Thursday, November 24, 2011


On this, the day of thanks, I would like to show my appreciation for that which I have:

My amazing husband, who's love and devotion knows no bounds.

My rambunctious three and a half year, who's sense of adventure gives me both pride and nightmares.

My beautiful seven and a half month old, who's smile is constant as she lights up the lives of everyone around us.

Thank you G-d, for sending these souls into my life!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may we only have things to be thankful about!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dented Nails

Last week I had an appointment with a dermatologist, found out I have psoriasis. Didn't come as a huge shock, I have eczema, notoriously dry skin, I always have to wear gloves in the winter and when I'm doing dishes. Just a few extra creams to add to my barely-there daily routine. Nothing serious.

When I got home from my appointment, I went straight to the computer to see what to expect from the news.

When I was pregnant, I started getting dents on some of my nails. The midwife had no idea what it was but after some research, she decided it must have been caused by some stress to my fingers our something like that.

Now I know that was actually a symptom of psoriasis. And now, eight out of my ten fingernails are completely covered in dents.

I feel very shallow right now but it looks gross. I'm actually taking the time to be embarrassed about it!

My home is covered in boxes and I'm sitting and thinking about how ugly my nails look right now.

Time for a manicure!!!!

PS Tomorrow is moving day!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Out With The Old!

I am pleased to announce the arrival of our newest family member. At the same time, I would like to thank the amazing people in our lives that helped make this possible! It will be nice to have one less thing to worry about!

Say hello to my little friend!!
We will need some time together before I can appropriately name him. We went with a male car this time, hopefully less temperamental!
 Nice buttons without faded words!
Read the mileage and smile with me. **GRINS**

Happy kid enjoying his ride home from school today :)

We opted for the extended warranty on our new (used) car. Full bumper to bumper for 5 years or 100,000 miles. If you read my blog at all, you will understand why! 

Yesterday, we headed out to Postville at around 5 to pick him up. Got home around 2 in the morning. Had to be out of the house before 8 this morning. Small prices to pay in exchange for a gorgeous, reliable, more efficient car! We are now getting between 22-32 miles per gallon, versus the 13-15 we were getting before. This car has a flexfuel option, allowing us to use E85 gasoline, when available, which I saw for $2.99/gal on the drive home last night!


In other news, Benny has been learning about the human body in school lately. I love the things he says and understands! 

He knows we have bones and muscles under our skin, and that we need an x-ray machine to see the bones.
He knows we have a brain in our head that helps us understand things and that it sends messages to our body when to get things working. He told his teacher that his brain was telling his stomach that it was time to eat snack. And again at potty time, his brain let him know that he needed to go make! One thing he's not quite getting is that we don't 'crack our head open to see our brain'. He'll get it eventually, though!
He knows our lungs help us breathe and that our heart pumps blood 'fast and slow' in our body.

I am loving this and am really hoping to find time to do a project with him this week, expounding on this topic! His little brain really amazes me on such a regular basis! He soaks in everything, but not without questioning and understanding what he hears and sees. My heart bursts with pride!!!


Bella is so on the go! There is nothing safe from Demolition Bella anymore. Her favorite is paper. She loves to find things that slip under the radar during clean up time, she laughs when I find her and have to fish out the chewed up paper from her little mouth. 

She also tends to laugh when Benny has a tantrum. Super special.

She is trying to stand. She is crazy strong so I have faith in her. It will happen soon!

Today, the cashier at Walmart (whom I totally did not remember as a regular) told me she loves when we come through her lane because Bella is always so smiley. Sigh. The Walmart employees know my family too well. I might be a redneck.


Ok, I keep pretending moving day is two weeks away. It's actually a week from today. I REALLY need to get my packing finished!!!

And for no reason other than pure appreciation for everyone taking the time to read my thoughts, I'd like to wish you all an amazing holiday season, full of smiling friends, loving family, good health, and only good news to share with one another!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life as Chani

Shuky reminded me that my blog started while I was pregnant with Benny, as a way to talk about my pregnancy and beyond. It has turned into my own personal blog, with a vibrant mix of baby, toddler, mommy rants and more!

