Monday, December 31, 2012

Bedtime story

So tonight I told my daughters the story of two friends, C and R, who liked to do shows together. But then they had to grow up and get married, and R moved to Israel before C so they were apart. 

R wasn't doing any shows now, so she and her friend E got together to bake a lot of cakes for E's father's tzedaka.

But then C came to Israel! And they all decided to do a show for E's father's tzedaka!

Then I told the story of two more friends, Tamar and Miriam, who saw a sign about the show. And now Tamar and Miriam and R and C were all friends AND they made money for E's father's tzedaka!

THEN I told the story of two people who were in the next show together, Miriam and Sarah, and how THEY became friends too! And on and on!

And best of all, how they all made so much money for tzedaka! 

"What," asks the 6 year old, "does the tzedaka do?"

"It helps people who don't have kinderlach."

"Ah!," says the 6 year old, "so the money came back to you! But hmmm... How did you get the money?" (She's sitting up now, head cocked, tapping her chin with her forefinger as she contemplates. "And how did they help you have kinderlach?"

At this point, I moved on quickly to my favorite part of the story:

You see, there are two MORE girls to tell about, named Sarah Rochel and Shulamis Rivka, and if it wasn't for them, then their mommy wouldn't be able to do the show! Because, you see, when their mommy goes to shows and rehearsals they don't scream, they don't kvetch. 

"Why Mommy," asks Sroch, "would we scream and kvetch?" 

"Well, Sarah Rochel," I replied, "some kinderlach do."

"But it makes no sense," she said, "since you're going to a rehearsal, it's not like you're going away and not coming back!" She gives a hearty 'huh' as she contemplates those children of lesser minds who cannot grasp maternal object permanence. 

"Right! And because you let me go, I can help make money for tzedaka!"

"And then," Sroch says, eyes filled with wonder, "we get part of the mitzvah too!"

And so they do.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Strep-induced dreams

Yup. Be wary of driving your daddy's Lexus down Braeswood at midnight with three Maccabeats in the backseat, because that Egged bus might come out of nowhere and shore your whole headlight off, just because you're on the wrong side of the road cause you're lost and can't find Fondren, and then one of the people on the bus will take a picture of your license plate and post it on Facebook and your brother will see it and comment "uh oh".

Yes, I have strep. It's four AM. I'm taking my second antibiotic and going back to bed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Coming soon:

-The Bathtub ABC Queens



-Mommy The Hair-Cutter Strikes Back

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Just as prayerful

During the war of southern aggression (that's a joke only I'll get. Oh well) it was totally wonderful and splendid to see and hear and feel all of the world praying for us to be safe and secure and missile free.

Now that bli ayin hara we've had several days of being missile free, I wish I'd see and hear and feel the entire world being grateful for the same.

But we're grateful, Hashem. We're grateful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More war bits

Things we should outlaw during wars

  • All white noise anythings in the whole entire world. Including but not limited to...
    • Trucks
    • Certain air conditioners (especially when they start up)
    • Police or ambulance sirens
    • Howling jackals in the hills
    • Children pretending to make air raid siren noises. Ha. Ha ha. Boosh.
  • Anything that creates a doppler sound effect, like for example: movement. Just stay still, 'kay?
  • Whatever the heck it is that has been humming in a high pitched fashion across the street from me
  • Car speaker phones / radios when they are on Loud and the car door is opened - especially when
    they are blaring news of a siren elsewhere.
Things war seems to outlaw on all its own
  • Productivity at work (sorry TnS)
  • Sleeping soundly
  • The ability to not check the news
  • The interest to wash dishes
  • The interest to play the perfect Words With Friends word
  • (my favorite) Divisiveness in the community.

Bits and pieces of war - part one

We've had drills about what to do if there's a siren. The siren, the siren - the siren was the big topic for a few days. Now finally Sroch realizes fully that the siren means there's a rocket behind it. She's hasn't been scared... but tonight at bedtime we had to say lots of extra tehillim and she wants me to move her into the mamad (secure room) for the night ("with all of my toys and my blankies and my sippy cup and my pajamas and my blanket because I don't want a rocket to come and blow them all up").

