Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm going to be taking a break

There's no good way to even work into this so I'm going to just say it... I was pregnant. But I'm not anymore.

To be technical, I had a chemical pregnancy. That sounds so cold. It makes it sound like I wasn't even really that pregnant. But I guess that's true. After all, the fertilized egg never even attached so it could grow. It simply had the potential to grow. I simply lost a clump of cells. I simply had such an early miscarriage that it wasn't even a clinical pregnancy.

But I was pregnant. I felt pregnant. I am one of those freakish women who knows about 3 days after ovulation. I fall asleep on the couch at 7:30. I have to pee every two hours. I get instantly sick to my stomach. When I blow my nose it's bloody, every time. I can smell the craziest smells. My lower stomach (uterus) tingles. I can't remember the simplest things like where I just sat down my cell phone, 30 seconds ago. I felt this exact way with A. and it sounds dumb, but I just knew that I was pregnant.

So when I tested early, eight days past ovulation and six days before my missed period, it came back positive, I wasn't that surprised. I tested positive with A. at nine days past ovulation. The difference this time was that A.'s pregnancy test was an immediate strong positive. This one, it took a full two minutes and the line was very faint, but could be seen by both The Husband and I. It was a positive.

I am aware of the "dangers" of testing so early. I am aware of current statistics and articles that warn chemical pregnancies are common and most women have them without even knowing. I understand that as all of the articles suggest, if I had just not tested, I wouldn't have ever even gotten my hopes up. I am aware the articles make it my fault I tested so early. But I tested to confirm what I already knew.

We were cautious but excited all that night. We talked about how we would tell our parents and friends. I went to bed snuggled in The Husband's arms wondering if it was a boy or a girl. If it would have a nose like A. and how much hair the baby would be born with. I worried how A. would react to having a sibling. I went to sleep smiling. We were having a baby. I was pregnant.

Wanting to be sure and honestly, wanting to see another positive, I took a test the next morning, half way through the night when I had to pee. It came back so light it looked negative. I thought it was wrong. Maybe I'd done it wrong. It was surely wrong. The Husband said it was probably a bad test and to test again later.

I went to work upset and deflated but I had work to do, clients to see and check lists to send, Fridays are always a rush to the finish. I tried to go through my day like normal. But around lunch I began getting a throbbing, mind numbing intense headache and cramping. It didn't hit me until I had scheduled an in-person interview with a very pregnant client for later that afternoon, that this pregnancy was not going how it should. I had to go home.

On my way I stopped and picked up three kinds of tests, two digital and one regular, all early detections. They were all negative. Three tests laying there. All negative. I cried and crawled into bed.

My Mom and A. came home from play date at this point and I couldn't keep it in. I didn't know if The Husband would be upset (he wasn't) and told her everything. She was comforting and hugged me.

I called my OB who told me to go and get a HCG test that afternoon so she could find out where my levels were. I waited until The Husband came home because at that point I was so dizzy and hurting, I needed him to drive me.

Once I got home I laid down and took a three hour nap. I woke up and the cramps had almost went away and I had only a mild headache. I was still horribly nauseous. I still felt pregnant.

My in-laws offered to take A. for the night and we went to drop him off. I had told My Father-in-law earlier what was going on as he was my ride home from the office (we carpool). When we got there we let My Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law know what was going on. They reassured us to try to be positive.

We went out to dinner. We didn't discuss the pregnancy. When we got home, The Husband went straight to sleep and I watched episodes of Bones. The weekend went on. I felt like we were just waiting for it to end.

Today I stayed home from work. I could have went. I probably should have went. I had work to do. Work I'm now behind on and will take me the next two weeks of busting my ass to get back on top of. But I just couldn't get out of bed. Mom said she would handle A. like any other Monday but I got up with him and got him ready for school. I was still dizzy so Mom took him.

Once I got A. ready I called my OB. The nurse said the results had just come in but hadn't been read, someone would call. I went to bed and waited. When the nurse called she flatly stated "Your test came back. You're not pregnant". I sat there for several seconds and then asked what my levels were, she shuffled papers and said "Uh low, you have to have at least a 10 for a viable pregnancy and you don't. You're not pregnant." I said I understood and hung up. My levels were too low for a pregnancy. It was confirmed. I wasn't pregnant.

