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Posts Tagged ‘my hubby’

Flashback Friday! (Bad Mood)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:53 AM
Friday, January 18, 2013

Most Fridays, 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!

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to explore an area of life that I’m sure we all experience from time to time: Going about your life while someone you love/someone you live with/someone you work with is in a Bad Mood.

You know how everything just seems a little grayer? I know I’m sensitive, but I can’t be the only one that this gets to. So, in a proactive effort to SHARE WITH OTHERS during this frustrating time, instead of wallowing in self-pity, flaming out in fury, withdrawing into total denial, or some explosive cocktail of all three, I’ve decided to make a list for all of you to peruse and use as you wish:


1. Fight with them. (This makes their mood worse, the kids upset, and doesn’t solve anything, but still, it’s really satisfying in the moment.)

2. Ignore them. (This is tricky: it really only works if you ignore them and successfully continue about your day feeling carefree and happy. If you “ignore them” but then go about your day distracted, upset, and obsessing over the fact that that person is in a bad mood and why don’t they just get over it, then you really aren’t ‘ignoring them’, are you?)

3. Try to talk to them. (Ouch! Just kidding – good God, don’t do that – they don’t feel like talking, can’ you tell?! Leave them alone!)

4. Ask a friend to reach out to them. (This may work but the question you need to ask yourself is, do you really want to get a 3rd party involved here?)

5. Journal about it. (This is a very good idea, in that it helps you connect with your thoughts and your soul, it helps to vent your emotions, and it helps to understand just what you are feeling.

a. Just beware of these potential pitfalls: 1.) Your laziness, since journaling is really annoying to have to sit down and do, after all, it’s not YOUR bad mood, you know? – and 2.) It’s not always convenient to journal, especially if you are busy at work, with kids, or driving. Then again, that’s what traffic lights are for, aren’t they?)

6. Pray about it. This one’s loaded, I know, especially for those of you who: A.) don’t believe in God, and/or B.) believe that IF there is a God, S/He is for sure too “busy with wars and starving children” or too “hands off” to really give a shit about your issues with someone else’s bad mood. But to you who feel this way, I counter: I know you are, but what am I?

a. Wait – no – that’s what I meant to say to this person who is driving me nuts with his pissy mood. To you, dear reader, I wanted to say: Just try it. Meditate. Scan a holy text (the Zohar is the best I know of). Go to spiritual services or talk out loud to a higher power. Sure, nothing good may come of it except a mild self-consciousness. OR, it could work, your prayers could be answered, and then you could finally just move on with your life already.

Because Bad Moods really just f*** up a person’s day, you know?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

PS This blog is dedicated to the love of my life who was in a terrible mood all last week but who is also the reason this blog got published tonight – I told him I didn’t have time to record ‘my new blog’ (didn’t tell him the subject) and he told me to get out of bed & just upload it anyway, without the recording – not to use that as an excuse & to lose momentum… good advice from a good man…)


Cute no matter what mood.

Size One Zillion

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:55 AM
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The title of this blog, by the way, is my shoe size. More or less.

I thought about titling the blog “If the Shoe Fits” and then adding an asterisk, where, down below, the thoughtful reader would find some kind of witty footnote remark, like ‘then I obviously didn’t buy it in Europe” or “then it’s probably some ugly boat I’m trying to pass off as footwear.”

Bottom line here? My feet are… not what you would call small and dainty.

Unless you are Andre the Giant! He might think my feet were small and dainty.

But to most others – including my husband, whose feet are basically the same length as mine, just wider – my feet are more of the “large and in charge” variety.

For a man, that’s the kind of cool status ‘tell’ – like big hands – that makes the babes excited and other guys jealous and makes the guy who HAS the big feet or big hands super easy-going and confident, because, hey, let’s face it, whatever other shit life and chaos this guy has going on, at least he’s got a big penis.

Not so much, for the ladies.

For the ladies, it’s like “big feet, big – uh – okay, that’s gross.”

Or, put more delicately, “big feet, big – um – socks?”

