Friday, August 31, 2012

The Early Bird Gets the Worm-Free Honeycrisp Apples

As in previous years, I was alerted to the date and time for u-pick Honeycrsip apples at Lynd’s fruit farm. I immediately calendared the event and arranged my day off from work accordingly. Freshly picked Honeycrisp apples are that good.

If you have never had a Honeycrisp apple, you do not know what you are missing. They are the combination of sweet, tart, juicy, crispy, and delicious. The are in limited supply because the trees are short, small and this is a relatively new and popular flavor or type of apple.

Since Mother Nature is a complete bitch, the original schedule was changed at the last minute. My predestined date with apple picking was ahead of the initial timing. Apparently, hurricanes and dry summers make apple ripening unpredictable. I had to scramble at the last minute to make myself available this morning (instead of next week) to get the highly coveted u-pick honeycrisps this season.

The early bird gets the worm free Honeycrisp Apples, that much I know.
If you arrive late on the first day of Honeycrisp picking, you are screwed. Lynd's opened at 9 and by 9:15 a.m. I was satisfied with the stellar crop of gorgeous, heavy, apples I harvested.
Doesn't everyone wear layers of Akris Punto and Chanel sunglasses with the coordinating belt for field work?

I got my moneys worth of pristine, pretty Honeycrisps, free from insect bites, worm holes and blemishes. With the kids in school, I had my window to drive out to the orchard, stake my tiny, fruit plentiful trees, pick 90 plus pounds, drink my caffeinated breakfast with a green straw, and get back on the road in time to open the store. And I did.

The u-pick thirty pound bag was $30 and I jammed that sucker full of apples to the point of testing the strength of the plastic seams. There was not one ounce of unused baggage space inside, as I layered the apples deeper and deeper into the haul. I am guessing that if I had actually weighed the bags that technically held 30 pounds, they would have weighed closer to 40 pounds a piece. I guess that is one way to bring down the price increase?

There is no rest for the wicked, and let me tell you, this early bird got her worm free Honeycrisp apples.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's for lunch

Packing the lunches I discussed at great length yesterday takes some creativity and planning. I use coupons, discounts, bulk purchasing, Costco and batch cooking as my go to resources for making lunches easier. Even with careful thought and consideration, preparing four lunches, five days a week sucks.

It sucks because it takes brain power. It sucks because it is important to me, and I care. If I did not give a rat's ass about what I was feeding my children it would be simpler. But I do care, and I have to keep them interested in eating a healthy lunch.

Inquiring minds want to know what is for lunch, right? Let me tell you. This is a typical Slutsky lunch,
plus three snacks. I try to select proteins, carbs, and dairy in a variety of forms. Keeping in mind that kids like something new and different and get bored easily, I am always trying new products and ways to serve them better.

Thankfully, the Internet has proven to be an excellent resource for me- I find all kinds of ideas on line. I stock pile the basics and add odds and ends as I discover them.

My go to standards include:

Greek Yogurt or Whole Milk Yogurt
Apple slices with peanut butter
Cucumber slices or carrots
GF oatmeal cherry cookies
Egg salad
GF crackers and cheese
GF bread with garlic herbed cream cheese spread
Sunflower seeds (already shelled)
GF pretzel sticks with some dip
GF pasta salad
fresh fruit- grapes, clementines, small pear
GF bagel with flavored cream cheese
tuna salad
cut up melon or pineapple
GF waffle sandwich with honey butter
whole grain tortilla chips with salsa
bell pepper rings with tzsaziki dip
refried bean dip and corn chips
salad with garbanzo beans and dressing
Brown rice crackers and almond butter
applesauce with cinnamon
dried fruits
string cheese
GF granola bars
Banana with Peanut Butter on a GF hot dog bun
(send banana in the peel, kids assemble)
GF gingersnaps with cinnamon cream cheese
Vegetable soup in thermos
GF pasta with marinara

Here are just a few things you will not find in my lunches: Any pork, poultry or meat based products, gummy fake fruit or corn syrup based fruit like snacks, drinks with added sugars or dyes, and flavored chips that are full of MSG.

I try to abide by the basic rule of reading the ingredient list and knowing what is in the product. If I can't readily identify why something is added, or if I can't pronounce it, why is it in the food? If the ingredients contain things I would not put in a recipe I was making from scratch, than it is likely not a good choice for our family.

If anyone has other suggestions that meet the criteria, I am all ears. The daily menu is subject to change in these lunch boxes and my kids are counting on me to feed them. The pressure is on!

