Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Now, I know you're probably thinking I should take the tissue out of his hands. Or his mouth, if it's gotten to that point already. But, you know, when you forbid something to a child, it just makes it all that more enticing. Before we know it, he'll be grabbing tissues when he thinks we're not looking; then it's just a slippery slope to sneaking out at night to score some tissues or hoarding them when he's at a friend's house.
So I think it's better to let him have some tissues here, in his own home, where I can supervise the grabbing and munching. I don't want to think about him loose on the streets, scootching around, frantically searching for a tissue.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
("Gila Leibtag-Rose why did I show my kids that video?? Now they won't leave me alone!")
Sure enough, once they saw it, Yaakov has asked at least once a day to watch "the thing that the mans did." He is totally mesmerized. His favorite parts: "When the man does that thing with his hands, and when the man pushes the other man, and when the levivah goes flying into the air." For those of you who are as obsessed - or whose children are as obsessed - with this video as mine are, you will know exactly what scenes I am referring to.
In typical fashion, Yaakov enjoys the video, while Ariella tries to deconstruct how they did it and where they did and why are they called the Maccabeats, and ohmigod just sit and watch it! But, folks, that is just not how she works. We love her for it. We just don't love watching videos with her.
Yaakov did have one question,"Mommy, how come they say, 'Nes gadol hayah sham?' It's 'Nes gadol hayah poh!'" Which led me to realize that not only is he growing up without singing "I have a little dreidel" every year and trying to remember that second verse about the skinny legs, but he has no idea that most of the world sings another version of "Sevivon sov sov sov."
So we have our work cut out for us, trying to inculcate the children with important lessons from the Old Country. Such as teaching the dreidel song and how to properly pronounce "shaloshudis."
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Momz' Poem About Jury Duty
My name is Juror
It's on my sticker
The justice system here
Could be a little quicker
Six hundred souls from Baltimore
Ready to serve one trial, no more
Murder, robbery, all types of rot
We will decide – did he do it or not?
Hours 1 through 5 have now passed by
Reading, crosswords, movies I've tried
We wait to hear the voice which we fear
Telling us which group should go for voir dire*
But the magical voice hasn't spoken at all
Telling us to go somewhere down the hall
To answer questions about our 'tudes
On crime and lawyers and criminal dudes
Once in a while you hear a jingle
And no, it is not old Kris Kringle
It's a prisoner in shackles in the hall
This is a lovely place to hang out, y'all
At 3 we are released from service
Whew, now I am no longer nervous
At $15 each they spent 9,000 bucks
For nothin' – I wonder if they feel like [redacted]?
*Momz knows lots of fancy words. Like "emoticon." And "viceroy." And "redacted."
Monday, December 20, 2010
And now, I present Scene from a Bedroom.
I am sitting on Ariella's bed, and we are saying shema together.
Ariella: Mommy, why do we have to say "baruch shem k'vod" quietly?
Mommy: Because it's what the malachim say and we don't want to act like we are like the malachim. [Or something. As I'm saying this to Ariella my brain is frantically whirring. Am I making this up? I'm pretty sure I learned this at some point. But is this one of those explanations that we give kids - like the whole covering-the-challah-so-it-won't-be-embarrassed thing - and then there's really a grown-up explanation that I never learned? Oh God. She's going to find out that Mommy doesn't really know anything - except for nivim, for in those I have no equal - and I will be so embarrassed. Like the challah. Or not. Help!]
Ariella: Mommy, that's not true.
Mommy: I knew it! Oh boy, here it comes.
Ariella: Because you told me we don't have malachim anymore. We have a rosh memshalah.
So we discussed the difference between a "malach" and a "melech." Something I know about. Phew.
Monday, December 13, 2010
1. After Momz and DADZ make aliyah, with whom shall I chat in the middle of the night when I am up with sinus pain or other middle-of-the-night ailments? (Including, but not limited to, strep throat and sick children.) Although, it's more Momz than DADZ that does the chatting. DADZ is usually telling Momz to get off the phone so they can watch one of their many television shows on CABLE, yes the same CABLE that we were not allowed to have growing up, and yes I'm still bitter about this. To Dadz, I say colon + capital P.
(This is a private joke between me and DADZ. He is emoticonally-challenged.)
2. Why, when bad things happen to the Jewish people, it's all, "We are such sinners! We must fast and pray!" but when good things happen, not once do you hear, "We are a nation of righteous do-gooders! Let us proclaim this a day of feasting and rejoicing in the streets!"?
3. That's all I've got for now. Said cold and sinus pain has wiped out most of my brain cells. It's amazing I'm even able to type thislcnaoitehoh 3*&(*U#FJSI*(fhdkU^&%U.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
1. In case you've been waiting with bated breath, Ariella's sleepover was a huge success. You can stop bating now. She returned home Monday morning. Glad to see me? Oh no, just sad that it was over and when can we have another one, Mommy???? Love ya too, kid.
2. We had my sister and brother-in-law Leezy and Elie (of donut-eating fame) for dinner on Monday night. Our food - I made soup and latkes, and Donny made his famous sufganiot - was a big success. Last year, Donny did not have time to make the dough, so I attempted it, but I forgot that in the Gila Instruction Manual (yes, I come with one) it clearly states that: "Do not let Gila attempt to make a yeast dough. She will end up taking pictures of the yeast with her cell phone and sending them to Donny to see if it's bubbling correctly. And in the end, the product - say, a sufganiyah - will more closely resemble a hockey puck than a doughnut." So you can imagine the end of that little story....
3. On Tuesday, we went with the Misrad Haklitah on a "Chanukiot tiyul" in the Old City. Despite a lengthy stop at the Knesset menorah and numerous stops to explain stuff, the kids had a great time. They do love a good march through the Old City, and we took a secret, circuitous route to the Kotel. The trip had something for everyone: Ariella had her BFF, Yaakov got to go on a BUS, and Nadav was attached to me all night thanks to the Baby Bjorn. What could be better? Plus, there were doughnuts!
4. On Wednesday, we hung out at the Dimri park for a while. Sadly, I missed my chance to meet a mother in Israel. No, sorry, I know lots of mothers in Israel. But I missed my chance to meet A Mother In Israel. That's right, she was in Modiin, about two blocks away, but the timing didn't work out, so all we did was talk on the phone about how the timing is not going to work out. But now I've heard her voice. So we're one step closer...
5. On Wednesday - yes! Wednesday is a TWO-PARTER! - we had the annual Funnest Day of the Year Ever Ever Ever. You know it - the yearly trip on the train to the Microsoft Chanukah party. (I once accidentally called it a "holiday party," harking back to the old days of political correctness in the US of A.) For a successful party, just follow these 17 easy steps:
1. Wake up at 7:50 (yes, I know, very late, thanks to the 10:00 bedtime that happened in #3).
2. Ask, "When are we going to the train?"
3. Eat breakfast.
4. Ask, "When are we going to the train?"
"When is it 2:00?"
"Not for another six hours."
"Oof! That's not for a long time!"
5. Repeat step #4 all morning, each time lessening the amount of hours left, until, finally.....
6. IT'S TIME TO GO ON THE TRAIN!
7. Take backpacks that are filled with enough activities and food to sustain and entertain a small country for a month (provided the citizens like to color and eat apple slices). Walk to the train.
8. 2:42 - train departs
9. 2:50 - half the snacks are finished
10. Look out the window, eat, color, read books, eat, color, eat, look out the window, eat until.....
11. We arrive in Haifa! The most fun part of the party is now behind us.
12. Daddy picks us up and drives us to his office.
13. Now we begin the second most fun part...
14. Coloring on Daddy's white board! Eating Daddy's candy! Running up and down the hallways! Phew, this is the best party ever! (Digression: Donny confessed to me, "Now I understand why you're always cleaning up. The kids were in my office for twenty minutes and it's a MESS!" I just smiled.)
15. Now for the third most fun part....
16. The actual party! Get something painted on your hair/hand/face/arm! Do many art projects! Eat some corn! Build the world's most disgusting gingerbread house out of tea biscuits and chocolate spread, topped with candies that every child touched after licking the chocolate off his/her fingers. Mmmmmm!
