Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Hope You're Sitting

....because I did a Good Mommy Thing! Okay, people, stop choking on your Bissli and get up off the floor. It does happen, once in a while. Here is the background to my Good Mommy Thing:

Yaakov decided about a week ago that from now on, he goes into gan by himself. Yes, Mr. Clingy said, "Mommy, the morahs said we should come in by ourselves. So don't come in with me." We say goodbye at the gate, and he marches in, tik and all. It's worth the price of admission just to watch him open the door - it's really heavy, so he kind of opens it up slowly and wedges his body in, little by little. But he never turns around and asks for help. Because he is a big boy. Suddenly, this week, he decided to return to his Mr. Clingy. So I went in with him, and there was drama when I tried to leave, the morah thought I initiated this clinginess by insisting on accompanying him inside, when in reality I am perfectly happy to wave goodbye at the gate. I tried to explain that he had reverted back to his old ways, but of course I could barely remember how to say "Yaakov" in Hebrew (it's "Yaakov," by the way), so all that came out was, "Grobby duk blech?"

Anyway, in attempting to part ways amicably, I end up promising Yaakov all sorts of extravagant things in the hopes that he will snap out of his mood and march into gan happily. I refrain from promising food treats, because, you know, we don't want to teach kids that food is the answer to unhappiness or boredom, or that it's a prize for doing something well. Until they grow up, of course, and realize that it is, in fact, the answer to unhappiness or boredom and a prize for doing something well. I treat myself to all sorts of food-related prizes. In fact, the promise of a chocolate milkshake got me through two childbirths.

So on Thursday I promised him playdough. He had been having such a good time with the "batzek" at gan the day before that he didn't want to come home. I told him we would make playdough - sorry, batzek - when he got home. And it worked! For like a second! He snapped out of his clingy mood and was all excited. Until we got to the part where we actually had to into gan and Mommy actually had to leave.
When I got home, I started googling (sorry, Donny, I mean Bing-ing) (no, I really mean googling) recipes for playdough. Whaddya, know, most of the freakin' recipes call for cooking the glob! Ewwww!!! But then I stumbled upon this, which does NOT need to be cooked. The only thing I was lacking was cream of tarTAR. And food coloring, of course. So Ariella and I went to the store before picking up Yaakov to purchase the necessary ingredients. (The nice man at Shum Pilpel gently chided me that it is a "powder," not a "cream.")

The batzek was a HUGE success! It was really simple to make - the only part I messed up on was the coloring. I tried to make 4 different colors: Purple, orange, green, and red. I ended up with blue, light green, dark green, and white-with-red-streaks. But no matter. The kids had a blast making cookies and sufganiot and snakes. I even made a snowman, figuring it's the closest my kids will ever get to seeing one.

Also, going along with the whole good-mom thing, when Ariella made a comment about how we can't eat the playdough, I did not pipe up and and tell her that in fact, playdough is non-toxic and even edible (though with a cup of salt to two cups of flour, probably not very tasty.)

Check out the happy Rose children and the cool snowman. (Kappayim to Yaakov for the bellybutton.)

PS Yaakov walked into gan by himself today. Mr. Independence is back. Although based on his penchant for making "mud pies" with wet sand, we have renamed him "Mar Botz." (Mr. Mud.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Things that you will always find at the Rose household:

Note: These are not pleasant things, like, "fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies" or "a warm smile." But they are the truth. Messy, but true.

1. A sinkful of dishes. And I do dishes. Often. And yet more somehow appear in the sink, against my will. I think it's kind of like a Toy Story-turned-horror-movie-for-grownups: When I'm not looking, the dishes come alive and stealthily scuttle into the sink, then sit there looking all innoccent when I walk by. Sometimes I could swear I hear snickering.

2. A grocery bag of non-perishables sitting on the kitchen floor. Like Baila, I absolutely abhor all aspects of food shopping, ESPECIALLY the putting away part. So often I lose steam - the ice cream (Ben & Jerry's; don't let the kids see), milk and any other perishables get first priority, then fruits and vegetables...but by the time I'm up to the can of corn, toilet cleaner, and oil, I've had it. Let 'em stay on the floor, I think contemptuously. Eventually, Shabbos comes, and everything gets put away.

