July 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sometimes, in order to confuse my daughter and amuse myself, I choose to speak to Lena only in lines from movies.

Specifically, Rex, from all three Toy Story‘s.

Me: Will someone please cover my eyes?
Lena: What.
Me: Now I have GUILT!
Lena: What mom.

My kid has completely mastered the declarative “what” by the way.

“Now I have GUILT!”

hahahahah I crack myself up.


Starting to pay off

June 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last night, Lena let me read Charlotte’s Web to her.

I had forgotten how much I loved this book.

The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell–as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world. It smelled of grain and of harness dressing and of axle grease and of rubber boots and of new rope. And whenever the cat was given a fish-head to eat, the barn would smell of fish. But mostly it smelled of hay, for there was always hay in the great loft up overhead. And there was always hay being pitched down to the cows and the horses and the sheep.

E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

I grew up with this book and I haven’t opened it or even thought about it in years. And last night, taking off the worn jacket and beginning to read it to Lena, I can’t describe the familiarity of the words to my ear, my wonder, piqued again by these small heroines, and noticing that Lena too, is listening quietly. Here is one of those moments, so whole and tangible, when Lena gives me so much more than motherhood. She’s taking me back. I can’t describe what children’s literature means to me. I grew up reading. Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume. Hatchet, The Giver, Cheaper by the Dozen, Walk Two Moons, I could go on and on and on down to Archie comics that I read every morning while eating cereal. I loved to read, and I still do, and Lena is reminding me how enchanted I was by these books. How much I loved and craved stories, the worlds that these authors created. How much I learned from them.

Although, I was saddened to learn that in the most recent versions of Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret the elusive “belted sanitary napkins” have been changed to “adhesive sanitary pads”. Not the case when I was growing up, and until I got my period I was still quite under the impression that I too would get to have the little pink belt attached to my…well i think the logistics were still a little unclear at the time.

To Lena,
Thanks for keeping me young.
Now go to bed.

The quick pass over

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Slate got it right on point with The two-minute Haggadah, which we did to a tee, except we skipped the prayer for the parsley, and also the plagues.

We were comically reform, and Lena astutely commented while we were singing “Dayenu”, that “we already sang that one,” because, yes indeed, you heard one thing in Hebrew, you’ve heard them all.

Also spoken that evening, “Oh wait, that was the prayer for the candles. This is the prayer for the wine.”


Little bits and pieces

April 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lena thinks she is just so hilarious.

She’ll “read” the opening lines of Horton Hear’s a Who, which goes,

On the 15th of May in the jungle of Nool,
in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
he was splashing, enjoying the jungle’s great joys,
when Horton the elephant heard a small noise…

Except Lena now says,

On the 15th of May in the jungle of Nool,
in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,

And then she dissolves into giggles.

Like, that is kind of funny, you know? It’s her using irony and her little brain to conjure up some opposing situation that turns a paragraph on its end and it’s funny.

We had another amazing fun-filled weekend. It was our good friends Charlie and Christel’s wedding, and we just had a fun, sun filled weekend. At Sunday brunch, Shirene, a good old friend of Mikey’s, and a beautiful soul that I’ve encountered on various occasions for the past six or so years, complimented me and Lena, and asked, Are you doing this all on your own? And I knew what she was asking, and I responded, yes, but immediately said, What am I saying, no, I’m not doing this on my own at all. I’ve got the most amazing family, the most amazing friends, and we’re talking, and Lena is playing quietly in the corner, and I can see Alex through the window, and we’re all surrounded by friends in this celebration of love for Charlie and Christel, and we’re all here today because of them, but everyone’s really here for everyone and all that, and it’s all very inspiring and moving and wonderful, and No, I’m not doing this alone. I couldn’t do it without y’all, you know. So, Here’s to you.

What a weekend

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think this weekend was one of the best weekends on record.