The kids had a fabulous time at the actual party, and we ended up staying much later than I thought we would. Now for the totally not fun part....
17. Drive home! Listen to Nadav scream his head off pretty much the entire ride. I think it was his way of saying, "I've had enough of this holiday! Feed me when I'm hungry, put me to sleep when I'm tired, and for the love of oatmeal, stop schlepping me around." We hear ya, buddy.
And that was Chanukah.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
2. For Chanukah, we gave Ariella the game חת-חתול (Rat-A-Tat-Cat. I have to translate it because when I wrote it in English - Chat-Chatul - it sounds like a game of incessant talking. Although, when Ariella is involved, most games are.) This is a game which relies on memory. Which means I totally suck at it. While Ariella is busy calculating which cards went where and which cards could be swapped and where I put my good cards, I'm busy pondering menus and blog posts and making sure Nadav doesn't actually swallow a piece of the cardboard he's sucking on. So, needless to say, she usually beats me. ("Mommy, you gave away your zero. Again!")
3. Ariella is going to a sleepover tonight. It's her FIRST ONE!
4. On Friday, we got to hang out with some Loyal Readers, who were actually Loyal Friends well before ABA was even conceived. (Can you imagine such a time???) These friends - to protect their identities we'll call them the "Shmoppers" - had traveled all the way from America just to see us. And while they were here, they also had some family bar mitzvah or something. Anyway, our grand plans were waylaid because I ended up at the doctor for an infection. (Not to get one; I already had one, though I could have easily picked up a few more in the waiting room.) And if there is one place you want to avoid on a Friday, it's the doctor's office. Luckily, he gave me a prescription and I headed off to the pharmacy. However, if there's a second place you want to avoid on a Friday, it's the pharmacy. So, a mere two hours after I left for my appointment, I returned with meds in hand.
At this point, it was 12:00, so instead of a great day spelunking in Beit Guvrin, we ended up at the park on Yitzhak Rabin right here in Modiin. Pretty lame; luckily the Shmoppers were good sports, and it was nice to have time to catch up. Plus, the kids were happy because they all got ARTIKIM!
5. Have I mentioned the sleepover???? The packing began on Friday.
6. Yaakov coined a new phrase: "Bouncing my tea." What else do you call what we do with our teabags in the hot water?
7. ARIELLA IS GOING ON A SLEEPOVER!!!! SHE IS VERY EXCITED!!!!!!
8. We had Unka Jonafin for Shabbat. He was delicious. (Ba-dum-dum-CHING!)
9. Unka Jonafin taught Ariella how to play Modiin Hold 'Em with dreidels and sticks. Her life as a cardshark (dreidelshark?) begins. I heard her explaining to Yaakov on Shabbos morning, "Yaakov, you have pocket gimmels."
10. Ariella is finally on her sleepover! I'm receiving updates from the front. The latest: "The girls are painting their nails. But not their thumbs, so they can still suck them."
So big, and yet....
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Have at least 3 chanukiot per child: Check
Child using tin chanukiyah from Rami Levi because that is the only one which actually holds the candles: Check
Child came home with dreidl made out of CD + marble: Check
Attended at least one Chanukah gan party in which black light was used: Check (Gan party people: Time for a new special effect. The white shirts turn purple. We get it.)
Forgot whether the candles start on the right or left: Check (Every. Single. Year.)
Warbling Chanukah tunes in my head all day, despite not knowing the actual words (What is a "sacha li balat" anyway?): Check
So, looks like we're off to a good start. Will keep you posted as this Festival of Lights continues.
Happy Chanukah to all the Loyal Readers!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We did not celebrate Thanksgiving since making aliyah in 2008. The last time we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner was actually in Israel, during our pilot trip in 2007, hosted by Donny's grandfather, aka Zaidy, and his wife, aka Sonya. But once we made aliyah, we replaced Thanksgiving dinner with the usual ToTh. However, this year is an exception. Friends are coming to the Holy Land for a family simcha, and needed a B&D (Bed and Dinner.) Donny figured that since they are Amerian, they needed to be mekayem the mitzvah of seudat Thanksgiving. Who better to host it than us? Plus, who wouldn't want to stay right above the Great Modiin Tunnel?
So Donny told them that we (and by "we" I mean "I") would cook a real Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, folks, I am giving up ToTh in order to cook. I, too, am amazed. Although it may be hasty to say "giving up." I'm thinking next week we might celebrate ToS as well as ToTh.
Anyway, I am cooking a turkey. I figured I would just make a turkey breast, but ironically, the butcher didn't have breasts, just the whole dang thing. So in the oven it went. Okay, to be honest, Donny prepared the turkey, but I am in charge of both basting it and that delicate task of figuring out when it's cooked but not dried out.
We are also having a roasted zucchini/mushroom/tomato/onion thing, sweet potatoes, salad, rice, cornbread, and a new dessert recipe, lemon squares, which had to be re-cooked last night so let's hope it turns out okay. I was intrigued by this recipe for pumpkin pie, but honestly, seems like way too much work. Libby is in business for a reason, you know. Don't mess with her.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I am always sad to miss it (isn't it funny how I say "always" when we've only been here a little over 2 years? Guess it feels like forever.) And even cooking all the foods, well, it's not the same. Real Thanksgiving means sleeping late (like till 7:00--who else's 4 year old was standing next to their bed at 5:30 this morning, looming over them with big blue eyes, hoping that by the sheer force of staring they could get their parent to arise and give them breakfast? Oooh, oooh! Mine was! ), hanging out, watching the parade for about ten minutes until you realize it's actually kind of boring, eating a big meal with family, and then knowing it's 3 more days until you have to go back to work! This Israeli version is kind of like having cholent on Wednesday - you can cook the food, but it still ain't Shabbos.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Even I am praying hard for rain, although it will mean a halt in the construction of our apartment. Because we seriously--and I do not use that word lightly--need some rain. Also, I don't want to move into a brand-new apartment all smelly because I haven't been able to shower for months. So bring on the rains!
Also, there is a produce strike. And apparently, "produce" includes poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish. It's okay. We won't starve. We have half a box of granola bars and a can of chick peas! Actually, when I went shopping yesterday (Monday, natch), everything was pretty well-stocked. There were no hordes of panicky customers buying 24 dozen eggs, cartloads of chicken, ten pounds of apples (=60 apples, farenheit), and more milk than they could possibly hope to drink before it expires. It was pretty calm. Well, calm for Rami Levi. But I've heard that it's going to get worse as the week goes on, and I, for one, am personally looking forward to watching the fistfights over the last bag of Shoko. Or, seeing as it's Shoko we're talking about, joining in.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
So, Tired, I dedicate this to you.
The Evening Shift
No matter how relaxing my day might have been, the 4-7 shift is enough to do me in. Kids home from school/gan, babysitter gone, no naps (for me) in sight, just the long haul until bedtime. And yes, the kids go to sleep early, and yes, Ariella is pretty independent, hygiene-wise. But still.
For example, the following conversation with Ariella or Yaakov occurs with alarming regularity:
"It's time for a shower."
"WHAT?????" Complete shock. A shower? What sayeth you, woman? What is this "shower" thing of which you speak? I suspect it is something I do NOT want to do.
"You know it's shower night." (Full disclosure: I do not bathe them every night. Hey, we have a water crisis here, people.)
"WHAT????? I don't wannnnnnaaaaa take a shower! It's gonna take me ten hundred hours!" (That is Ariella. Everything she doesn't want to do takes her "ten hundred hours.")
"Let's go. Into the shower."
"Why are you constantly surprised that you need to shower?"
"I don't wannnnnnaaaaaaa take a shower!"
"You know, you've spent more time kvetching about the shower than the time it takes to actually take a shower." (For some unknown reason, this sound bit of logic always fails to impress them.)
"FINE! [Cue muttering and grumbling.]
Five minutes later....
"Okay, get out of the shower!"