3. Speaking of Shabbos, one will also find sundry items that get put away during the pre-Shabbos clean up, only to reappear mere hours later. To wit: The glass measuring cup we use for hot water and the instant shoko. (We've given up on even trying to put away our hot plate. It has earned itself a permanent spot on the counter. It, too, snickers at me.)

4. Empty bottles of water that certain adult members of this household (we will withhold names to protect Donny's privacy) cannot be bothered to place in the bottle garbage can, which, granted, is ALL the way out on the mirpeset. It's gotta be at least ten steps from the table.

5. Packages of tissues. We are overrun with tissues, because at any given moment, at least one of us is suffering from cold/allergies/inability to blow our noses correctly and therefore needs to use large amounts in tissues in a short period of time. (Okay, that last one only applies to one person). If the tissues could talk (and move) they would stage a mutiny and crumple us up and leave us stuffed in the sofa.

6. Glasses/cups on the table. Always. At least double the number of cups as there are people in the family. I have no idea why.

7. Old People Magazines/Entertainment Weekly, sent to us by DADZ. (I'm about 4 months behind in my celebrity gossip - will Jon and Kate patch things up, or is this the end of their marriage??? Did you know Michael Jackson DIED?????)

There are more, of course, but I think I've embarrassed us enough for one night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

End of Week Highlights

Note: These were supposed to be end-of-week highlights, but production was halted due to a nasty cold. While said cold is still lingering, the staff of aliyahbyaccident is dedicated to bringing you first-class, high-quality garbage. And so....

1. "Where is the rain?" Ariella and Yaakov would both like to know the answer to this. To quote Ariella: "How come when we say mashiv haruach umorid hagashem, Hashem doesn't right away send some rain?" And Yaakov (frantically): "Mommy, mashiv haruach umorid hagashem isn't working!" And so begins a lifetime of understanding that you don't always get whatcha ask for.

2. Yaakov now recognizes the "yud." Kol hakavod! Of course, he thinks every single yud spells Yaakov, but who am I to argue? He also knows the 5, because we live there, the 3 because we park there, and the 1, for good luck. We're working on the rest of the letters and numbers. I brought out our trusty old ABC puzzle; of course, it's going to be an uphill battle as Yaakov looked at the picture for "C" and said, "Ooh, a gezer!"

3. Speaking of Yaakov. He often plays in Hebrew when he plays by himself. On Friday night, he and Ariella overturned their little table and set up all the cars on it. Yaakov read them a story, just like the morah, and showed them the pictures, just like the morah. And then, just like the morah: "לא ראיתם? אני יודע שלא ראיתם" ("You didn't see? I know you didn't see!")

4. Ariella had her first math test last week. As per the teacher's instructions, I made review sheets for her. Then, as per her own distinct little Ariella-ness, she made review sheets for ME. Some of them included subtraction, which she hasn't learned yet. I tried to explain to her that subtraction problems such as 1 -2 -3 = were difficult, because in subtraction you're supposed to put the bigger numbers first, or you end up with negative numbers. "Well, do YOU understand how to do it this way?" I replied that I did. "So do it!" Oy.

5. Ariella's favorite subject is math. Go figure. (haha). Just like her dad. Speaking of children who are just like their dads, I would just like to make a general statement here: It is VERY IRONIC when a certain parent - for argument's sake, let's say the father - gives his child his, um, unique, personality and then goes off to work, leaving the other parent to raise said child and deal with all of the, um, uniqueness. Just saying. The first parent should really leave a handbook behind.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Changing of the Sheets

Tuesday is - well, when I can remember - Sheets and Towels Day. It's in order to gear up the washer and dryer for Laundry Marathon Wednesday. I dislike sheet changing - I find it quite physically exhausting. ("Just....stre-e-e-e-tch....a little.....more.... it!" And then....boing!) And don't get me started on duvet covers. I actually wait for Donny to come home to put the covers back on the quilts because I had a bad experience once in which I literally had to crawl inside the cover to get the corners of the blanket to match up and Donny walked in and there I was, inside a blanket. It was stuffy. So after that, blanket covers became Donny's domain. He manages to do it whilst remaining on the outside. Brilliant. It's why I married him.

