Wednesday, December 21, 2011
You see, gentle reader, all this shabbos - yuntiv - holiday-that-isn't-shabbos-or-yuntiv stuff is confusing! When you can turn lights on and off, when laundry, when coloring. They also asked about cooking on Chanuka, tearing paper - and naturally, they want to wear shabbos clothes. Llama actually last night had a tantrum until I let her wear her shabbos robe to bed instead of pajamas.
A few words on Llama's tantrums. Since she turned 3 and realized the impending inevitability of aging (poor baby), she occasionally acts very mature - which means, when she suffers a disappointment, she will often drop to the floor in a sort of kvetchy genuflection*, something that is perfect vintage 4 and 5 year old Sroch. She drops on her knees and puts her head in her hands, facing the floor, and occasionally whimpering or outright crying, depending on the magnitude of the perceived offence. It's really delicious, and because she's our second child, we have none of the parental stress and crisis about our child Not Coping, but instead can just quietly giggle at the absurdity. And never fear that we're ignoring her real feelings - when she's REALLY upset about something, she bawls and pushes and hits the floor on a good day (someone else on a bad day).
It's just funny, because we got through the bulk of Age Two with very few tantrums. Hmm.
*I should totally copyright that term. Kvetchy Genuflection would also be a good name for a band.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
(Okay, I would have - because I do believe that strongly in living here and raising my family here - but it would have been very, very hard)
And God's kindness to us that, bank account (un)balance notwithstanding, we ARE living here and blooming and blossoming and fruiting, is tremendous. Every day is a gift.
I am overwhelmed with kindnesses of late. Here are the most recent ones, some of them as recent as just hours ago.
- A coworker just had voluntary weight-loss surgery... and when they went in, they found a tumor they didn't know he had, would not have been able to detect - and they removed it cleanly. What a kindness they never saw coming, but will never forget.
- Both of my children's teachers made a point of telling me how fine both girls were all the time that I was away, marveling at their stability and security. Such a kindness - I was going on that trip anyway, but how wonderful that it wasn't disruptive to their little self confidence.
- While I was in Houston, my grandparents were charming and affectionate and felt good, and I was able to have wonderful visits with them and everyone else and be lighthearted doing so - such a gift! Especially because now, one week later (has it only been a week?) my grandmother is hospitalized once more and in a dreadful amount of pain. Such a kindness that we were able to enjoy each other while I was there.
- I left Houston a week ago, freeing my parents to go this week to Miami to be with my very ill Aunt Andy. Such a kindness that they, loving and compassionate as well as medically trained, were able to be there and spend time with her in her last days and hours, because you see, she passed away just this morning. I am so grateful that I was able to speak with her while I was in Houston as well.
- And indeed such a kindness, because Andy's own mother, our Mama Gloria, passed away just the day before. Such a kindness that Andy knew she wasn't going to leave behind her elderly mother, that they could avoid the tragedy and horror of a child dying before the parent.
And I know that because we live here, my children are growing up with such an awareness of Hashem's kindnesses in everything, everything that happens, that they hardly need to be shown.
And so in loving memory of Aunt Andy, whose inherent Godliness made her choose for her life's work helping children (as teacher, principal, professor, leader) - because God shows us kindnesses like a parent does for their child: daily, constantly and unceasingly.
.... One explanation of the six-word Shema Yisroel we say goes like this, that "Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad" (God is Lord, God is One) is phrased as such to say God of Kindness (Hashem) and God of Judgement (Elokeinu) are not contradictory, but are in fact One.
In the midst of God's judgement, his kindnesses have been pouring out - as they always do.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Soy Starbucks latte.
Walmart and Sam's.
Beef hot dogs and one million different kosher condiments.
Carpeting everywhere (and out smells like urine where I'm sitting now, but I digress).
Outlet stores. Strawberries out of season. Squat soda bottles. Root beer, mmm.
Everyone in this airport has an iPad.
Four hundred channels and nothing's on.
Will miss the one here, can't wait to see the one there.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
This airplane mode on my phone is very useful....
Out my window, for the last eight or nine hours, there has been a crystal clear starlit sky, and often a full moon as well. Totally lovely. I noticed that Orion's belt is no longer due left of the plane; we must be getting somewhere.
I dozed, but I didn't really sleep. Dinner was excellent. I may or may not have watched an, animated film, depending on where I want Sroch to go to school next year, but if I HAD I would be shocked at the amount of suspense and even violence they put in Toy Story 3. Egads, do they want to give every child nightmares forever?? I of course still cried like a baby. I can only imagine what my seat mate must think of my bawling, to day nothing of how I went to the lavatory with hair on my head but came out with a hat.
Right now it's still dark, but some Canadian lights are dining through from cities below. And right now my babies are at school, Super Husband™ having gotten them out.
I wonder if they noticed yet I'm gone.
I sat them both down last week and said that just like they have to do the mitzvah of honoring their patents, I had to do it as well, and so I had to go to America to do it. And they were both totally, totally fine with that. And I told them about all the plans I made of who they would be watched by and who they would play with, and they're all excited. Llama especially is psyched since she's been asking me for some Super Why books, and I've told her that they only have them in America, so she's been asking me to go to America for weeks already, so this to her is great.
Yesterday when there was a general national strike in the offing, I told Sroch that maybe I wasn't going that day, and she said, "oy, what about your mitzvah?"
