This morning we went to a bris at our shul (mazal tov, mazal tov, especially because my daughter ate chicken and rice and we were, oh, so proud!). Afterwards, we eventually got our vacationing acts together and went to Yerushalaim.
Many companies in Israel do what my company did this year, which is to give vouchers for a variety of stores in lieu of a cash bonus at Rosh Hashana time. This way neither the company nor the recipient pay taxes on it, I think, so the company is able to give us more money, or something like that. Anyway, while we COULD have spent them at the grocery store, it was more fun to use this 'fake' money on stuff we wouldn't have bought anyway.
So we didn't use it all (yet), but we went to Ace in J-town (bigger than ours in Beit Shemesh) and bought all manner of fun things, including a slide for the backyard for the girl (all of 100 shekel - we would've bought it anyway, probably), a juice pitcher, a seat cover for the Toyota backseat (not that my daughter would ever leave crumbs or leaky bawkles behind, heaven forfend), a cheapy car duster, some batteries - you know, important stuff. I'm most excited about the slide - we got one that she can already climb the ladder herself, so we look forward to many hours of uninterrupted shabbos naps as she amuses herself in the backyard.
Right. As Jareth said, "Well, laugh?"
The girl was BUGGING out in the store, so much so that I had to forcibly hold her and do rhythmic noises to calm her. Vacation is hard for her. When it's yuntiv / shabbos and we have guests here, they are amusement and parents are comfort. When it's just us alone, we're everything to her - and thus she's secure enough to test every single limit she's ever heard of (from gravity to "we don't touch things in stores!").
We opted not to go to another store.
So into the car, and we drove off to the tayelet (promenade) in Talpiot, where I haven't been in 10 years or so. It was hopping with holiday makers, but still had plenty of room for a cooped up Tochter to run around, saying "No birds!" and "No cats!" to the local fauna (and then for us to hold her when she wasn't convinced her techniques were working).
Since Sarah Rochel and I were in our matching mother-daughter clothes, and it was gorgeous, we took a lot of pictures. A lot a lot. Very few were any good, alas, due to the child's own activity level, the aforementioned fauna, and of course, the mysterious overweight lady who snuck into so many of the frames (she seems to follow us around sometimes - very annoying). So the below is the best of the bunch, alas, certainly until I brush off my Photoshop techniques.
Discussion question: Why are multiple chins cute on a baby and not on an adult? Provide examples (but, not to me).
Then we sat in traffic for the better part of an hour, thus botching our plans to go visit the Savta Raba. We then went to Har Nof to help a friend make labels for her daughter's wedding, (she called and told me, "If you come over, I'll babysit SR and feed all three of you," and we said - Okay!), then visited Mama Nechy and Reuven, and then transported a pooped-out (literally), sleeping baby home. I brought her upstairs and got her out of her shoes and dress, into a backwards inside-out onesie, and into her crib, all without her waking. Yummy!
And lastly before the pictures, our Shalom Bayis Lesson for the week: If after your husband falls asleep in the sukka, and you lock the door for him and put the keys under his pillow where they always go (using another set to let yourself in, of course), you may think it's better to let him sleep and assume he'll know the keys are in place. However, it may be prudent to wake him up to let him know what you've done after all, lest he awaken in the night and start hitting the bars outside your window with a stick because he thinks he's been locked out of the house (and you, foolish child, don't have the phone near you so you miss all his calls), to say nothing of said noise awakening your sleeping child. Remember - communication is key! Pun intended!
He locked the door himself this evening, and shalom bayis reigns ever still.
In the store testing slides. We did not buy this one, the 300 NIS one, since she couldn't climb it AND it seemed like it was made out of old plastic garbage cans.
This is we, watching a large crow swoop down and inhale my daughter's dropped partially chewed lump of cheese. Delish!
She was WAY too busy to take a picture WITH the two of us. So we took this with one eye on her to make sure she didn't roll off the mountain (not a chance - she was busy bossing the cats).
Sarah Rochel, hey, this is a nice picture opp! Stay still so Mommy or Abba can get there too... rats. She's gone.
Here's part of the view. It's not remotely the lovliest part (for example, Har Habayis wins hands down, even with that pesky gold dome in the middle), but I enjoyed how you could see the security fence way back there. Can't they like paint it or something?
Birt! Birt! Sky-i!
We musta taken some 30 pictures trying to capture my daughter's inner Laura Ingalls in this dress, frolicking in the grass. Would you believe this is the best one? Here is where digital cameras aren't better (unless you have the REALLY expensive ones - sponsors, anyone?), because they want to wait and focus on the subject as opposed to just CLICKING - and by the time you focus, she's gone!