Category Archives: Easter

Spring Break In Review

Spring break is over! Yay!

Almost. Boo.

Dylan is back at school, but Riley, because of the Passover holiday, doesn’t go back until tomorrow. Bugger.

Just as I anticipated, it was a long week, and just as I predicted, I wanted to pull my hair out by bedtime on Thursday. All in all, though, it was an interesting week filled with dilemmas, adventures, anxiety (of course), firsts, and family.

Dylan bought new sneakers with laces. The “with laces” part is important. I vowed never to buy him (or Riley) sneakers with laces until he could tie his own shoes, but then he drooled over these really cool black Nike basketball sneakers and I couldn’t say no. (Never say never.) Now I’m desperate to teach him to tie his own shoes (so I don’t have to do it ten times a day), and let’s just say progress has been slow. This milestone – tying ones own shoes – feels like a big deal, and I feel as much pressure to get it done as I did when Dylan was almost three and a half and not yet potty trained. I can’t help but think about Lisa Belkin’s recent piece, “Parenting Memories: The Bubbles That Unite And Divide Us,” about how we get caught up in whatever stage of parenting we’re in (breastfeeding, potty training, applying for colleges, etc.) and then find it hard to relate to parents who are in a different place. My friends, I am in the “learning to tie shoes” bubble. (Help!)

We went to the zoo and the lion roared! It. Was. Amazing. It was the first time I ever heard a lion roar, and it’s going on my Runaway Mama Bucket List, for sure. It was a first for Dylan and Riley, too, although if you ask Dylan what his favorite part of the zoo was, he’ll say, “eating popcorn.”


I got the results of my thyroid biopsy. Don’t get too excited. There was no result. Really. It was non-diagnostic, which means the cell sample wasn’t large enough for the pathologist to make a determination. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s nothing. It’s like it never happened. I have to do the biopsy all over again, and I have to wait three weeks to do it so the thyroid can heal completely from the first procedure. This non-diagnostic result happens approximately 10% of the time, which made me want to scream into a pillow for a little while. I’m okay now, but the anxiety has propelled my spring cleaning energy to a dangerous level. I still haven’t started on my closet, but the laundry room looks great, I rearranged the kitchen, and we finally hung some framed pictures of the boys that I’ve been meaning to do since Christmas (and before they graduate high school). Next up: the patio, the toy closet, and the boys’ bedroom. [Insert dramatic music].

Riley got his first ear infection! In fact, it was our first ear infection as a family. Dylan has never had one. Crazy, right? Poor guy was stuffy and coughing all week, but it wasn’t until Friday that his ear nearly exploded.

We had a very successful family dinner on Saturday night at the Macaroni Grill. Both kids behaved, ate the food they ordered, and only went to the bathroom once. So that’s what it’s like to go out to dinner with my children and not have an uncontrollable urge to hurl myself out a window!

We celebrated Easter on Sunday. I (a Jewish Mama, remember) hid candy and Squinkie filled eggs in the backyard, the boys ate excessive amounts of chocolate…


Riley=1. Bunny=0.

…and we had a lovely brunch with stimulating conversation about Plato and Socrates’ Allegory of the Cave, “The Croods” (major philosophical undertones!), and Jesus Christ, all of which made me wonder where the hell the Easter Bunny came from.

Last but not least, bedtime last night, after a week of staying up late and sleeping in, was, predictably, a bitch.

How was your spring break?


Filed under anxiety, bedtime, bucket list, cleaning, Easter, eating out, health, movie, spring break

One Hell Of A Soup

In college, my senior dance performance was called “Soup for Ten.”  Ten unique choreography students, including me, contributed dances to the show.  The idea was that ten different ingredients would make one hell of a soup.  (They did.)

The last four days of motherhood made an interesting recipe, too.  Here were the ingredients:

One pillow fight – There’s something cozy about my boys cuddling up in my bed, watching their favorite shows, hiding under the sheets and hitting each other with pillows.  It reminds me of playing with my sister when I was a little girl.