"But I don't wannnnnaaaaaa get out of the shower!"
Is it bedtime yet?????
So, you know, there's showers, dinners, and lunches, and then cleaning up from showers, dinners, and lunches. There's book reading and baby holding and homework checking and sand dumping (you know, from shoes. And socks. Oh, and toes.) Wash your hands, eat dinner, clean up the water you spilled, no you can NOT have an artik today, go to the bathroom, yes, you DO have to go, I can tell, get your tik ready ("It'll take ten hundred hours!"), why are there MORE dishes? wasn't the floor clean just this morning? STOP WRITING ON YOUR KNEES!
Is it bedtime yet???????
And then, every so often, you get this a moment of zen. Ariella reading her library book on the couch, Yaakov zooming his cars up and down my leg, Nadav on the floor, trying to stuff the sofa into his mouth ("Al...most....there....) and me, sitting and reading a magazine. So you gotta hold onto those moments, people. And when all else fails - or even when it doesn't - eat some Ben & Jerry's (I've got chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer, if anyone needs.)
Friday, November 12, 2010
So, while it may seem like the dearth of posts this week is a bad thing, it is really because we are concerned that what you read here is Quality Entertainment. We except nuthing lest.
And now, for the End of Week Ramblings....
1. I don't think I've shared Yaakov's latest bit of Torah commentary with the Loyal Readers. Ariella was doing chumash homework one night, related to Noach and the flood. Yaakov piped up, "I know who the sons of Noach were! Cham, Kar, and Yafet!"
2. I have discovered the surprising ease of using "nerot." This is our euphamistic Israeli word for "suppository." Nadav was sick this week, and instead of contorting myself to hold down his arms with my hands while simultaneously shoving a syringe of Acamoli in his mouth with my feet, I simply used a "candle." Kid didn't even flinch. Just sat there, sucking away on his fingers.
3. Earlier this week, I texted Donny the following: "There are such extreme levels of incompetence here. It boggles the mind."
Readers, I challenge you: About what did I text this?
a. The pharmacy
b. The supermarket
c. The bank
d. The post office
Now, Loyal Readers, if you answered "e. All of the above" you would not be incorrect. However, in this particular case I was referring to....the Post Office! (All of you who guessed "d" give yourselves a hearty pat on the back.)
I loathe visiting the post office almost as much as I loathe Friday pick-up when half the roads are closed due to "construction." (I have yet to see any perceivable difference in the "before" and "after" shots of the construction that goes on here. Sometimes, I think they actually create pot holes and uneven paving.)Anyway, the post office is just an unnatural aberration of an institution. Only at the post office can you:
1. Pay your bills
2. Get a library card
3. Pay for your temporary license
4. Do your banking, if you're Unka Jonafin
5. Oh yeah, and get stamps and pick up packages and stuff
So basically, the line is always long and interminable - sometimes I think they actually hire extras to stand in line and make our post office look really busy, maybe in hopes of winning some bizarre post office reality contest. And please, can someone tell me what the point is of Binder Lady? This is the employee hired solely to ignore customers as she busily scrutinizes the contents of a Binder as thick as my accent. To top it off, the contents of this Binder, people, are handwritten. Yes, a throwback to the old days - perhaps Dadz remembers it? - when we actually wrote things down. How quaint! Logging incoming packages with a pen and paper. Truly, it boggles the mind.
4. The fridge is stuffed with Too Much Food now. We are having company tonight, so I made Too Much Food, in the tradition of Jewish housewives since Sara, who originated the multiple-courses concept when she served milk and meat to her guests. However, come Sunday night, we will be shocked at the total emptiness of the same fridge, as we contemplate how we can make dinner out of old olives, two eggs, and a bottle of ketchup. Wish us luck.
5. Shabbat Shalom!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Well, my friends, I guess Sundays isn't only a bad day to go food shopping. Apparently, it is also a bad day to need amoxycillin. Because the pharmacy was out of it. Yes, out of one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the world*. I mean, what happened last week, when they saw they were running low?
"We're running low on Moxyvit."
"Well, we're getting our new shipment on Monday."
"But it's only Thursday. What if someone needs medicine before then?"
"Come on. We live in a city of 75,000, of which 70,000 are young children**. Really, what are the chances that one of them will be sick between now and Monday?"
This kind of thinking is dangerous. It is why, when we order dinner for the Festival of ToTh***, we are often told they are out of something - french fries, bread, meat. Because it never occurred to them that, hey, it's Thursday night, a historically popular take-out night. Why should we make sure to have enough fries? What are the chances that people are going to actually order them?
So, readers, fill in the blanks:
A pharmacy without Moxyvit is like....
a. A newspaper stand without newspapers
b. Staples without copy paper
c. Traffic without a circle
d. A bank without fees****
(*Source: Amoxycillin One of the Most Commonly Prescribed Medicines, In the World; a Made-up Report by Aliyahbyaccident.)
(**Source: Census Data Compiled Exclusively by Aliyahbyaccident based on Friday afternoon school/gan pick-up.)
(***ToTh - Take-Out Thursdays. Celebrated every Thursday. With take-out.)
(**** Argh! Just incurred the "Mentioned Bank in the Blog" fee of NIS 7.50)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
We started giving Nadav some "solids" - though I use the term loosely (pun intended) - in the hopes that maybe he will sleep for more than 2 hours at a stretch during the night. I know he can sleep for longer, because he has proven it in the past. However, lately he enjoys not only a midnight snack, but a 9:30, 1:30 and 4:00 snack as well. Which makes me just the weensiest bit zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........
Sorry [wiping off drool] - what was I saying?
Right. Eating. So now we're trying the old pack-it-in-during-the-day strategy, and hoping that this leads to more sleeping at night. I mean, Nadav can make up those lost sleep hours during the day, whilst I cannot because I am involved in important tasks like....blogging.
But feeding is so messy. I mean, the finger food stage is messy as well, which is why we are looking to patent our cleansing technique: Fill a Pyrex measuring cup with soapy water and bathe the child at the table. Because wipes and towels are just completely ineffectual against a cholent-soaked baby.
Once again, I digress. So here we are, trying to get him to eat some stuff. Our wonderful babysitter made him a delicious pureed chicken soup. He also likes chummus, believe it or not. And, you know, baby food apples and stuff. He hates the cereal, but then, wouldn't you? Still, though, he sits in his high chair, and what does he do? The child works frantically to shove the straps into his mouth. Then he tries to munch on his toes. Both of these are preferable activities to eating actual food. In fact, if he could get his toes and the strap in his mouth at the same time...wow, that would be, like, his version of New York Super Fudge Chunk.
For dessert, he's partial to baby wipes. Whenever he's on the changing table, he makes a beeline for the package of wipes and tries to shove as many in his mouth at one time.
I think we should invent edible high chair straps. Imagine all the nutrients he would get if his vigorous sucking and chewing actually yielded results! Then, we wouldn't have to fight with him to eat food. We'd just stick him in the high chair and let him do what comes naturally. Of course, this begs the question - why does eating your high chair straps come naturally?
Kids are weird.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Now for a true story. I had to get a bag of milk yesterday. I believe that running out for a bag of milk is the reason neighborhood makolets were invented, but I wasn't near one, and I was near a Shufersal. So I took a deep breath, thought some happy, speedy thoughts, and went in. Here's another thing about Shufersal, at least the one I go to - they tend to correlate the number of cashiers to the number of shoppers. Not so many shoppers = not so many cashiers. This way, you always have to wait a really long time in line, even if the only shoppers are you and one other person buying "just a stalk of celery."
Anyway, two nice ladies let me cut in front of them to buy my milk. (I figured if there is such a thing as shopping karma, I was owed, because I'm pretty good about letting people cut ahead of me.)
The person in front of them was almost finished. Great, I thought. Until....she was doing delivery! NOOOOOOO! And they had a long, drawn-out discussion about the address, then the kupait left (!) to get some dry ice, then she asked the customer - and I am not making this up - "Rechov Sivan. Is that one vuv or two?"
