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Archive for April, 2012

Best Laid Plans

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:10 AM
Monday, April 30, 2012


  1. 1. Think of a good subject & write Monday’s blog.
  2. 2. Get kids to bed early.
  3. 3. Go to sleep by 10pm.
  4. 4. Sleep restfully in my bed.
  5. 5. Wake up at 5am.
  6. 6. Exercise.
  7. 7. Allow my great mood to influence my children as they wake and prepare for school.
  8. 8. Finish my writing assignment.
  9. 9. Help husband with work.
  10. 10. Get Tuesday’s blog ready.



  1. 1. Can’t think of anything to write about. Click a lot of “likes” on Facebook instead.
  2. 2. Get 2 kids to bed early. Then fall asleep in my son’s bed, trying to get HIM to sleep. Wake up when he is finally ready to sleep, an hour later.
  3. 3. Head to bed at 10… then get re-routed to Racheli’s room, where she has thrown up all over her bed.
  4. 4. Spend the next 2+ hours with Racheli as she barfs & writhes in pain, etc.
  5. 5. Sleep uncomfortably with 2 little knees poking into my back.
  6.  6. Wake up at 6:15 to the words, “Ima, my stomach hurts.”
  7. 7. Keep the bucket handy for Racheli while waking and getting the other 2 ready for school.
  8. 8. Yell at Yehuda for stealing, chewing, then spitting onto the floor an entire pack of gum.
  9. 9. Try to figure out how to get any work done, for me or my husband, while Racheli is still here and not feeling well.
  10. 10. Write this blog.

Happy Monday!



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

O wise one.

Flashback Friday! (What’s in a Word?)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:34 AM
Friday, April 27, 2012

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – What’s in a Word? – the BLOG

What’s up with the word “woman”? Why does saying “I’m a woman” feel equivalent to declaring “I’m an aging female?” I have 3 kids but I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a “woman”. Sorry to all my feminist sistahs, but it’s the same problem I have trying to talk to my daughter about her vag-you know what I mean, or my son about his penis – let’s be honest, folks, that word is easier to pronounce.

In a nutshell, the word – WOMAN – doesn’t fit. Nor do the alternatives: chick, or girl… too immature. That’s why I choose to use Grown Up Girl. Not perfect, but at least I can say it without cringing.

Same with the VAG and PENIS words – I don’t want to confuse my kids by telling them both they have “pee pees” (I tried this but one is a girl and the other a boy and then they wanted to know why the other’s looked so weird) – but any other nickname sounds entirely pornographic and/or just kind of mean.

Reminds me – when I was driving my kids carpool home last year, one of the 6 year old girls, whose mom is a doula (look it up, singletons) informed my 5 year old son, my 3 year old daughter, the other kids in the car, that she knew where babies came from.

“Yeah, duh” answered my smarty son. “From the mom’s stomach.”

“NO!” the doula child announced proudly. “From her putza!”

I didn’t know whether to choke or laugh – putza is the Hebrew slang for VAG. Brilliant!

So while my children were still shielded a little longer from the raw truth about where babies come from, (they don’t understand Hebrew slang yet), I was enlightened…

Putza! What a cool name for vag-. I’m SO all over that.

BTW in that same car ride, my Don Juan five year old announced to his two girl classmates that he will never marry anyone because he never wants to have to kiss a girl. They chided him and told him that he HAS to marry, that it’s the only way he can be happy (Go, girls! Get him trained early!) – after which he flipped on them and, without missing a beat, answered: “Fine, so which one of you wants to kiss me first?”


Cheek kisses & Hugs ,


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

He may not be old enough to kiss ya but he'll gladly feed you some cereal!



posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:20 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

10:45pm: I’m actually going to sleep BEFORE 11!!!! And it’s not because I’m sick!!! And it’s not because I didn’t sleep at all the previous night!!! I’m just… GOING TO SLEEP EARLY!!!!

I shimmy under the nicely made bed (you are welcome, me!), sigh a breath of happiness, tuck my pillow ‘just so,’ and plop my head down.

