I mean CUH-RAY-ZEE.  I want to tell you what I was up to last evening that made the first part of my day so frantic, even though just 24 hours ago I thought I was too embarrassed to post about it.

Here goes.

So you know how b''H* I had three babies in the space of three years?  And how it is pretty much implied that when I took each of them home with me from the hospital I was now responsible for keeping them alive?  And un-maimed?

And you know how I had absolutely no idea what I would do if I found one of them choking, or not breathing, or without a pulse (chas v'shalom)?

Um, yeah.  I'm not proud that I didn't know how to give my children CPR, mouth-to-mouth, or First Aid properly until last night.

According to the CDC:

  • Injury is the leading cause of death in children and young adults. According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 2,800 children, ages one to 14 years, that died from an unintentional injury .
  • Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for children.  Children ages 14 and under account for one-third of all fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms.
  • unintentional injury-related death among children ages one to 14. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites.  However, children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Airway obstruction injury is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among infants under age one.
  • Approximately 45 percent of unintentional injury deaths occurred in and around the home. Unintentional home injury deaths to children are caused primarily by fire and burns, suffocation, drowning, firearms, falls, choking and poisoning.
So last night, David and I attended a CPR and First Aid course that our boys' preschool graciously hosted.  It cost $40 for each of us, and we paid the babysitter $40.  That is $120 that we could have spent on two (or maybe even three) date nights.  It represents three months' clothing budget and one and a half weeks worth of groceries.  It's a month's worth of gas and half a year's worth of my personal "hobbies" budget.

And it was worth every single penny.  More, even.  We got to practice on some dummies, and ask questions. While it was totally freaky to be doing rescue breathing on anything even remotely resembling my baby, I am so glad that I got some hands-on instruction.  Even David, who was reluctant to go because he had worked on the ambulances with Magen David Adom back in 2001, was really happy that he went, because the guidelines and best practices for CPR have changed in the last couple of years.

Pikuach Nefesh means "Saving a Life," and it is pretty much the highest Jewish value.  You can transgress almost any commandment for the sake of saving a life.  So it seemed to me that $120 was a paltry amount of cash in the name of doing that.  

If you haven't brushed up on your CPR and First Aid skills in awhile, especially if you are a parent, consider taking a class or, at the very least, watching some videos online as a refresher.  Here's one that was pretty decent and up-to-date.

In summary, as much of a cheapskate as I am, no amount of money is too much to make sure I can help my children or anyone else who may be in trouble, God forbid.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to have spent what was, for us, a pretty big chunk of change to learn how to do that.

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach from the Kopans Bayit to you!


*Baruch HaShem = "Thank God"
** Chas V'Shalom = "God forbid."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SuperIma Sunday Check-In

You know how sometimes your local weatherman will be all excited about a mini-snowmageddon to hit your town at just the right time and intensity for you to cancel Hebrew school on Sunday?  But you want to be all responsible and level-headed so you send an email out to your Hebrew school parents that you'll update them in the morning?  You go to bed with visions of a healthy three inches on the road when you wake up, and cuddling the morning away with your family your Kindle on the couch.

Yeah, you know what happens next.

You wake up and there is LITERALLY NO (new) SNOW ON THE GROUND.  What the hell, weatherman???? (I know I'm yelling but it's my blog, which is literally the only place I can do whatever I want, and I'm going to do it.)  WTF George Waldenberger?

I know, I was too hasty.  I called the snow day in my head waaaay before I should have.  And I don't actually mind going to Hebrew school on Sunday mornings - at the very least, I get to wear real (ish) clothes, and all the little children learning their Hebrew letters warms my heart.  But I had already mentally given myself three extra hours, man!  And now there's no snow.

In case you can't tell, I've been stewing over this since I woke up about an hour ago.  I just now stopped with my Very Important Procrastinating to actually write this post, just as my children started literally banging on their bedroom door  and shrieking like monkeys to get out  wreak their havoc upon my home wake up for the day.  Oh, I love a 14 hour work day.

What?  We're supposed to do a check-in?  Right.

You guys, it's been a bad week.  I baked and cooked and cleaned and completed preschool worksheets and sang songs and built forts and did dances and sat in birds' nests and supervised painting projects and planted bean sprouts for Tu B'Shvat with a smile plastered across my face.  My sweet friend Gevura told me to "fake it till I make it," which is advice I've actually heard shrinks give people who are clinically depressed, so I've been faking it here.  Bigtime.  But for some reason, this week I am just in a huge slump.  I'm so, so sad.  I feel am so frumpy and feel so utterly useless.

