Thursday, July 29, 2010

10 Lessons in July

Things I have Learned This Month

1. [Gleaned from the Good Time Boys and Girls next to us at the beach] If you want an edge in the race to get melanoma, emphysema, and cirrhosis, you should definitely bring your beer and cigarettes into the water with you.

2. I love, love, love, love not making aruchat eser.

3. If we had American-style Sundays every week: Yaakov's brain would turn to Disney-induced mush. [Learned this past Sunday, because Donny's grandfather (aka "Zaidy" or "Great-Zaidy") celebrated his 90th birthday with a party Sunday afternoon, so Donny worked from home and Yaakov got a "yom chofesh" from gan.]

4. If you stay indoors during the week, making only quick escapes in your air-conditioned car to the mall (underground, and therefore cool, parking) or shopping (go early in the morning before it gets too hot), then summer here really isn't too bad. Really.

5. However, if you stay indoors all of Shabbos because shul is a long, hot walk away (uphill both ways, I tell ya) and you can't face it with 3 kids and schlepping the stroller up and down 5 flights of stairs, you WILL GO NUTS and end Shabbos curled up in your bathtub, whimpering, hiding from The Mess in the living room and from the two children shrieking like maniacs, using empty water bottles as swords. So you should at least get everyone dressed Shabbos morning and go downstairs to wait for Daddy and play in the wind tunnel between the buildings so you see the great outdoors and let the kiddies play Throw the Cars Into the Dirt.

6. Playing Lions with Yaakov is strangely satisfying. Even if I always have to be Scar.

7. However, playing Shells with Yaakov is not. (This is non-numerical War, in which you each take a pile of shells, then put out one, and the person with the bigger shell takes both of them. You can imagine the blatant cheating that went on, and probably guess who won.)

8. The children (well, the two that screech hysterically when you tickle them, instead of looking at you quizzically) are formidable opponents in Memory. However, this talent does not cross over into Real Life, to wit the many evenings spent in frantic search for Bunny and Blue Blanket right before bed.

9. Neck folds: Where spit up goes to die.

10. Fridays are good. Last year I was grumpy that no kaytanah had camp on Fridays. This year, I enjoy having one day a week (even if it's only for two months), where no one has to get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, find tik, and get out the door. Well, they do have to do some of those things. They just don't have to do them right away. Ahhhh....summer....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Does this ever happen to you.....?

So you're talking to someone in Hebrew, and you're catching most of the conversation, which you feel pretty good about. [Insert pat on back here.] Then, suddenly, theybegintalkingveryveryfast. And you are quickly losing track of the conversation. "...something....something....bathroom....something.....something.....batteries...something... something... vaccination...." Huh? you start asking yourself, feeling your hold on things slipping quickly and decisively. You nod, throw in the occasional grunt, but this is way out of your league. Did she just say "fettucine?????"

Suddenly, the conversation comes to a screeching halt. And she's looking at you expectantly. Oh god, you realize, with a fear akin to seeing the Great White swimming right for you, she's waiting for a reaction. She wants you to say something! And you, of course, lost the thread of this conversation someplace in between "tablecloths" and "Netanyahu." (At least that's what it sounded like.) Is she expecting a hearty guffaw? an expression of outrage? a murmur of sympathy? You have no clue whether her dog just died, her husband was promoted, or she's against the conversion bill. Or maybe for it?

Readers, Loyal and otherwise! Never be stuck in this quandry again! Learn the patented aliyahbyaccident Vague Response, appropriate for all situations and scenarios! It works like this:

1. Smile slightly, in away which can be construed as sympathetic or agreeable (and really those are your only two choices, because let's face it, even if she just expressed admiration for Cruella de Ville, or announced her intention to come to work wearing only undies, are you really in a situation to debate this? We thought not.)
2. Raise your eyebrows just a touch, to vaguely indicate surprise
3. Mumble, "Haha...mmmm...ahem...ahem."

Trust me, after two years, I can assure you this works. Contact us if you would like private lessons.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekly Highlights

Wrapping Up The Week (With Lots and Lots of Saran)

1. We're finished with the dentist! (For now.)
On Sunday, Yaakov had his penultimate dental appointment. (For those vocabulary-challenged readers, "penultimate" means "painful.") After he freaked out at his last appointment, about 2 months ago, the dentist suggested we take a break and come back in July for the final 2 cavities. I made an early-morning appointment and Donny took him. The appointment was at 8:00. At 8:20 I get a phone call. Uh-oh. It appeared that the dentist - get this - anesthesized the wrong part of his mouth! Haha! Isn't that funny? She put the very long, sharp needle into the bottom of the poor boy's mouth, rather than the top. And this is because - get this - she forgot to write down what she had already done at the previous appointment! Haha! This just gets funnier and funnier!

To make it all even better, she had to re-X-ray him when she realized what she was seeing didn't match what she needed to do. Finally, she tried to convince Donny - get this - that he should just take Yaakov and leave, and come back another day! Haha! (Donny's assessment was that she was falling behind, time-wise, and therefore tried to kick him out.) Donny refused, and insisted she re-anesthesize and fill those cavities because we were NOT coming back. Luckily, she did, and through much crying (Yaakov's, and mine, vicariously), managed to fill the last two cavities. She said we did not have to come back because she filled both, so, thankfully, this became our "ultimate" appointment. (You know, people don't really say that, do they?)