I didn't cry, like I thought I would. Instead, I just wanted to sleep. I slept until it was time to pick A. from school. I suprised him and Mom and took us out for lunch.

The Husband was disappointed, that I wasn't pregnant. I am disappointed and sad. Much more sad then I even expected to be. I honestly feel so stupid about how sad I feel. I was barely even pregnant. I feel stupid for even saying I was pregnant. I feel stupid for saying I had a miscarriage. I never heard a heart beat, or felt a kick, or saw a face on an ultrasound. Besides my gut feelings and one faint pregnancy test, there's not even any proof.

How can I be this sad? How can I be sad about something that barely even happened. But I am. I am sad.

The only thing I've got left is the pictures I took of A. and the sign I had him hold to tell The Husband.

Doesn't he have the best smile?

***Just know, this isn't something I'm putting on FB. I know, it seems weird, why put it on an open blog but not on FB. But trust me, I don't wish to discuss this with every backwards third cousin of The Husband's.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things that I would tell a teenage girl

There are always tons of lists about things you should teach your kids, or lessons to learn from having a son or a daughter or words of wisdom for young people from old people. Often they are heartfelt and filled with loving sound advice.

I was recently reading one that has become super popular on Pinterest and it got me thinking about the things teenage girls should be told, not that they would listen anyways, but still, someone's gotta say them.
  • High school is NOT the best times of your life. And if they are, wow, you're gonna be mighty dissapointed after your senior year. Middle and high school seem so damn long when you are going through it, and they are at the time, but when you finish, and you will finish some day, it will all seem so stupid. Everything that seemed like a big deal will be a joke and you'll wonder why you got so worked up. Don't feel bad though, it's not your age, adults are guilty of this too. Every class, job or crisis you have as an adult will repeat this pattern too, you just won't know it until it's done.
  • Being a teenager sucks. As does being an adult. They both suck for different reasons. You will come to accept both with time.
  • You're right, she is a bitch. That bitchy girl in school, the one you hate and who hates you back, you're right, she is a bitch, it's not just you. And here's a shocker... she will probably always be one. I'd love to tell you it's because she is hurting deep inside herself and has no one to love her, but honestly, who cares? She's a bitch so just ignore her until you get out of school and then forget all about her. Unless she has a sincere change of attitude due to a near death experience, she will probably always be a nasty person. Accept it and move on and far away from her.
  • Experiment with who you are because you want to. If you want to dress in all black or go by a different name or figure out who and what your attracted to, do it because you want to. You'll regret experimentation less if you do it out of geniune interest and not because of what you think you should be doing or what someone else wants you to do.
  • You don't have to go to college. But you do have to do something with your life. College isn't for everyone and there is no shame in that; everyone is smart in their own way. If you want to have a career that instead involves a trade school or certificate or apprenticeship or hell, is based off an idea you have in your head, go for it! But do something with your life because let's be blunt, society has enough dead weight as it is, don't add to it.
  • You're mom/dad/aunt/uncle/neighbor is right. You're a bitch. Even the nicest girls have their moments. It's fine, just remember to apologize down the road and mean it.
  •  It's okay to be single. You don't need someone else to make you happy or complete you. In fact, don't ever let the other person be the only reason you are happy. It's a dangerous thing to give someone else so much power over your emotions. You can still think being single sucks, because it does, but learn to be happy by yourself.
  • Have at least one interest or hobby. I don't care if it's soccer, Star Wars or under water basket weaving. Find something you enjoy and go with it. Know that it will change and that it should over time as you change as a person. But you should always have something your interested in. People who have no interests or hobbies as teenagers turn into boring grown-ups who think discussing Parade Magazine is a good past time (side note, if you don't know what that is, good, very good).
  • Blow your money on stupid shit now. Seriously. Buy whatever the hell it is you kids buy these days and don't regret it one bit. One day you will have real responsibilities like food and electricity to pay for. Blow your money now when you have the chance.
  • Just because you made one decision doesn't mean your stuck nor does it define what kind of person you are. People, full grown people, make lots and lots of dumb mistakes. It's called being human. You will make decisions you aren't proud of and ones you wish you could take back. You can't. But you can make new decisions. Just because you made one choice doesn't mean you're locked into that road of choices. You're allowed to say, fuck this, I don't want to do/be this anymore. You don't have to be any thing or any label you don't want to be.
There you have it. It of course makes me wonder, what kind of advise could I use now for this stage of my life, late 20's. Yes a list that tells me how not to mess up my 20's, where is that list?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dark Chocolate and Banana Matzo Brei

I love chocolate. I love bananas. I like matzo. So when I came across this recipe for dark chocolate banana matzo brei, I knew I had to make it. The best way to describe it is that you are essentially making french toast, just with matzo instead.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Matzo Brei
I didn't follow the recipe step by step but used it more as a guide. I made this last year as a savory breakfast and while this was fairly good, it didn't really taste very much like bananas or chocolate the first day but much better the second day, so I would add more of both, which is shown in the recipe below.