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? As if the delivery guy is going to be calling headquarters in a panic, "I'm in front of Sivan 33, but there is only ONE vuv! Is this the right one? I dunno. Maybe I should drive around for a while and see if there is a double-vuv Sivan."
And yes, the people in the line next to me, who were still shopping when I got in line, were blithely finishing their bagging and heading out the store. I swear they smirked at me.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Now, I had the luxury of not doing the food shopping for the first many years of our marriage. Donny did it for a long time, and then when he started working out in Nowheresville, Long Island and had to stop, I became very good friends with Peapod. However, since moving to Israel, I have been solely in charge of this dreaded task. I have had ample time - because I always pick the wrong line - to ponder and reflect on the nature of food purchasing.
I do my main food shopping at either Supersol or Rami Levi, depending how Israeli I am feeling.
(Rami Levi = very Israeli.)
1. Best food shopping day: Monday morning at opening time. It's early in the week, shelves are stocked, cashiers are just sitting there waiting for you, lines are empty. It's a beautiful thing.
2. However, do NOT go Sunday morning at opening time. No lines, true, but also no food. The stores are just getting in their deliveries on Sundays, so until they figure out how to display the food, you're stuck with a lot of last week's leftovers. I have been shopping on Sundays and seen the chicken counter completely empty. Or the cheese guy tell me he hasn't set up shop yet.
Digression; an actual wondering: I know my mother used to go early Sunday morning to the kosher supermarket in Baltimore. They should have had the same problem, since they hadn't gotten deliveries since Friday. Yet, it didn't seem to be a problem. They had food. Milk, meat, chicken, even cheese. Maybe it's a mentality thing. Here, if the store opens at 7:30, then at 7:30 - and not a moment before - the workers start to stumble in, clean the floors, unpack the food, and toss it onto the shelves. (The cucumber toss is my favorite.)
3. Avoid Rami Levi at all costs in the immediate days before a chag. For some reason, RL shoppers are insane. We're talking lines for carts, stalking people to their car to claim their spot, fistfights over leeks. I'll admit it's invigorating, but if you are in need of some invigoration, it's safer to sniff some Vick's VapoRub.
4. There is a wonderful store here that delivers produce. You call them up, tell them what you want, and they bring it to your door. You don't even have to be home when they come. This is a beautiful thing. Of all the things I have to buy at the store, produce is the worst. Elbowing people for a spot at the cucumbers, sifting through peaches to find the good ones - it's very overwhelming and time-consuming. So cutting that entire section out - it's a good feeling.
5. Speaking of produce, when choosing a line, you do not want to be behind Mr. or Mrs. Bags 'O Veggies. Produce takes the longest time to scan, because it has to be weighed, then a code must be entered in ("Hey," shouts the cashier, in no rush, "Can someone tell me the code for beets? No, not meats, beets! Cleats? Do we even sell that? I said BEETS! Oh, okay. But what was that? 0542? No? 0642? I can't hear you. Ok, I'm getting up and coming over." At that point, once the cashier has upped and left, you are done for. Get out a book and construct a seat out of the little gum boxes, because it's going to be a while.
6. More about lines. Do be behind men - they tend to be fast and efficient baggers. Now, perhaps when they get home, their wives complain that they put the laundry detergent on top of the flimsy yogurt containers, causing the yogurt to squelch out and now there is a strawberry mess all over the bags, and why didn't they pay attention when they bagged, but remember - this is not YOUR problem. Men are fast. The end.
7. If you can, avoid getting in line behind people doing a delivery. Now, I admit that it is hard to know ahead of time who is getting a delivery, and it may be too late, because you've already put half your items on the belt when you see them start to write out their address on a slip of paper, and they like to write v-e-e-e-e-ry slowly and clearly, and people who weren't alive when you entered the store have been born, gone to school, finished college, got a Master's degree, toured Romania, got married, had some kids, and are now finishing bagging their groceries in the line next to you.
8. There is a certain segment of the population that is notorious for line-holding-up. Not wanting to make sweeping generalizations, of course, I will not name this segment, only say that DADZ is now a proud member.
They tend to come equipped with coupons and argue over the price of oil ("The sign said it was buy two, get one free." Then the mistrustful cashier has to call one of the store lackeys over to go to the aisle and check it out for himself. The lackey saunters - it's the only way he knows how - and wanders up and down the aisles till he finds the one that says "Oil." Then he saunters back and there is a heated discussion because the sign was supposed to have been taken down today, because the sale was over last week, but it wasn't, and both sides are very angry at each other until the manager has to be pulled from his coffee break and he saunters over and the argument continues and your gum-box chair is starting to become very uncomfortable.)
Naturally, this population also likes to pay in cash. Preferably coins. If you see someone whipping out a change purse (well, "slowly retrieving" would be a better description) run the other way.
9. Mivtza'ei kupah. These are special "sale" items that are only available as you are checking out, and you need to make a snap decision about whether you want them and how many you want. For the sake of your sanity and the sanity of those behind you, JUST SAY NO! (This applies to sale items at the pharmacy also.) Once you start engaging in a conversation about these items ("Today we have soy sauce, bathroom tissue, and carrots!"), it's years before you can extricate yourself. There are specific rules about how many and in what combination you can get these items, and if they don't have the item handy at the counter, then you have to run around the store finding them, fending off evil glares from the people behind you on their gum chairs. Or, worse yet, the Lackey is sent to saunter off in search of your tissues. Just say no.
10. In Israel, your most breakable item is not your eggs - it's your bags of milk. They are easily punctured, so make sure they are not put under or next to anything sharp or heavy, or you will end up with a trunk full of spilled milk, and trust me, you will cry.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Anyway, in honor of 60 years, here are 60 things we love about DADZ:
1. He sends us magazines.
2. He's funny.
3. He's unintentionally funny, which is even funnier.
4. He plays Chutes and Ladders with Yaakov.
5. He's not afraid to admit when he is wrong. For example, growing up, we were never allowed to get cable because, in Dadz's words, "Cable is crap." Now that the children have left home, the 'rents have the most cabley cable you can imagine. Every show that is on the air, including "Xtreme Toenail Clipping" is available for Momz and Dadz's viewing pleasure. Dadz admitted to me, "I made a mistake. It's not cable that's crap. It's network television that's crap."
I would like a redo of my childhood. Well, not the gelled hair and red glasses. Just the TV-watching segments.
6. He loves his in-law children. To the point that sometimes I feel like I'm the one who married into the family.
7. He's always game for an outing - water park, hike, even food shopping is an adventure with Dadz.
8. He thoroughly enjoys showing off about his kids and grandkids. It's very cute.
9. He can nap Nadav under the table. He could probably nap under the table, too.
60. He always makes sure to call us. Even if he has nothing to talk about. He just likes to say hey.
Wow, we made it to 60! Amazing! And we could keep going, too!
So Dadz, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
WITH LOVE, THE STAFF OF ALIYAHBYACCIDENT
Friday, October 22, 2010
2. The point of #1 is to get to #2, and mention the irony that it is Friday afternoon and I have time to blog. Because, of course, when Donny is not here, and I'm doing all the Shabbos prep alone, I manage to finish it two hours early. When he is here, we take our leisurely time, shmoozing, checking email, eating rugelach, until the Moment of Panic around 30 minutes before Shabbos, when we realize the blech (different blech from the one above) isn't set up, we haven't showered, the table's a mess, and Yaakov is in the midst of an Illegal Nap and must be awakened post haste.
3. Ariella learned about Yitzchak Rabin this week. She told me that he was killed "when they threw kadurim at his back." Sheesh. Heblish strikes again.
4. My sister Leezy is also joining us for Shabbos with her kids, because her husband is in America as well. We have grand plans of partying and drinking all night. More likely we'll be passed out and snoring by 8:00. Thanks to DADZ, though, we have plenty of People and Entertainment Weekly to keep us busy.
5. Confession: I have never seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Insert gasps of shock here.) Will I totally not be able to understand this week's Glee episode? And why can't they do a take on something I'm more familiar with, like "Thomas the Tank Engine" (there are some very jaunty songs in those movies!) or "Bais Yaakov Production 1995?"