I need to get back to work.  Yesterday.  I need to wear high heels and do my hair every day.  I need to have conversations with grownups, conversations that do not include even a mention of playdates, stomach flus, preschool, or poop.  I need to use the skills that make me feel engaged and alive, because I am dying here.

On a happier note!  I'm doing an awesome job at my writing for pleasure, and it is giving me some feeling of accomplishment. Even though the full time work I used to do makes my heart sing an opera, this writing is making it sing little ditties, and sometimes even enthusiastic showtunes.  So that's something.    Here's my day-by-day count.
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(date, word count for the day, total word count.)

I hinted at my goal for the week earlier in this post - it's to stop with the procrastination already.  Why it's necessary for me to refresh my Facebook newsfeed 20 times and post "lol" and "<3" on twenty friends' pages before actually writing anything of substance is beyond me.  I actually disconnected from the internet for about an hour yesterday and it helped immensely.  Hopefully I can move my daily wordcount to over a thousand this week, since it was just under last week.

Last week I only vaccuumed every other day, and we had leftovers for dinner one night and stew from the freezer another night.  And no one died.  So I'm okay with just saying I'm going to let things slide a little bit, because I've confident in my ability not to sabotage myself.

Before I call for you ladies to submit your accomplishments, slacking ambitions, and goals for the next week, I want to give a huge shoutout to my bloggy friend Shannon.  She did something incredible for herself this past week that took a lot of hard work and self confidence, and even though I don't know know her, I was so excited and proud.  She already posted about her next big goal, and I'm so inspired!  (Even though you will not catch me doing a triathalon under any circumstances, Yay Shannon!)

What about you, SuperImas?  Check in!  XOXO and love from me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Frugal Ima Super-Frugal Recipe: Babka (means 'I Love You')

FIFrugal Recipe copyYou know how all of us grew up learning "Food equals Love?"  And it totally messed us up in terms of associating eating with comfort, and then comfort with eating so much we got fat, and then we had low self esteem, but we still have to eat to stay alive, and so now we're totally emotional and dieting wrecks?

No?  Just me again?

Sure, comfort eating has totally messed us up, but it's called "comfort eating" for a reason. Let's take comfort in it.  (You know, every once in awhile.)

On my top 5 Comfort Foods list is "babka."  In capital letters.  The name "babka" comes from the Polish word for "grandmother," so that just adds a guilt-heavy "I baked for you and now you're not eating?" layer to all the comfort-food-eating anguish meshugas bliss.

I know you're scoffing at me, but in my defense, it could be worse.  I found this recipe in my bread machine cookbook.  The best thing about it (or the worst thing about it, depending who you ask,) is that it's not nearly as rich and fatty as Deb's gorgeous replication of the Jewish deli classic.  As far as authenticity goes, I really can't tell you.  Even though my own grandmother is super-Polish, she's not really famous for her Polish cooking.  Go figure.

Packaged babka at the grocery store is shipped from halfway across the country will cost you a small fortune, which makes this a super-frugal recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
1 2/3 c water
3 tbsp butter, cut into pieces (or margarine, if your bread machine is pareve like mine.)
4 c flour
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast

1/4 c (half a stick) butter
1 c brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter, for brushing

(or for chocolate filling)
1 1/3 c white sugar
5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp cinnamon
mini chocolate chips

Mix together the ingredients for the dough and knead until smooth.  Allow a first rise.  Or, throw everything in your bread machine on the "dough" cycle and take a nap till it beeps. (I know, I'm hilarious.)

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll into a large rectangle, about 12 by 18 inches.

Mix together filling ingredients, brush dough with 2 tbsp melted butter, and spread filling evenly over the dough, making sure it reaches to the edges.

Starting at a shorter end, roll it up as tightly as you can.
(hello, baby!)

Now, here's where I know it starts to get inauthentic.  You're supposed to slice the whole log in half, drop it seam-side down in some greased loaf pans, let it do its second rise, and bake it that way. But I never could figure out how long and what temp to put it in for so that the outside wouldn't be hard and the inside underdone.  My family wasn't a fan of goopy half-baked dough for Shabbat breakfast (I know, ridiculous.) So I started slicing it cinnamon-roll style.

So, if you're a loser like me, slice it up and place it in two well-greased round baking pans.  Leave a little space between the rolls, because they're going to need to rise again.

I stuck mine in the refrigerator so all I had to do on Shabbat morning was throw them in a preheated oven.  Here they are after a second cold rise:

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Let them cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes or all your cinnamon will ooze out, and then you'll probably weep after all the effort you went to just to make these, and now you've got no cinnamon!
(I'm totally drooling on my keyboard right now.)