Thus the name change.

Life as Chani.

It is, after all, my blog! I don't make money with this blog (aside from the occasional pennies that come in from Amazon Associates). I don't receive free gifts to write about (although I wouldn't turn them down if they came!). Ultimately, I write about whatever I want. Whenever there's a feather in my bonnet.

And now, I must return to my packing!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheers to Me!

Being on this side of a quarter century doesn't feel much different physically. It's the knowledge that I am now 26 years old that is making my bones creak!

I'm old!!

But there's always the knowledge that I have two brothers that are older than me (even if my sister-in-law is only 23!! [That, my friends, is what we call true love. Mimi will always be 23.])

And, because my mother's birthday is so close to mine, here's a fun picture of us together!

And one of me, sometime when we still lived in Long Beach:
I know I have a bunch from our younger days somewhere, I need to find them!!

And so, in honor of my birthday, raise a glass of something heavenly! Cheers to many more enjoyable and beautiful years shared with all the amazing people in my life!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Base Model

The following is what should just be for life in the midwest:

Remote Car Starters - Why is this not standard on EVERY car??? I absolutely hate the few minutes where the car is warming up and there's no point in turning on the heater. Unless that's just my car.

Actual Weather Reports - I would love to have a day where I start out appropriately dressed and don't have to add or remove certain pieces.

Instant Ice/Snow Melters - For both the cars and sidewalk/streets, or they should change normal business hours to start sometime around midday in the winter.

The Perfect Gloves - I need quick access to my fingers, they need to be cute, not bulky, they need to never disappear.

Unchapped Hands and Lips - Pipe dream. I know. But the bloody, painful chapped areas are nasty.

Car Attendant - By this I mean someone constantly in the car with me so I can run errands quickly without having to take the kids out or let the car warm up all over again. Although the remote starter would cover the latter half of this request.

Trash Chute - Dumpsters on the other side of the property suck.

That's all for now I guess! :)

Have a good shabbos everyone!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Of Tutus and Wings

I am proud to announce that I FINALLY went for pictures with the kids!

Benny did not cooperate. When it was his turn for pictures, he was only interested in being grumpy. When it was Bella's turn, he insisted to try again with his pictures. When it was time for pictures of them together, he behaved nicely when there were toys in the shot, but not when it was supposed to be a nicer picture. Oh well.

In all honesty, I wasn't all that impressed with the photographer. We waited over twenty minutes for our appointment, she said we weren't even in the system. She didn't have the backdrops I wanted. Bella is a super smiley baby, she was not able to get much out of her! I guess the good part was I wasn't tempted to spend a million dollars! I walked out of there after paying $26, and it took me quite some time to commit to even those pictures!

What a shame though. Bella made an adorable little tutu'd, wing'd baby!

Anyway, I feel like a better mother now. :)

And on the way home from the studio, I got an email from the photographer that came to the hospital when Bella was born. They reopened my album in honor of the holidays. Maybe I will actually print some of those!

Enjoy checking out the pictures here!

Funny tidbit, on the way to the appointment, I was singing along with the radio and Benny yells out, "Mommy she can sing by herself!!" Yes. Katy Perry can definitely belt those tunes on her own but I want to be her backup little man!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out!

The weather in Iowa is definitely chosen out of a hat every morning. It is so different, from one day to the next. Heck, from one hour to the next! This past Sunday, it was gorgeous! We went to the park with the kids, enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. I know I rarely post pictures. I always want to but I never remember. You are in for a special treat today!!

**sweaters for my toes**

Yesterday it rained all day and this morning there was snow on the ground. Go figure!

A beautiful old house, across the street from the library

 It's all melted already and in the 50's. I had a teacher that used to say, "If you don't like the weather in Iowa, just wait an hour!"

Speaking of the library, Benny has been intrigued by paper airplanes lately so I checked out a book with different folding techniques. We had a great time making and flying some very agile planes this afternoon!! (Unfortunately, little boy Benny refused to take pictures with his planes.) 