Have a Shabbat Shalom, folks!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
We have Ariella's cooking chug to thank for this. From the chug's demo at the school fair, I was under the impression this was some sort of "Chocolate Spread Delight" chug. Chocolate spread on cookies! Chocolate spread on bread! Chocolate spread on ... chocolate spread! And they did make some kind of dessert thing the first week, but the second week they made a very healthy pasta and vegetable dish. Ariella wanted to recreate this dinner at home, so she sent me off with a shopping list ("Mommy" - concerned - "do you know what green onions are?") She had a friend over last night, and the two of them chopped mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers, which we combined with the onions, olives, pasta, and spinach leaves.
I added cubed Bulgarian cheese to my bowl ("Ewww, Mommy, this tastes like a block of salt!") and some dressing. It was quite good and I look forward to adding it to our dinner repertoire. Especially since Ariella can make it.
Yaakov learned about Rachel Imeinu in school, as today is her yahretzeit. I asked him what he learned. (This year, there is actually a chance he'll remember. For example, he can recite the 5 books of the Torah. Such a big boy.)
"Who is Rachel?"
"I don't know. She had a lot of babies!"
"Oh yeah? How many?"
"Two boys" [Good!] "and two girls!" [Hmmm.]
"She had so many children that she had to buy a big house, it was very big and long and she lived it in all by herself with her children."
Subject change! "Do you know who Rachel was married to?" I asked.
"She was married to....Yaakov!"
[Laughter.] "But not me," he added seriously. "That Yaakov was an even bigger tzaddik than me." [If such a thing can be imagined.] "Also he was bigger than me!" [No way!]
And there you have it: Torah according to Yaakov.
Meanwhile, Nadav would like a solution to the age-old conundrum: How can I suck on my toes and kick my feet at the same time??
Friday, October 15, 2010
However, through the weird and wonderful world of blogging, I happen to know a speech therapist. This is Baila, whom some of you know as www.illcallbaila.blogspot.com. She is a fellow Modiin blogger and accidentally stumbled across aliyahbyaccident (is there any other way to do it? Have we ever been found on purpose? Discuss.), and became a Loyal Reader. So I figured I would give her a call, since that seems to be what people do to Baila. And last night, she came over to meet with Yaakov and check out his awwws. Although she told me she doesn't do the therapy herself, she could give me her professional opinion and recommend someone if she felt he needed it.
Yaakov is a bit of a contrarian ("No I'm NOT!") so I was worried that whatever Baila would ask him to do, he would refuse ("No I WON'T!"). However, when I informed him that my friend was coming over to talk and play with him, he immediately marched into the ma'amad to find a suitable game to play. (Luckily for Baila, it was NOT Candyland.) He was very excited, and when Baila came, he sat her down on the couch and began playing. "This one is so shmeasy faw me," he boasted. So they played and talked, and then Baila asked him if he could differentiate between "run" and "won." ("Which is the one you like to do in the chatzer?" "The fawst one, of CAWSE!" he said, rolling his eyes at this shmeasy question.)
They did two more rounds of that and Yaakov passed, which means he can hear the difference, even if he can't say it. She also asked him to touch his tongue to his nose; unfortunately, he said he "didn't want to show her" that he could do it. Then Baila showed him how she makes the "r" sound and explained it was like a lion roaring. Yaakov's head jerked up. Wait a minute. Lions? This person thinks she knows about lions? She doesn't know about lions! I know about lions! I know EVERYTHING about lions! "That is not how a lion sounds," he explained.
"Well, what does a lion sound like?"
"I do not want to tell you."
"Okay, last question. What is the thing that flies in the sky and is not an airplane?"
Luckily Yaakov did not answer "Buzz Lightyear." But he did say, "Bahwd," which apparently is even more indicative of a speech problem than the other words.
Oh well. The bottom line was that he's not going to outgrow it, he'll definitely need speech therapy, but we can hold off until he's closer to 5. That works for us. On our Parenting Manifesto, right after "Ignore the problem and see if it disappears" comes "Push it off as long as possible." So we will revisit this issue in Apwil.
So a big thank you to Baila, and you are welcome back any time to play games with Yaakov.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
1. Ariella plays Mastermind ("Bul Pegiah" in Israel.) This is nice. I like Mastermind. Playing board games with the kiddies gets much more fun when you get to play games that are objectively fun. (Objectively being defined here as "I like to play it.")
2. However, we are still stuck in Shootmenowville with Yaakov. He is very into CandyLand and, God help me, Chutes and Ladders. He came up with a great strategy on Shabbos. We were starting Candyland, and hadn't turned over the cards yet. He instructed me to put the ice cream card on top, and then he would go first and get the ice cream card! (If you don't know the meaning of the ice cream card, then it must have been a VERY long time since you played, because most children and adults today have the image of the Candyland board seared into their brains. Whisper "Candy cane" into their ear and watch them shudder.)
3. I said no, he would have to play the regular way. Toward the end, when he was close to losing (he was ahead because I got gumdrop, but then he got peanut brittle and I got lollipop), he said, "Let's stop playing now, Mommy. Let's just say that I won." Good Mom wanted to teach her son the valuable lesson of sticking through with something till the end, losing gracefully, etc etc, but Bad Mom was sooooo happy we could stop playing. Guess which mom won?
4. Nadav now flips over onto his stomach. He has trouble going back the other way (isn't stomach to back supposed to be the easier way?) His other hobbies include sucking on his toes and chewing on your thumb.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I do remember, when I was just a wee lassie, that my mother had some sort of work project that required a computer, and for a few weeks, we had a computer in the house. This was the height of cool. We got to play this nifty Winnie the Pooh computer game - on a floppy disk, of course, back when they were actually floppy. But then the project ended and the computer had to leave. Oh well, we grunted.
Anyway, Ariella is learning Microsoft "Words" (as she calls it). And yesterday, the principal (who teaches the class), taught the kids how to "duh-buhl cleeek." So naturally, Ariella came home and wanted to try out her newfound tricks - typing (in Hebrew) highlighting, changing the font, color, and size. Because let's face it, with all the computer know-how and doo-dads out there, still, the most important thing we ever learned was how to change the font to Comic Sans. So Ariella decided to have an aleph page. "What words start with aleph?" she asked me. We thought of a few, but she was insatiable. So she took out the dictionary, and is now up to over 100 aleph words in Hebrew. In blue, though unfortunately Hebrew cannot be written in Comic Sans.
After an hour and a half, I made her get off. (Baila - we may have to institute your policy.) "But I just want to finish the alephs!" she wailed, with a slightly manic look in her eyes. "Sweetie," I explained, there are many, many, many words that begin with an aleph. You could be here all night."
"Just 'efes'! It will be my last word! Pleeeeease!"
So I let her type it, though a few minutes later when she came back and begged, "I just thought of 'auto.' Please can I type it before I forget???" I put my foot down, seeing clearly where this was heading.
Anyway, it was time for Ariella to get off the computer because Mommy needed it to give a very special shout-out.....
to my sister-in-law, Leezy "Alisa" Bensky and her family on the birth of a new baby boy!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
But let's back up. On chol hamoed, we - the collective Rose, Klein, and Leibtag contingent - hit up the Roladin factory in Kadima where we made our own cookies and other goodies. The workshop was fun, but it was lacking in that there was no tour of the factory (just windows so we could look in from above) and neither of their two sukkot were kosher, so no lunch out at Momz and Dadz's expense. Oh well. At least we had plenty of goodies to munch on during the drive home. ("Don't Need No Sukkah for Achilas Arai" is a single on my next album.)
Later that night, we had a surprise 60th birthday for DADZ. It was especially surprising because he doesn't actually turn 60 for another month. There was BBQ and cousins and friends and birthday cake. What more could a guy ask for?