Only that would be a lie, because I can tell you that nobody cool (like Puma or Polo) makes decent women’s socks that fit big women’s feet. Trust me. I fall for it EVERY time.

I see a set of women’s socks hanging there in the store, like a dazzled fish spotting a shiny lure in a murky sea.

I read the label: it says it fits sizes 6.5-11!!! It will fit me!! I’m only a size 10!!!! (10.5 if I was pregnant within a year or so of sock-shopping, but let’s not even go there.) Yay!!! Cool socks!

Cool socks, indeed. Cool socks that, after one or two washings, I have no choice but to slip quietly into my 8 year old son’s drawer so at least SOMEONE in the house can enjoy them comfortably, or – if they have pink or girly stuff on them – donate to charity.

I think I could probably have my own Goodwill sock line. BatSheva. Socks for GrownupGirls with giant feet. Has a certain ring to it, no?


No, it doesn’t.




Sheva (BatSheva “Goodwill Sock Hunting” Vaknin)

A (nearly) true-to-life portrait of me, on the very first day I was born.

Happy Birthday, My Love

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:44 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2012

I hesitate to make public my love for my husband, out of the feeling that the best things in life should be held close to the heart, and not always shouted from the mountaintop.

On the other hand, after 9+ years of marriage, I want to say it loud, say it proud, and say it emphatically:


Thank you for the life you have given me – the love, support, challenges, laughs, amazing kids, amazing food, and so much more.

We have not just grown together throughout these years of marriage, but what is so much better – we have finally begun to ‘grow up‘ together, and for this I am truly grateful.

I am in awe of your perseverance, your ability to make the impossible possible, your sensitivity and gentleness, your strength, your sense of humor, your love of life and especially of your dedication to leading a spiritual life.

Thank you for being my husband. May we celebrate many more birthdays together, to 190 + beyond…



Still cute at 46. (him! not me!)

Smell it

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:05 AM
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

EW! You pervert! You know what you were thinking when you read the title of this blog. Well, it’s not about that.

Not… exactly.

Okay, it is SORT OF about smelling your loved one’s nether areas… but I’m talking about those times you don’t WANT to smell something – um – intimate, and yet you unfortunately find yourself doing just that.

I’m talking about laundry, of course.

Ladies, I know you feel me! At least those of you who live with or are married to a man.


Oh, sure. They’ll throw SOME of their dirty clothes in there. Just enough, in fact, to lead a woman on and make her thing there is hope that he could learn, he could grow, he could change and evolve and someday learn to put ALL his clothes into the dirty hamper, ALL at one time.


Whew! Thanks, I needed that.

No, no, no, as we all know (we who have lived with a man for more than a couple months at a time), there is no way most men will every learn this. They are too busy falling asleep in front of the TV.

So instead, it is our duty, as loving wives and mothers and protectors of all things domestic, to pick up those clothes strewn on the bed and chair and floor and…

Smell them.

Because who wants to wash clothes that are in perfectly good condition and can be worn again?

Sorry, I may have been channeling someone’s dead Jewish grandmother there.

But Ethyl is right – I don’t want my husband to go without his favorite shorts if they aren’t really dirty. I don’t want to waste the water and the soap and the time it takes to clean something that is already clean.

So I smell.

And boy oh boy, sometimes do I get punished for that action.

I can only say that the universe does have its way of spreading around burdens so that everyone gets his or her fair share.

Because yesterday, when my husband was putting our kids to bed, and our littlest told him she had “poopy in her diaper”? Yeah, he didn’t believe her either.  It was just a ploy to make him stay longer in her bedroom!


Only one way to find out.

Hee hee hee…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Awww, isn't little Rosalita soooo cute! Honey, I've got my hands full, would you just mind checking for me- KACKACKACKACKACKACKACKACK!!! Payback's a bitch.