Onto sand.

And rotten, sliced up apples.

Ah, the never-ending joys of children.

Just when the little one finally starts sleeping through the night (because you’ve SLEEP TRAINED her – moms, don’t lie to yourselves, 3 nights of throw-up tantrum crying from a 6 month old is TOTALLY WORTH a family’s happily-ever-after all-the-night-thru sleeping), the middle one starts waking up to ask you to help her go to the bathroom. And just when you’re done with that phase, she just starts waking you up ‘because she woke up,’ and now the only way she’ll go back to sleep is if you sit with her forever at her bedside or let her crawl in uncomfortably with you & your husband.


So the odd sandbox in the bed? Shouldn’t phase me. Doesn’t phase me! I’m used to it – brush it once, brush it twice, brush it Chicken Soup with Rice.

But the apples?

Now, that threw me, I have to admit.

I suddenly remembered seeing my kids earlier in the day – playing all together, all 3 of them, laughing, enjoying… those moments are rare and sacred, so of course I didn’t want to get too close, or too involved!

Duh. Hello! Should have known better.

Because what was bonding them together, was 2 illegal (in our house) acts: 1) using knives to cut food by themselves (pink plastic knives to cut apple slices, but still…), and 2) playing with food in my bed. Oh yeah, and 3) leaving said food. In my bed.

Beneath my pillow, to be exact.




Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Good God! I just realized I should be completely thankful that it was ONLY rotten apples I stuck my head in... because my kids do love themselves some apples & honey. Sheesh!

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The Recycling Fairy – A Letter

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:00 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dearest recycling Fairy,

I know you are busy busy busy in this modern age of recyclables, and you probably barely have time to check Twitter let alone open and read your snail mail. Still, I hope and pray that this letter not only finds you well, but finds you agreeable enough to sit for a few minutes of downtime and answer these few short questions that have been nagging at me for quite some time.

Here goes:

I really hate doing dishes. For a long time, I only used paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils around the house, (if they ever invent plastic pots and pans, I will be the first in line for that sale). But when money got tight, I made the switch to “real” plates, cups, utensils, etc.

But here’s my question: Am I REALLY saving money or helping the environment? Because, like, WATER costs money and is precious to the environment, too, right? And doing tons of dishes for a big family, day after day, night after night, especially when your husband who is an amazing cook likes to use like 20 pots to make one dinner and then put it all on different serving plates (I’m still not sure what’s wrong with spooning our portions straight from the pot?) – I mean, I use a LOT of water while washing.

You get what I mean? Plus, the money thing – I mean, we pay for our water use too, capiche? And I know your whole thing is being “Green” and all, but don’t tell me you can’t understand the value of a dollar – am I wrong? And finally, “time is money” as we all know, and while lately I haven’t been paid much for my time, I still think my time doing dishes could possibly be better spent watching The Good WifeIMEAN freelancingIMEAN VOLUNTEERING AT A LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTER.

Oh – and another question – do you REALLY care if I don’t rinse out my milk bottles and my tuna cans before putting them in your garbage cans for pickup?

And then of course, there’s the “Styrofoam Question” – If we accidentally put Styrofoam in your recycling box – will it contaminate all the other products in there? Release toxic gasses into our air?


Thank you in advance for your thoughtful responses to my questions.

Sincerely yours,


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

And another thing... I know plastic bags are "bad," but I have to say, they really are "good" when it comes to disposing of dirty diapers. Feel me?

Baby Talk

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:13 AM
Monday, April 23, 2012

My blog about my husband’s peculiar way of communicating has been well-documented in these pages, both here and here. But what about the children?

The children, indeed. All three of my kids’ favorite fruit, for years, were klums. Not plums. Klums. Couldn’t tell them differently. But for the best malapropisms, these days, the majority come from the littlest Vaknin. Esther.

Like when we drove by the Post Office and Esther recognized it from our errands the day before, commenting, “We go to the poster office again?”

Yes, Esther. Yes, we do.

The poster office.