Remember, hot lunch is for sissies, and I need all the help I can get.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hot Lunch is for Sissies

Last year, Eli and Natalie ate hot lunch everyday at school. They enjoyed it, but got bored with the rotating two week, kosher menu. I was grateful for the relatively inexpensive alternative to my packing their lunch, but was sort of disgusted by what they were eating for lunch.

The novelty of hot lunch wore off quickly when it became clear that the food was mostly “kid-friendly” processed, previously frozen, full of preservatives, and relatively mundane. Just because it is kosher does not mean, in my opinion, that it is healthy. My kids have never really eaten that kind of food, and they have somewhat advanced taste buds, so I was pretty shocked that they even wanted to have hot lunch.

At their school, hot lunch is cool.

The cafeteria at a Jewish school is set up differently. The kids either eat the kosher hot lunch or they can bring their own kosher (dairy only- no meat) lunch from home. This segregation is based on dietary law not a popularity contest.

Since CJ must maintain a gluten free diet, he did not have the luxury of choosing- for CJ it was packed lunch every single day and he could have cared less. He sat with the packed lunch kids, and the other two sat with the hot lunch bunch. I assume it is six of one, half a dozen of the other- in kindergarten there are not band geeks, jocks, Goths and stoners. Yet.

When the highlight of kosher hot lunch is called “Sloppy Jones” you can understand my reluctance to get on board. I did some checking and Sloppy Jones and Sloppy Joes are one and the same. Six year old kids hear things the way the want to. Regardless of dietary law, sloppy joes, chicken cutlets and pizza bagels are not something I would readily encourage my children to eat- at school, in a restaurant, or at home.

Trust me, my angels eat their fair share of pure crap at home and in restaurants, but even then, I feel like I have some control. I prefer to engineer the eating of the forbidden foods. With hot lunch, I was at the mercy of the institutional menu and that crazy train was stopping at the station.

I was already packing CJ’s dairy based, gluten-free lunch plus three snacks and Charlotte’s nut free, preschool lunch, so it would not have been that much extra work to make Eli and Natalie a lunch too- but I let them decide. This year, everyone is getting a lunch and three snacks from home. Gone are the days of sloppy jones and here are the days of fresh, relatively nutritious choices.

This comes at a price for me- the cost goes way beyond groceries. It takes time to buy, prepare, pack and plan four lunches, five days a week. It would be so much easier and probably more cost effective to let them have a cafeteria lunch- but that is not how we roll now.

There are three times during the 8-4 day where the kids can select a snack from their backpack or lunch bags. The school does not provide snacks and I am thrilled to be able to offer my own kids what I want them to eat. If the school provided three snacks a day I can assure you they would be kosher, preservative filled, food dye laden products that can be served rain or shine for pennies on the dollar. I am not complaining when I say I pack three snacks. I pack them to have a say in what they are ingesting.

I had awesome intentions at the beginning of the school year- only about a week and a half ago. I was going all granola, touchy feely, and green- I purchased re-usable containers, bento box,

laptop style lunchboxes and I was ready to conquer the world. (Until I worked 8 plus hours away from home and had to clean out, and repackage each crack and crevice of the BPA free lunch containment systems, that is.) That was what I would lovingly call, bull-shit.

To put an end to my misery, I rationalized the following: Buying the cheap-ass fold over sandwich bags, 500 for $1 at the dollar store, purchasing individually portioned containers of hummus and various dips, spreads and toppings at Costco, was actually a smaller carbon footprint than running the dishwasher an extra time every single day. Whether or not this is true; remains to be seen. I do not care.

You can’t put a price tag on my sanity. Period. You will not find me up until midnight wiping dried Greek tzatziki yogurt sauce from Tupperware or scraping crusted peanut butter from the 12 odd sized lids anymore. I did for a week and it is over. I am so over it. The 4 laptop lunch box systems are stacked
and sitting on the counter collecting dust. I will gladly give these to someone who has one child, or endless patience and an OCD personality disorder.

So I am clear: this newfound love of disposable, homemade lunches is about the value of my time and laziness. I mean really, wouldn't you rather waste time on facebook, and have dialogue with your fake internet friends than scrape bits of food from BPA free containers?

With all the work it takes to come up with a variety of kosher, dairy, gluten free meals that can sustain a backpack, I decided, hot lunch is for sissies. Real parents make their own kids’ lunches. Or two, three or four.

