Welcome to new Loyal Reader, Ephraim! Not only is Ephraim registered (ahem, ahem) to post comments, he also joined our Loyal Reader Club (your t-shirt is in the mail). I believe Ephraim is our first Loyal Reader doctor. Ephraim is the leading food-price expert in the entire world. Ask him anything - he'll know the answer. For example: Ephraim - Supersol Branflakes. 15.99 NIS. Discuss.
On Thursday night, we had a sibs dinner party. Well, almost all the sibs. It was Leezy's birthday, so Elie's sister Sara decided we should all go out to celebrate. Sara's good at that stuff - planning ahead, thinking about other people, etc. Unfortunately, Aaron and Ayelet were not able to fly in for the night to join us. We needed to find ourselves a new babysitter, since our old babysitter (although I don't know if someone who babysat for us twice can really qualify as "our" babysitter) no longer babysits. Well, at least that's what she told us....hmmmmm. Anyway, I posted a request on the Modi'in email list and found a great babysitter! She's actually a newly married recent oleh who lives in Dimri! In our building! So she came over and passed the test immediately - within two minutes Ariella was talking a mile a minute explaining the rules of Taki (it's like Israeli Uno) with all its nuances and subtleties, and Yaakov was lugging over the blocks to build a tower. (Taki, by the way.... You know when you buy a new game for your kid and you're excited to play it with them at first because it's new and exciting, and in this case, actually fun? But then one week and 75 gazillion games later you wish you never heard of the damn game??????? And you just want to take all those Taki cards and rip them up bit by bit and then burn them and then bury them in the backyard so you never, ever, have to play again???? So that's where we are with Taki. The truth is it wouldn't have been so bad until Ariella learned the "8, 7, 6" rule. You start off with 8 cards, but when you get rid of the cards, you don't just win and game over. Oh no. You then take seven cards. And when you get rid of those, you take six. And so on. This turns Taki into a VERY LONG game. And when your five year old is obsessed with it and wants to play it twice a day, it makes you want to take those cards and....well, you know.) Anyway, I digress. I digress often. I love digressing. In fact, here I am, digressing about digressing. But now, back to the blocks. We left the children and slipped out the door for our few hours of freedom. After roughly thirty hours in the car, we made it to the restaurant. (One of the problems with driving in Jerusalem is that it's very unforgiving. One wrong turn, and there you are, driving in circles, down narrow alleyways, and in the bus lane for forty-five minutes, seeing the place where you want to be and just not being able to get there.) Anyway, after our tour of the city, we made it to Domo, an excellent sushi restaurant off Ben-Yehuda. We had a great time with the Kleins, the Eisens, and the sushi. We're looking forward to going back again next February.
Now, you may be wondering why I am writing this at such an early hour on a Friday morning. Well, you don't actually know that I'm writing this at such an early hour on a Friday morning. But now that I'm telling you about the earliness of the hour on this Friday morning, aren't you wondering, "Hey, aliyahbyaccident, why are you up so early? Isn't it a Friday morning?" Well, since you asked, I will tell you. It's Ariella!!!!! ARGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! At the very early hour of 5:30, I sensed a presence in my room. A disturbance in the force, if you will. It was my daughter, saying the words every mother dreads. "I want a tongue ring, Mommy." No, seriously, she said, "I don't feeeeeeel good!" I thrust a hand out of my blankets and slapped it in the general direction of her forehead. "You don't have fever. Go take a drink and go back to sleep," I mumbled, turning over in the hopes that she would suddenly disapparate. Needless to say, she remained right where she was. "But my eeeaaaaarrrrr hurts!" she wailed. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Now this is a girl who was on antibiotics from Sunday - Wednesday as I awaited the results of the Diseased Stick Test. When it was negative, I chucked the medicine, but still! Shouldn't that medicine have done something? Do the gods of illnesses think this is some kind of joke???? Anyway, out of bed I got. (See, Ephraim, that's TWO Stars Wars references for you!) We went to the living room, I gave her some Motrin and made a doctor's appointment. (Digression: As much as I hate the lack of rapid strep tests, I LOVE the automated appointment system. In New York, I would sit there with the phone in my hand starting at 8:25, and then at exactly 8:30 I would call repeatedly, willing them with every fiber in my being to pick up and have an early appointment available. Now, I make appointments at all hours of the day and night. An important advantage when running an infirmary, as I seem to be doing lately. End of digression.) I was determined not to give up on this first flu-free, kid-free Friday in a while. After the doctor's appointment, since she didn't have fever, we packed her off to gan. The doctor prescribed antibiotic drops for her ear, which let's just say are about as much fun as a never-ending Taki game, if you get my drift.
Friday night, Donny took Yaakov to shul. Ariella elected to stay home. I was reading People magazine (which arrived via Leezy via Uncle Abie via Momz and Dadz) when all of a sudden, the lights went off. Just like that. It was about 45 minutes after Shabbos started, or about 7/8 of the way through People. I went into the hallway. The hallway and stairs lights were on. Our neighbors came out. Their apartments lights were off too. So was the entire building. In fact, all of Dimri had lost power, along with chunks of the rest of Modi'in. Now, I know you are very worried. "But Gila," you say, "I know that your cholent is slowly congealing, your milk spoiling, and your frozen chicken thawing, but what about the lights in between the buildings? You know, the green, green, purple, and pink lights that go on every evening and that you have to pay for with your va'ad habayit money? Did those lights go off also? How tragic!" People, Loyal Readers, kindred souls, rest assured - the Between the Building Lights stayed on! Yes! Apparently they run on some kind of emergency generator! What a relief!
Anyway, Donny and Yaakov came home early because Yaakov was falling asleep in shul. We moved our table closer to the doorway, to get some of the hallway light. Dinner was fine, since the food was still hot, and we played, "Fit the Words of Humpty Dumpty to Random Jewish Music." After about 2.5 hours, the lights went back on. There were a couple of halachic issues. This isn't a halachic blog, in general, especially since we live in Israel now and are exempt from all other mitzvot. Wheeeee!!!! Ahem. Anyway, one issue was that our water had cooled, and then reboiled on Shabbos, so we had to forego our tea and coffee. We paskened, however, that the cholent was ok, since it was sort of dry to begin with and stayed pretty hot in the crock pot. The refrigerator had been set to Shabbos mode so the lights wouldn't turn on, but then when the power went back on, the refrigerator "forgot" it was on Shabbos mode. We "reminded" it in a creative manner involving Yaakov and some tape.
Shabbos morning I was hit by an Israeli child. No, not one of my Israeli children. A random Israeli child at shul who was threatening to steal my kids' candies. There were two of them, these pint-size, "r"-rolling bullies, a little boy and a littler girl. But don't let their size deceive you. They were vicious! My kids held their own, so then the little girl came up to me and slapped me! Their mother, who was about six inches away from me the whole time, eventually noticed and took her children away. (Her book on child-rearing must be called, "Go Bully Other Kids So I Can Talk to My Friends.") However, the little boy kept coming back. Eventually, he saw that the candy bag was unguarded, so he made a dash for it and grabbed it. Ha on him! The only thing left in the bag was GARBAGE. Na-na-na-na-na!
Anyway, due to the sibling get-together on Thursday night, we got lost, but we did not get "Lost." Now, we are going to go get "Lost." See you soon.