Monday, October 29, 2012

Lots of Thanks to God

Thank you, God. My daughter Rena is alive and very healthy with all her basic needs met easily, daily: food, clothing, and shelter. And since I'm her mommy, thank you as well for providing me all those things so Rena has a healthy mommy to take care of her. Thanks also for providing a good Jewish community for us, including but not limited to: Chabad Torah Tots preschool, Herzlia synagogue, the JCC, and the JCFS. You have definitely sent me many angels to help along the way, especially Rabbi and Rebbetzin Ellis (from the synagogue). Thanks for giving me hugs via a special friend who gives great hugs whenever I see her (often). (And thanks to her too for giving me te gret hugs but I don't know if she'll see this.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gratitude even for bad things...

I'm so grateful to have had many opportunities to atone for my sins in this world instead of having to wait for punishment in the World to Come....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Swimming lessons! :)

Rena and I had our first mommy-and-me swim class today at the Rady JCC, the Jewish community center here in Winnipeg. She was begging for her swimming lessons ever since I told her she was registered for the class (after having offered her a choice between that and gymnastics). We had a wonderful day! Yes, I mean "day"- the class itself is just a half hour long but Rena did not want to stop swimming! (The lifeguards didn't mind us staying beyond class time.)

The kids' pool has two little water slides (one of which Rena promptly went down multiple times while waiting for the class to start), just regular playground equipment but the bottoms are inside the pool and contain water. It's connected to the adult pool via a passageway under a bridge. There is also a ledge shaped like a horseshoe for jumping into the water.

Skills we learned in the class included blowing bubbles in the water, floating (front and back), kicking legs in the water (also front and back), and jumping into the water (a skill with which Rena was already well acquainted). The teacher played some games to help put those who were not yet comfortable in the water at ease. One game, Simon Says, encouraged the kids to put different body parts in the water, and others helped get kids to jump into the water. Rena loved Simon Says but was not at all interested in the jumping games- she just jumped into my arms. :) There was just one daddy doing the class (mommy-and-me, I've noticed, is a limiting terminology; a better term I've seen used is parent/child but that's also limiting because there are lso grandmas who participate) with his child. Rena suddenly went over to him in the water and gave him a kiss on his shoulder. At the end of class we were told we could play with pool toys in a large bin. Rena, being the sweety-pie that she is, took out almost all the balls and toy boats and tossed them into the water for all the kids; she had me take care of those she couldn't reach and even had me empty the bin entirely by removing the few random toys that we saw all the way at the bottom of the bin.

Somehow we spent a couple hours swimming after that with just a two-second snack break. We observed a class for mommies with babies that might have been w after aerobics or something. The mommies would hold the babies for part of the class, and other times they had the babies in little floats. It was sooo cute! :) At one point I pretended to be a shark while Rena played  a fish, and the "shark" went chasing and chomping after the "fish." She said it tickled. :)

I hadn't brought a lunch for us because I hadn't expected to stay so late and we were both really hungry, so I took Rena to the little kosher restaurant there, Shmoozers, for lunch as a special treat. Why not, to celebrate her first swimming lessons? I said clearly that it was a special treat and that from now on we would bring lunch from home (Grammy and Grampy's house). We got a huge taco salad, and a salmon and red pepper quiche that came with a piece of garlic toast and a side salad. All the food was delicious! :) Also we ran into Rabbi and Rebbetzin Ellis while we were there. Thank you, Rabbi Ellis, for again being so helpful with discussing my questions and concerns, and thank you, Rebbetzin Ellis, for the update on you-know-what.

We can't wait for next Thursday! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Buy Shabbat candles online and help me support my family at the same time.....

I just signed up to be an affiliate of, a website that sells Judaica. I have not purchased anything from there myself but seems to have some sort of relationship with it, or at least endorse it. If you click here to buy Shabbat candles, you get your Shabbat candles and I get 10% commission to help me support my family! :) That's how it's supposed to work. Please let me know if you do this so I can make sure I'm doing it correctly. Thanks!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Already getting ready for Chanukah....

I was showing Rena some Jewish music videos, and we came across an old favorite that she watched and danced to over and over last Chanukah: Candlelight by the Maccabeats. Here it is:

A good spot for work! :)

I'm sitting on a comfy couch in a flower shop with all sorts of gorgeous flowers and other beautiful items for sale. The friendly salesperson gave an enthusiastic, "Go for it!" when I walked in and asked if I could sit here. I don't feel at all awkward sitting here in the store without buying something. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wow, a lot of catching up to do!

I can't believe it's been months since I've written here! Things have been super-crazy! This post will be divided by month.


Thanks to my parents for schlepping to visit us in Seattle though Rena and I would be going to visit them in Cincinnati anyway AND we were in the process of packing up our stuff to be stored (as we were moving out of the apartment).

Thanks to my Seattle friend and her family for hosting my parents, Rena, and me for the weekend between moving out of the apartment and our flight to Cincinnati. We had a lovely time!


Woo-hoo, Rena and I had a wonderful time visiting her Bubby and Zeida (my parents) in Cincinnati! :) I'm so glad they were able to spend so much time together, AND I finally got to sort through my old stuff and get rid of most of it! :)


Yay, Rena and I successfully made it through customs without me even having to pull out my signed, notarized letter authorizing me to take her to Canada by myself and landed in Winnipeg to be reunited with Daddy after a month away from him! :) I'm so grateful that there was nothing really tying us to Seattle so we had the option to just stay here instead of returning to Seattle. I appreciate my mind's ability to hold onto good memories such as those from our time in Seattle and look forward to more good times here in Winnipeg! :)


Rena started preschool at Chabad's Torah Tots Preschool. I'm so grateful that there's a religious preschool here that's comparable to MMSC in Seattle. (Preschool was the only possible reason to return to Seattle but obviously that wasn't an issue.) A fellow preschool mom invited the three of us to her house for a Shabbat lunch. She said she and her family attended Herzliyah for shul so we went there that day though we'd been attending the Chabad shul (which is in the same building as the preschool). There we found her leading a kids' program in a well-stocked playroom...and it turned out that she and her husband are actually the rabbi and rebbitzin of the shul! :) They're really nice and go out of their way to help us feel comfortable in the community. Thank you, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Ellis! Thank you also, Rebbetzin Ellis, for all the time you've spent helping me out with you-know-what. (Sorry, folks, no details here.) Especially during the Jewish holiday season! Speaking of which, Rena has had such a great time at shul for the holidays! :) She really loved the birthday party for the world held on Rosh Hashana! :)

Oh yeah, one more thing: On Facebook, in a group called "Tanach Stidy Group," I saw a post about an upcoming contest called the International Bible Contest. I'd heard of this contest for high school students but apparently this is the first adult version to be held in decades. I managed to sign up before the deadline. I will be chilled about it and just try my best without worrying about winning.


So far, the current month has seen Rena's birthday party and more partying at shul for Simchat Torah. Also before the dancing we went to my husband's old friends for dinner. The theme for the birthday party was Dora the Explorer: Muffins in paper holders printed with Dora and other characters in the show and topped with candy Dora heads, napkins printed with characters, and lots of Dora-themed gifts. The shul had fun dancing and ice cream! :)