Only as I put her to bed last night do I think she realized that hey, I really won't be around.
But they will be fine. Thank God they are secure, bright, well adjusted kids, poo poo poo. They will do fine.
And I... I shall miss them.
Monday, November 07, 2011
I enjoy the feeling of pride in being Israeli when I walk through the beautiful things we have, and the airport is an example of course. It really is lovely, even if my nostrils are on fire from the duty free perfume. And it's so not fair that when I travel without the kiddos, THAT is when they aren't doing free booze samples.
I may have to buy a beer on principle. Except I don't actually want one.
I feel so.. single, and by single, I mean married without kids. After all, it's three middle of the night now, so it's our norm that they are asleep and I am alone on my phone.
Tomorrow is when I'll feel the lack of them I think.
Okay, correction, I definitely feel like a mom, since I am educated enough to know those duty free toy prices are STILL insane.
Target, here I come!
Everyone looks vaguely like someone I know, but no one is.
We've got Christian pilgrimage people, fire fighters who did a exchange program with Israeli ones, some sullen lone men, a fifty treat old man with a sixteen year old hair cut and dye job... And a very, very small handful of people like me, that is, people who actually live here.
I like being special.
And I like not having to worry about anyone else's bladder.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Item: I am still young enough to have wanted to get caught and soaked, but old enough that after a couple minutes I was like, what was I thinking?
Anyway, enjoy the girlies, and pay no attention to the cut-and-paste marks around Sroch's head. It is HARD to get them both to smile at the same time!
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Because she wanted a Mimmy and Simmy cake. Of course she did. Practically, this meant a triple decker chocolate cake with roses on the sides. Generously, she didn't need the separate strawberry topper, which is a good thing, because strawberries are a) out of season, and b) apparently the source of all bugs in the universe, second only to asparagus. Or something.
So I made three round cakes, used up one thing of genuine Duncan Hines frosting to fill and frost them (it was ~$4.50 for the tub of frosting, which is about what I would have paid for that much margarine and powdered sugar and such), and then bought (for, um, more money) a thing of chocolate fondant to cover it with and make the roses.
Fondant is FUN, and makes you feel like you could make an outstandingly amazingly gorgeous cake SO easily. However, I now know if you put fondant on a lumpy cake, you will have lumpy fondant.
BUT Llama was beside herself with joy, and that is what mattered.
First covered with the frosting. Note the gaps between layers. It's to, um, save calories. That's it.
Then the initial fondant covering. Lost some glossiness by over dusting with starch so it wouldn't stick.
And don't forget the somewhat spastic roses. BTW, "Spastic Roses" would be a great name for a band.
What she wanted, and what I made. Bless her, she didn't see any difference between them.
Ever since I made it a week ago (until today when it was finally finished) she would just randomly stop what she was doing and run to the kitchen to peek, saying "my cake! My cake!" and then go about her business.
There ya have it, folks. She is now officially Big, although that doesn't mean she doesn't still have a pacifier and occasionally babbles and wants to be rocked.
Here are some beautiful pictures of the birthday girl. She just happened to have had a Torah party at school that day (her birthday was shabbos - the pics are from Friday) so that was her birthday crown too, cause hey, we're easy going like that.
Since her birthday (almost a week ago) she has nicely perfected the art of holding up three fingers. As you can see, it's not such an easy thing to do!
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
On behalf of the Committee of You've Got To Be Kidding, we were unamused.
That was a week ago yesterday, I think. We did more laundry last week than we do in a month. I became one of those mothers who change my children's sheets daily.
Oh, and Llama turned 3.
HELLO!!?!?!?!?! Who let her grow up!?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Monday, October 03, 2011
Oh. (WPO, natch)
Bottom one is Sroch's. She reports to me, when she shows it to me, "there isn't a door because they didn't have any money left to buy a door, because they are aniim (poor people)."
I turn to the ganenet and start to tell her what Sroch says, and she tells me Sroch already told her a whole story about those poor people in their house. She also said she's never seen a kid with an imagination like Sroch's.
Shepp shepp shepp shepp shepp.
When I finally made them come home for dinner, Llama was very upset. Why? "The rain didn't come yet!"
Soon, Llama darling. IY"H soon.
PS - that's gum in Sroch's mouth, lest you think she has some tooth growth disorder or something.
PPS - and so, darling grandmothers, no need to buy coats for the girlies for this winter :)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
"I did it because I want an extra mitzvah on my moznaim (scales)."
Wow. Nice education, gannenets!
So couple days later, when we're getting home from gan, I go pick up the mail and Sroch, totally educated and tuned into just about every aspect of Rosh Hashana by now, starts to holler, "Mommy, there's a maatafa, (envelope), we have to take it and put in tzedaka (charity)!"
Now, thank God, we live in a religious city in Israel. We have people knocking on our door collecting every day or two (or around holidays, several a day), and we get envelopes in the mail all the time. And we never, ever use them (we do recycle!) because we give our charity money to other places that we know and trust, not just any organization that sends us a leaflet (sadly, not all are legit).
Sroch has seen us throw away (um, recycle! Sometimes!) many, many of these. But she will NOT let this one go.
Upstairs we go, she grabs my wallet out of my bag and starts scrounging for cash. She finds 20 agurot (that's about 5 cents). She puts it in and asks for a stamp, and I tell her gently that it will cost far more to mail that than what we are donating.