Of all the sheets to change, Ariella's and Yaakov's are the worst. This is because their beds are veritable archaeological digs of Stuff. Ariella has a total of three pillows and four blankets, each serving a different, but necessary purpose. Then there are the various stuffed animals and a treasure trove of pajamas. She never puts her jammies away, or in the hamper, they just get thrown on the bed, later to become rolled up in one of the four blankets, and only discovered on Sheets and Towels Day. So removing all of the crap - I mean, beloved sleep paraphanalia - is itself an ordeal.

Then, we get to Yaakov's bed. Often, when he "can't sleep" at night, he will bring toys into his bed. The problem is, when he brings in new toys and books, he does not, God forbid, put away the old ones. The new are just added to the old. I think the bottom layer of Stuff might actually contain a rattle and a pacifier. Today, in the bed, there was: Superman blanket, Superman pillow, regular blanket, two regular pillows, a cowboy hat (pink, leftover from Ariella's 5th birthday), a pop-up Chronicles of Narnia picture book, a package of tissues, a plastic baseball bat, a toy cell phone, Buzzy, Woody (post Toy Story I, so at least they're friends), two doggies, a monkey, and of course, Blue Blanket. Luckily the books, broken crayons, and MagnaDoodle that I put away last week have not yet resurfaced.

And all of that must be carefully removed while I put on the sheet, and then just as carefully replaced on the bed. Of course, it won't help if he "can't sleep" tonight. He'll just come padding out to find some new toys.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Well, it's good I didn't sign up to do this NaBloPloMoShoKo thing, like Baila, because right now my fog is a brain. I'm sure things have happened, I'm sure they were funny (well, at least funny to read about, if not experience), but I can't remember them. My brain has one track right now. Pillow and Blanket. Okay, two tracks: Pillow, Blanket, and Bed. Alright, three tracks - oh, never mind, forget the counting.* The point is, I can think only about sleep - how to get there, how to stay there, and more importantly, how to get the nocturnal visitors - who have various peeing, illness, and mosquito bite needs - to wake up DADDY. (Hey kids! He's your parent, too! Try him out for a while!)

So props to all you bloggers who are actually blogging every single day. I am mucho impressed. Kol Hakavod! Congratulations! Gluckwunsche! Now I must take the children - who are doing something with brooms, a Little Tikes bike, and a helmet on the mirpeset - and convince them they are tired and it's bedtime, for the very sound reason that I would like it to be MY bedtime.

(*With thanks to Monty Python)

Friday, November 13, 2009

"I'll Be Back"

So our Intrepid Traveler has returned. He shuffled in at 4:30 AM, reeking of sauerkraut and cheese (he had a stopover in Zurich), dropped his suitcases on the floor, and promptly fell asleep. The Intrepid Pee-er was up not long after, so after taking care of his "needs," we "rested" on the couch together, until 5:30, when he decided he would rather "watch a movie."
When I woke up Ariella at 6:40, her first coherent word was, "Daddy!" I said, "You can go in and say hi to him right now, while I'm getting dressed, but then I'm going to close the door so Daddy can sleep." She thought for a minute as she stretched out on her bed.
"Nah, I'll just see him later." Truly her father's daughter - a few more minutes in bed trumps just about anything. ("Ariella, it's your wedding today. Get up." "Oh, I'll just stick my hair in a ponytail. Come back in fifteen minutes.")