Okay, maybe she's scared. But bless her religious heart, she also knows it's tehillim and prayer and God who will protect her.

Llama isn't scared, and enjoyed the running-to-the-mamad drills very much. They haven't actually drilled with her in school, but Sroch has. 

Last night at parent-teacher conferences, I saw taped around the school the various class names (Sroch is 1א), where they are supposed to stand in case of a siren. The school doesn't have nearly enough mamad space for all 600+ students, but lots of partially-underground reinforced rooms with no windows. 

We are also spoiled here, in Beit Shemesh. If there's a missile shot here, God forbid, we have like over a minute to get into place. 

Yes, over a minute to run to shelter is the good life here in Israel.

Listening to the radio, it's hard to get through a song or a commercial sometimes without the interruption of a code red and the accompanying city name. Towns near the Gazan border that I've never heard of before are a constant refrain. And always the fear that the next one will be... Beit Shemesh.

The fear is not that I or mine will be hurt, chas veshalom. My fear is that my children will fear. But as of tonight's bedtime... that may be happening anyway. 

On the other side, the cohesiveness and unity of Jews all over Israel is tangible, like a warm cuddly blanket of unification. And the announcer on the radio, asking for a summary of the day's military news, prompted the reporter with - "What miracles do you have to report to us today?"

We're seeing miracles. We're living miracles. No God - we don't take it for granted.

More to come later. I have to go to a bar mitzvah now, because yes, B"H, simchas still go on. As will the Jewish people, forever and ever, amen.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Status update

Okay! Normal Thursday night! Make a shabbos menu. Start cooking. Throw in a load of laundry. Stash some chocolate and water in the ממ''ד (secure room). Post on Facebook. Wish for a beer. Put the tehillim in the secure room too. Kiss the kids an extra time. Play some Words With Friends. Get angry. Get sad. Daven some more.

Refresh news site. Refresh news site. Refresh news site.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Sroch, aged six, looked at the newspaper at a picture of Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama.

She pointed to Mr. Romney and said, "That's the one they should choose."

Why, Sroch?

"He looks nicer."

... We'll see, kiddo. We'll see.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Mazal tov to the H's, who just had their second son, and invited us to be the kvaters at the bris.

We've been kvater to many, many babies. The kvater & kvaterin are the couple who bring the child to the ceremony, i.e. I take the baby from the mother, pass him to Yoav, who takes him to the father and the mohel, etc. And then in reverse when the bris is done.

This is a traditional segula (translation = happy spiritual hint or push to God or something like that) for a couple to have children. It's also more or less tied into the godparent role. For a family like the H's, we were chosen not just because we do not yet have a son of our own, but also because of how close we are to them.

I honestly cannot recall how many times or each family for whom we were kavter. Lots of times, before the girls were born, but barely ever SINCE they were born.

Unlike many couples who wait a long time for their kids, we never minded being kvater, never felt it was shameful or insulting or nebby or pathetic. We were happy to do it - such a mitzvah! And who's to say that all those kvatering jobs didn't pay off big time in our two girlies? Not we.

It's funny - my girlies are such wonderful worlds unto themselves. They are perfect, delicious, wonderful. So why do we still want another child?

I asked a friend that, after she and I had had our firsts (us after waiting 6.5 years, she after 10 years). I said - My Sarah is so perfect, why would I need any more of her?

And she answered - MY Sarah is so perfect, I want a dozen more.

(Bli ayin hara, I believe she by now has five more - wow!)

So bring on the kvater jobs, friends. Bring them on.

Friday, November 02, 2012

For the first time in over 6-and-a-half-years...

...We went to the grocery store, and did not care if diapers were on sale or not.

... I did not look at the wipes, the pacifiers, the baby foods.

... I have no idea what formula costs anymore.

This should be exciting.