"How much does it have to be?"
"Um, at least 5 shekel."
"Oh, good, so we need 3 more!"
Well, okay, great math skills for a five year old (5 minus 2 = 3, nice!) except, hmm, lack of comprehension that 5 10-agurot coins don't make 5 shekel, but nu nu.
"Sorry Sroch, I don't have any money."
Um. Long answer. Let's skip it.
"Sorry Sroch, we have to wait until Abba comes home. Maybe he has some money."
"No. We'll just put your credit card in the maatafa."
"Sroch, no, credit cards don't work like that."
"But you use them to pay for things!"
Um. Shoot. Am I allowed to drop the I'll-tell-you-when-you're-older?
WAAH!!! WAAH!!!! "But we HAVE to!!"
Fortunately, God loves me and I recall that outdated system called 'checks,' and I offer to write one.
So Sroch helps (she tears it off, then decorates the outside of the checkbook with her backwards Hebrew writing) and I write out a check for 18 shekel. We seal the envelope, and I tell her I'll mail it. I did so too, the next day.
Now, why do I find this story so remarkable?
Remember, gentle reader, this story that I sometimes tell Sroch at bedtime:
Once upon a time there was a man and a lady who were married and very happy, except they were also sad, because they didn't have any kinderlach. And so they davened and davened to Hashem for many years, and so did lots of other people, and then finally Hashem gave them a HUGE bracha of a wonderful little girl they named Sarah Rochel, and they were SO happy and everyone was SO happy for them!
For you see, the tzedaka organization Sroch insisted with all her might on us supporting was Bonei Olam - a Jewish infertility organization.
Like I said, they are a lot closer to God than we are.
And she's so rational and coherent, that I can't even remember later to blog what wonderful rational coherent things she said, because it was just talking to a Person, and you don't blog People.
Although yesterday she did ask for a different purple towel. I told her I didn't have one, and this, verbatim, enunciated, is what my 2 year old said:
"So why don't you go to the towel store and give them money and buy a new purple towel?"
Who says Llamas only hum?
Anyway, two cute things, this week she had a candy (okay, like every day she has candy, but whatever) and she sucked it for a bit, then swallowed and said, "my candy flew away from my mouth!" And then yesterday, when we were in the stroller, she said, squintingly, complaining, "the sun is looking at me!!"
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Except no one actually reads this. Except for you. Thanks, by the way.
Right, so, tonight's topic is Anger, a common theme when I blog before 8 PM, because it means that Bedtime was the Badtime, know what I'm saying?
It actually wasn't so heinous, is the truth - especially since a few minutes ago when Yoav walked in I walked out.
It was more like the afternoon. I am always totally and utterly amazed that these darling little creatures can get me angrier than anyone or anything else. Before they were born, I just about never got angry. Hurt, insulted, possibly indignant, but not seeing-red capital-A Angry, but with these precious little kinderlach? Gevalt, watch out.
Anger, as I mentioned in a shiur I gave (wow, people think I'm an actual rebbetzin or something) last week at Kever Rochel, is classically rooted in pride and an inability to accept God's will because our own will is more important. Hmm.
So today, when Sroch, Llama and I had to go to the dentist (Sroch = no cavities. Llama = refusal to have dentist examine her), then according to that I should have gotten angry because the bus didn't come. Nope. I should have gotten angry when the bus didn't follow the route I saw online but instead went to the other side of RBS, so I had to call Yoav to bail us out with the car (because I had no money for a cab) and we were late.. but no, that didn't make me angry.
What made me angry was my child (no need to name names, but you're smart, you'll figure it out) running away from me, not coming when I called, practically running into the street, occasionally hitting and kicking. ARGH!
Hey, this therapy by blogging is great. That's it: anger is due to pride. My hollering at my daughter and her ignoring me negates my motherly existence. Child, I am your MOTHER, and so help me you will LISTEN to your MOTHER, or ELSE! Grrrrrr!!!
So is it possible that it is my pride as The Mommy, and not my pride as Miriam, that is why I am angry?
And if so... well, isn't that appropriate? The children are obligated to listen to me - that's clear from the Torah. Chutzpa is one of the greatest sins, and are not willfully ignoring your parent and spiting them (hitting them!) perfect examples of chutzpa?? Are we not taught we should have a righteous anger to defend the Torah!?!
Yeah right. I should be on such a level.
I think the problem is even if I get angry for Noble Reasons, once the anger is there it percolates through my Coffee Filter Brain and creates the Brewed Beverage of Harshness.
... and with that metaphor, my therapeutic blogging ends, because I DON'T have the solution. Yes, my children have to listen to me. No, I should not waive my motherability by allowing them to forgo that. My challenge is to be stringent on that point without actually seeing red. (Item: walking home from the dentist with the offender strapped into the stroller somewhat forcefully, we passed the pediatrician, and it occurred to me to threaten the child that if she didn't listen, I'd have to take her to the doctor to get a shot to make her listen. I mean, I didn't SAY it, but it DID come to mind!)
Feeling a little better.
Do we have any chocolate?
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
On Twitter (thanks @bydahway) I got linked to this recipe: 1 Minute Peanut Butter Cake. Now 'cake' isn't strictly accurate, more like 'cup-o-goo' but wowsa, it's yummy AND I think it's actually healthier than the honey-coated corn flakes they eat for breakfast.
It has an egg.
And peanut butter.