On Tuesday, despite the fact that choref was nearing, the weather continued to remain toasty. So after a massive food shopping outing, Donny and DADZ took the big kids to the pool. On Wednesday, we had the audacity to NOT entertain the children, something they felt quite indignant about. Simchat Torah was the usual fun and games. (I think I stopped enjoying this particular holiday once I turned 8.) Then came Friday, aka Morecookingday, and Shabbat, aka Moreatingday. Ariella went to shul in the morning with the men so she could listen to parshat Breishit. Last night, we bid a tearful goodbye to Momz and DADZ, who will God willing return on Pesach.
"It's Hot as a Cactus Out There"
I know you are all still drying your eyes because you are so sad that Momz and DADZ left, so I will end with a humorous Yaakov anecdote. A Yaakovdote, if you will:
He loves to look at the weather website with me. As you can see, it's a 7-day forecast. The first part of this 'dote is that Yaakov becomes very frustrated because whenever we look at it, we are always on the first box! When will we get to the last box? he despairs. Sadly, never.
The website also uses a picture of a cactus to denote "fry your shakshuka on the sidewalk" kind of hot. I explained this symbolism to Yaakov. When we were in Alon Shvut for Shabbat chol hamoed, he saw a little cactus growing outside my cousins' house. "Oh," he said knowingly, "this means it's very hot out."
A good choref to all of you. May it rain a lot, but not so much that they fall behind on building our apartment. Amen.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wednesday morning: Momz and DADZ visit. They arrived Tuesday afternoon and are staying with Leezy and Elie in Beit Shemesh for the first leg of the trip. Since we hadn't seen them yet, they came over for a final don't-need-to-eat-in-the-sukkah breakfast bonanza. All manner of bread and mezonot food. The kids were superexcited to see them. Yaakov was especially happy to see Zaidy, since he (Yaakov) is in a very we-are-men phase. The 'rents left, and we packed up to head out to Maale Adumim. MA, if you recall, is the hometown of our Real Israeli friends the Sassoons. We managed to fill the entire trunk with stuff, despite only going for one night. That's the the kind of talent I am talking about, my friends.
Wednesday night: The big kids and fathers sleep in the sukkah. It is very very cute. Of course, this means they (the kids) are up at 5:40, with the sun, requesting breakfast.
Thursday: With only quick breaks to eat, the kiddies spend the entire day playing and making a Godzilla-size mess of the Sassoons'. Finally, at 7:15, it is time to leave, so we bid each other farewell. Another successful Sukkot at the Sassoons.
Friday: Kids eat breakfast, Donny and I have some achilas arai, and then we buy some real breakfast and invade the Balsams to eat in their sukkah. It doesn't bother us at all that Lisa is in the middle of cooking and cleaning for Shabbos. That's the kind of good friends we are. But no matter, she puts on some coffee and she and Nafi (and various children, wandering in and out) join us for rugelach and rolls in the sukkah. We then return home, pack up our entire apartment, and head out to Alon Shvut for Shabbat.
Shabbat: Kids have a great time with the cousins. Now, these cousins are all at least 10 years older than them, but no matter, Ariella and Yaakov make themselves at home. Aviva (cousin) takes them to the park near shul on Friday night. We eat dinner, I put Yaakov to bed 3 times, and then we conk out ourselves. The best part about Alon Shvut (besides the cousins, naturally)? It is NOT a million degrees out. Only about 500,000, which is a big improvement over the rest of the country. The next day, I offer to bring the kids back to the park. Yaakov sighs and agrees, although he really wanted "someone from the OTHER family" to take him.
Sunday: Israel Museum day! Ariella likes the old tombs, and Yaakov likes the old swords. We meet Momz, DADZ, Elie, and Leezy there for some ancient fun. Big kids do a recycling workshop, then we do what we do best - EAT! Found a really nice (besari) restaurant there. DADZ, who hadn't eaten breakfast yet, was hoping for some breakfast-type food, but I reminded him that in ancient times, fish and meat would BE breakfast. So it was very appropriate, considering the context.
Then, the fam left and we told the kids we were going to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ariella wanted to know why we were going to see some dead squirrels. Despite the lack of roadkill inside the Shrine of the Book, the kids thought the old scrolls were cool. Donny and I, having just finished a biography on our very own street, Yigael Yadin, considered ourselves experts on the scrolls and nodded knowingly as we read the captions.
THEN, we went to Uncle David and Aunt Adi's for a fabulous BBQ in their 3-room sukkah. With electricity and water hook-up. At this point, the migraine, which started sometime during the recycling workshop, had taken over, so I laid down on the Samsons' couch and succumbed to the visions of Voldemort. Donny fed the kids in the sukkah. Eventually, Yaakov wandered up to play with the toys. After everyone was stuffed and the wine was gone, we came home and (Donny) put the kids to sleep. Which brings us to now. Everyone still asleep, though one scheduled to make his appearance soon.
And that's all folks! More updates to come.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Certainly the highlight for the children, though, was playing in traffic. On Yom Kippur, the one thing we all decide, as a nation, is not to drive. Drinking, eating, any of the other no-nos are fair game on Yom Kippur, but no one, and I mean NO ONE drives. So it becomes "Chag HaOfanayim" (the bicycle holiday), because the streets are devoid of cars and kids ride their bikes up and down. We live directly above the main drag in Modiin, and on Friday night the kids were watching everyone playing in the streets. Then it occurred to them that they could also go play in the streets. Despite their lack of bicycles, and the warning that they would have to walk up and down the five flights of stairs, they were very eager to go play in traffic. So down they went. Nadav and I watched from above. They had a great time getting an up-close look at the construction and running around. In fact, they had such a good time that on Yom Kippur morning, they decided to go again, and stayed for around an hour. I enjoyed feeling so Israeli and letting my kids run in the street. Although as my sister Leezy pointed out, they weren't barefoot, so I guess that takes away from the true Israeli experience.
After a zillion more games of Mastermind (Ariella is gooood. She did the same pattern twice in a row, knowing I would never think to guess it again, and it took me almost until the end to get it.), a billion puzzles, books, animals, snacks, and I think two or three packs of gum, it was time for the fast to end. We all ate (On the menu: Melon and lasagna, and a delicious apple pie, made using the recipe that my grandmother A"H used for many years and always served after the fast. Ok, full disclosure: We had the pie and accompanying homemade cinnamon whipped cream after the kids went to sleep.)
And now we move on to Sukkot, where the Roses become homeless because we have no sukkah, but luckily have good friends and family to take us in for the holiday, and the rest of the time Donny will have to go around being a sukkah beggar; hopefully someone will help him out, and the kiddies and I will be playing the We're Only Women and Children Card so often it's going to get old and frayed. Plus, the 'rents are coming, so stay tuned for some good fun to be made at the expense of DADZ.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Anyway, unfortunately for my children, I was not inspired by her mad parenting skillz. She inspired me because she pondered whether she should hire herself and her blogging skills out for cash. You know, you review things on your blog and you score stuff free stuff.
But upon further reflection, I decided that was just too much work for me. However, in a similar vein, I thought I could put my own skills to good use, to make this world a better place. And what better time to embark on this new challenge than the new year. What skills, might you ask? Besides the obvious culinary ones listed above?
Well, as we all know, aliyahbyaccident is always full of helpful advice for everyone. Or, at least, it’s full of something. So instead of reviewing, we will be coaching. Starting today, we are beginning a new “HELP!” section. Whether you want to move to Israel, or you have kids, or you want to move to Israel with your kids, or you want to have kids and then move to Israel, or you want to move to kids and have Israel, or you just want both Israel and kids to leave you alone so you can continue treifin' up the kitchen.... No matter what your question is, aliyahbyaccident is here to answer it. In fact, without further ado, I present the first edition of Aliyahbyaccident: HELP!
Let’s hear from some of our Loyal Readers:
Q. Hi, my name is Katzav. What I want to know is, why hasn’t anyone given kappayim to Dov lately?
A. You’re absolutely right. We are very behind on our kappayim-giving. So Dov, if you’re reading - kappayim!
Our next question is from Drake, in Wichita, Kansas.