Slather it with frosting.  I had some buttercream lying around from a sugar cookie effort, but these would be better with cream cheese frosting or even straight confectioner's sugar and water glaze.

I had a bite of some babka without the frosting, because my gall bladder is screaming in protest at buttercream these days.  We're star-crossed lovers.

If you're in need of some more babka-related deliciousness, here's a whole post about my boys eating babka circa about a year ago.

Who else is making some this weekend?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SuperIma Sunday Check-in

Oh, friends.  I've been so EMOTIONAL this week. I know that the point of this check-in is to make sure that I'm spending more time nurturing myself and less time with the "shoulds" of stay-at-home Imahood - but I am always feeling torn between the guilt of not spending more playtime with the kids (they help me do a lot of laundry, cooking, and cleaning) and the resentment of not having an hour of my own every day.

So, what's new?

Anyway.  I was actually really successful this week.  I told you that my new 365 Project is writing, and that my goal was to write 500 words a day.  Well......
Fullscreen capture 1162011 15936 PM.bmp
(Excel document where I track my daily writing)

Thank you.  Thankyouverymuch.

I just passed the 25,000 word mark with my writing-for-pleasure stuff, and it feels really good.  So this week, I'm going to keep on keepin' on (as my sweet friend Gevura likes to say.)  For the first time in a long time, there has been something I'm really looking forward to and excited about every day.

Okay superImas, check in - what are your goals and resolutions for the week?

Hugs and cheers from me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Frugal Ima Super-Frugal Recipe: Pierogies

FIFrugal Recipe copyOkay, cats and kittens, this is going to be a short one because this writing-for-pleasure thing?  I am kind of obsessed with it.  And it is kind of taking over my life.  You know, in an exhilarating way.  Raise your hand if you couldn't use some exhilaration.

  When my life is stuffed with self-inflicted chaos, I can always use a quick, cheap, comfort-foody recipe to throw on the stove.  What I am about to share with you is all those things and more.

As a preface, a few words about my grandmother.  Gram is a first generation American whose parents moved from Poland right after the turn of the (last) century.  She grew up in the Great Depression with ten siblings (9 sisters and a brother; can you say D-R-A-M-A?)

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(Gram and her three closest-in-age siblings.  She is the only one scowling.  Probably because of that story she told me about how they all had to share one pair of rollerskates.  Awesome.)

(Here is a picture of me and Gram and Nesi, because we all look exactly alike. See?)

Gram taught me the meaning of  "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."  She made fabric scraps into doll clothes and place mats, and every bruising apple found its way into a pie.  She also taught me how to cook from scratch.

So, as you may have gathered, Gram is super-frugal, and also super-Polish.  Add "comfort food" to that equation, and you get (duh) "PIEROGIES."  For those of you who don't know, pierogies are a classic Polish dish made up of a big bunch of starch (pasta-like dough) giving a big, fat bear hug to even more starch (mashed potatoes)  mixed with fat (butter) and more fat (cheese.) Serve it up with carmelized onions and saurkraut with a dollop of sour cream and you get nom, nom, nom, and OhmyGod YES PLEASE!!!

So of course I asked my super-frugal, super-Polish grandmother for her pierogi recipe, then waited with baited breath.  I was envisioning us rolling dough and crimping half-shells together, and giggling as we schvitzed over the mashed potatoes.  It was a very sweet daydream.

 Then she screamed (lovingly?) at me.  "Honey!  Why would you make your own pierogies?!??! You can get them so cheap frozen!!!!" (Honest to God, I will never forget that conversation.)

So, here it is - My grandmother's recipe for pierogies.  Maybe not so authentic, but at just over two dollars for the whole batch (!!!!) you won't argue, right?

Grab this box of pierogies from the frozen section.  I paid $1.12, no joke.

Throw them in boiling water till they float.

Drown Sautee a couple of medium onions in butter over medium heat until they are translucent, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Mix in a can of sauerkraut ($.64) at the end.

Pile the onions and kraut on top of your drained pierogies.  Then serve it with a dollop of sour cream on top.  If you're feeling guilty, fat free is just as good.
No photo because I was so obsessed with eating these things I totally forgot.

You probably should figure out something containing protein to eat alongside these things. Some ice cream, maybe?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

SuperIma Sunday Check-in.

Oh, ladies!  What a nice little community of SuperImas we're creating over here.  It warms my heart to see that we all need something and somehow our virtual presence is encouraging us to just get it DONE, already.