And whole wheat flour.
Hello! This is health food! If it actually had banana in it, I would feed it to them day and night.
Because, gentle reader, they both ate it!
And, ahem, um, we both had a bite or two as well.
For a picky almost 3 year old and a skinny 5 year old.
And, most likely, no one else!
Monday, September 05, 2011
- Llama, on the way to gan: "I like Morah Rivki's gan!" I, with false security, paused at drop off to talk to the morah for a couple minutes, resulting in Llama realizing I was still there and then needing to be peeled off of me, crying. Oh well.
- Only one pair of wet underthings today. Woo hoo!
- Yes, Llama's.
- Llama still doesn't want to be big. For example...
Remember I mentioned lots of baby-ish regression? This was her temporary crib in her 'house' (Sroch's too, clearly. Nice flexibility, no?).
So anyway, now that she's doing the whole toileting thing (and yes, thank you Hashem, we're on the toilet now, so I can stop cleaning out the little plastic potty) to say nothing of gan shalosh, Llama recognizes that she isn't little anymore.
But she still doesn't want to be big.
Her new label: "I'm big little."
- Sroch came home from school in her inimitable fashion of repeating like everything the teacher taught that day. Well, give or take. I continue to delight in her ability to understand the different teachers - nice to know this year's are able to reach her as well, bli ayin hara. Of course, Llama is still working on her language acquisition; she learned to say "I don't let!" in Hebrew this week.
- Sroch continues to choose to wear her Land's End oxford shirts to gan, preferring them to others (I think because they look like first grader shirts - fortunately, the ones she has we got for $6 each on clearance, phew). I can only imagine what her new teachers think of her. Kindergarten preppy comes to Ramat Beit Shemesh. There goes the neighborhood. ;)
(I actually thought she was so impossibly deliciously gorgeous today in her shirt and belt and denim skirt I didn't want her to get in pajamas.)
(And yet, I overcame that.)
Thinking question: Can you really call it recess when they are 2 years old, and their 'school work' involves Lego(TM)? Discuss.
Anyway, last Wednesday afternoon we went off to the beach, as our one-afternoon-long Official Summer Vacation. That way my children, who have been bounced from camp to kaytana to camp all summer, could feel like they had an actual Summer Vacation.
(True story: in the backseat on the way to beach, Sroch actually said: "This is our vacation? I can't wait to tell Rina and Elisheva I had a vacation!")
Thinking question: Does contributing to the Israeli economy as well as keeping the family solvent "excuse" the Druyan parents from allowing their children to experience boredom, sunburns and long lines that are normal Summer Vacation staples? Cite examples.
So off we went to Ashdod, planning on just not blogging about it if there were any missile attacks while we were there! Ha ha ha! Just kidding! Except we weren't kidding! Sigh. Long summer.
ANYWAY, I was worried, because the last time I took Sroch to the beach, she was miserable, it was miserable, all was misery, etc, etc. (BTW, how predictable am I that that post also has discussion questions? Egad, no new humor Druyan!)
BUT - this was awesome!
We found a deserted spot, and waded on in. The girlies both loved the sand, loved the water, loved it all, didn't want to leave, didn't complain about sand all over them or even their dinner (not that they ate it anyway), wanted to take home ALL the shells, etc, etc.
(At one point, Llama is standing in the water with Yoav, and she asks to walk in more. He does. She asks MORE - they go. Then she points to the tankers on the horizon and says, "let's go there.")
Yoav and I weren't dressed to swim, just to wade, which is good because the idea of taking my kids into water deeper than my knees where a big old wave (or shark - or missile - or gosh, I don't know, hostile seaweed) would have access to them, yeah, well, I'm not old enough yet.
(Another true story: friend of mine at work had her daughter in the sea with her in a little inner tube thing - and a wave came up suddenly and flipped over the tube with her like 3 year old in it. Heart palpitations just thinking about it. B"H, kid didn't slip out, but, yeah, way too scary for me. If we go swimming for real in the water, my children will be duct-taped to me.)
(Gorilla taped, actually.)
(Maybe surgically stitched. But I digress.)
So we had a great time, even practicing our alef-bais in the sand so Sroch also got her Official Summer Enrichment in there too. Man are we the awesomest parents around or what?
Thinking question: Or what?
A special shout out to Tali, who just left today after being an honorary Druyan for the last few weeks. Klita kalah and good luck madricha-ing, and I hope we remember how to wash dishes again!
Well, not really. You know.
|Llama endeavored to empty the ocean, bucket by diligent bucket. She must have made ten trips back and forth, chubby little feet pounding through the 15 feet of coarse sand back to our base camp. Way to go, Llama. You go girl.|
|We let them wade in about up to their waists. They would have kept going. We held very, very, very tightly to those little hands.|
And SPEAKING of underwear... poo poo poo!
Wait a second. Did she mean that literally? What is with her anyway?
Seriously, Llama is really doing awesome with this whole undies big girl thing. She embraces the daily return to pajamas (pajama time = diaper time) but she's really doing very well at home and the first couple days of school. Over shabbos she was perfect except for one very memorable "gadol" accident at Mamma Nechy's house (if you know what I mean and I think you do!) - sorry about that Nech. Welcome to RBS! Ha ha!
Today was the first full day at gan (8 AM - 4 PM) and as we expected, she came home damp (of course, the dry two extra pair, extra skirt and extra socks were all still in the tik, so it's possible she didn't enpuddlize, but was a little tardy to toilet), but hey, we are On The Way.