6 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 bananas + 3 tablespoons milk, smashed up until almost a liquid
1 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled (not hot)

8 matzo squares, each broken roughly into forths

sliced bananas (optional)
honey or syrup (optional)

Beat the eggs, almond extract, milk, honey and cocoa powder until foamy.

Mix the bananas and the chocolate together. Add the mixture to the egg mixture. It should be thicker but still liquid, not a paste.

Soak the matzo pieces for at least 10 minutes. Make sure each piece gets covered in the mixture. The matzo will be soggy but the bigger pieces should still retain their shape for the most part.

Spray a pan with olive oil spray and cook patties of the matzo, browning on each side until done. Top with extra bananas and syrup and enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

If you have every spent even a few minutes on Pinterest in the food section you have seen the easy 3 ingredient hawaiian chicken. The original pin comes from Six Sister's Stuff and is the best kind of dinner, easy, cheap and wonderfully yummy.

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
I normally use the Archer Farms Hawaiian-Style Barbecue Sauce from Target but it contains wheat so I had to find a different kind for Passover. I had a hard time finding one that didn't have wheat, yeast or modified food starch (unless it specifies what food starch, I can't be sure it's not wheat). I ended up using a brand called Stubbs instead, it does have corn, so if you're not eating corn either or rice, then this recipe isn't for you. Obviously you could always make your own bbq sauce and serve it over matzo, but I was lazy and liked this sauce and rice instead. I usually end up with more sauce then I want so I will crank it up to high at the end, take the lid off and let it reduce down for a half an hour.

6-8 boneless chicken breasts (I dump mine in frozen)
1 cup of of bbq sauce
20 oz of crushed pineapple + juice

Spray your crock pot insert and dump everything in for 8 hours on slow or until the meat shreds easily.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How do you make holidays mean anything to preschoolers?

As Passover ends tonight, I am of course spending some time in reflection. Growing up I lived in a family where religion was personally important to My Mom and very unimportant to My Dad. My Mom didn't attend church but did read us Bible stories, sent us to vacation Bible School and let us know why we celebrated Christmas and Easter. My Dad never once mentioned religion and I knew from a young age that my parent's disagreed on it.

If I am to be honest, I never knew that I had a religion growing up. Or, I never thought the stories My Mom read me were anything more than well, stories. I knew that if someone asked me what religion I was, I was to respond with the one with Jesus and I could retell the fish and bread story like anyone else, but I never gave it much thought. I knew My Mom believed deeply in the stories, I just simply didn't. It wasn't a lack of trying on her part it was just a lack of believing on mine. 

In middle school, I actually requested we start going to church because I felt I didn't know enough about this religion everyone assumed I was. My Mom happily agreed and we all began going. My parent's were divorcing by this time and My Mom felt bad, and still does, that she hadn't given my brother and I a "proper" upbringing with religion. I feel this is the point I should interject and say I actually think My Mom did a fantastic job, perhaps not in raising a Christian, but allowing me to have my own thoughts on religion. For that, she did a fantastic job.

Knowing however, how I was raised and knowing my less than stellar track record for going myself even now to Temple, when I chose this religion, I get concerned about A. I do feel Judasim is correct for me but I'm not one to go every week to Temple or to observe all rules and all holidays. I tend to think that once I find a mind frame that works I don't really feel the need to do be very organized about it. And while The Husband and I have agreed to raise A. Jewish, we also strongly feel that we want A. to make up his own mind about religion, we want him to ask questions and seek out answers.

I talk a lot on here about the foods and while culturally, there is a large emphasis on food and rituals, obviously I didn't decide to become Jewish because of the gefilte fish or the reciting of the Shema, thought it is beautiful and I sing it every night to A. at bedtime. No, the reason I chose, the reason every individual chooses a religion is because it means something to them. But how do you make religion mean something to children? To preschoolers? Can one?

