Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back to School

Teddy is awesome.
He is sweet and funny and affectionate.
And he has mastered the following commands:
He will sit... if you're holding a treat.
He will come here... if he feels like it and you're holding a treat.
He will walk nicely on a leash... only if Mr. Rosenberg is the one on the other end of the leash.
He will stop barking at the mailman... if you're holding a treat.
He will not jump up on you when you walk in the door... well, he pretty much always jumps up on you when you walk in the door.

Today I saw this video:

With a little help, Teddy could totally do that stuff. Maybe.
Friends? I think Teddy is headed to school.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


"Mom, get out your camera. I'm being a mime."

"Are you seeing me doing this? With my hands up like this? That's all miming."

"You know mimes don't talk, right?"

"The good ones do, Mom."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Four Days

I took a journey four days ago. I made a hotel my home. I spent good, really good, outstanding time with some people who, though not related by blood, are related to me in friendship. I laughed a lot and danced a little and ate some really good mashed potatoes. Mostly, though I listened and a I talked and I felt the particular type of warm I get only once a year from laying eyes on my people.

I was blessed to be there and now feeling blessed to be back at my family home with my guys. I'm in my place. But the unfamiliar hotel in the faraway city was my place too, because my friends were there.

It was a fine trip.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Baller

Last week at basketball practice Bob got hit in the face with a ball. Hard. There was a little blood and a lot of tears. He said he was embarrassed and wanted to go home. He held a tissue to his nose to stop the bleeding. He had a drink of water. Then he went back in to play.

About fifteen minutes later, he took another ball in the face. There was no blood this time, but there were tears. He wiped his nose. He got another drink of water. He went back in to play.

On the way home I told him I was proud of him for not quitting. He gave me a high five and said, "Sometimes these things happen when you're an athlete, Mom. I'm a real athlete. Can I have a juice box?"

Thursday, July 25, 2013


It has now been a few weeks since the passing of Jeff’s Grandma Sylvia. There will be a memorial service for her this weekend and unfortunately I will be out of town and unable to attend. We were lucky enough to spend time with her on her last day. It was a bittersweet visit, saying goodbye.

I will choose to remember her as she lived: wise, independent, and funny. On her last visit to California back in February, a few of us were gathered at Mr. Rosenberg’s mother’s house. The discussion turned to the topic of airlines. We spoke about rates and frequent flier miles. Sylvia added, “I never fly Virgin. They don’t go all the way.”

Sylvia, you are missed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


"I couldn't hear you, Bob. What did you say?"


"I thought I heard something."

"I was talking to myself, Mom."


(whispers) "Tiny toilet."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


"Did you see any lizards today, Mom?"

"Just that one by the driveway that I saw with you."

"What about snakes? Did you see any snakes?"

"No snakes"

"Me neither. What about rolly pollys?"

"None of those."

"I saw like, 14 or 15."


"Mom, when you say no rolly pollys, are you including rolly polly exoskeletons?"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Please Don't

Please don't put your mouth on that
... leave your shoes in the middle of the floor
... run by the pool
... leave broccoli on your plate

Please don't make that terrible sound
... interrupt when I'm on the phone
... splash the water out of the bathtub
... whine

Please don't walk in here with muddy boots
... paint the dog
... put your feet on the TV
... eat whatever that is

Please don't grow up so fast

Friday, July 19, 2013

For Me

"Mom, I was making this picture of God but I messed his eye up... So you can have it."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another Pop Quiz

"Mom, what band is playing right now?"

"The Raconteurs."

"What is a Cadillac, exactly?"

"It's a brand of car."

"What's that sign at the doctor's office with the snakes on it?"

"It's called caduceus."

"Why does it have snakes?"

"I don't know that part."

"Who's the Lone Ranger actor?"

"Armie Hammer."

"What's the difference between a throw up, a vomit, and a barf?"

"They're all the same."

"I like saying barf the best."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Another Language

"Mom? Wobuffett is a stale Pokemon. This is what he says, 'Wah-bah-fett!" And he has no brains. And if someone tries to do magna-punch on him they end up punching themself."

"I have no idea what you just said."

"Come on, Mom. Wobuffett is part of Pokemon. It's a video and card game."

"I'm not familiar."

"Wah-bah-fett! Wah-bah-fett! Wah-bah-fett!"

"That explains it."

"It does."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eight Years Ago Today

Today Mr. Rosenberg and I celebrate eight years of marriage.

After we met, Jeff waited a full six months to bring up the topic of marriage. He did this by proposing. We waited another four months before eloping. I purchased a white cocktail dress and pale blue sandals on sale and picked up a veil at a Mexican wedding store. Jeff bought a new shirt and tie. As so many couples have done before us, we packed up the car and drove to Vegas.

