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.