The simple answer is, I guess, I have no idea which probably means I'm already doing it wrong. Instead I simply light candles, bring him to Temple on the more kid-friendly holidays, read A. stories and have him watch videos. My still all time favorite is The Rugrats Passover Special and A. loves it too. If you didn't watch this as a child, then you missed out.

So my question for the universe is, no matter what religion, how do you make it meaningful for children? Was this Passover meaningful to A.? I hope so.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Apple, Cherries, Carrots and Onion

I don't really like that many veggies and unless they are seasoned to taste like dessert or covered in cheese, I'm not usually that interested. That's why this year I decided to make roasted veggies that taste like dessert.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Apple, Cherries, Carrots and Onion
This is a quick, easy side dish that tastes and smells fantastic. Even A. ate some of it and said "good good". You can throw any veggies in this but I stayed with ones that are naturally sweet anyways. This made enough for about one cup servings for 6-8 people.

1 large sweet potato, skinned and cubed
6 large carrots, skinned and diced
2 medium sized granny smith apples, cored but skin left on
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
8 oz dried cherries
olive oil - enough to cover all veggies

Spray your cooking dish with olive oil spray.

Cut all veggies and put them in a container with a lid (or a ziploc bag).

Add sugar and cinnamon, in almost equal parts, until the veggies smell like apple pie.

Add olive oil and toss veggies.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until soft. For softer veggies, bake in a casserole dish. For crispier veggies bake on a cookie sheet.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mommy Confessions: Screw you ice cream man, screw you

Because of the ice cream man deciding to roll through my neighborhood at 6:13PM, prime dinner time hour, never mind the fact we weren't eating and haven't even yet, I was forced to lie to my beautiful child.

Look at that face? Look how happy he is. Until I had to lie and tell him we had no money to buy ice cream. No, none at all. No, that wasn't money in his piggy bank. Well okay, it is, but the ice cream man doesn't take that kind of money.

Instead I had to bribe my sad child with a jelly bean or two convincing him they did taste like ice cream. Which of course is a lie. But he let me get away with it after I promised to turn on itunes and let him stare listen to Katy Perry.

Screw you, you ice cream bastard.

Crock Pot Roast Beef

 So let's go backwards in time and talk about the crock pot roast beef I served for seder last Friday. I remember eating pot roast when I was little and thinking that it was the yummiest thing ever, that is, assuming I drowned it in ketchup. I never ate any veggie my poor mom tried to get me to eat and I would have never ate the crock pot roast beef below.

Now why so many posts about recipes? Is this suddenly turning into a food blog? Do I think my food is awesome and so are my pictures? No. No to all of those. My pictures are crappy, I mean, look at them, I take them with my phone because it's easier to upload wirelessly then stick the SD card into the front on the lap top. And my food is basic, mom food. No, the reason for so many food posts is simple, next year when I go to make the menu for Passover I can simply pull up this year's menu without spending hours on Pinterest looking for recipes.

Crock Pot Roast Beef
I make this different each time but I generally follow the same idea, throw things in the pot in the morning and eat it 8 hours later. You can sear the meat if you want for extra flavor but I honestly don't and no one complains.

pot roast - whatever size you can afford and will fit in your crock pot
steak seasoning

12 oz mushrooms - sliced into whatever size your family likes
1 large tomato
1/2 small onion

3 dashes of soy sauce
1/2 cup of french dressing

Season the meat with steak seasoning and place first in the crock pot.

Add the veggies in. Other veggies I usually throw in include carrots, potatoes and parsnips.

Add the soy sauce and french dressing.

Set for 8 hours on low on your crock pot. Meat will be done when it easily falls apart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mommy Confession: the grocery store

Before I had A. I always thought when I saw parents pop open a bag of animal crackers or crack a thing of juice, really? How hard is it to pack snacks before you leave you lazy ass.

Yup. That was A. about an hour ago in the grocery store. I could tell you some lame reason like I had just picked him up from Ya Ya's house from work and hadn't planned on stopping at the store, which is true. Or that he was having a whining fit, which is also true. No matter the reason, I am now that mommy. The one who opens packages of snack foods and shoves them at her child so she can just get through the check out line, and I only have one.