Poo poo poo.
Which reminds me of the picture of our beach trip we failed to take, watching Yoav walk off into the sunset with a child, a spade, a plastic bag and some wipes - but some memories, perhaps, it's okay to release your tight grip upon.
Was that sentence even legal, grammatically? Discuss with examples and participles. No diphthongs, though - this was a family beach outing.
Friday, September 02, 2011
Spoke too soon.
When I left Llama there yesterday, she was sitting at a table and looking at toys, was perfectly fine, etc. When I went to pick her up, though, other mothers told me when they had dropped off their daughters, they had sat with and tried to comfort Llama, who was freaking out.
Oysh. Poor Llams.
I asked her then WHY she had been crying. "Because I wanted to!!" You were sad? "Yes." Why were you sad? "Because I wanted to be sad."
So today when I went to drop her off, not surprisingly, she had a freak attack as well, but she didn't wait for me to leave to begin it. In the end, the ganenet preferred that I not stay with her in the gan and try to settle her, but just to leave. So I took her outside with me for a couple minutes to calm her down (hah!) which she did - and then we went inside and let the morah pry her hysterical body off of mine.
It is hard to remember that Sroch also had to be pried off of me at times at the beginning of gan shalosh. But upon reflection, she did.
Llama will get there. She just seemed so little today, it was hard to feel confident in my choice to put her in Real Gan this year.
(PS: underwear is going well so far, bli ayin hara - although, much like gan, there's a bit of crying and kicking involved. Sigh.)
Thursday, September 01, 2011
May they make friends, have friends, be friends.
May they eat their sandwiches.
May they get to the toilet on time. May they recall the use of toilet paper.
May they keep their fingers out of door cracks, drains, nail-y boards from the construction, and the noses of all.
May the morahs learn their names, and their strengths.
May an alef look like an alef, and not backwards, upside down or wavy.
When (can I pray for if?) they have an accident, may they not feel shamed.
May these 'real school' steps - the first step for Llama, the third step for Srochel - into the world of learning be sure, steady and secure. And may they laugh, and sing, and dance.
And eat the ENTIRE sandwich, darn it.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
We're trying something new, so please follow this LINK to see the pictures I put on Facebook already. I tested it, you don't need to join FB or even be my 'friend' (gevalt) to see them.
I will sum up the parties for you:
- Sroch does a long series of songs and 'tnuot' (movements) that are loosely tied together by a common theme (bought from the catalog of Themes for Gan Parties (TM)) featuring the different parts of the day. My favorite was the song on the theme of, "the other girl's sandwich always looks better than mine, but I'm going to eat mine anyway and not complain because my mommy made it for me with love." Good education gives me goosebumps.
- Yes, I cried. Sroch was awesome.
- Llama had a brachos-stations party theme, just like Sroch did at Morah Shoshana (shoot, never blogged that either, MAN!), with lots of running around and getting a necklace of salty snack thing at the Shehakol table, grape juice at the Hagafen table, play-doh carrot at the Adama table, orange stickers at the Haetz table, and braiding challah at the Hamotzi table.
- I didn't cry. But Llama is total awesome.
After gan ended, it was time for A Series of Fortunate Kaytanot (camps). Llama was at Morah Shoshi for most of it (every day, 9 AM (never got her there on time at 8) to 4 PM). Sroch was at Camp Kinderlach (she will happily recite about 10 hours of exported American cheers for you any time you like, and several you may not) (seriously though, it's a fantastic camp) for several weeks (every day, 9 AM to 3 PM). And now the two of them are together at Mrs. Lewin's Camp (TM) across the street, every day 8:45 AM to 1 PM. Thank God Yoav has been home in the afternoons these last couple of weeks.
I, of course, have been at Camp TalknSave, which is YOUR cell phone company in Israel, of course. We actually rock - I'm really proud to be working there.
It's now late Tuesday (um, shoot, early Wednesday). The girls IY"H start school on Thursday! Of course Llama may not have a classroom yet and there's still many rumors about whether or not they will have a tzaharon AT ALL but by golly gee it's going to be AMAZING!
God will work it out. He always does.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Bad news: Llama snores.
Good news: Sroch is used to it.
"Doesn't mind snoring" I would think would get bonus points on the old shidduch resume. And as for Llama, we'll just buy her those nose strips before the wedding.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Here's the lady of the house, sharing with a guest.
Crying on the floor like an infant.
Not talking at all.
Playing with food (well, in a more infantile way than the mature two year old way).
Asking to be the baby.
And never, never, never saying yes to wearing underwear since the two days she tried it in gan and came home with wet socks. We even went to a toy store and she showed me what she would like to have - but when I offered it in exchange for toilet training, she said "nope!"
As I mentioned, right after Potty Day, she did try wearing underwear to gan for two days, and so now we have had three actual Uses of Toilet / Potty:
The Sunday and Monday after Potty Day, we used the toilet two times at gan (the teacher told me). Go us! But then also had accidents at said gan (item: impossible to get urine smell out of plastic shabbos shoes), and have refused to wear underwear ever since... UNTIL TONIGHT!
After our bath tonight, we asked to put on underwear, whereupon both of my overtired children sprinted around the house in merely their flowery or Dora-y undies, until Llama said - "I need to make!"