Quick update on me:  I saw the doc last Monday, he thinks that I'm probably experiencing some gallbladder distress (ya think?), but he wanted to do an endoscopy to make sure I didn't have an ulcer or, you know, cancer.  Actually, he said he wanted to "scope me," which sounded kind of intriguing until a split second later when I realized what he really meant.  Anyhow, a few hours later I was anesthetized, a camera got shoved down my throat, and at least my stomach and esophagus got a clean bill of health.  (Yessss.)  Next up is an ultrasound, and not the kind I get excited about, and some test to make my gall bladder squeeze to see if it makes me feel sick.  And then if my gall bladder acts and/or looks funky, it gets an eviction notice.  So, a few weeks till we really have any news on that.

 I'm still on a no-fat diet and still feeling more or less okay.  B''H.

In baby-cuddling news, I really did make a concerted effort to love on my babies a little more, and I want to say I netted at least half an hour more  than usual each day on just snuggles and playtime.  Any time Asher asked me to snuggle, or Rami held up his arms for a hug, I did it.  Well, about 90% of the times.  So that was a win.

For this week's SuperIma resolution, I'm going to really focus on doing some more of that writing for pleasure I mentioned a few weeks back.  I've decided that writing is going to be my new Project 365 for this year (even though I'm still going to do the 365 photos, I need something new.)  I started scribbling some stuff in December, and I've been writing a few hundred words every day since then.  Now I've got 20,000 words worth of one story sitting on my computer.

I want to write every day. Even on the worst of days I can get a hundred or so words tapped out on Evernote via my smartphone.  I figure if I average 500 words a day (I've ranged from 300-1500 in one day) for the next 22 weeks, I have something novel-length (about 100,000 words) that I might want to work on some more for the rest of the year.  It might be awesome and it might be drek.  But at the very least, it will be 100,000 words of a story, which is 100,000 more fiction words than I've ever written.  And I think that would feel pretty good.

This week I'm going to make sure I write for at least 30 solid minutes (read: during naptime) each day.  If I can swing that, I might move it up to an hour a day the next week.

So far, I've heard from you ladies:  Momof3 wants to go on more walks, Halli wants to give a little extra love to her baby.  Rachel's trying to get a handle on some organizing and home maintenance stuff.  What's everyone else up to?  What TLC do you need for yourself, and what can you give up to make room?

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Frugal Ima Frugal Recipe: Orange Bread

FIFrugal Recipe copyGood Morning frugal home managers!  Is the cold weather getting you down?!!?!  Short span of daylight perhaps leaving you a bit depressed?!!?!  Undiagnosed malady yuckying up your general existence???!?!  Perhaps even causing you to use an embarrassing amount of exclamation points in order to get yourself excited?!?!?   No?!?!?  Just me?!?!

Well, that was embarrassing.  But, it's true.  Even my fat compost heap squirrel friend is only garnering half a smile around here.

Yes, indeed, I do suffer from some slight Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is unfortunate considering I've also been known to be an Emotional Eater.  A very earnest part of me believes that a good baking day can do almost as much good as a therapist. So, you can imagine the state of my kitchen and my waistline the past couple of months.  But, I digress.

I've been finding that any kind of fat, and white flour, aggravate the tummy issues about which I've spent two consecutive Sundays kvetching.  No fabulous chocolate cookies for me!  I went in search of some recipe for warm yeasty goodness that didn't disagree with me ("Just lay off the baked goods," you say?  Clearly you don't know me.)

I thumbed through my bread machine cookbook and came across a little gem of a recipe.  What about this particular recipe made me smile?  Two oranges' worth of zest.  Little bits of sunshine tucked inside a low-fat, whole-grain, aromatic, comfort-food loaf?  Yes, please.  (The zest is what makes this recipe "Frugal" instead of "Super-Frugal."  So worth it.) 

 I tweaked it to make it pareve, a bit whole-grainier, and a bit lower fat, and here you have it.

Here's what you'll need:

Zest of 2 oranges, grated or cut into very thin strips.
1 2/3 c water
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp honey

3 c whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast

(As an aside: Please ignore all this mise en place nonsense that I seem to be evangelizing through my recipe pictures.  The number of times you see all my ingredients laid out is the same as the number of times I've bothered to take pictures of stuff for the blog.  It is for the sake of economy of photos, and that is all.  More often than not I'm tearing open a bag of flour with my teeth while wiping snot with one hand and breaking up a toddler fight with the other.  Unless you're coming to our house for Shabbos, in which case all the food is completely sterile and not at all gross.)

My little helper thought it needed a few desiccated Cheerios too.  So, once again, mind your helpers.