That same day, I took her also to the local LA supermarket, Ralph’s. Or, in her “Hebrew is my 1 ½ language” life (not 1st language but not a distant second, either) – “Raphael’s.” Literally. She couldn’t say “Ralph’s” to save her life the day of our errands. She kept trying. And kept saying, “Ra-La-Raphael’s?” The following day, she shortened it. To “El’s”.

BTW, in the car, doing those errands together that same day, I turned around and asked Esther, “Are you a cutie or a patootie?” (We have really high-level conversations. She’s Ivy League-bound, obvi.)

Her answer, without hesitation?


What do you DO with someone that cute? I know it’s not right to eat our children. But it may come to that.

Poor Yehuda, my oldest, has been “Wehuda” to me for the past year, even though Esther learned to pronounce the “Y” some time ago. I just like the way “Wehuda” rolls off the tongue, you know? (PS – no one is allowed to call him that in public, K? For those of you who see him around…)

And finally, my all time favorite phrase, again courtesy of little Esther Vakninovitch. I first heard about it from one of my friends, who had taken Esther with her daughter/Esther’s best friend to a play date to an indoor playground, with some other kids as well.

“You know what your daughter kept saying this afternoon to all of us?” she asked me after dropping Esther home.

“What?” (Me – excited to hear what precocious phrase my 2-going-on-7 year old said this time.)

“She just kept asking, over and over, all afternoon long… ‘What da hett?!’”

Not “What the heck?” or “What the hell?” (neither of which we say around the house anyway; who knows where she picked up the original phrase from – TV, probably…) but, anyway:

What da hett?


Folks – try as you may to find something that is… I guarantee there is absolutely NOT anything cuter than my Esther saying,

“What da hett?”



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Now imagine her asking you, "What da hett?" Your head just about exploded from all that cuteness, right?

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Flashback Friday! (Technolo-Who?)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:36 AM
Friday, April 20, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Technolo-WHO? – the BLOG

Ever do a task for like, 5 years, then find out a little free computer program could have sorted it out for you in under one minute?


Not long ago, I had one of our interns busy for five straight days cutting and pasting emails from an excel sheet onto a Word doc separated by semi colons so I could cut & paste them as a group into a group email. (Like you care about the details.) Found out? My Oulook imports excel. So I tried to import said excel to my Outlook… and… it didn’t work.

Then I found out it didn’t even need to work, cause I can just cut & paste the email column from the excel into my Outlook & my Outlook translates it seamlessly into a list of emails.

Lesson learned: What’s wrong with the interns of today that they don’t know shortcuts?!

My mother is hilarious using her new iPhone – she was stumped for the first month, trying to listen to her voicemails. “I either delete them or call them back! I can never just hear what they said on the message! And if I delete the message, that’s it, I never heard what they wanted to tell me!”

“Mom – did you try just touching the message and letting it ‘play’?”


“And you can still hear your deleted messages. Touch the words underneath your messages that say ‘Deleted Messages’.”

“Oh honey, you are so smart.”

Moms are really good for that, aren’t they? Making you feel smart in an area of life where Life would actually conspire to make you feel ridiculously stupid.

When my computer memory nears its full capacity, I literally want to throw it away because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make it work again. I pay ridiculous amounts of money to compensate for my lack of IT knowledge. I’m the chick who pays $100 a year for an online backup of my hard drive, and the when my computer is stolen, I pay $97 to retrieve that backup, and then I never succeed to even begin to install those backed up files onto my other laptop despite numerous curse word-laden attempts to make the damn things open up and work.

Lucky for me my nanny “finds” my stolen laptop “from a kid trying to sell it on the street” a month after it was stolen. That was her story. I pressed her: why, according to her own story, did she wait 8 days before bringing me the laptop or telling me she found it?

Shrugged shoulders were all our 4 years of shared history, shared family (she stayed with my kids more than once when my husband and I left town), and shared secrets (she did clean my house for 4 years after all) got me.

I had to fire her, but I’m stuck with this giant black CENSORED bar over the part of my brain that is supposed to be telling me how to work the timer on my HD TV.