And she WENT TO THE POTTY AND USED IT.
This was the first time she did it at OUR HOUSE!! Such a fuss we made - clapping and singing and dancing and giving her a toffee (hmm, could that be the reason she didn't fall asleep for 90 minutes after bedtime? Yup!) and a new sticker chart and everything. Yay!!
Of course, when it was time to get into bed (sigh, mixed messages) she first said "I want my diaper on top of the underwear" but then thought about a PullUp - nixed it - then opted for only diaper AND asked to sleep in her cribby.
Um, we put the cribby away a month ago kid.
So I whispered in her ear, once again, a secret: "You can wear underwear and still be little!" She laughed and said okay.
The truth is, the last three or four days, she's been telling me each time she wets her diaper, so it may just all be clicking physically along with mentally finally being willing to Grow Up.
A little, anyway.
Yay Llama! Go underwear girl, go!
Monday, August 08, 2011
Like a large chunk of the Jewish world, I heard about him first when he was reported missing, and Jews were mobilizing to search for him and daven for him. I davened too, actually a bit more and with more intent and emotion than I usually daven for strangers. Premonition?
Like many, after he had been missing for more than a day, I was quietly sure in my heart that he was no longer alive, and at that point my tfilos increased, and also changed, praying that he would miraculously be found alive and whole but at least that he shouldn't have suffered. Because while I can understand that sometimes a 8 year old child has to leave this world, it is very, very difficult that an 8 year old child should have to suffer.
And then, when the truth emerged, the truth was beyond what my morbid, youth-spent-watching-cable-television mind could have thought of. While the facts could possibly indicate that somehow maybe Leiby didn't suffer too much, if he was drugged perhaps, the bald facts were so devastating, so gruesome, so searingly painful that when I read the first news reports I had trouble catching my breath.
And my first thoughts were not of my own children.
They were of Leiby's mother.
But quickly, quickly they did turn to my children, and to all children, and the thought came into my mind and would not leave and that was: Why, WHY strive to bring children into this world if they can be hurt so? Why, WHY would you do you that? Sure, if you happen to have a baby, okay, fine, but for people like us who had to really work hard to have children - why do such a thing? Who cares what the odds are. There is so much evil in the world, and the evil is of such a blackness and utter depravity that it cannot be purged, then why, WHY risk it?!
I have never had a fear of death. I still don't. But the fear of pain - that I have. The fear of my CHILDREN being in pain? It's paralyzing.
And I couldn't let that go. It took a sobbing conversation from the side of the highway (I was crying too much to drive home) with my wise mother to remind me of that critical point: Life is precious. Every moment, every breath, is precious, and worth fighting for, worth increasing.
Here I am on the floor again. It's Tisha b'Av - again (previous Tisha b'Av posts here here and here). There has been a ton written about how the entire Leiby Kletzky tragedy has done so much for Jewish unity - from the pray-ers and searchers to the mourners. Thousands have been raised already for good deeds in his memory. His parents and their reaction have inspired countless people.
Me, I still get that catch in my throat when I think about his mother, and how she much feel, when I think about what his last few hours may have been like. But I push it aside, because I have to go about my day. I may squeeze my daughters tighter to me in a rush of animal protectiveness, but I do let go. I push it aside.
I push it aside... for Tisha b'Av.
This is our official day of mourning, and in an inverse parallel of the Pesach seder, if this had been our only tragedy, dayeinu - it would have been enough.
If the Holocaust had been our only tragedy, dayeinu for a day of sitting on the floor.
If the pogroms, the Cossacks, the Inquisition had been it - dayeinu for a day of fasting, praying, crying.
But it's everything all together. All of those, the expulsions, the destructions, the murders, the missing Israel soldiers, the blood libels, the horrific car crashes, the everything.
But this year Hashem gave us Leiby Kletzky as the object lesson of this Tisha b'Av. He gave us a very direct way to feel the pain (note: as horrified as I have been by this tragedy, I am not so naive to think that this is the first Jewish child to be abducted and grossly murdered. But it is the first that I prayed for, watched for, tweeted for, before his death happened).
As I sat here on the floor for the seuda mafsekes (last meal before the fast, having chased Sroch and Llama both back to bed but not before they had a bite of my hardboiled egg with ash), I was descending into the numb silence of Tisha b'Av, and when I bentched I enunciated each Hebrew word perfectly in a sort of daze - and I noticed the last line of bentching, the line with which I began Tisha b'Av (because, not surprisingly, we were running late enough to run right up into sunset):
Hashem yivarech es amo ba shalom - God will bless his people with peace.
Since Leiby Kletzky was killed, I think of him every week (well, I think of him lots of times a week, but specifically...) when I daven for my girlies after I light shabbos candles every week. Now added to the litany of the things I pray for for them - health and wisdom and obedience (ahem) and kindness and their husbands and so on - I added that they should be safe.
It's odd, living in Israel which so many consider to be a war zone, that I never thought to pray for them to be safe before. But now I do pray - and only pray. I cannot lock them up in a tall tower, as I've publicly wished to do so so many times before. I cannot disallow them from going anywhere alone (item: Sroch sometimes takes Llama to gan on her own (after I 'cross her the street') - although I do surreptitiously trail them to make sure all is well, some of the time).
But it's something else to pray for, their safety.
And the lack of it is something else to mourn for, on this day of mourning.
To mourn for, and then move on.