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How Conveeeeenient

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:03 AM
Monday, May 14, 2012

So my husband’s eyes? Gorgeous. Deep brown, thick lashes, windows to a beautiful soul… But in the “vision” category, not quite a 10 out of 10. I think I remember a time when we first dated (10-ish years ago) when he didn’t squint as he read small text. But we all know what kind of memory I have, so I may just be making that time up altogether.

What matters is now, and now… my husband needs reading glasses.

Mind you, my husband HAS glasses. They just aren’t the right strength.  For years, he argued to me that if he would just do a half hour of eye exercises per day, his eyes would retain their prior eagle’d glory. And I get it – my wrists have never been the same since I was pregnant with my 2nd child, and to this day (6 years later), I am still absolutely convinced that somehow, someday, with the right combination of diet/meditation/doctor treatments/healings/acupuncture/medicine/exercise/denial, they will once again regain their former imperviousness to pain and downward dog.

But for now, my wrists are fragile and my husband’s eyes are not seeing 20/20.

I got so tired of seeing him squinting like crazy as he stooped to read a text or email, that I began badgering him to go to an eye doctor and get a proper prescription months ago. Finally, last month, he went! He got new glasses! He wore them! He stopped squinting!

And then he stepped on his glasses.

He had the lenses refitted to different frames… but the magic was gone, the spell broken. Those frames soon broke too, and as if no eye doctor’s visit had ever been paid, back he went to CVS Drug Store to by the over-the-counter glasses he had used for so long.

The kind that are about 2 points weaker than his actual lens prescription.

Yeah, there’s been a lot of squinting as of late.

But something else… when I brought up the issue of toothpaste stains on the sink that he hadn’t wiped away, he mentioned that he hadn’t seen them.


Ahhhhhh…. methinks me understands.

No can see… no need clean.

Pretty sneaky, sis.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

The drawer where hubby's glasses go to die.

The Best Mother’s Day… a Dream in Words

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:36 PM
Friday, May 11, 2012

As I sat down to list the top five or ten things a mother REALLY wants on mother’s day (to be able to sleep all night uninterrupted, all the way until 11am if she wants to, to be given space and time to catch up  on her favorite novel, to be treated by her husband to brunch, to be given flowers, jewelry, taken out to the movies – or allowed to go on her own), something occurred to me.

For our birthdays, we generally want stuff that we need or would love to have, but don’t have or want to spend the funds necessary to buy them for ourselves. Jewelry, new sneakers, a mani/pedi – these and other gifts are perfect for birthdays because they spoil us in a way that we’d like to spoil ourselves were we not so darned frugal.

The funny thing about Mother’s Day gifts is that the actual list looks similar to that of a birthday – mani/pedi or spa day, jewelry, new sneakers, a night out – but the idea behind them is very specific:

On Mother’s Day, we want to be given the exact things we can’t indulge in regularly exactly because we are moms.

Like a spa day. On a birthday, we appreciate a spa day gift certificate because it’s an indulgence we wouldn’t allow ourselves to purchase for ourselves. On Mother’s Day, we appreciate a trip to the spa because WE WANT TO GET THE HELL AWAY FROM OUR KIDS FOR A FEW HOURS.

Let’s get real, moms.

Being a mom is great but it’s hella hard work. “Mother’s Day” is every day for us – what we really want on Mother’s Day, therefore, are “Single Girl” gifts: flowers, jewelry, getting pampered for a day, or a movie night. Perhaps the best example of this is our favorite “Mother’s Day” Single Girl gift (take note, dads): 10 or more hours of uninterrupted sleep. (Single girls – you may protest here – I know you wake up early to go to the gym or work, and stay up late watching TV, partying, or studying, but really, how many of you can say you’ve spent 5 out of 7 nights a week getting woken up and then spending 5 to 120 minutes of those mid-night waking hours trying to soothe a child back to sleep? EVERY week? For SIX years straight? Thoughts not.)

Judge us if you want, but the real desire of every mother, every Mother’s Day, is not crayoned pictures from your little ones or breakfast in bed.

It’s a few hours – nay, let’s be real – 24 hours, of blissful quiet, grownup fun, and peace.