Anyway, we decided that Yaakov deserved a day off, and he proceeded to plop himself down in front of the DVD player for about 6 hours straight, watching all of the new Disney DVDs that arrived from Momz and Dadz via Sabba and Sarah.

2. What did you say? That's right, you heard me correctly! Sabba and Sarah have returned! They are here for a month, renting their own little tzimmer in Jerusalem. They have many grand plans for their visit. Which include exciting things, they did go to the beach and sit for a while. You know, you can bring the old folks to Israel, but you can't make them hike.

3. How in the world is it that I have 6, that's right, SIX rolls of saran wrap, and not a single roll of aluminum foil??????

4. Don't you love random camp projects? Every day, in addition to approximately, let's MILLION drawings and fortune tellers (remember those??? But I'm not sure if it's Ariella or Israelis in general, because her "fortunes" consist of things like, "You are my cousin.") What was I saying? Yes, art projects. So in addition to the paper, she comes home with things like Mr. Balloon Person - an un-inflated balloon, filled with flour, with a little face drawn on and string for hair, or The Bird - little foam balls with feathers glued on, or Buddy the Bud Vase (that one's self-explanatory). And each one is very important, and we must keep them in a special place forever and ever and ever.

I miss camp.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Of Shells and Sand

The Roses Go To the Beach

[At Rishon L'Zion; after a failed attempt to disembark at Palmachim, where it became apparent that it was a BYOU beach, and we do not own a U.]

Ariella: Shells, shells, shells, gotta get shells, put 'em in my bucket, go get some water, now gotta make a tunnel, more shells, gotta get more shells, dig dig, pour pour, run run.

Yaakov: Shells, shells, shells, gotta get shells, dig a hole, get some water, get more shells, got lot of shells, wash 'em off, get more shells, dig dig, pour pour, run run.

Nadav: Where the frick is my mobile???

(Clearly, the outing was a success.)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Congratulations! You're a Little Brother!

We are the owners of many books about becoming a big brother or sister. But not a single one about becoming a little brother. This, my friends, is a severe lacking in our children’s literature. Never fear. Aliyahbyaccident is here to fix it, with a book specially geared to all those younger brothers and sisters out there, so they can learn....

What to Expect When You Become a Little Sibling

Welcome to the world, Little Brother/Sister!

Upon your arrival at home, you may have noticed that in addition to Mommy and Daddy, there are some other people running around the house, drawing on the floor and peeing in their beds. They're not quite as big as Mommy and Daddy, but they're not tiny like you, and also unlike you, they seemed to have gained full control over their limbs, which they use to beat the crap out of each other. Who are they, you ask? Why, they are your Big Brother and Big Sister.

Let's meet them!

Big Sister: Will love you to pieces and is super excited that you are finally here. (Of course, she will replace, "WHEN will the baby get here?" with "WHEN will he be able to play with me?") She will cover you in kisses and her hair will get in your face. Get used to it. Tip: Keep your eyes closed. And remember that she will do anything and everything for you. (At least while you're small and mushy and cute.)

Big Brother: Will alternately love and ignore you. No worries about the hair in your face, though, so that's a plus. Excels at shoving toys at you for you to play with, then groaning that once again, you failed to grab it. He loves you to pieces too, he just hides it better.

Here are some more tips on living with them, so you can know what to expect:

1. Your big siblings loooove to pick you up. They really love to pick you up and walk around with you, because that’s how Mommy does it. This will make you and Mommy the weensiest bit nervous. You may feel like you are about to fall, but don’t worry, Mommy is there making sure nothing happens. Worst case, your siblings are probably still kinda short, so the drop is minimal. Tip: Don't squirm. Staying very still is your best chance of survival.

2. You are a toy! Your siblings will play with you until they are bored, and then they will pick up and go somewhere else. Don't be too insulted. Just go back to sucking on the thing that flies by your mouth every so often. (It's your hand, by the way.)

3. Get ready to cry! Due to the axiom of the littler you are, the more likely you are to forget trauma, if Mommy has to choose between a crying baby and a crying 4-year-old, she will take care of the 4-year-old first. But it’s okay. Because truly, you won’t remember the five minutes you spent crying in your crib. Also, on the upside, if Mommy has to choose between taking care of you or taking care of the 32-year old that lives in the house, you totally win every time.

5. Dirty clothes! If you have a big sibling of the same gender as you (and even if you don't....not that there's anything wrong with that), get ready for hand-me-downs! Your inherited clothes will be stained with all sorts of infantile bodily fluids. Mommy has washed the clothes, but let's face, baby stains don't really ever come out. (Especially "roop.") Also, all the cute sayings on the baby clothes will have been half rubbed out from washings, so instead of "Mommy's Little All-Star" it will say "ommy Lit ll-S r" and "Kiss Me, I'm Cute" will become " iss Me ut."

Readers, Loyal and otherwise, we at aliyahbyaccident would love to hear your younger-sibling-survival tips. Leave us a comment, and if we use your tip in our upcoming book, we will personally send a big sibling over to your house to give you a noogie!