For one, I finally understand how loving the Tar Heels, loving college basketball, and hating duke becomes so entrenched when you’re little and growing up in Chapel Hill. For the past two weekends the Bloom-Yeh family has been having dinner around the TV, donning Carolina blue, and cheering our Heels on. Lena now jumps from couch to couch saying, “Go Tar Heels” and “I’m a Tar Heel”. (I’m working on positivity with her, so it’ll be a couple more years until she’s saying, “duke sucks”.)

This weekend proved to be cold and rainy, but the Blooms took advantage of the only non-rainy morning, and Pops and Lena and I ran a 5K in Durham. Alex came! He got to see me finish a race! Aspen and I ran together for, oh, about two miles, which was amazing because Aspen is a running machine and the best running partner in the world because she just glides when she runs, which is simultaneously frustrating/jealousy-inducing/inspiring. But I did really well! I was hoping for a personal best, because I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in in forever, but the course was super hilly, so I did, eh, fine. I finished. I was happy. Pops Lena and Alex and I went to Gughluphf for breakfast, and it was nice, the four of us. I think it’s especially nice for Pops that Alex is there because he’s not the only guy. It was a full day, that happens when you wake up at 7 to go for a run, and by 1 or 2, Alex Lena and I were all snuggled into my bed. Which by the way, is not really big enough for the three of us PLUS my computer on which Lena and I watched Toy Story 3 while Alex napped, which by the way, two things: I clearly need a flat screen mounted on my wall/a king size bed, and Toy Story 3 was amazing, and I sobbed, literally sobbed, through the last 15 minutes of it. It was so good and I am clearly overly affected by the Toy Story franchise. But it was so good, and I was really impressed, and really happy that they had a girl at the end showing as much imagination and fun as any boy. I had a some beef with Pixar because they seemed to really only show boys being able to have fun and be cool, and it was heartening to see a girl in that situation. Or like, Pixar tends to kill all the girls off pretty quickly. Like, Nemo’s mom and the adventurous girl in Up.

The whole fam was excited about the UConn/Arizona game, and then Butler/Florida after that, so Al and I decided to just go pick up Pizza and Wings for dinner. We took Lena, around 5:45, and no lie, on the way home from picking up the pizza, Lena falls asleep. And stays asleep.

This rara avis has only occurred once before in Lena’s lifetime, and it is just short of a miracle. We all leisurely ate our pizza and wings in front of the TV, the parents trundled off to a concert, and Alex and I got to flip between basketball and playing Lego Harry Potter for three blissful uninterrupted hours. Until I, most attractively, fell asleep on the couch at like 10:30. Lena slept over 13 hours. I told Alex that it’s moments/nights like these when I really do believe in karma. Or that there’s some mysterious force in the universe that recognizes a breaking point and dials back, throws you a bone. Gives you a break. It was one of those moments where I just thought to myself, we deserve this. And we did. It was a hard day of playing and tickling and jumping up and down, (okay, I’ll be honest, it was Alex and Lena doing these things while I watched.) It was just one of those few parenting moments of positive reinforcement, when you get a chance to breathe and say to yourself, Oh yeah, I remember why I’m doing this, and I’ll keep doing it.

Sunday was easy too. We played in the morning, Lena and I drove Alex back home, and she watched Toy Story, again, and then chatted to me merrily about the horses we saw on the way home. We had chili, at halftime of course, watched the Heels for the last time this season. (Still never been prouder to be a Tar Heel. I love this team.) Lena fell asleep, for the second time in a row, easily, at 8 pm.

What a great great weekend. Sort of exactly what a weekend should be, I think. Easy-peasy.

The best part about going away

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

The best part about going away is coming back.

As Alex and I strolled down the promenade, jk, we were like, walking on the sidewalk, I was doing my normal random musings like, “I love being a mom” “we’re growing up”, I know, get a new tag line, right? And there are some horse drawn carriages and Alex says, “Remember that time in France when your dad tried to take Lena on the carriage ride?” And I laughed, because I did, and then because Alex proceeded to do this great impression of Lena really-really-wanting to go on the horse drawn carriage ride and then getting within ten feet of the horses and then freaking out. She ended up with a stuffed toy horse and an ice cream cone.