Donny has come back with all sorts of goodies from the Deutschland, including, but not limited to, a puzzle for me (yay!), water bottles for the kiddies, the Kiddush book (don't ask), a can of vine leaves stuffed with something (really don't ask), a cookbook of yummy looking desserts authored and signed by Germany's most famous chef, and an annoying penchant for reciting his two German phrases over and over.
The cookbook is awesome, but the one teeny-weeny problem is that the ingredients are written in - get this - GERMAN! For this Shabbat, I was going to make "Griessflammeri Mit Marinierten Erdebeeren" but I'm out of "unbehandelten Zitrone" and I just used up my last "Grie8." (Lisa - do you have any I could borrow?)

It really is a shame, because the desserts look quite delicious; if any Loyal Readers are fluent in German, poofahs are available if you can translate the recipes for me.

Now it is time to transform our dining room table/kitchen table/mailroom/home office/homework central into a Shabbat table. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"The Most Famous of Which is: Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia."

Okay, it's not strictly a quote about Germany, or have anything even remotely to do with the Deutschland, but it's an awesome quote from my all-time favorite movie. (Poofahs if you know it, extra poofahs if you can quote the end WITHOUT googling it.) And I've been feeling very quotey lately, so I couldn't resist.

Some almost-the-end-of-the-week-at-least-if-you-live-in-Israel highlights:

1. Thanks to all of you who shared Wet Cell Phone Stories. I trekked back to Orange today and whaddya know, my phone is fixed! And I never paid a cent. At least, I don't think I did. That's the tricky thing about hora'at keva. You never quite know who's taking your money, when they're taking it, and how much they're taking. I guess it's good practice for having teenagers (what do you think, Baila?), although Yaakov, at the tender age of 3, freely digs through my wallet in search of "tzedakah."

2. There were some Philippino workers in the apartment today, doing the annual "bedek habayit" and fixing up everything that has broken in the past year. Let me just say that there needs to be a special ulpan for understanding Hebrew by way of Manila. Did not understand a blessed word. Just kept nodding my head and hoping that was the right reaction.
("I am going to remove all of your windows now and throw the glass panes off your mirpeset."
"Okay! [nodding enthusiastically] Sure!")

3. I gave Leezy baby clothes and I got dinner. I've got LOTS of little girl clothes in the machsan - if anyone would like to trade clothes for food, let me know.

4. Today in gan, I noticed that every kid had made a "Beit HaMikdash" which was proudly hanging under their name on the bulletin board. Well, every kid except one. Which child refused, you ask? That is correct - Yaakov. "I didn't want to," he said. (All the other kids are doing it, you say? Yaakov's reaction - Your point? I guess that attitude will come in handy when all the other kids decide to do the proverbial jump off the Empire State Building, or in Israel terms, jump off the top of Dimri Towers.) He's his own man, that's fer sher. If you recall, he was similarly unpersuaded when it came to toilet training. So what if Mommy, Daddy, Lala, and half of my friends who are quite a bit younger than I am are using the toilet? I like diapers!

Or maybe he's just refusing to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash until Mashiach comes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Ich Bin Ein Berliner"

Who knew that Germany was the source of so many great quotes? This one, of course, is not from a movie or a TV show; everyone recognizes this as the famous quote from this well-known American.

Of course, what many people don't know is the second part of the quote: "...und ich bin ein dropped my cell phone in a cup of wasser. It happens. "

That was today's excitement. In my zeal to clean off the kitchen table/dining room table/mail room/home office/multimedia center, I picked up my cell phone and somehow fumbled it, and it subsequently fell into the quarter-inch of water that was in my cup. It was still working (well, kind of), so I didn't do anything at first, but an hour later it was flickering and turning on and off and acting very strangely. So either it had been possessed by the dreaded Loch Phone Demon and would need a prompt exorcism, or the water was rapidly shredding the poor innards of my phone. Since no priests were readily availble, I dashed over the Orange store to see what they could do.

"Don't laugh," I warned the nice Orange lady (in Hebrew). "My phone fell in water. It's still working, aval...."
"Aval...." she said, sympathetically.
The bottom line was that they would try to fix it; I am going back in a day or two to either pick up my renovated phone or pay NIS 200 for a new one. (Donny - by the way, I may have to buy a new cell phone. Isthatokaygreatbye!) In the meantime, she asked if I would like a temporary replacement phone until Tuesday. How much, I ask warily? FREE!!!!!