Someday, in the not so distant future, when my children are older and are trying to undo all the psychological damage I have caused, they will read the blog and learn the logic behind my decisions and choices. I can truly state that I cared enough to pack your meals, my precious children. Your mother made sure you ate well balanced, nutritious meals that filled your bellies and enriched your lives. She chose natural, whole foods over the microwaved garbage that was disguised as hot lunch. As you sat with all the other freaks at the packed lunch table, you can be assured, I meant no harm.

I still maintain that hot lunch is for sissies.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Humoring me from the Potty

There will be no photos uploaded with this post- carry on, carry on:
Oh my! My how times have changed. Long gone are the days when the mention of potty language causes hysterical laughter among the four triplets. It used to be that if someone said, dirty diaper, poop, underwear, poopy underwear, tooting, or stinky bathroom the whole gang was cracking up.

They have matured past the point of finding bathroom talk funny.

Things are slightly reversed. With this new found maturity comes an understanding of the human body, bodily functions and the wisdom that everyone poops, which eliminates the need to make fun it. However, now that they all go independently, I miss out on the talks we used to have while I waited somewhat patiently (in the foulest of smelling places)during our daily poop chats.

Believe me, I do not miss wiping asses. At all. I do not miss the micromanaging their bowel movements, but I do miss the sweet moments when we were alone, with nothing to do but talk and wait.

I get ready for work in the nicest bathroom in our house. This means that if more than two people are using other johns while I am applying mascara and eyeliner, my bathroom becomes the default, or last resort. It is one time when it is acceptable to invade my spa like oasis. Typically, my bathroom is off limits to anyone except Jeff, but in the unique moment when simultaneous pooping happens, it is the back up zone.

This is one of the few times that I get to take advantage of a captive and seated audience, so to speak. Where are they going? They are stuck talking to me. These private little conversations are the ones I miss most. No, I do not miss the stench of some kind of dead animal that has crawled out from their small asses, but I do miss the banter between one child and their talkative mother.

During the most recent incident, CJ was all mine. He was doing his business while I was selecting lipsticks and using moisturizers. I struck up a dialogue and we chatted before it became clear that I needed to evacuate, lest I barf my breakfast. I retreated to my closet to wait things out. Tick tock tick tock tick tock- it was taking forever. I was in a hurry but clearly CJ was taking his sweet time.

I shouted, "CJ hurry it up out there, I need to come into the bathroom when you are finished!" "C'mon buddy, make it snappy!" "Hey Cee-Jay, let's get the show on the road pal, Mommie has to get back in there!" After about my fourth attempt to clear him off the commode, he bellows, "Ughhhhh, Mommie, Poop does not just come out automatically, it takes time. You have to be patient and let it come out naturally. Forcing it and shouting at me does not make it happen any quicker, okay?"

Who are these kids? When did the game change? I am supposed be making them laugh by using bathroom humor- not the other way around? Where did these mature kids come from and what happened to the little people who would burst out laughing if someone said pee pee or poo poo?

Nowadays, they are making me laugh in the bathroom. Oy vey. Potty humor has taken on a whole new meaning.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gussied up on the Roof

When it comes to getting all gussied up to raise money to end cancer, I am all in. I am all in favor of philanthropy, fundraising, fashion and food, not necessarily in that order. I take any opportunity to combine them into one evening- which is exactly what happened at the event known as Up on the Roof.

As a fundraiser to support The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute,
this party is premier event experience in Columbus. This is not some shindig in a hotel ballroom. This is 1000 people donating money to end cancer by having a marvelous, black tie evening in the poshly decorated second floor of the student union at OSU.

The upper level was completely transformed into a magical and festive party palace complete with an orchestra, floral masterpieces and elaborate tablescapes that would make Martha Stewart pee herself.

My friend and esteemed colleague, Marjorie and I

attended Up on the Roof to show support from the Fifth Avenue Club at Saks Fifth Avenue. I work for a company that gives back to the community through charitable donations and that is so rewarding. I am glad that I can be a small part of the bigger picture.

Margie and I were at the event to represent Saks, and while the evening was a networking opportunity, it never felt like it. Sure, I styled some of the ladies, and sold more than a few dresses, shoes, handbags and lipsticks- but these clients

are my friends. It was social. We were all there for the same reason- to end cancer.

It would not be my blog without some comic relief. This otherwise, proper, high brow event was well attended by a Pippa Middleton wanna be,
and yes, I am jealous-lord knows even with 3 pairs of Spanx on I could not look that svelte in a clingy white satin gown.