Being that we are moving the week of Thanksgiving, I decided to start the Thanksgiving projects already. Benny and I had some fun making this turkey, using his hands and feet for 'stencils'! It came out very cute :)

And then we had a great snack. No lies, Tostitos Scoops are the answer to my nacho dreams! We love making personal nacho bites out of them, a scoop of salsa, sprinkle on some cheese, maybe a little sour cream or guacamole to dip them in. True cheesy goodness!

And now that I've shared some random pictures, it's time to read some of our new library books!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rollin' On

Seems like life is really rolling on!

The situation with Benny and his horrible pick-up issues has not been solved, but we've done a good enough patch job that we are going to be sending him back next semester. Shuky has been meeting me there, or bringing him home on the bus, four out of five days. I just have to be ready for Mondays. Starbucks is a good answer!

We finally have someone to sublease our apartment, already signed things at the management office. Done deal!

Packing is under way. Albeit slower than I'd like. But we have three weeks or so.

Craigslist is doing a good job of helping me fill my 'new couch fund'!

Exciting prospects are brewing in the land of summer internships. More to come on that when things are official!

Shuky signed up for next semester's classes already so our February trip to Florida for the famous Uncle Levi's wedding is being planned. It's nice to know there is a warm light at the end of the cold tunnel over here!!

While I wish it were all sunny news, our car is officially on it's last leg. I may or may not have talked about it over the past couple weeks but right before Rosh Hashana, there was an issue with the brakes so it went into the shop. We got a rental car to go to Iowa City. The mechanic said he would need the car for about six days. Six days turned into four weeks. That's about $900 for just the rental car! The repair job itself was another hefty sum. And by the way, four weeks was just for the rental car. I told him I couldn't afford to keep the rental. He said the car was finally drivable but he was still waiting for parts. He said he'd have the parts in about three or four days. Almost two weeks later, he finished the job. So we're talking almost six weeks for one stinking job.

On a side note, during the time I was driving the car while he was waiting for the part, I was being super cautious, not leaving town, not going out of my way to be driving around. This past Friday, he said he was getting the part and he would give me a call as soon as it came through the door. I got the call to come over so I loaded the kids into the car and was ready to head his way. I pulled out of my parking space and my brakes decided they were not needed. I had no brakes. THANK GOD, I was in my parking lot, not parked on the street. I was going slow enough to throw the car into park without worrying about my engine falling out. I called the mechanic and told him to come to me instead.

It didn't really hit me until an hour or two later. My. Brakes. Failed. I was in the car with both my kids and I had no brakes. A not so small miracle. I am so thankful that it happened in my parking lot instead of on my way home from picking up Benny.

And that was enough to make me say enough. This car has served it's purpose, it's time to move on. As much as we'd like to lease a car and not have to worry about things anymore, we are not really in the position to lock ourselves into monthly payments and higher insurance rates. We are working on scraping together some money to outright buy a car. So for the meantime, we are going to be staying close to home.

Sometimes, you may not even realize the small miracles happening around you. Bottom line is, always find the good in things and be thankful for the beautiful things you have in your life! There's no time to focus on the negative!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Real Sandwich!

If I ever wondered whether or not Benny's imagination juices flowed, I just got reassurance. There is definitely   something flowing!

The following is a conversation I just overheard him having with his sandwich. Yes, his sandwich. In two different voices.

Benny, in his normal voice: You are a real sandwich!
Benny, in a high-pitched, squeaky, sandwich voice (how did he come up with the sandwich voice?) : No I'm not!
Benny: Yes you are!!
Sandwich: I'm not real!
Benny: I'm going to tell my mommy what you said!
Sandwich: I'm not real!
Benny: Mommy!!! --he then proceeds to tell me what I've already heard--
Sandwich, interrupting him telling on it: Hey what are you doing!?!
Benny, to his sandwich: I'm telling my mommy what you said!

I love that his sandwich interrupted him while he was squealing.