Well, hell yeah, I said! I was already panicking about being "off the grid" for a whole day or two, especially since Donny is unreachable in Berlin, and you know that the one time I'm without a cell phone is when the kids' schools are going to need to get in touch with me to tell me that Ariella's been kicked out because she rallied the other students to strike until more hopscotch courses are painted, or that Yaakov has run away to join the circus. (He would LOVE to ride around in one of those teeny cars.)

Anyway, it was awesome to get my FREE replacement cell phone - it's the same number plus has all my contacts. Isn't technology wonderful?

Speaking of technology, Donny's sole dispatch today has been: "I had a really great kosher lunch. Things are turning around for the Jews in Deutschland." So you see his conference is going really well.

PS Huge Mazel Tov to Loyal Reader "Rivki" on her engagement! The entire staff of aliyahbyaccident, along with all the cousins and friends, wish you a massive congrats!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Whatever you do, DON'T MENTION THE WAR!"

Today's highlights:

1. Donny has arrived safely and soundly in Berlin. Last I checked, he had eaten (leftover sandwiches from Ben-Gurion, but hey, it's food), and is holding true to his promise not to mention the war. However, he has been unsuccessful in tearing down more walls. He swears he is on the lookout for walls and will take them down when necessary. ("My dear Frau Hindenberg, there is a man in our living room. He has a sledgehammer and is knocking down ze walls." "Ach, Herr Hindenberg, he says he is here on a mission to knock down walls. Who am I to stop him? Here, have some sauerkraut with the kinder.")

2. My latest nephew has a name: Daniel Yissachar. I think it could be time for another name poll.... Daniel or Doniel?

3. Yaakov has figured out, alas, that batteries in toys can be replaced when they stop working. Oh well. So today he asked me to put fresh batteries in his screwdriver. (His favorite screwdriver activity? Sticking it in his ear and feeling the vibrations.) I obliged, good mommy that I am, and he proceeded to take the screwdriver and bash Ariella in the knee. Well, gee, Yaakov, you didn't need the batteries to do that.

4. Ariella is toranit for the week! This is cause for great excitement - I would sponsor another virtual kiddush, but I'm exhausted from this past week's. (It was great seeing everyone, by the way, especially when a certain someone got drunk and started belting out The Spice Girls' "If You Wanna Be My Lover" - you know who you are. Anyway, a fun time was had by all and thank you to all who participated.) So back to toranit. In short, this means she gets to boss people around, one of Ariella's favorite pastimes. Make sure each group has a clean area, pushed in chairs, etc. etc., and then tell the morah if a certain table has not abided by the rules. Toranit was invented for Ariella.

5. Question for the readers: Ariella asked a sight-related question a few weeks ago. How come people with green eyes do not see everything greenish? And I DO see with the whites of my eyes - because I can see things out of the sides of my eyes, where the white part is.

Anyone who can come up with a short, kid-friendly (and mommy-friendly) explanation of sight, feel free to do so. And try to leave out the whole "we really see things upside down and then our eyes turn it right side up." Everyone knows that's just something eye doctors made up to see if people are really that gullible.

So 100 New Poofahs to the best explanation of sight, and 30 NP's to whomever correctly identifies the source of the title of this post.

Until next time, auf wiedersehen!

Friday, November 6, 2009

"They're turning around. They're taking us back to Germany."

Yes folks, on Sunday, Donny leaves us for a week (I know what you're thinking - AGAIN???) to take part in AGC (Annual Geek Conference) being held in Berlin. Luckily, for us and for him, he will be flying back late Thursday night/early Friday morning and thus avoid having to spend Shabbos in Berlin. And, for those of you history geeks, this week marks the anniversary of Kristellnacht and the fall of the Berlin Wall. So, certainly, an, um, interesting week to be in Germany.