To all the other mommie's I've ever judged before, my bad. Well except the ones who are shopping for lacey bras at 9:55PM at Target with one of your kids passed out in the cart and the other eating pop corn while you talk on your cell phone, you still get judged.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spinach, Tomato and Feta Egg Bake

I'm not sure if you're a morning person or not but I have never been and never will be. I don't enjoy waking up, I don't enjoy getting out of my comfy bed, I don't enjoy putting on a bra and I don't enjoy making breakfast. Breakfast since I was a kid has always been one of those horrible meals, my stomach always feels off in the morning and if it involves more thought than a bagel with cream cheese, I'm not interested. So we do a lot of cereal around here.

Occasionally though, I will go all out and make breakfast for lunch or dinner. I love breakfast for lunch or dinner. I could eat it probably every day. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love pancakes, bacon, hash browns and eggs with yummy juice?

One of my go-to eggs is this super easy egg bake. It's like scrambled eggs, just baked. Much easier and super versatile, just throw whatever goodies you have in the fridge into it. I should note though that it is not faster, well maybe if you had to make scrambled eggs for a huge group of people, then it would be, but not just for one or two people.

Spinach, Tomato and Feta Egg Bake
I love how you can make this any flavor you want, sausage and cheese, veggie, all meats. Go crazy. You can also use only egg whites, which I have done before loaded with veggies, very yummy, it just baked a bit faster. This holds well in the fridge for at least 2-3 days after you make it but gets watery gross after that. This makes enough for an 8x8.

8 - 10 large eggs (enough eggs that it fills whatever dish you're using half way)
1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups spinach
1/3 cup onion
1 cup tomatoes

1 cup feta

Scramble the eggs and milk together until very frothy.

Saute the spinach, onions and tomatoes in butter. Add to the egg mixture.

Add the feta, salt and pepper to the eggs as well.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees or until edges turn golden and center is solid.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rocking Easter and Passover in one weekend

Getting sick of hearing about holidays yet? Sorry. If you are check back next week after Saturday when Passover ends but until then or probably after, I'll be writing about everything Passover and even a little about Easter. I probably should have warned of that last week.

Anywho, so I've mentioned before that I belong to an interfaith marriage which obviously means I belong to an interfaith family, on both sides. So where does everyone sit?
  • Me: working on converting to Judaism
  • The Husband: agnostic and not searching for anymore meaning or answers
  • A.: will be raised Jewish
  • My Mom (Nana): Christian Reformed
  • My Brother (Uncle): Christian Reformed
  • My Sister-in-Law (Aunt J): Christian Reformed
  • My Dad (Grandpa) and his Wife's family: Catholic
  • My Mother-in-law (Ya Ya): Protestant
  • My Father-in-law (Pop Pop): Catholic
  • My Sister-in-law (Auntie): agnostic but tends to lean towards nature based
So, there you have it. For the most part we are an interfaith Christian, Catholic, agnostic, working on being Jewish, family. How does that work then when you have two very important holidays overlap? Easy if you're us.

We, as A.'s parents, celebrate the Jewish holiday's at home. Everyone is invited and those who wish to come do, those who don't, no big deal. I usually have to explain why a holiday is important or recap a story, but everyone is very supportive. They love us, they love A. and while I know it makes some of them uncomfortable, they handle it well.

Then we go to the grandparent's homes for Christian based holidays. A. participates in the secular parts of the holidays and if there is prayer, we simply listen quietly. This weekend for example A. did an Easter egg hunt at Ya Ya and Pop Pop's.

He had a blast searching for the eggs.

Once he understood what he was looking for he ran around screaming in the back yard every time he found one.

We then flew kites and spent some time just hanging out and joking.

For now, it works in our family. I want A. to grow up knowing that religion is deeply personal and that there is no right answer or only one correct religion. That the great part of religion is figuring out what it means to you, if it means anything to you at all. I want him to understand that just because his beliefs are different from other people's beliefs and vise versa, it's okay. In fact, it's great.

Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake

Passover started last night at sun down and it went great. My Mom, My Brother and his wife, came over to help us celebrate by coming over for a quick seder. I appreciate that they came over, specially My Brother and his wife because I know they are fairly uncomfortable with the whole, I'm trying to convert to being a Jew, thing. They are fairly active at their Christian Reformed church, with My Brother handling the sound and his wife who is firm in her beliefs. But in the end, good food, wine, retelling of an important to us all Biblical story and time with their family, won them over.

