Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cooking for 462 people... or 24. Feels the same.

I have the biggest house in the family. A big family. A very extended family. SO when there is a holiday, it is at my house. Of course, a holiday, or just a random Sunday in the summer, is any reason for us to gather. We no not discriminate. If someone in my family has met you once, and you are not busy on such an occasion, you are invited.

And I will feed you.

This is how it turns out that I was cooking for 247 people for Passover Dinner on Saturday. No, Passover was not Saturday, but my family decided the calendar was not convenient. Niece in college, people working, kids have school, yadda-yadda-yadda... we made it Saturday night.

To keep my kids busy while I cooked, for 2 days, we colored "Passover" Eggs. Not exactly kosher, but effective.

Like the little faces and hats? I swear, the one with the black hat is a little Hasidic Jew-Egg. The kids kept yelling "Merry Eggs-mas"! It was hysterical.

This is what 462 people looks like in my dining room plus 2 more tables added on extending into my living room. You can't even see the people all the way in the back. I am not that good of a photographer and I didn't have the super zoom long distance lens to get people 87 yards away.

We celebrated Ira's Rachael's and Lindsay's birthdays. With kosher-for-passover cakes. They were.... interesting. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Here is the entire crew on the couch, thanks to the self-timer function!

And this is what my kitchen looked like when everyone left. You can't see the dishwasher is full or the pile of dirty towels on the floor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Curious Incident About the 5 Year Old and The Dogs in the Middle of the Night.

The other night I went to bed, by myself. Not unusual. Ira was working, and the dogs were each in bed with one of the girls.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and I was not alone. I had the Hounds of Hell all curled up in bed with me.

And Haley sitting on me.

Daddy, still at work.

"Mommy. I need help."

"Wuz-a-matter-its-the-middle-of-the-night?" {whining invloved from mommy, not child here}

"It's cold, and the damn dogs are hogging all the blankets."


mommy rolls dog over, pulls out some quilt and tucks child in.

"That better?"

"Yes, thank you. mommy"

Always polite, even at three a.m.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Example # 648 of how we screw up as parents.

My oldest daughter, Erin, is a slob. She doesn't put away anything. She drops things on the floor where she is and there they stay.

My daughter, Haley, is the anti-Erin. She will stop what she is doing to go upstairs and put her sneakers away. No one taught her this. I swear. No. Wire. Coat hangers. Involved.

The girls each have their own bedroom. Without me telling which belongs to which girl, you could figure it out from the above statement.

The cleaning lady left my house at 4:00 on Monday. At 8:30 as we tucked the girls in to bed, Erin's room was a disaster. Clothes on the floor, papers all over her desk, stuffed animals and blankets EVERY WHERE. We had not even been home much of the night.

Haley's Room? Pristine.

It is who they are.

As my husband tucked Haley in to bed, he told her, "Don't ever turn into your sister. She's a mess."

To which Haley replied"

"That's because mommy screwed up with her. I won't ever be like that."

So I suppose I have over emphasized the lesson of "Learn from your mistakes" to my children a little too much, ya think?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My First Blind Date. Ever.

I am 36 years old. My husband and I will be married 15 years this summer. We dated 5 years before that. (I will pause now for you to get some paper and pencil, or click on your computer's calculator function... go ahead, you can do it.... Got your math done now?)

Now that you have figured out we have been together since I was 16 and in high school together..... Last night was my first blind-date, so to speak. Ever!

Her name was Jing Jing. And no, she is not a Panda Bear.

My friend Aubree and I belong to this scrapbook kit-of-the-month club and talk on the on-line bulletin boards. {Ok, we are dorks. We are ok with that.} We met Jing Jing there about 2 years ago. We have chatted with her and emailed ever since. She is this completely awesome scrapbooker and so funny and we just love her. She seems like the kind of person you could just be great friends with... if she didn't live in Minnesota.

Turns out she was going to be in Philadelphia for a work conference this week. So we arranged to meet her for dinner.

It was a threesome-blind date. Ooh-la-la!

Here was the plan. We would meet in the lobby of her hotel, and go someplace for dinner. Well, I knew she was a small Chinese woman with short hair. She teased me in emails that she would be the one waving a paper trimmer around.

My husband questions if she was an ax murderer. No, silly, then she would have said she would be waving an AX around, not a paper trimmer! Men!

So, I search the hotel for a friendly little Chinese lady with short hair, and sneakers (from a picture she posted of her travels of the city earlier in the day). I was literally stalking every Asian woman with short hair in the hotel lobby checking out their shoes. I am surprised security didn't toss me out? I finally found her.

She is AWESOME! She is FUNNY! She is a bundle of energy and she doesn't even drink coffee! She can eat her weight worth of Italian food! She can not operate a cell phone and doesn't do Facebook or Twitter, and she is an IT person? She could have been my new BFF right up to the no texting thing. I must be in communications with my peeps at all times. Ask Aubree. We jam each others in boxes on a daily basis. Jing Jing, we will work on you. Come to the dark side!

How cool is it that this obsessive hobby of mine brought me yet another wonderful new friend?

Aubree and I had such a great time. We took Jing Jing to Magiano's for dinner, across from the hotel. They serve huge piles of food (HOLY BUCKETS!) and we ate until we could hardly walk. And we talked. And we laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Like only scrappers can do.

We stepped outside to take a picture {3 scrapbookers, together. DUH! You had to know that was coming!} So I stood in place while Aubree and Jing Jing set up their cameras. When three unsuspecting men walked by wearing the conference badges from the same conference Jing Jing was attending, she asked if they would mid helping us with a few pictures.

Absolutely! They say. The guys all proceed to huddle around me, put their arms around me, the one guy even kissed me on the side of the head! I am thinking they had hit the bar pretty hard at the cocktail reception..... So, Aubree and Jing Jing did what scrappers do best. They took pictures.

I don't know how we didn't pee our pants it was so funny!

So we get the guys to be serious, give them our cameras and get all set up. They say, "One, Two, Three.." and then run. Away. With our camera. LAUGHING!

We completely lost it then.

So, they come back, we try again, and they finally take a picture. Being oh so careful to capture the moment, we ask them to take another, just in case.

The one guy turns the camera around and takes his own picture!

Listen, buddy, we have you on film, and we know what conference you are attending.

We. Will. Find you.

Anyway, photo ops aside, it was just awesome. Like spending the night with a long lost friend you didn't even know you had.

But now, I do.

***I was not able to post the pictures because AUBREE AND JING JING DID NOT SEND THEM TO ME!