While Donny was warned by some not to walk around with his kippah on his head, others have assured him that today, the Germans are quite friendly toward the Jews. There's even all manner of kosher food in Berlin. In fact, today, Donny was at the store, buying some provisions in the form of tuna and crackers, and he saw that on the tuna it said, "Made in Germany." (Of course, the irony is that if you actually found this tuna in Germany, it would be without a hechsher and therefore treif.)

So we wish Donny a good week and are looking forward to his return next Friday.

For those of you who still have not decided whether to join us at our Virtual Kiddush tomorrow, there's still time! It's going to be virtually awesome! All manners of virtual delicacies will be provided, so just show up and enjoy yourselves! It starts at 11:00, your time.

Shabbat Shalom!

PS The title of this blog post is a quote from a movie. Extra poofahs to whomever (besides you, Mom and Dadz) can correctly name the movie!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kiddush! Kiddush!

Well, Risa, thank you for providing such an interesting poll! Your dilemma has provoked a very strong response among our readers, and I'm sure their comments have made you think about this decision from may angles.

Though there are still a few days left in the poll, it seems like there is a clear aliyahbyaccident preference for "Ilan." Sorry, Letter E. Don't worry, you still rule when it comes to "Emily," "Eugene," and the whole extended family of "Eli" names. So Risa, do tell us what you decide in the end. We are all waiting with bated breath. Or should I say batid briath.

Hebrew word of the day:
Blueberries = uchmaniot. I kid you not. Not something easy like "berrykachol." No idea where it comes from. Donny and I learned this for the first time on Friday, but apparently Yaakov has known this word for quite some time and just neglected to share it with us. We found this out when we were practicing saying "uchmaniot" at the Shabbat table and Yaakov blurted out "Blueberries!" If only we could harness his powers for good....

Aliyahbyaccident is sponsoring a Virtual Kiddush this Shabbat, in honor of all the newborn babies:
I/Elan, Ami, Alex, and Little Leibtag Boy to be Named God Willing on Sunday.
If you would like to co-sponsor this kiddush in honor of a recent simcha, like a birth, baby-naming, engagement, wedding, or that the breakfast dishes are cleaned up before dinner, drop us a line.
We will be serving Virtual dag maluach on Virtual kichel.
(Dag maluach = herring; also, the name of a children's game. You know "Red Light Green Light?" Here, it's "Achat Shtayim Shalosh Dag Maluach!" Yes, that's "One, Two, Three, Herring!")

Hope to see you all there. BYOVF.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Poll!

Well, Loyal Readers, it seems that Chutes & Ladders won (or lost?) decisively as Worst Children's Game Ever. Thanks to everyone who voted.

Now, we have an aliyahbyaccident Loyal Reader in need. The aliyahbyaccident community is known far and wide as a (mostly) loving, caring, group of people who pull together when it counts; for example, to help Israel win his very first blogging contest by a staggering 8,000,000 to 15 (you can bring over that coffee anytime, Israel....). Now, we need your help again:
Risa "Two Kids, But Always Time to Comment" is in a pickle. She named her second son אילן. The reason I am writing this in Hebrew is not only to impress you, but also because Risa and her husband cannot decide on the spelling!
Elan or Ilan??? What should it be?

Now, Risa, it is interesting that you didn't have this dilemma with your first son. I don't remember any hand-wringing over "Eliyahu" or "Iliyahu?" But I respect your decision and your dilemma.

So Loyal Readers, throw your letter into the ring. I or E? What shall it be? E or I? Hope it's not a tie.

In weather news, we had our first serious rainstorm on Friday. I have never been so happy to see cold, rainy, windy weather. Yaakov deduced the following from his observations:
On Thursday, it rained when I was at gan.
On Friday, it rained when I was at gan.
Therefore, it rains when I am at gan. Even though it is bright and sunny on this Sunday morning, I will insist upon bringing my sweatshirt, because it will rain at gan. (Update: It did not rain at gan today. We are befuddled.)

Late-breaking news: Continuing the Little Boy trend - Mazel Tov to my brother and sister-in-law, RABBI Aaron and Ayelet Leibtag, on the birth of Little Boy #4!!!!!!