Q. I’m thinking of making aliyah.
Q. I haven’t asked a question yet.
A. Sorry – we get a little jumpy sometimes. Go ahead.
Q. Anyway, so we’re thinking of making aliyah, and we wanted to know…
Q. You have got to stop doing that.
A. Sorry again. We just get very excited about helping people. Continue. Aliyah. We're listening.
Q. What would you say is the single most important thing to bring with us? Ziploc bags? Bounty paper towels? Liquor from the duty free? A good attitude?
A. Well, Drake, it’s simple. The single most important thing to bring with you when you make aliyah is your luggage.
Q. I don’t get it.
A. Drake, didn’t your teachers ever tell you that “I don’t get it” isn’t a question? Would you like to rephrase?
Q. Sorry. I don’t get it?
A. Much better. As I was saying, the most important thing to bring with you is your suitcases. I can’t tell you how many times people make aliyah, and they’re waiting at the baggage carousel for their bags, when suddenly, they slap their hands to their foreheads and exclaim, “Oh, for the love of Likud! We never brought our bags! Now we have no clean undies to wear!”
Q. Really? How often does that happen?
A. Drake, pay attention. I just said “I can’t tell you how many times” this happens.
Q. Right. Suitcases. Any advice as to what should be in the suitcases, though?
A. Clean underwear. Sheesh, you really need to listen when people are talking.
So you see, Loyal Readers, in a matter of minutes we have helped both Katzav and Drake. Not to mention Dov. If you have a burning question that needs answering, don’t hesitate to contact aliyahbyaccident. If we choose your question to be featured in our weekly HELP! Section, you will receive a free pair of clean undies!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
In the meantime, the entire staff - and here I mean everyone - at aliyahbyaccident wishes you a new year filled with good decisions and all kinds of happy stuff. Plus, we hope, more frequent blog postings.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
We got through the last couple days, barely. Donny came down with an illness which stubbornly refused to be strep (despite two tests) and is still lingering, Ariella got GLASSES and a cool haircut, and Yaakov informed me he will be playing "Lions" during mifgash (circle time) in gan this year. [Sigh.]
Both of the big kiddies had orientation - Ariella had a half-hour activity at school with her teacher and classmates (same teacher and kids as last year), and Yaakov's gan meeting was eerily similar to his gan meeting last year. That's because it WAS the same - his gan has a mix of first-timers (3 year olds) and old hats (4 year olds). So, if you didn't catch it last year, the meeting was "new for you," otherwise, same song, same book, same treat in the kids' drawers. Meanwhile, Yaakov was very excited all day to be reunited with his good friend Matan; he expresses this excitement by refusing to go near him at the meeting. Boys.
Yaakov's ganenet is finishing her maternity leave and isn't coming back until after Sukkot, though she was at the meeting. Maternity leave does not faze Yaakov. He is so used to teachers on maternity leave he wouldn't know what to do if a teacher wasn't pregnant. Last year, there were so many babies, he had subs for his subs. And when one of the teachers (in her mid-fifties) was absent one day, he confidently informed me, "She had a baby." Anyway, the sub seems nice, and has no discernible bump, so no worries
I displayed my cunning juggling skills at the meeting - sitting with Yaakov, making sure Nadav didn't fall asleep, and dealing with Ariella's I'm bored/I got hurt on the swing/I'm bored/Nitzan doesn't like my glasses/I'm bored issues. Luckily, the few times I dropped a ball (usually Nadav), my Tired friend was there to pick him up. (Yes folks, Tired and I have children in the same gan this year. Look for a Special Tandem Blogging posts throughout the year!)
But this morning, it really paid off having everyone "same same" as last year - no fights or crying or clinging at drop-off time! Please, please, please may it continue this way.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Only "real" Israelis knew how to find this place. Consider us real.
Worst Picture with the Camera's Self-TimerAt Mag'arsa water hike. (We are not actually blurry in real life.)
Best Capturing Nadav's Smile: Donny, Gila, Ariella!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Then, I hear talk of "going on vacation." Well, I figured, my life was pretty much a vacation already. How could things get even better? Maybe they were going to buy the Deluxe Mobile and we'd all look at it together!
Boy, was I wrong. "Vacation" started last week. And pretty much since it started, I have been hot, sweaty, and stuffed into something. Sweating in the carseat, sweating in the stroller, sweating in the Baby Bjorn. Everytime I think we're finally going to go someplace where we can all just lay on our backs and kick our feet - nope, stuffed into something else and left to sweat. Now, I did very much enjoy the pool in Ashdod. That was tons of fun. But other than that...well, let's just say I'm starting to fear my body is going to be permanently molded into "carseat position."
And no one understands, either. Today, after a very intense, hot, and did I mention, sweaty, hike, the Big People treated themselves to artikim. They even said, "Artikim for whoever was such a good hiker!" And then, "That's why Nadav can't have, because he didn't hike." And they all laughed! Excuse me, did they think it was easy being strapped to Mom's sweaty chest, spitting up all over her shirt, and being bounced around for hours? (Ed. note: This was not fun for Mom either.) It was not! And they kind of ignore me (although this also happens when we're not on vacation.) Every once in a while someone smiles at me and throws me a scrap of attention. Luckily, I can go for a long time on just scraps. And I always smile back, so they'll be sure to do it again.
Well, that's all for now. I gotta get some sleep so I can wake up Mom in a few hours. I'm praying that tomorrow is filled with Gyminis and air-conditioning. But I'm not hopeful.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Our Vacation Thus Far
On Sunday we headed to Ashdod (yes, we know it's not usually synonomous with "vacation" but it can be when you rent a house with a pool.) For Yaakov, a close second to the pool was that the house came with stairs and a water cooler. Things sorely lacking in our day-to-day lives. He spent much of our two days there trekking up and down the stairs and getting himself drinks.
We gained some insights into our children. For example, Yaakov will watch anything that is on TV. Anything. National Geographic (my personal favorite; the kids were very excited to watch a show about hyenas, lions, and monkeys. Lion King come to life.), cooking shows, fashion shows, cartoons, shoot 'em up movies, music videos...if it's on, he's glued.
We also learned that if someone can (nearly) buy treif food in Israel, it's the Roses. We did a mini-food shopping on Sunday to get cereal, milk, fruit, ice cream, and granola bars. We walked into a supermarket. It had a vague, Trader Joe-y like feel. Very upscale and healthy. The thing that tipped us off that this may not be a kosher supermarket were the cucumbers. Each cucumber was laid out perfectly, in neat little rows and not one cucumber was out of place. Supersol this was not. Then we noticed the signs were all in Hebrew and Russian. Then we noticed that we didn't notice any teudot. Then Donny said, "You know, I think I remember someone telling me that this supermarket chain is where Israelis can buy pork." So off we went, in search of teudot and Fruity Pebbles. Both of which we found about a block away.
On Tuesday, waterlogged as we were, we set off back home, stopping in Maaleh Adumim to visit our Real Israeli friends of ours, the Sassoons. On Wednesday, we had a Hot Jerusalem Day. Kotel, Old City, Davidson Center (the Southern Wall excavations.) The kids walked through an ancient palace, up the ancient stairs to where the Temple used to be, into an ancient mikvah, and even sat on ancient toilets. The highlight, for sure. Another thing I learned? The movie, located in the air-conditioned building, is a great place to nurse a sweaty, hot baby. So the kids trooped around with Donny, while Nadav and I hung out at the movies and in the Umayyad Palace. (No Umayyads were present, far as I could tell.) Then we stopped at the shuk, went out for dinner, and came home. Upon arriving home, we sat on the couch because we lacked energy to move.
Thursday was the day the kids have been looking forward to for a year. Last August, I took them to see Up in the movie theater. We saw a preview for Toy Story 3, and I promised them we would take them to see it when it came out. Yaakov's been asking every day this summer when we could finally go and see it. Well, the day had finally arrived. We drove to the Ayalon Mall in Tel Aviv, one of the few theaters with an earlyish (5:15) showing of the movie in English. We figured we would get dinner a the mall first. We checked out the food court. KFC - not kosher. McDonald's - not kosher. Chinese place - not kosher. Cafe Cafe - not kosher. We were starting to panic. Tel Aviv shares some of America's less than stellar characteristics, in that it lacks an abundance of kosher food. Would we be forced to eat chips for dinner? (Not the worst dinner, but still.) Luckily, the Aroma Cafe had a teudah, so we ate dinner and headed upstairs for the movie.