The meal went off great and while originally I was going to start by sharing the pot roast, the dessert was so freaking good, I'm going to skip right too it. Make this dessert. Jewish, Christian, nothing at all, your own creation, who cares. This flourless chocolate lava cake from Zoe Bakes is the best chocolate cake I have ever had. It is so delicious that I wanted to lick the plate. The Husband even said it should show up every year for seder.

Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake
This recipe is super quick and easy with very few ingredients but looks super impressive. The original recipe said to use ramekins but being honest with myself, I knew I would just end up eating two of those so I just decided to use souffles instead and pretend I was only eating one serving. It made 6 souffles and they popped out very easily, though if you had enough for each person, they would look adorable served right in the souffle cup.

10 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips
10 tablespoons of salted butter
1/4 cup of cocoa powder

6 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

extra chocolate chips, enough for filling for each cake

fresh berries, like raspberries or black berries
powdered sugar

Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips until they are smooth. Add in your butter and cocoa powder until smooth.

Using a wisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they become foamy. Slowly add in the sugar and beat on medium until the mixture has soft peaks (it will resemble whip cream).

Slowly combine the two together.

Butter the souffle cups and coat in sugar. Spoon mixture into cups.

Bake for 8 minutes at 425 degrees.

Take out and insert the extra chocolate chips into the center of the cakes. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. 

Top with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Serve either on plates or straight from the souffle cups.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The words don't matter, the memory does

Tonight was, well, shitty when it came to putting A. down to sleep. He seems to go in these cycles, where he will go to bed with absolutely no issues and then he will have a night where he just freaks out. I'm talking screaming, kicking, thrashing around so bad it takes both of us to get his meds down, brush his teeth, change his diaper (yes, he's still in diapers) and change him into pj's. His screaming eventually turns to crying and then sobbing and then sniffling. The whole process probably takes a good half an hour and everyone is exhausted when it's done.

We're never sure what causes them, we don't seem to do anything different from night to night, or eat different foods, or who knows what causes them. But tonight, like most freak out nights, I ended up rubbing his back as I sang shema to him, twice. It occured to me as I was singing that I do exactly what My Mom always did, make up parts of the song. In my case it's because I don't know how to say the words yet. My temple sings a different version then the normal shema but my version goes even a bit different from theirs, mine goes:

Shema Yisrael, Adonai, Eloheinu, Adonai, Adonai, Eḥad
Shema Yisrael, Adonai, Eloheinu, Adonai, Adonai, Eḥad
Baruch Shem Kavod [and this is where I hum because I can't say "Malchuto LeOlam V'aed"]
Shema Yisrael, Adonai, Eloheinu, Adonai, Adonai, Eḥad

As I sang it the second time I found myself smiling because suddenly I could remember every single word to the lullaby My Mom use to sing to my brother and me. I don't know when she began singing it to me and I sadly, can't remember when she stopped, but it was about the time I went into 4th or 5th grade.

Lullaby and goodnight
Go to sleep my little darling
Lullaby and goodnight
Go to sleep my darling one
Lullaby and goodnight
Go to sleep my little darling
Lullaby and goodnight
Go to sleep my darling one

Creative, no :) I actually asked My Mom a few years ago and she laughed stating that she was never a creative one and out of desperation one night just kept repeating the only two lines she knew. The funny thing of course is, if I heard someone else sing it I would think it was a bit off, but I can still close my eyes now and hear my mom's voice singing. I hope A. will remember my singing, even if it isn't that good or even the right words.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Schlepping to find Passover approved matzo

I live in a smallish town. I always hated it growing up but when I became an adult I couldn't imagine living any where else. My mom lives here, my brother lives here, my dad lives about half an hour away, my in-laws and sister-in-law live here and my friends all live here. The majority of the time, I love my small town and it's weird obsession with tulips. Some times though, like during Passover, I find it annoying.

You see, for Passover, I can't use any old matzo. The boxes at Meijer won't work for this week and honestly, I don't eat it any other time of year, so I'm not sure when that matzo would work.

See what that box is missing? No? I didn't either until Rabbi pointed it out. It's missing the Passover approved seal. You see, the only flour item that is approved to eat is matzo if it has been made in under 18 minutes as it would prevent it from being levened. And in order to ensure that it has been made in 18 minutes or less, you must, in my instance, schelpp your way up north 45 minutes to a larger town with a fancy grocery store where everything costs waaaay too much and they still have bag boys who carry out your groceries for tips.