I was upset that I left my fashion police ticket book at home, it did not fit inside my teeny tiny little graphite gray Judith Leiber-esque evening bag. I needed to formally issue a citation to Cousin It.There are no words. I am, for once, speechless.

I am totally pleased to report that Up on the Roof 2012 was a huge success. You just can't deny that getting all fancy with your friends isn't a fun way to raise funds to end cancer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

With a blog post title like this, you might assume I am talking about the winter holiday season. WRONG. Nope. Guess again, it is the most wonderful time of the year for a fashion obsessed, slightly warped, designer influenced, personal shopper like me. Duh.

It is the time for SEPTEMBER VOGUE. The time is now.

You have no idea how I get all freaked until my copy arrives aromatically sealed in the plastic. G-d forbid someone take it out of the wrapper before I do. I must be the first to turn the pages, smell the fresh paper and I am quite vocal about my precious September issue of Vogue.

As the end of August nears, the September Vogue is delivered. Seeing it, all 4 inches thick, gives me a spastic colon. Giddy is too kind. I am almost faint at the sight of it. Imagine my absolute delight when on the same day the postal carrier brought

BOTH September Vogue and September Women's Wear Daily- "W." I was weak in the knees.

Reading these publications are my drug. It is an escape from reality of sorts. I am not delusional, I realize it is fashion fantasy, and I am fantasizing. Four kids in 18 months? Who? What mountain of laundry? Me? Packing four school lunches? Hold on people, give a few more hours of heavy reading here!

I turn each page slowly, savoring the advertisements and articles as if they are my treasured bible, because they kind of are. Nothing says current and in the know like the volume and sheer magnitude of the Vogue.

I get comfortable, pour myself a delicious beverage and sit underneath the words of my dear friend, Coco Chanel.There is something truly therapeutic and kinda zen in this moment- for me anyway. There is no thought of emptying the dishwasher or grocery shopping.

As a product of growing up in the eighties, I have not missed a single debut of the September Vogue in 25 years. Yet each year, I find myself chanting a little Madonna when I am not quoting Coco Chanel.

Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Deitrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine

Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rodgers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don't just stand there, let's get to it
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it


It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, Madonna, Coco Chanel and I have our words to live by.

I will leave you with my own mantra- "The days are long, but the weeks fly by so you better look fabulous every single day!" Helene Slutsky

Thursday, August 23, 2012

No B.S. Grassroots Marketing: Ultimate No Holds Barred Take No Prisoners Guide to Growing Sales and Profits of Local Small Businesses

The title of this post is the title of the latest book (co-authored) with Dan Kennedy
and the baby daddy, Jeff Slutsky. While I was not blogging, he was busy signing books, giving tips to those who wanted to boost their local store marketing efforts.

As you may have guessed I went with him to some of the more desirable destinations. Trust me, a two day trip to just about any location has to have redeeming value if I am going to coordinate child care, take time off from my own job, and leave the comfort of my own Pratesi sheets.

I went with Jeff to Dallas. I have friends there, the shopping and restaurants are exceptional and the non stop flight was available at a sale fare. Win win all the way around.

I often forget that I am married to a "famous author." Can you hear me roaring with sarcastic laughter- famous. Insert dramatic eye roll here. I forget it because I live with him, and while he is a brilliant writer and accomplished marketing guru, he is my husband and he drives me batshit crazy on a semi-regular basis. It was not until the Dallas book signing event that I remembered he is "celebrity". Famous. Author. Celebrity. Baby Daddy. Cue more sighing and some hysterical laughter.

Texans love them some Jeff Slutsky.

We had them lining up to get their very own, freshly autographed copy of the book. As I mingled with our friends Dan Kennedy and Larry Winget,we both noticed that Jeff Slutsky had an adoring and dedicated fan. Just look at Jeff's expressions....she is engaging him in conversation, no doubt talking about his brilliant marketing skills

and all he can process is blah blah blah, nice boobs, clinging red dress, high heels, blond hair, blah blah blah. Boobies! I know him all too well. Was I jealous? Uhhhhh, no. I get to sleep with this famous celebrity author (ahhhhhhh, the sarcastic groan)every night. On Pratesi sheets.

Not to be upstaged, Jeff was signing books next to Sidney Biddle Barrows,
who you may recall became famous as the Mayflower Madam. Her current book, "Uncensored Sales Strategies: A Radical New Approach to Selling Your Customers What They Really Want--No Matter What Business You're In" is about, get this: Customer Service. So in one corner we had Jeff Slutsky on marketing and in the other corner, Sidney on customer service. I know there was joke there somehow with Slutsky and a Madam, but I never ironed out the punchline. Dammit.