Nadav behaved admirably. Nursed and fell asleep. The kid likes movies, what can I say? Ariella and Yaakov, however, were traumatized. The movie was kinda scary - interrogation chairs (albeit made out of Lego), mean toys, and an incinerator, to name a few dicey moments. We spent the entire car ride home discussing the intricacies of the movie with Ariella. Yaakov, Mr. Buzz Lightyear himself, kept wailing, "I TOLD you we shouldn't go see Toy Story 3!"
I tried explaining to them that if they watch it again, it won't be as scary because they'll know how it ends and that everyone is okay. (I mean, they watch the first Toy Story without a problem, and let me tell you, that Sid is one sadistic SOB.) They remained skeptical. So I guess we need to add to the price of the movie for a family of 5 (yes, we needed to buy a ticket for Nadav) the added cost of Toy Story-induced therapy for two children. Oh well. Donny and I enjoyed the movie, at least.
And let me say, Nadav is one lucky baby. It took Ariella 6 years to see her first movie in a theater. Nadav? 3 months. The kid's been swimming, to the beach, museum, Kotel, Cutie (jumping around place for kids), out to eat in numreous restaurants, grape-stomping, parks....too bad he'd rather just stay at home and look at his mobile.
Next week the adventure continues up north. Of course, we still have to find "something to do today, Mommy!"
Sunday, August 15, 2010
....the children can figure out how to turn on my iPod and get to a game, but haven't yet mastered flushing the toilet.
....one boy PLUS one girl PLUS Blue Blanket DIVIDED by Mommy's bed EQUALS Mommy on the couch.
...if it is eerily quiet on Shabbos afternoon when you are trying to sleep, it is because either
a) the children have left the apartment and are running amok through the streets of Modiin; or, worse...
b) they are taking illegal Shabbos naps and will be up until waaaay too late, trotting in and out of their beds complaining they can't sleep
(PS Despite the late bedtime, this did not prevent Thought #2 from occurring)
....I firmly believe in don't-talk-about-how-well-the-baby-has-been-sleeping-karma. Firmly.
....Ariella is a total geek, and I mean that in the best, most loving way possible. Highlight of her week? When the book store called to say her books for second grade had arrived. Perused each and every one carefully the minute we got home.
....Yaakov has definitely inherited my special movie-memorizing talent. I hope it will prove more useful for him than it has for me. So far, no jobs seeking "Hard worker who is punctual and knows all the lines to The Princess Bride. Lines to Blues Brothers preferred but not mandatory."
....There has been a Thought that I keep meaning to add to the blog, but every time I'm in front of the computer I forget what it was. I need easier access to computers. Thinking of installing one on the couch and one in the shower.
We are off to Ashdod this morning for Part I of our vacation. Will keep you all posted.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
On Thursday, I picked Yaakov up from his kaytanah and he had made a beautiful centerpiece for Shabbat. It was a plastic parfait cup, filled with different colored sand, topped with glue (about half a bottle; this will become important later) and finished off with tissue-paper flowers. I put the cup in the cupholder of the Snap 'n Go (this, too, will become important later.) As I maneuvered the stroller out of the tiny elevator, it bumped. And the very top-heavy parfait cup tipped over. And fell. Into the carseat. In which Nadav was peacefully resting. I looked down, and about half a bottle of glue (see, I told you it would be important) was wending its way under Nadav's legs. I quickly grabbed some burp cloths and wedged them between Nadav and the carseat so he would not become glued to the seat on the ride home. (Glued to the burp cloths was at least a consequence I could live with.) Luckily, for him burp cloths are one of the 3 most common items found in our house at all times. The other two are liquor and pacifiers; more on that later.
After we returned home, the glue washed off pretty easily. And I now have another chapter in my book "Congratulations! You're a Little Brother!" about the hazards of Shabbat centerpieces and the dire importance of never using SuperGlue.
Liquor and Pacifiers
Look at that, it's later!
Nadav got up in the middle of the night, as babies are wont to do (even if we don't want them to, haha!) As I stumbled toward his room, I decided I should be equipped with a pacifier should the need arise. I fumbled around the changing table but couldn't find any. (There were approximately 3 hijillion, but they can be deceptively tricky to find when you're tired and you're aimlessly slapping your hand around, hoping one will jump up and nestle itself into your palm.) Then I remembered that I had put at least three on the "Candlestick Table" (so called because it is a table) when I was cleaning up.
I continued lurching forward - in addition to being tired, not wearing glasses or contacts makes the lurching more profound - till I reached the table. I thrust my hand forward, grabbed the pacifier, right where I knew it would be, and as I pulled my hand back, I heard a terrible crash. I turned on a light. An almost-new bottle of whiskey lay shattered on the floor. Glass and booze were everywhere; had my pajamas consisted of something more alluring than a ratty, spit-up stained t-shirt and pink plaid (spit-up stained) pants, one might have mistaken our apartment for a den of iniquity. Nadav had stopped crying for a few minutes, so I had time to gather the larger pieces of glass and throw them out.
Of course, since not wearing glasses also causes you to become temporarily stupid, I didn't consider putting on some shoes, until I noticed my feet were covered in tiny little glass shards. At this point, Nadav was really and truly up, so I went in to feed him, and then, instead of crawling back into bed, returned to the scene of the crime. This time equipped with glasses and shoes. Much less painful. I finished cleaning up and then went back to bed for the remaining few seconds until I had to get up again. When Donny awoke, he found me leaning over him. "Donny," I whispered, "do you love me?" He mumbled something, which I understood to be "yes." I persevered. "Do you love me more than three-quarters of a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label." [Fraction of a pause.] "Yes," came the answer. Phew! I'm safe! (Good thing it wasn't Gold Label.)
Schools Supplies - Big Yawn
Ariella and I completed our school supply shopping. And folks, I'm happy to report that I am an expert in school supplies now. Nyloniot? No problem! Corrugated plastic tik? Already have from last year, my friends. Pencils of a varied and specific nature - purchased! So I think we have really reached a milestone when I say that school supply shopping this year was totally not blog-worthy. Kappayim to us!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Apparently, I must have sent out this advertisement without realizing it. Because I am the go-to gal for mid-night crises. It doesn't matter that my bed is actually further from the door than Donny's. He might as well be wearing his Invisibility Cloak, because the children make a beeline for my bed. Just this week, we had two - no, three - cases of baddreammustsleepwithmommyitis, plus the usual peeing needs.
One night, Ariella was in my bed. Bad dream, of course. (She worries that Pharaoh is out to get her. Some kids shouldn't watch scary movies; Ariella shouldn't read the Bible.) So there we are, happily sleeping. Well, Ariella is happily sleeping, slapping me in the face with her arms every time she turns over. I am waking up every few minutes to push her to her side of the bed.
Then, suddenly, Yaakov appears by my bedside. I turn over to find him, inches from my face, staring at me. It's his MO. I take him to the bathroom, he mumbles something about wanting to sleep in my bed. I consider this for about a half second. "Sorry, you had your turn this week to sleep in Mommy's bed. Back to your room you go!" Luckily, this logic worked and he stayed in his bed the rest of the night.
I asked the kiddies once, "Why do you guys always wake me up? I mean, Daddy is there also, you could, in theory, go to him."
Ariella had a very sound explanation: "It's because Daddy snores. One time I tried to wake him up but he didn't even hear me." [Note to self: Take up snoring.]
But Yaakov, with an unbeatable combination of big blue eyes and complete sincerity, delivered the final blow: "It's because I love you so much, Mommy!"
Well, you can't argue with love. Sleeping alone is overrated anyway. Just ask my kids.