So that's exactly what A., The Husband and I did yesterday. Their Passover selection is large, well, compared to the zero selection anywhere else.

A. was less than pleased with the trip so I picked up six boxes of matzo at almost $4 a box, some boxes of Passover "crackers" and then hurried away from the store.

So what can one make from Matzo? It turns out, a few things, including matzo brei and matzo crack.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Passover - it's coming!

Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the freedom of the Hebrews from slavery, requires a lot of prep work. Last year's Passover was my first one and I started a month in advance. Why so much prep? Well, one has to remove all chametz from their home as Jews are not permitted to eat them as a reminder that the Hebrews didn't have any when they fled from Egypt.

Passover starts at sundown this Friday and what have I done? Nothing. This year, I've been super busy with work and have done nothing to prep for Passover besides pin things lately that I think are cute.

One pin I found was for A. It seems to be hard at times to find age appropriate Passover activities for a 3 year old, but A. loves coloring so I figured this kids coloring page for Passover of the seder plate would be perfect. It use to come from a blog, The Design Pocket, but it has since been closed. Thankfully, you can still find the actual image on her flickr account.

 Last year I went full into Passover and tried to follow as many rules as I felt were meaningful to my family and my beliefs. When I say meaningful to me it's because I'm still not technically Jewish, I'm still in the learning process and figuring it all out, stage. However, even if I was, when I go to temple, I go to a Reform temple whose Rabbi feels that if following ritual law, for example, kashrut or kosher, makes one feel closer to G-d, then one should do it. If it doesn't, then find other ways to be close to G-d. With that and with the request from The Husband, to pull back on some of the rules this year, Passover this year will be observed with some modifications to last years rules.

This year for Passover we are following some basic rules and those include: 
  • No pork, shellfish or insects (it's not as if we do anyways, but just sayin).
  • Milk, veggies and fruits are permitted.
  • Eggs and fish that have scales and fins are permitted and both are considered parve (neutral) and can be mixed with milk or meat.
  • For the week of Passover, chametz which is wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats that have been mixed with water and allowed to sit for longer than eighteen minutes.
Essentially, we will not be following the rule about kosher only meat as well as mixing meat and milk together. I don't have ample supply to kosher meat in my small town, well, besides kosher hot dogs and fish. Last year it was hard for protein choices and The Husband has requested we try this year with not following this rule. As I live in an interfaith marriage and don't feel all that passionate about kashrut anyways, I agreed.

We will also be eating corn and rice again this year. Also any food that is uneaten by Thursday night and voilates the rules will be "sold" to My Mom for $1, the animals will continue to eat their regular food (it contains chametz), I will be packing special meals for A. for school and The Husband is free to keep and eat chametz at work.

So what does our Passover weekly menu and shopping list look like this year? Not that much off from what I normally plan actually. I list them here in breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack order.
waffles, bananas
pb + jelly, apples, celery
seder: pot roastroasted veggies and flourless chocolate lava cake
string cheese, apples

rice chex cereal, berries
eating at My In-Laws - possibly a challenge
kosher hot dogs, mixed fruit, celery with ranch
matzo toffee/crack

eating at My Dad's - this may be a challenge, it's an Easter lunch with ham
matzo + egg salad, pickles, fruit salad

corn chex cereal, berries
matzo + pb + jelly, bananas, carrots with ranch
pot roast left overs on matzo, fries
hard boiled eggs, cheese and Passover "crackers"

taco chili, matzo and avacado
celery + pb

brown rice "oatmeal", bananas
kosher hot dogs, tator tots, carrots with ranch
salad - chicken, cranberries and walnuts
cheese, Passover "crackers"

corn chex cereal, berries
matzo + pb + jelly, oranges and celery with ranch
taco chili, matzo and avacado
grapes, string cheese

rice chex cereal, bananas
matzo + tuna fish, tomatoes, cheese, apples
shabbot: dark chocolate banana matzo brei, chicken and apple sausage, hashbrowns, fruit
cottage cheese, berries

brown rice "oatmeal", bananas
all leftovers
eating out - something carb loaded as Passover is finished

Now to go grocery shopping. Wish me luck!