I’d better go turn it off the old fashioned way. By telling my husband to do it.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Just once, I'd like a WOMAN to design my remote controls. I'd design one that you could read like a book, that had pretty pictures with WORDS that told you what each button did, and PICTURES that showed you what would happen. And then I'd design a real live fairy who would operate it for you.

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EASY OFF – the sequel

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:00 AM
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, will the Grownup Girl EVER stop writing about how she is tired, over-houseworked, underpaid, etc?

I’m thinking the same thing, dear, dear readers.

Soon, I promise, I’ll get back to those crazy kids, my crazy past and my even crazier aspirations and observations.

But um… just for now… it’s literally all I can think about. I do the dishes… but then my shoes make the linoleum dirty. So now I have to mop. Again. REALLY. REALLY???

I feed the kids, the dining room floor becomes a mess again. Obviously. They are kids. And I fed them rice. And lentils. May as well have thrown a vat of rice and lentils at them, and yelled, “mouths open!”

I clean the floor of my girls’ room with the help of the expert cleaner, 5 year old Racheli. Racheli leaves to brush teeth, and just as I sigh with happiness at the sight of their carpet – by golly, I KNEW it was under there somewhere! – little Esther methodically removes every single “pretend food box” from inside the giant “shopping cart” where they had just been blessedly put away.

Honey. We need to put those back. Please. We just cleaned your floor.


That little whippersnapper has a scream that will see and raise any paltry hand of “nails on a chalkboard.”

Racheli and I hatch a plan to clean the boxes once Esther has finished unloading them. We do so, and Esther puts them out on the floor again. She will not allow us to replace them in the cart until she is safely tucked away in bed and can’t see the durn things.

Oh – and I clean Yehuda’s room before putting him to bed. Three minutes later, he has dragged his entire bedding, stuffed animals, blankets, sheets and pillows, halfway down the hall. Bad dreams. Naturally.

And don’t even get me stated on all the pee-soaked sheets.

But the kicker… is the oven. In my bleary delirium, drying/putting away dishes while my husband washes, I accidentally opened the oven to put away a pot, thinking it was the cabinet.

What? I told you I hardly ever use the thing.

And lo and behold… the freakin Easy Off I so proudly and suffocatingly used for the first time 2 weeks ago… was STILL IN THERE. White streaks, covering EVERY INCH OF THE DAMN OVEN.


My husband tsk-tsked… “Don’t you know you have to wipe it after spraying?”

GRRRRRRR. Like he is such the “Easy Off Expert.”


Though I admit, whereas I may have vigorously wiped the Easy Off, I apparently needed to also wipe the Easy Off… Off.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Gee, Alice, how DID you keep that big house with all those kids so sparkling clean?? OH YEAH. YOU WERE JUST ACTING.

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No Exit

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:00 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You might say it’s “hard” to get everything done when you are a stay-at-home mom who also works part-time, blogs, volunteers, studies Kabbalah and keeps Shabbat, helps her husband with his work and is trying to learn guitar so I can actually accompany myself when I sing the songs that I wrote.

Then again, if you did say that… you’d be wrong.

Dead wrong.

It’s not hard at all!!!!


Why is it, that the minute I’ve folding four loads of laundry, there are instantly TWO new loads that must be washed? I haven’t even put the four loads away, for crying out loud! Seriously. They are spread out all over our living room couches.

No TV tonight, kids! It’s our clothes’ turn to watch their programs. Their soaps.

Did I mention I’m also losing my mind just a little bit?

The good part about THAT is that I seem to be losing the bit of my mind that actually thought I was able & CAPABLE OF FINISHING THINGS. Because I can’t.

The girls’ room was clean yesterday morning. Now every time I cross by it, my brain spasms ever so slightly at the sight of toys all over the rug. I WILL NOT GO IN THERE I WILL NOT CLEAN IT UP I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO LIKE – OH YEAH, EAT. OH YEAH, AND WORK.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And by “mighty,” I mean those who used to have a full time housekeeper.