And then I thought, wow, I love that crazy little bean, but you know what? I’m ok right now, without her. I mean, I’m not enjoying this beautiful day in Charleston, South Carolina, because I’m longing for my child, you know? And I know, I’m describing this really inarticulately because I swear when I was telling Alex this there were tears in my eyes as I just thought, I don’t miss Lena right now, per se but instead, it’s better than that, because Goddamnit, I love that kid and I cannot imagine my life without her.

And then I come back, from being away for a while. (Two days, this ain’t a tour of duty or anything.) And Lena has changed so much. She’s more grown up, when she goes to hug Alex first. She’s the same, but she’s different. Little gestures, like putting our water glasses together. She fell off her booster seat, and the dining room table gave a collective intake of breath and Lena quickly declared, “I’m okay.” And we all dissolved into laughter. Lena demanded tickles from Alex then asked, “Are you going to sleep with us tonight?”

Lena’s acting more and more like a little kid each day. She even sleeps in a big bed now. No more crib. I check on her before I go to bed, and she’s asleep, head on the pillow, tucked into the covers, her giraffe’s head peaking out next to her. All of the sudden, growing up.

I better start going to bed early, knitting and listening to NPR.

…oh wait…


February 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

My brain is like, inundated with weddings right now. I’m going to two weddings this spring/summer, which is like, two more than I’ve been to as a consenting adult AND a with a date, so I’m really excited about the prospects of an open bar and a new dress. Oh, and you know, a celebration of love. That too.

And then one of my best friend’s since, not third grade, because I didn’t really know who she was in third grade, she started school late because she had the chicken pox, and we didn’t know who the new kid Charliss was, but since middle school at least, goes and gets herself engaged (congrats Chala!) and now I really am like, obsessed.

Don’t get all weird on me, I’m not obsessed-obsessed, it’s just fun. It’s a super big party, and it’s fun hearing about wedding dresses and choreographed dances, and it’s even more fun when it’s Charliss, and it’s closer to home, plus, have you planned a wedding lately? Do you know how many beautifully designed blogs dedicated entirely to wedding planning there are? (I love this one in particular. Is everyone in southern California this beautiful and creative?) And Anthropologie has a wedding line? I digress.

It’s bittersweet, because my uncle is going through a tough divorce and Charliss is the first of our friends to get engaged and living at home means that every day I am witness to my parents marriage which seems to be the most comfortable natural thing in the world. I used to not think my parents loved each other, because they didn’t seem affectionate in the way that I thought married couples should be affectionate, and then they never did corny things like “date nights”, they just seemed to generally enjoy each other’s company. That’s friends, not love, to a middle schooler. And as I’m “maturing” or just, getting older, I see my parent’s marriage and my relationship with my parents as something to aspire to. My parents are best friends, they spend almost all day together, each and every day. And I love the little bits of affection that I’m privy to. Like when my dad got his grant, and I listened to them stay up late and talking in bed. (Seriously, until like, 10. That is really late for my parents.) And the way they talk to each other every morning, and night when one of them goes out of town. Why do you need to talk to someone right before they go to bed and when they first wake up in the morning? Nothing happened, you were just sleeping! I guess that’s what people in love do.

Having Lena means any relationship that I’m in is immediately taken to another level whether I like it or not. Alex and I already understand that we have a third person depending on us, on our relationship, and that’s hard. It’s a variable that neither of us bargained for and that we are constantly working to understand and to work through. That being said, marriage doesn’t seem like a big scary next step to me. Not that it’s supposed to, I just sometimes wonder if it should. I’m 20-something and I’m supposed to be wanting to get married, right? But I’m not. I’m more excited about attending all of these fun weddings. And cheering on my best friend in her next step, and her celebration of love. I’m more looking forward to the next challenges that Lena brings. The little day to day ones. And I’m really looking forward to facing and sharing those with another one of my best friends, Alex.

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