A Grownupgirl can always dream…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This was the daughter (tall one in the back who looks exactly like I did when I was 6) who DIDN'T cry her lungs out during their school's most excellent Mother's Day brunch today.


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:30 AM
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My husband and I have a pretty awesome arrangement when it comes to division of household labor.  He cooks, and I (usually) clean. He also gardens, by the way, which means not only do we have a beautiful backyard, we also have an edible back yard – tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, strawberries and lettuce keep happy company with our fig, grapefruit, loquat and lemon trees.

So what could ever go wrong in this veritable Eden of a home?

Sorry, did you not read what I wrote in the first paragraph? I USUALLY CLEAN.

Which, let me clarify, I am NOT complaining about. At the moment.

No, what I am complaining about right now is not cleaning per se – it is, quite specifically, cleaning a particular cutting board who for the sake of this blog I’ll just call “Merple.” (He doesn’t deserve a regular human name.) Merple sucks. He is gigantic, heavy, and doesn’t have a handle. His surface has deep grooves, which makes him extremely hard if not impossible to clean completely, especially after something tomato-y and oily has spilled on him.

Now take my favorite two cutting boards, Mavis:

Ain't she a cutie pie?

and Pearl:

Sweet as candy!

They are adorable! Lightweight, smooth, colorful, easy to use, easy to clean and of course they have handles. Neither Mavis nor Pearl has EVERY given me trouble.

Merple, on the other hand?

Of course my husband LOVES to use Merple.

Uses him any chance he gets – whether it’s to cut chicken, lettuce (no, not exactly in that order, I do know a few things about sanitary rules), chiles, lemons and anything else he can dig his knife into. Loves, loves, LOVES Merple.

Ergo, I get stuck cleaning Merple, just about every day. Often several times a day.

Yesterday, as I soaped and scrubbed Merple for like the 20th time, trying to erase the color orange from his belly, he slipped out of my grasp (no handle, remember?) and banged down on my finger, slamming it against the counter, hard. My fingertip STILL hurts today.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)


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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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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Things that are just Not Cool

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:25 AM
Monday, March 26, 2012

Hey, everyone! I’m writing this well after midnight, on Sunday night. Whereas I PLANNED to have this and every blog for this week banged out by mid-last week. SIGH…..

Writing last minute, especially when I’m dawg tired, is way NOT COOL. Which makes me think of a few other items that fall under the self-same category.

Here are the fruits of my late-night, sleepified blogging…

The Top Ten Things I Discovered Lately, that are NOT COOL:

Number 10: Young children insisting you get up and make them a 6 AM breakfast after you have slept a not-so-solid four hours. Aren’t you a cutie-pie?!

Number 9: Shouting at your friend’s four-year-old child because he won’t stop spitting and saying potty words in your car, only to find that shouting at him just causes him to spit even more and say more potty words. She warned me he was tired…

Number 8: Splinters. Had one. In the immortal words of my daughter, it was a “Super Owie.”

Number 7: Dried rat shit. All over my boxes in our outdoor storage. EEEEWWWWWWW!

Number 6: Writing a blog last minute. Case in point.

Number 5: Realizing my almost-eight year old son is plenty old enough to figure out my blog URL. GOOD GOD, WHAT THE ##*(%&#(*& AM I DOING? AND HOW SOON DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE HIM TO REALIZE WHAT “#@(%&#*(%&” MEANS?????

Number 4: Realizing I can no longer curse in my blog, in good conscience. Until my youngest is at least 13. Mental note.

Number 3: Wondering how Angie and Brad do it? Not that kind of “it,” you perv! I meant ‘all of it’ – the kids, the marriage, the fame – oh, forget it!

Number 2: Realizing my husband smells like girlie perfume thanks to the jacked up deodorant I bought him at Target. Well done, Sheva.

Number 1: Taking out my night-guard as I lean in to kiss my husband sexily. Sorry, Honey! Wait, come back!


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I can only assume that this is who my husband saw in place of his wife, as I leaned towards him...

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