Now you can understand how I did not have time to manage my full time job, a household of lunatics, a celebrity author husband and MY BLOG. I guess I should have been reading books too. Oh well. This will become the no holds barred, grassroots blog for anyone who can laugh at themselves, and of course, others.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My apples are falling a little too close to me

How many times have I heard, "The apple does not fall far from the tree!" Seriously, I am reminded of this on a regular basis, and not just from Nana and Papa.

My kids can often be my mini-me(s).

Sometimes, my little clones say or do something that directly reflects back on me. It is obvious that my ways have rubbed off, my potty mouth has been repeated or worse yet, my opinion has been taken at more than face value. This is a daily struggle.

I do my best to lead by example. I hold the doors for strangers, I say good morning, please and thank you, and most importantly I am kind and smiling when dealing with the general public. Even when they are morons.

As I try to raise open minded, caring and compassionate individuals, it becomes increasingly difficult to curb my enthusiasm, bite my tongue, and censor my foul language. This past summer I was reminded of how much these kids are like sponges.

Yes, these apples are falling a little too close to me- I am a bad tree with otherwise good apples.

During an art project this summer, the kids made multi-page stories using peel and stick stickers of all kinds. They put them in a sequence, drew cartoon bubbles and filled those bubbles with dialogue and banter. This was a great exercise in vocabulary, storytelling, creativity and imagination.

Natalie decorated three girls and dressed them alike. She sort of dis-proved my thinking that the kids were getting sick of matching all the time. Since she labeled the girls as Lillian, Charlotte and Natalieit was obvious that she meant to coordinate them. When I probed a bit further about the outfits, Natalie said, "We like to dress the same, then everyone knows we are freak show!"

Admittedly, I do announce our arrival places- and when the stares, whispers and pointing start I usually boast, "Here we are, anyone interested in buying a ticket to see the freak show needs to line up right here!" It is my sarcastic way of addressing that we have arrived, in color coordinated style. Ughhhh.

Eli used the sticker story project to capture a conversation between some sword wielding pirates. His fight scene featured a treasure with gold coins, a talking parrot, a pirate flag, and of course, shiver me timbers, some pirates. It was not until I looked really close that noticed his captions.

Innocently enough I first saw, "Ra Ra Polly wanna cracker, ra ra!"I beamed with pride just a bit. He used verbiage in complete context for the parrot. Next, my eyes moved down to the handsome pirate that was cleverly battling a war with a sword.
"We all wanna kill that frecin master!" Nice. Very nice language. Violence? Profanity of sorts?

OMG. OMG. I doubt "FRICKING" is a vocabulary word for first grade. Yet alone the real eff word alternative.

Alas, he is his mother's son, and the apple does not fall far from the tree. Fricking Ever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Workshop Marriage

Jeff and I have a rock solid relationship. Our ten year wedding anniversary is coming right up next month. Ten Years… good lord, has he really put up with my antics for that long? Sheeesh!

Regardless of how many times I tell the stories of all the crazy crap he has pulled, the milestone events he has screwed up, or the dufus-like stunts he has done, one thing is certain; and that is, our marriage is solid. That much is clear.

I work with some young women who are just now dating, engaged to be married or are going through relationship changes, like divorce. Apparently, I speak (sarcastically) highly of my husband behind his back and it is evident that I actually like him because, I am often asked what we do to keep the spark alive. Like we have some secret or something, ohhh please? Bragging about being married to a man that provides live-in comedic material is special let me tell you.

Thanks to the magic of facebook wall posts, I was given this image about workshop marriages.I had never given it much thought, but I am leaning toward boasting about our successful workshop marriage.

If it is not broken, don’t fix it, right? But wait a sec.... I am now working full time. I guess we have a working workshop marriage. It is my own creation where we both work and I shop.

The workshop marriage- ten years and going strong!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My new best friend, Juan Dropoff

It is with great pleasure that I am finally to a place in the parenting gig where all the kids attend the same school during the same hours. For the last five years, I have been shuffling between schools. This year, you would think, I would be sad to say Charlotte is in full day kindergarten. I am not sad because I have a new best friend- the Latin Russian I lovingly call, JUAN DROPOFF.

One drop off. One pick up. One school. All four kids. It is nirvana.