....EDIT: to contribute to the Leiby Kletzky memorial fund, click here.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Aside: this process is much harder when the subject is so hoarse I can't understand anything she's saying.
8:49: bad parenting to the rescue! We're going to watch a video!
9:36: Um, don't you have to go yet?
10:08: like seriously kid... and stop crying because we turned off Elmo!
12:38 PM: I don't believe this. She still hasn't 'made' anything, in or out of the potty. Isn't there a statute of limitations on a two year old's bladder?
1:15: Sroch is home, and she decides to take Llama to the bathroom with her. So away they go and then I hear Sroch's "Oh!!!!!". I sprint, Llama is standing a foot from her potty and starting to sob. I thrust her onto the potty, and she stays there, crying throughout.
Anyway, we get cleaned up and she helps clean up too, very nicely. Clean underwear, okay, we're back in the game.
1:45: Llama starts crying that she wants her diaper and she wants to be little. I ask her if she needs to go to the bathroom, anything - nothing, nothing, only semi-hysterical open mouthed sobbing (remember, she's hoarse, I can hardly understand her when she talks and she's pretty much opting not to talk). She's beside herself, and I realize... perhaps this is not going to work by force.
1:50: in a diaper, which (I know you're all suspecting) she does NOT then immediately fill. I make her pack away all of her adorable undies that she picked out herself, and summon my full parenting wisdom and manage to say in a smiling, encouraging way that I know when SHE is ready to wear them, she'll let me know. Smile, beam, smile, turn away and mutter grumbly things.
Llama goes over to the gold chair to lie down. I ask if she wants to go to sleep - No, don't want to take a nap! Okay, fine.
2:11: Fast asleep. Huh. I guess it was a stressful morning.
Shoot. Now what?
Thursday, July 28, 2011
These were last night. She's a bit better today. She kept walking around yesterday saying (squeaking) "my vol got lost" (could 'vol' be a contraction of 'voice' and 'kol' (which is voice in Hebrew?).
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
1/2 a tank of gas (ooh, good mileage!)
2.5 energy drinks (for me, not the kids)
7 pieces of string cheese
10 soy hot dogs
1 package smiley cookies
(assorted shabbos treats)
9.5 times listening to Uncle Moishy Volume 3
8 "why aren't we there yet"s from Sroch
4 "I want to go home! Want go Beit Shemesh!" from Llama
2 "don't want Beit Shemesh!" from Llama (upon return)
1 fall-and-topple-over-a-chair-in-the-Ari-shul-in-the-middle-of-shemone-esrei-and-cry-hysterically incident
...all equaled a lovely shabbos in Tzfat, where we went to join Yoav who was there with camp.
Sroch on the way out, "Mommy, we can't leave Tzfat*!" Why, Sroch? "Because it's just too beautiful!"
*For most of the trip she kept calling it Bnei Brak. I'm pretty sure she knew the difference. Pretty sure.
So maybe neither girl slept as much in the car as she should have. Nu nu.
So I give her a whole pack.
So she gets up every two minutes to throw her tissue in the garbage.
So I tell her to leave the dirty ones in the bed, and we'll throw them all away in the morning.
Whoops - as I type, here she comes... ah. Sippy cup refill.
My prediction: soon she'll come out asking for more tissues, as she will have finished the entire package and will be sleeping in a bed of pristine-but-crumpled tissues.
***Edit: so far, safe on the tissues, but she's already come out again for a diaper change (unnecessary). She is exhausting her arsenal, though - and her mother.
****Edit again: she came back out to ask for powder for her tushy. Tough kiddo. Back in bed!
This is what it's supposed to look like in there:
*****Surprise! And this time she says...nothing. Out of ideas. I gave her the Big Girl Bed ultimatum (threat of crib) and before I can finish typing this sentence, she's back! Argh!... Okay, put her in the crib, she cries, offer her another chance, sad nod, back in the bed.
********No sooner did I click 'publish post' did she come out - again! Cry cry cry, Sroch is stirring, so I did what any good mother would do.
I dumped the child into her father's bed.
Off to wash dishes. Goodnight!
Monday, July 04, 2011
It's 10:30 and they're still awake!!
Sroch just popped out (for the millionth time) and said, "Mommy, can you turn off the air conditioner, because it makes me think Savta is already here!"
Oh, the things kiddos notice... :)
I never blogged about Sroch's ballet recital.
I never blogged about Llama's slow transition to wanting to be 'big' and not 'little', so far culminating in her having slept one night in the Little Bed (as opposed to Tall Bed (Sroch's) or Cribby) and many, many random stalling trips to 'make' that have not once yet resulted in actual production of bodily fluids on the receptacle.
I never blogged about Sroch's end of the year party.
I never blogged about how Llama refuses to wear short-sleeves, pants, short skirts and wants only socks that go "all the way," or tights, ideally. Sheesh! She's 2!
I never blogged about how both of my children have recently asked me if there's a baby inside my belly (ahem. I am not aware of any such developments, just to confirm, but harumph!) (I choose to believe it's due to everyone having a baby lately, and not my petite self).
I never blogged about Shavuos at Cheryl's house. I never blogged about my show. And shoot, I never got around to blogging Sroch's 5th birthday. Booger!
I never blogged about how we are like the worst parents in the world, in such denial that our baby will be 3 before we know it but when she's fussing and grumpy we go get her pacifier so as to calm her - and not because she asks for it, but because we think she's a baby! But she's not!