It was 113F degrees when we pulled into the parking lot of the Little Church of the West on the strip. In the office, brides and grooms were lined up and waiting. We paid $348.00 for the “Tie the Knot” package entitling us to an organist, a minister, a rose bouquet and boutonniere, a photo package, and live streaming video of the ceremony so that our friends and family could attend from the comfort of their homes. Our big day was to be 15 minutes all in. We waited our turn in the car to take advantage of the air conditioning.

Jeff shifted in his seat. “Should we have written our own vows?”

“I’m sure they’ll use the usual stock vows. Just a note, if they have the ‘honor and obey’ one, I will honor you but…”

“Yeah, I get it.”

“They might do the classic ‘Love is patient, love is kind’ reading from Corinthians.”

“New testament, non-Jew stuff?”


“Lisa? I promise to love your cat as my own.”

“Good one.”

“I promise not to throw my clothes on the floor… as much.”

“Oh, okay. Are we doing this?”

“I promise to still hold your hands when we are old.” Jeff took my hands in his and squeezed.

“Okay. I promise to try to become more of a morning person.”

“Nice. I promise to take your side in arguments against the outside world.”

“I promise to be happy to see you every time you walk in the door,” I said.

“I promise to hold true to you. You will not get me out of this.”

“I promise to never roll my eyes at you.”

“Is that a thing?”

“I read that the number one predictor of couples who break up is the eye roll. It implies a lack of respect or something.” Through the windshield, I watched the couple scheduled just ahead of us exit the chapel. The church bells rang.

“Okay, I won’t eye roll either.”

“Thank you. I promise to keep faith in God and share it with our family in whatever half-Catholic half-Jewish way we can figure out.”

“Me too. I promise to cook dinner sometimes, deal with the computer, and do all the talking with insurance people on the phone.”

“I promise to tell you about my feelings as they come up and not harbor resentment and get all passive-aggressive and crazy.”

“Good one. Me too. I promise you will always be my best friend.”

“Ditto. Ditto infinity. You may kiss the bride.”

I re-applied lipstick in the rearview mirror and took one last look at myself as a single person. I had been married twice before and had not been in a hurry to run down the aisle again. This time it was different: a true match, and with this day a sweetness and a simplicity.

Jeff and I had started planning a small wedding and then realized that there is no such thing as a small wedding. Our time, energy, and money were getting pulled into the undertow of wedding plans. My heart wasn’t in it. I wanted to start my life as Mrs. Rosenberg, I just couldn’t face my beloved crowd of friends and family over trays of catered appetizers one more time and ask them to believe that, no really, this time I meant it. I wanted to prove it by making it happen and that would take years, long happy years. 

We entered the chapel and met the organist who would double as our witness. She introduced us to our minister, an older black gentleman in a gray suit. With a southern accent, the minister briefed us on how the ceremony would unfold and showed us where the webcam was set up. Jeff handed him a small wineglass wrapped in a cloth napkin and asked if at the very end he could set the glass on the floor so that he could stomp on it. He would then say, “Mazel Tov,” explaining that these were the Yiddish words for “congratulations” or “good fortune.”  The minister seemed confused by the request but was willing. Jeff paid him the ceremony fee and the minister signed a receipt.

We took our places. The organist played the wedding march and nodded at me to begin my walk down the aisle. This was not unfamiliar and at the same time it was all new. I thought of Back-to-School Night in elementary school, walking into my classroom when it was dark outside seemed foreign and magical yet there was my desk right where I had left it. I knew this song and had walked these steps before but this time these steps led home.

We heard the Corinthians verse. We did our I Do-ing. We waved at the web-cam. We were pronounced husband and wife. Jeff asked for the glass. He broke it with a heavy step and waited. The minister stared at us blankly. “Say Mazel Tov,” whispered Jeff.

“Muzzle Tofe!” said the minister.

Jeff lifted my veil, put one hand on either side of my face and kissed me. We posed for the wedding chapel version of prom photos complete with faux floral arrangements. We were congratulated by our organist/witness and ushered out. Jeff took our camera and I posed for him in front of the chapel. People driving past honked and waved.

“That’s for you Mrs. Rosenberg!” Jeff called out.

The church bells rang. I cried with all the happy.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Cry For Help

In 2005, we joined Costco. Mr. Rosenberg and I were handed the membership cards with our smeary, pixilated, fun house portraits on the back and we were in. Never mind that the cards read Jeffrey and Lisa “Rosenford,” they still worked.

On our first visit, Mr. Rosenberg’s first time to a big box store of any kind, he purchased a small pallet of underpants, a mega-jar of vitamins of dubious origin, and a trio of giant squeeze bottles of French’s mustard that would move with us to three separate addresses before we disposed of them. He veered from free sample tables to Breville Juice Fountain demos with joyful enthusiasm.

I was no better. I found it impossible to get out of there without experiencing what I’ve heard referred to as “the hundred dollar entrance fee.” I would enter with a small, solid list and exit with more than a hundred dollars worth of coffee table books, gallons of Kirkwood chicken salad, and family teeth whitening systems.