I kept telling myself that someday we would get to One Drop Off- and the more I said it, the more it sounded like a Latin Russian guy, so here we are….five years in the making.

I have four kids in the same school.Three kids in first grade and one in kindergarten. These are my photos to document the day I practically left skid marks out of the parking lot.

I should point out that Charlotte picked out her own first day of kindergarten fashion statement, and forced Natalie to "match her"

The outfit was tutu, floral appliqued, sequined high tops, pink upon pink upon pink, bows and flair. (With a Costco backpack to keep her humble.)

The triplets were so glad to see their friends and show Charlotte how to do everything. They wanted to boss her around and bark orders on how things are done. She would have nothing of it. She had watched them do two years of kindergarten, doing the homework along side them, and going to every show and program. This was nothing new to her.I knew she was thrilled when she saw her favorite author, Eric Carle has a special reading station in her new classroom.

I watched other parents desperately clinging to their precious children for one more hug, one more kiss. I watched grown men cry and women boo hoo hooing in the parking lot. People were making a spectacle of themselves and I wanted to say, “Suck it up, you are wussies, now go to your mini-van and bawl your eyes out like the rest of us- but don’t start that shit here where everyone can see you.”

I went to work singing the praises of my new best friend. G-d love Juan Dropoff, he is amazing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Bento Box Boy

I am still trying to carve out solo time with each child. This is something special. It is a well deserved break from being part of a pack, and let me tell you, taking one child out to lunch and to do an activity is a pleasure. One kid....humpf, piece of delicious cake!

Eli had his turn on Sunday. He wanted to go out to lunch at Mr. Sushi but sadly, Mr. Sushi is closed on Sundays. Eli trusted my restaurant recommendation and we ended up at Asian Gourmet instead. As soon as Eli saw the sign that said, “Bento Box Brunch” he sounded it all out, looked very closely at the photos and said, “Mommie, I want that!”

So we ordered egg drop soup as the appetizer
and the meal arrived just as the soup bowl was bone dry. As you can see from the shit eating grin on his face, Eli was totally digging the bento box brunch

- as advertised. He declared that this was the best brunch he ever had.

Our conversation was so grown up. This kid chats about current events, shares his feelings and opinions and it is like a having a discussion with an adult. At one point he even mentioned that he truly enjoying our special day because no one was interrupting him and he could finish his sentences by himself. If you have a brother and sister the same age, they have a tendency to finish your sentences for you. I am sure it is annoying.

I showed Eli a photo of a friend’s new triplet babies.I went onto explain that these babies live in Kansas City and that the photo was taken by our friend, Jennifer Mullinax. When I said that Jennifer had taken our family photos for years, Eli nodded and smiled. He very seriously looked at me and said, “Ahhh yes, I remember it like it was yesterday!”

That bento box boy cracks me up.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Scenes from the end of Semester at Sea

It has all come to an end. The semester at sea is over and it is back to reality. A homestyle, daily reality that Mitchell has truly missed.

The kids could not wait to greet Mitchell at the airport. His flight was on time but was delayed at the Jetway. It took many trips up and down the escalators to entertain everyone while we tried to be patient. Four triplets can only sit still in an airport waiting are for so long before they become zombies.
When they finally had their big brother in plain sight, they were quick to react!

Nothing says you are home like a pack of wild siblings attacking you

as you cross the line from TSA. I knew the littles had missed having Mitchell around, but I did not realize how much Mitchell missed them until I witnessed the scene at the airport. It was like a damn tear jerking Hallmark card commercial or something equally as heart wrenching and cheesy.

The real photo opportunity came when Pennylane realized that her "boy" was home. He was only gone 9 weeks, which is practically forever in dog years.Clearly, she too was thrilled that he was back.

Like all five and six year olds, the first question they had for their big brother was, "Did you get us presents?"

Of course he did. Mitchell bought them traditional gifts from countries he visited. While I totally appreciated the fact that he did not just buy some Made in China plastic crap, the kids weren't sold on the gifts from Morocco. When they modeled the fez and slippers it was as if Jasmine and Aladdin had entered the building. Suddenly, there was a new found costume value to these presents.

Jeff and I are glad we have Mitchell home safe and sound. As you may have guessed I delayed posting this update like all superstitious Jewish mothers- I did not want to jinx it.

All good things come to an end, and just like Phineas and Ferb say, " There were 104 days of summer vacation, and school comes along just to end it!" Thank GAWD! I am in hourly countdown mode starting right now. Mitchell is back, and everyone starts school on Monday.

The End!

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