I never blogged about how my neighbor figured out why I cry at EVERY little thing - but that at least really deserves a blog post.
I never blogged this conversation:
Mommy: Yes Llama?
Llama: Not you Mommy, dis Mommy!
Sroch: Mommy, she keeps calling me mommy, and I don't like it!
Mommy: Maybe because that's because you always play with her pretending to be the mommy?
Sroch: Well now I don't like it.
Mommy: So tell her.
Sroch: Fine. Llamis? Srochel doesn't want to be the mommy. Please don't call me mommy anymore, okay?
Llama: You mommy!
Mommy: (collapses in laughter)
And I never posted any of these adorable pictures. How silly of me.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Note the people pouring oil into the fire drum in the background. The shul actually was selling bottles as a fundraiser. Or something. It was nice - the music and the singers and the contained fire and the free ice pops for the kiddos and there were even chairs for tired parents to sit in.
Yes, that's the back of my building in the background. Yes our windows were as tightly closed as possible and - guess what - it wasn't tight enough. But by morning I no longer smelled charred debris in my living room.
Today, the girlies went off to Yeladudis, and I went to... work. Oh well.
Oh, and B"H Llama had strep (yay! an actual diagnosis!) so she's on antibiotics and a whole lotta better, which is such a blessing, because she had gotten to the point where she was spitting out oral acetaminophen and screeching in horror for non-oral acetaminophen (ditto ibuprofen) so I was just letting her (low) fever go untreated - but she LIKES the nasty bubble gum medicine, so all's well. My kind of illness.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Note - this isn't including dirty linens (just from our guests - thank you GOD Sroch's sheets have been dry dry dry lately, BLI AYIN HARA!) (I mean, don't sniff them too closely or nuthin, but they're dry in the morning).
And yes, I adore having to separate darks - lights - pinks. :)
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Sunday, May 08, 2011
"Don't worry, it's not shabbos now. It's a different siren."
I hope she won't ask, I hope she won't ask... but she does.
"So why are they making it?"
"Well, Sroch, some yidden decided that today would be a good day to remember the chayalim, the soldiers, who were hurt or died to protect yidden. So they have a siren to remind them that they want to remember the chayalim."
"Why do we have chayalim?"
Do I have to? Do I have to hurt her safe world-view, her peace?
Yes. Yes, I have to.
So, gently, I say, "You're very smart, right? You already learned so much about Chanuka, and Purim and Pesach? Right you know that Antiochus was bad, and wanted to hurt yidden, and Achashverosh and Haman were bad, and wanted to hurt yidden, and Paroh too, right? Well, even today, there are people who want to hurt the yidden. So that's why we have chalayim, to fight for us, to stop the bad people. Hashem is the one who lets them win, of course, but we have chayalim to fight for us."
Untroubled, Sroch says, factually, confidently, "But Hashem doesn't let yidden not win! Because we're tzadikim!"
Mommy stops to catch her breath because she's crying so hard.
"Srochel love, you're right, Hashem will never let all the yidden die, Hashem will never let all the yidden go away. Never ever. But... but sometimes, sometimes some of the chayalim, sometimes some of us get hurt or even die." Collect myself for a moment. "But no, Hashem will never let the yidden all die."
"Right, because even when we die, we're not really dead, we're just not in this world, we're not dead we're just in shamayim."
And she smiles at me, and curls up in bed, peacefully, because there's nothing to be afraid of. A siren at bedtime isn't something scary.
Hashem will always make the yidden win, and we will never die.
Why does this come to mind?
Sroch went to a friend's house for shaloshudas on shabbos. Her mother just emailed me this:
"SR said you are going to Mexico (just you and Yoav not the kids) on Monday.
She didn't know when you are coming back, so she mentioned something about moving in indefinitely."
Where do they get this stuff?
Friday, May 06, 2011
We hosted the seuda at our house, but everything was done. The shaloch manos had been efficiently delivered in the morning. Llama was sleeping - Sroch was getting a Purim treat of watching Rebbetzin Tap (the only video she watches outside of an airplane), megilla readings were done... and there was time to relax. Chill. Organize gobs of candy and baked goods.
It was a good Purim, Baruch Hashem.
A neighbor put together a special little-children's-only megilla reading, one with lots of Hamans and not too much else, but something that gave the children a feel of the mitzva. That thoughtfully took place concurrent to our in-house reading, so the kids were out of the house. Remember two years ago when I had to nurse Llama in the middle of laining?
That was like 10 years ago.
Odd since Sroch is 5, but I digress.
Llama adamantly refused to wear the fancy Disney glittery kalla costume she had tried on so willingly a week before (that then had to be pried off of her), but fortunately she was perfectly happy with Sroch's old princess costume as Esther Hamalka. Sroch was just a princess, but didn't we know that already?
We ate outside in the backyard for the seuda, with the Weinrebs and Hollanders.
A wonderful time was had by all.
A little high-tech work with good old Microsoft Paint (I would be nothing without it) and voila, adorable children holding massive lollypops (which then themselves were part of the shaloch manos). Cute as little buttons, and collectible too - trade with your friends! They each gave out ones with themselves alone, and our 'family' ones were with the two of them together.
More about Purim to be posted another time, possibly, before Chanuka next. :)
(And there's only like three of you reading anyway)