Some time in 2007, I let our membership lapse. The pressure of trying not to spend money in the warehouse of all-the-things-I-didn’t-know-I-wanted was too hard. Friends and family took their own trips to Costco and were kind enough to fill our needs for baby wipes and kitchen garbage bags: all the merchandise we ever really needed in the first place.

And then, I became a soccer mom. I suddenly had an actual need for cases of string cheese and oranges by the gross. Last week, it happened. I reactivated our membership. I posed for another scary black teeth clown photo and was handed a new membership card. If you see me wandering the aisles with a glazed look in my eye, please remove the snow tires from my cart. The Rosenfords are back.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Smacksy Sunday Links

A lovely photo collection of the best moments in people's lives.

I read and watched this on how to teach your child to tie his shoes in five minutes. I spent twenty minutes trying to learn it myself before I gave up.

And a man and his dog, Norm.

Happy Sunday..

Friday, July 12, 2013

Say What?

"Mom, I'm a mayham. Dad said."

"A May ham?"


"What does that mean?"

"You know, mayham. Like, chaos and craziness and destruction."

"Oh, mayHEM."

"That's me. Mayham. Dad said."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Else?

"Are you done brushing your teeth, Bob?"

"No. I'll do it now."

"What have you been doing in there?"


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Wasn't Told There'd Be a Test

"Hey, Mom? Do we have any snakes in our neighborhood?

"I'm not really sure."

"What was the first state?"

"I'm not really clear on that. I can look it up."

"What's the most popular brand of car?"

"I don't know."

"If a king cobra battled Wolverine who would win?"

"I have no idea."

"What about if a Siamese Fighting Fish battled a goldfish?"

"Umm, the fighting fish?'

"I think you finally got one."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Play It Again

There's a poster I've seen around that reads, "Eat organic food, or as your grandparents called it 'food.'" I thought of that poster as Bob and I went to play at a special mud play area or as your grandparents called it, "play." When I was a kid there were fields and empty lots to run in and forts to be made. Now, here in our neck of the suburbs, we have planned play-dates and carefully structured playgrounds. These are lovely but there is an absence of down and dirty playing. We went in search of old school adventure.

There was a large pond with pallets for floating on. Or falling off of, as I did.

The muddy slide was very popular.

As was the splash landing.

There were numerous tree forts and piles of wood and hammers. Nails were given out for building.

It took us an hour and five freeways to get there but it was worth it for a day in the dirt.

Monday, July 8, 2013


"Mom, did you know I can think underwater now?"

"Is that something new?'

"Sort of."

"What do you think about when you're underwater?"

"A lot of things. Everything."

"Like what?"

"Mom, stop trying to get at my secrets."

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Five Awesomest Things About 4th of July by Bob Rosenberg

1. First you get to walk in the parade with your dad and his dad friends and they will wear matching t-shirts and do a funny dance. In the morning before the parade you get to see your dad practicing the funny dance in the living room in his underpants. This is awesome.

2. You get a really good taco and a popsicle at the park. The popsicle has ice cream in the middle and crunchy strawberry things on the outside. Super awesome.

3. Then you have a barbecue dinner at your friend Felix's house and play with Legos and the guinea pigs, Honey and Squeaky. More awesome.

4. You all walk to the high school and lay on blankets in the football field and watch the fireworks show. You and your friend Felix yell, "Incoming!" before every firework goes off until your parents make you shhh. The fireworks come out of real cannons. That is awesome.

5. When you get home it is almost, barely 10:00pm at night and you are up way past your bedtime but you're not even tired, except that when you get in bed you suddenly get really tired. The whole entire day was awesome.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


"Dad how do helicopters fly?"

"Well, they have an engine that makes the big propeller on top go around very fast, so fast that the propeller pushes down the air forcing the helicopter up."

"Mom how do planes fly?"

"Um... magic?"


"Ask your dad."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sweet Sorrow

We traveled all day and part of the night to get here. The beautiful matriarch of Mr. Rosenberg’s family was making a fast and graceful exit and we were coming to say goodbye.

We held her hand to let her know we were near. We spoke to her gently and she responded with a whisper. “I’ll call you next week, “ she said, joking.

We saw other family and held them close. We thought about the woman who would soon be leaving us.

Always turned out in carefully chosen outfits and matching jewelry, she knows what’s best for everyone. She often shares her views in the form of hand-written letters that rhyme. She is always right. She plays the violin and is a studied card sharp. She knows her way around a dirty joke. She makes brisket and strudel like no one else and though she tried to teach us her recipes no one can quite replicate them.

She loves the shore.

She loves us.

Her absence will leave a deep cavern in all of our lives.

We stayed for just one day.

We will be going home soon and so will she.

Monday, July 1, 2013


"You see those clouds, Mom?"

"I do."

"That one looks like a bear. Or maybe a wolf. No, definitely a bear."

"Which one?"

"Wait. Now it turned into a king. A scared looking king."

"I don't see it."

"You might need to crawl back here."