Knead until smooth, allow a first rise, punch down, form into loaves, allow a second rise, oven at 350 for 30-ish minutes. You know the drill.

  OR, if your S.A.D/your general home management duties have you otherwise occupied, chuck all of it in a bread machine and take it out four hours later.  Guess which one I picked!

Is this bread related to my brand-new obsession with marmalade?  Probably!  Am I loving it?  Yesssss.

Don't you feel sunshiny-er already??!?!??!

See you Sunday. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

SuperIma Sunday Check-in

Hello SuperImas! It's that time of week again, where we check in to report on what we've adjusted in the past week to bring a little bit more sanity to our lives, and what our plan is for the coming week.  I really believe that without a plan to accomplish something, it will never happen.  So, this is my self-imposed accountability.

 How was your week and your (hopefully) long weekend?

I've been feeling rather spoiled the past couple of weeks, because David's had two three-day weekends in a row, meaning I've been able to have real adult conversations all day long for an extra day each week.  I'm going to be really sad to see that go.

Last week I told you about some health concerns I've been having.  To recap, I thought I had the stomach flu three times in three weeks.  By the third time, I was getting a little suspicious.  What's going on can be summed up by: persistent nausea, which is angered by eggs, coffee, and anything remotely fatty. Oh, and upper stomach pain.  And now right shoulder pain.  My own Ima said that sounded like gall bladder issues, so I thought, What the Hell?  and started following a "gall-bladder diet" - basically, no fat, except for a teaspoon at a time.  And guess what?  I feel loads better, still slightly nauseous at all times, but nothing debilitating.  Except for this morning when I snagged a tortilla chip without thinking and wanted to die for an hour afterwards.

Still, I'd like to be able to eat with confidence again, so I'm seeing the doc tomorrow at 8.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that there is actually something he can diagnose and I don't walk out of there with the doctor all, "Keep your psychosomatic ridculousness to yourself you crazy old bat" and me all, "My stomach really does hurt, and also I'm only 28 years old, jerkface!"

I'm posting quite late in the day because I got up, dawdled for an hour or so, did my cardio, got Ashi a haircut, took the boys grocery shopping, chopped veggies for two weeks worth of meals (minestrone, cholent, and lentil soup), made Nesi some baby food (yes I know she's too big for purees but she likes them and she's my tiny sweet baby so I'm going to give in on this one thing for now) cleaned up the kitchen, and organized the pantry.  And, I guess, here we are at 4:00.

So I sat down to write this post and I decided to check in on this lady whose blog I've been following for years and years.  She is seriously hilarious, as in she often makes me laugh so hard I cry, which is actually kind of hard to do.  And she doesn't even know I exist, but since she's from Ohio we're basically best friends, because that's how Ohioans roll.  Anyway, she was pregnant with twin girls, was experiencing some preeclampsia, and delivered them a few days ago.  And so so SO sadly, she lost one of them.  Like I said, I don't even know this family, but my heart is so broken for them.  I read her post and seriously hugged all three of my babies for a solid 20 minutes after.

About 30 times this past week, Asher's pulled all the cushions off all the sofas and made a "bird's nest" with them in the middle of the living room floor.  And each and every time he's called out, "Ima bird?  Do you want to come sit in my bird's nest with me?"  And usually I'm cleaning, or I'm typing, or I'm replying to emails.  So I say, "In just a second, Ashi bird."  But most times, I don't ever make it over there.  But on Friday I climbed into the nest of pillows and cuddled up with him and Rami, and they were so, so happy.  And we all fell asleep there, in the middle of the living room, at 11:00 AM.  It was pretty much the sweetest thing ever, and it made me feel sad that I don't say "okay" more often.  I really want my kids to remember the times I snuggled up with them in their pillow forts more than I want them to remember that the kitchen floor was always clean.  Hanging out with them like that was really good for my soul, not just because it gave me the warm fuzzies but because it gave me the real chance to appreciate my babies and this time in their lives.

 So this week my SuperIma resolution is to let the housework go in one small way every day and spend that time hugging my kids.  (Notice I didn't say "let my me-time go, because that wouldn't be good at ALL.)  Not only for me, but for all the Imas out there who have babies that they will never get to hug and play with on the floor when they're toddlers, and who would think I'm nuts for turning down even one bird's nest request.

You don't know me and I don't know you, Jenn, but my Ima's heart is crying for you.  I'm so, so sorry.

How about the rest of you out there, SuperImas?  What are you letting slide a bit to make some time to take care of yourself this week?  And what crazy me-things are you going to do?
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