And by “fallen,” I mean they got trapped in a Sartre play, only this time the situation they cannot exit is the mess they live in.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

If you wanna hear one of my songs, just click on the audio link, below. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could strum along to my OWN SONG? Yeah. It would. WARNING: I HAVE NO TIME TO FIGURE OUT WORDPRESS SO WHEN U CLICK IT’S GOING TO OPEN UP A BLACK WEBPAGE. JUST SO YOU CAN HEAR THE SONG. YOU CAN SKIP IT IF YOU WANT. THOUGHT U SHOULD KNOW.

Another Lonely Night – BatSheva Vaknin

This was one of my album covers, back in the day. Ok, "Band flyer cover". But still. Hey, I'm talking to you! Quit looking at my nipple! Aw, forget it.


Bone Dry

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:56 AM
Monday, April 16, 2012

Folks, this GrownupGirl is tapped out. Tired. Done.

I wanted to try & sleep tonight before 11pm (I know, who am I kidding, right?)… just finished the exhausting & demoralizing process of applying for a partial scholarship for my 3 kids’ tuition… still need to read a script for work, oh, AND fold four loads of laundry. Literally.

Oh yeah, and wash my hair with the MOTHERFUCKINGLICECOMB because that’s what we moms do. When our heads itch.

And please don’t ask me if my room and my kids rooms still need to be cleaned.

So who has time to write a blog? No one’s paying me to write this, and my adoring fans numbering in the – uh – “aughts”? Is that a word? The adoring ones, plus the other occasional fans… still not quite the incentive I need to keep this thing alive.

So what is?

It’s an amazing creative outlet, for one. Duh.

And then there’s that ‘miracle’ aspect to it – the thing that I’ve noticed happened since I’ve been maintaining this blog, which is to say… a smoothness to life that otherwise feels mighty bumpy. That, and the direction of my professional life since I’ve kept up the blog has continued to move forward and – while not YET financially rewarding – it does appear a bit more exciting and promising, each and every month that passes.



I’ll stay up at least until midnight just for you.

And by “you” I mean, of course…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

What, you thought I was joking? I'M TIRED, I TOLD YOU! Freezing, too.


Suck it Down

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:25 AM
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ew – when I wrote the title for this piece, I immediately flashed on a boy in high school who was renowned for forcing girls’ heads down there just seconds after they would start to kiss.


Sorry for sharing that – but my theory (as a blogger) is – if I have to think about it, then by extension, you now have to think about it.

Hee hee.

Like, por ejemplo… the actual subject of the blog. Creamy drinks.

Normal drinks, you perv! Get your head out of the gutter.

Seriously – I was sucking down a smoothie the other day – blueberry/mango/banana/soy milk, if you must know – and I just couldn’t stop. I couldn’t put the durn thing down for more than a couple of seconds without picking it up again, and then I continued sucking until I drained the entire thing dry.

I’m the same way with creamy cafe lattes (my favorite coffee drink, natch – they’re so creamy). My husband, along with many coffee drinkers, sip their coffees slowly, not caring how ice-cold the beverage becomes after a matter of minutes. Not me… if it’s sweet and creamy, I literally suck it down in a matter of minutes.

I can’t help myself!

What’s odd is that this doesn’t apply to food at all – I am a notoriously slow eater. My best friend in junior high school used to openly mock me for chewing my food so thoroughly, once asking me to count how many chews it took before I could swallow one bite of sandwich. It took her thirteen chews. It took me sixty.

So, I was sucking down my smoothie, shivering with cold from all the internal ice melting in my stomach, when it hit me.


I’ve seen the way my babies nursed. Their little mouths latched onto my boobs like the way a super glued construction man’s hat holds to on a steel beam high in the air. (TV addicts of the 1970’s, that one was for you.)

So, the way babies latch & nurse? THAT is the way I suck down my creamy drinks. Which has nothing to do with my eating food slowly.

Aren’t you glad we figured that out?

Hmmm… something tells me that if I didn’t manage to gross you out at the beginning of this blog…



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Yum! Baby hungry! (still grossin' you out? sorry...)

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