Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kindnesses

My husband, the girlies and I are this little nucleus of blended Rosenblatt and Druyan ensconced a hemisphere away from our parents and (especially in my case) extended uncles and aunts and grandparents and such. Thanks to the kindness of Hashem, what with cellphones, Skype and the like, to say nothing of the occasional plane journey, we can still maintain a lot of connection. If this were, say, 100 years ago, or even 20 years ago, I don't know that I would have been as okay with living so far away from them all.

(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 so here I am, in my microcosm of family here, far from the stormy changes in my family there, far from the grief and mourners. And my distance is, itself, a kindness, since if we lived there, these storms would be so hard on my children who are, still, so very young.

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

America

Soy Starbucks latte.
Target.
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.
.
.
...and family.

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Will miss the one here, can't wait to see the one there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Over Canada

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

On the airplane

Boarding: I'm thinking, how can I bedding this without my kids??!

And

How on EARTH do I EVER do this with my kids??!

Signing off!

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In the airport 4

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.

Shah. Whatever.

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!

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In the airport 3

Passport control hall. Way different without your companions running laps.

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In the airport 2

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.

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In the airport 1

On line for check in. It is now odd, and yet familiar, to be doing this alone.

I miss my little people.

That said, I don't miss the feeling of dread that I will have to amuse them for the next twenty hours of travel.

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Winter is here!

I got caught in a torrential downpour today.

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!

Mouths of 3 year old babes

Butterpum - butterfly

Paghetti - the long skinny pasta

Toooshi - where the "poop in my belly" goes out from

And my current favorite, for that box with the moving pictures, hellavision

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Llamavideo

Ending our Llama-fest for the night, we have some video of Llams before Yom Kippur, including her showing me her kapparos chicken from gan. Love the smush.



Llama's cake

Never ask an almost-three-year-old what kind of birthday cake she wants when she is in possession of a Mimmy and Simmy book.

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.

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Llamis turned 3 (!!!)

"I'm not big little anymore. I'm a BIG girl!"

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!




Just in case you forgot, Sroch is 5, Llama is 3. There will be a quiz.

.

Is this thing on?

Need to blog about Sukkos, and Llama turning 3 of course. Already mentioned the lice (pooey).

Okay, I'm on it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I sum up

We had lice. 51 bugs, all in SR's hair (and I'm not telling which) except for 1 in my hair.

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.

Scratch, scratch.


Oh, and Llama turned 3.

HELLO!!?!?!?!?! Who let her grow up!?