Archive for April, 2011

April 29, 2011

Shabbat Shalom!

by Decemberbaby

We had a fabulous day today… science centre (we’re members now), naptime, and then gardening. Kali is old enough to be useful now – she raked up all the old plant pieces, put them in an empty flowerpot, and took them to the composter. And now she’s being useful again, emptying the dishwasher cutlery basket and sorting forks, knives, and spoons into their rightful homes. Nothing like a little child labour to set you up for a day of rest!

April 28, 2011

Resolving the clutter problem

by Decemberbaby

I have clutter. A lot of clutter.

I’m not like those people on “hoarders” (or whatever that show is called). It’s not endangering anyone’s life (although it probably has caused a couple of trip-and-falls). It’s just annoying. It makes my house look and feel… not-so-fresh. It makes it difficult to tidy up. It makes it hard to use rooms as they’re meant to be used.

But I know how to resolve this. It doesn’t involve taking a vow of poverty or living a spartan existence. Are you ready? Here it is:

First, I’m going to catalogue the clutter.

See, certain areas keep getting cluttered up. The dining room table is one. The kitchen counters, especially at my calendar station. The front hall. At the same time, there are places that never get cluttered: inside the kitchen drawers and most of the living room.

What’s the difference between the places that get cluttered and the places that don’t? Trite as it sounds, my Buby (grandmother) was right… “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. I didn’t really get it until I saw the kitchen drawers of someone who has apparently never heard of a cutlery tray. Knives, forks, spoons, straws, chopsticks, and other stuff were all mixed together. I’m not a particularly neat person, but my cutlery has always been stored neatly in compartmentalized trays. Maybe the solution to all clutter is this easy.

So here I am, about to categorize the clutter. What exactly is ending up on the dining room table? Why is it there? Does it have a home? Is its home inconvenient or too far from where the item gets used?

Once I have the answers, I hope that I’ll be able to find a convenient, well-situated home for all the repeat clutter offenders.

April 16, 2011

T minus 42 hours…

by Decemberbaby

That’s all we have left before passover, folks. I mean, technically pesach doesn’t start til it gets dark, but that’s another thing that this family would never ever go for – starting after sunset and eating at midnight.

I haven’t been blogging because all of my waking computer hours have been devoted to creating a haggadah. I’ve finally finished the body of it, and as I type it’s being printed out so I can check the alignment and stuff. I still have to design a cover and cite my sources. And then… off to the print and copy centre to get 24 copies made.

Tomorrow K is with the other grandparents, so I get to spend some quality time in the kitchen with Mum. This year’s debate: is it wrong to serve the quinoa salad cold (guess which side I’m on)? I’m responsible for said quinoa and also for the charoset, maror, karpas, and something else that I’m forgetting. Oh, and I already did the candied almonds. They’re cooling right now.

We usually conduct our seder with everyone sitting around on couches or mattresses with lots of cushions, bedouin tent style. This year Mum is doubtful that we can do it – my big brother isn’t here, and he’s one of the designated “schleppers”. Mum thinks I shouldn’t be lifting anything in my “condition” (that is to say, pregnant) although I hardly think that sliding couches along a hardwood floor with a carpet buffer is any more difficult than hauling K away from the park under one arm while holding N in the other. In fact, it may be easier – the couches don’t kick or scream. Anyhow, there’s no way I’ll agree to go back to the days of conducting the whole seder around the table. Let’s face it – it’s much harder for the complainers to focus on the ceremony when there’s a full place setting in front of them. Besides, as my older and wiser brother once said (actually, he repeated it many, many times), “The mind will not absorb what the butt cannot endure.” Comfortable seating is a must.

The kids and I are staying with my parents this (past) week while Mr. D is off gallivanting with his friends. This situation has led to an important discovery: the perfect adult to child ratio is 2:1. Yes, there are four adults in this house with the two children, and everyone is happy almost all the time. I thought I’d be glad to go home, but aside from the lack of snacky (read: craving-friendly) foods, there is nothing lacking in this house. Maybe I’ll just pack up our stuff and tell Mr. D that we’re moving in.

I do hope to blog again before Monday night, but in case I don’t: I wish all my Jewish readers a happy and Kosher pesach!

April 13, 2011

Our family haggadah

by Decemberbaby

Well, I spent hours reading different haggadot in the store. Finally I bought five, hoping that I could cobble together something good from them. I’ll post a bit of a review later, so you know what I chose and why. For now I’ll give you the titles:

  • A Night of Questions
  • The Feast of Freedom
  • A Different Night (didn’t buy this one… I’ve had it for many years)
  • A Family Haggadah II
  • Dayenu! A Passover Haggadah for Families and Children
  • The Animated Haggadah (another one I’ve had for a while)
  • Gates of Freedom Haggadah

Last night I made a list of which sections to take from what haggadah, and I’ve just spent two hours scanning them all. I hope to make something that looks at least a little polished, so it’s into Word (for Mac – it has some really decent graphic design features) I go.

I’d really like to make the final PDF available to my readers, but I’m not sure about the copyright law and so forth… can anyone enlighten me?

April 11, 2011

A revolving door of sick.

by Decemberbaby

That’s what it’s been around here. Pinkeye, ear infections, sinus infections, maybe even bronchitis. It’s been ugly and gross and I still feel a bit dizzy when I stand for too long.

Things still need to get done, though. Passover is coming, and with it comes the obligatory cleaning out of all leaven. All floor cheerios, couch crumbs, dried pancake batter smears must all be removed. And really, with a three-year-old who can both access food by herself and ambulate unassisted, there’s no telling where the crumbs might be hiding.

I was trying to work on those maternity jeans for WIP Wednesday, but other things are calling me. I’m still looking for new haggadot and I think I might have to just make my own. I wanted to make Kali an omer calendar, but time is running short so I’d have to start now. As Homer Simpson said, “You can see the bind I’m in!”

Oh, and Mr. December is taking our camera with him to Las Vegas… so it’ll be hard for me to post pictures of what I’m working on. I will eventually, just not this week.

It’s almost 10:00, which means the Judaica store will soon be open. I’ve gotta hustle over there, peruse haggadot, and buy one or two. Happy Monday, everyone!

April 6, 2011

WIP Wednesday is delayed

by Decemberbaby

I’m still sick. The sinus pressure is such that I’m grinding my teeth to alleviate the pain. If you hear a loud KABOOM! and see bits of brains covered in snot, that would be my head exploding.

Hence, Work-in-Progress Wednesday is delayed until further notice. Sorry to disappoint.

April 3, 2011


by Decemberbaby

Well, it’s been four months since I’ve been really sick, so I guess it’s time. I’ve got the pinkeye, sore throat, head and chest congestion, the works. I’m sure there’s a drug out there with all my symptoms listed on the box… which I could take if I wasn’t pregnant.

Oh, and N is sick too. Fever, snot, the works. He’s miserable, and I’m so miserable that it’s hard to give him all the snuggles and love he needs. I think there’s a doctor visit and a plea for medication in our future.