One Passover Seder – I’ve questioned religion for many years, but on Friday night, at a Seder with family and close friends, I was reminded of what I love so much about Judaism – ritual, tradition, and chopped liver (but not gefilte fish).

One oops – When the candles were lit, instead of reciting the blessing for Shabbat (Baruch atah Adonai…”), Dylan sang “Happy birthday to you…”

One croupy kid – After just seven hours of post-Seder sleep, Riley woke with the sweet sound of a barking seal.  We spent the morning at the pediatrician’s office hoping for a negative strep test and a clear chest.  We got lucky, but the little munchkin was down for the count.

One bedroom makeover – Anxiety leads me to do one of three things (or all of them): shop, clean and/or decorate.  On Saturday, I set my sights on the boys’ bedroom.  I rearranged their furniture, hung new alphabet and chalkboard wall decals, and reorganized their toys and books.  When I was done, Dylan said, “Mommy, this room is so awesome.”

Two brothers – The unexpected consequence of the makeover was that the boys decided to sleep in the same bed, or more accurately, Dylan decided he needed to sleep in the same bed with Riley just like Mommy and Daddy.

I didn’t approve of this sleeping arrangement because (1) Riley was sick and (2) I knew there would be no sleeping, but I gave in.  (Did I really have a choice?)   I was right.  There was no sleeping, but their brotherly love, especially Riley’s adoration of his older brother’s big idea, was beyond adorable.  Not unexpectedly, by the end of the night, I had a croupy bedmate.

A heaping spoonful of charm – My sister-in-law once gave Mike and I a framed picture of us kissing (rated-PG) in our dining room.  During the makeover on Saturday, Dylan asked me to place the picture right next to his lamp so he could see it and “have sweet dreams about Mommy and Daddy all night long.”

One dance party – What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Easter?  Breakdancing?  I thought so.  Thirty-six hours after the Passover Seder, we prepped for Easter brunch at my sister-in-law’s house.  The highlight, besides a yummy spinach frittata, was Dylan and Riley’s dance party complete with You Tube music videos by Alvin and the Chipmunks.  As a Mama of boys and a former dancer, I sometimes feel a wave of disappointment that I don’t have a little girl to take to ballet classes, but it turns out I have a breaker on my hands, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

One bout of emotional shopping – On Monday morning, with two sick kids on my hands, I did what any desperate and exhausted Mama would do:  I went to The Container Store (and boy did it feel good).  Armed with new supplies, I cleaned out the laundry room and reorganized the boys’ closet.

A pinch of happy tears – I knew bedtime would be rough last night (the boys took late afternoon naps), but by 10:30 p.m., I was desperate and ready to cry (or give in and let the boys come to my bed).  As I was about to sing ONE MORE SONG, Dylan said, “Mommy, thank you for moving our beds close together and for moving the furniture around and for hanging letters on our wall and for the chalkboards and for doing all of this cool stuff to our room.  Thank you for everything.  I love you so much.”  And then I really did cry.  “Mommy, why are you crying?  Are you sad?”  I said, “No, Dylan, I’m really happy.  Sometimes people cry when they’re happy.  I’m crying happy tears because what you just said to me was so thoughtful and kind.  I love you, too.”

Yup, motherhood makes one hell of a soup.

Speaking of soup, yesterday evening, I made white bean and kale soup because a Mama can only be coughed and sneezed on so many times before she feels like crap, too.  Here’s the recipe.  It has less than ten ingredients, but it makes – you guessed it – one hell of a soup.


1-2 TBSP olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans

4 cups of kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil at medium-high in a soup pot

Sautee garlic and onions until garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent

Add stock and beans, stir and let come to a boil

When soup boils, mash beans with a potato masher or similar kitchen utensil

Add kale and stir

Simmer for about ten minutes

Add salt and pepper to taste

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Filed under bedtime, dancing, Easter, going to the doctor, Judaism, motherhood, shopping