It's not.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Well, I voted

(image lifted via Google from, which I never read and could be full of puppy-beating and candycorn-razor instructions for all I know. Ah, the internet. )

As the song goes, I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free to vote for the gentleman (or occasionally gentlewoman) I think will represent my interests best without getting me or him/herself killed, expelled, violated or impoverished.


We've got an election coming up here in Israel too, but for some reason that seems simpler. The American candidates are, in many ways, unknown to me. But here in Israel? Nah, we're all family. Sure, one candidate might be a sprout off the family tree you might not mind pruning - gently - but we're all together.

America is just too big.

Texas should secede again.

I'm so glad we've had this informative political moment.

My name is Miriam the Mommy, and I'm sleeping through this message.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Llama's birthday, or "The End of All Tzeitzi"

Well, she's 4.

What is UP with that?


Okay, back to normative blogging style (and yes, that was an oxymoron).

So we've been saying for MONTHS that, when she's four, then all sorts of things will happen - no more pacifier, no more diapers at night, world peace, no more bugs on strawberries, etc.

Well, strawberries and world peace aside... we're on our way!

Her birthday party was a combined birthday / bye bye tzeitzi party. We played tzeitzi games and ate cake and krembo and candy. It was an expensive party by our block's standards, since the snacks cost all of 35 NIS (under $10) AND we had a 99 cent tablecloth from Target. Which yes, we cleaned off, folded up and saved.... What?

We had a Mimmy and Simmy cake... again. Llama requested it... again. Oh well. Thank God Talya-the-kallah (yay!) made it for us, because I was busy having a cold. Cold = inability to do anything productive. 

As a present, we bought her a great big incredibly soft and squishy turtle. Turtle is 'tzav' in Hebrew; I am trying to get Llama just to name the turtle 'Tzetzi the Tzav.' It's almost catching on. My reason was this: Llama is a cuddler. She's a snuggler. She would often say, of late, "I just need to go cuddle with my bed and my tzeitzi for a few minutes and then I'll go play." Like she likes her cuddle time. So I wanted to get her another cuddle prop besides the shnastified ancient latex suckers.

SO FAR - last night and tonight, bedtime was FINE. She is cuddling with the turtle a lot, occasionally pops her thumb in her mouth but really... she's alright. Also - by her own initiative - she switched to Pull-Ups for the last two nights with their 'stay dry so the flowers don't disappear' feedback system... and she's been dry the last two nights! 

Recall her toilet training, that once SHE decided it was time, she just kinda made it happen? Yeah. Well Houston (and, Plainview), we seem to have a chazakah. Bli ayin hara!!!

... PS #1 - yes, I just totally jinxed all that by blogging. Sigh.

.... PS #2 - once Llama threw the pacifiers in the garbage, I snuck them out and cut them with scissors, so there was No Turning Back. I felt HORRIBLE. Who am I to destroy her things like that?? And a tiny bit of my misguided frugality in me was like, "hey, one of those didn't have any holes yet. I should have kept it for some other child out there."

But seriously, I felt like I was forcing a crack fiend to go cold turkey. It was very odd.

Sukkos slideshow!

Lulav and esrog pictures

These are my favorite pictures I take all year. Favorite mitzvah - favorite people. I hear it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

End of summer slideshow

This summer we couldn't find the camera battery for a bit, so most of the pictures were taken on my phone, when they were taken at all.

The sad thing is - my phone's camera takes nicer pictures than my real camera does, much of the time.

This isn't a hint for someone to get me a new camera of course... um, maybe.

It's like you don't believe in me

I mean, DAY AFTER DAY, I'm getting tons of comments and emails and calls asking - why aren't you blogging? We want to hear from you! We want to see the girls! EVERY DAY, I get offers of free babysitting, money, pizza delivery, pedicurists for my daughters, YOU NAME IT, so I can get back to my blogging!

...Oh, this memo just in:



Oh well.

Blogging now anyway. Hmph.

Also: making this blog private very, very soon. Oh well. It's been fun, but the kiddos, they are growing up.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2 or 3 ingredients

Here's the girlies making 2-ingredient cookies today, completely solo:

Just two things: bananas, oats, and chocolate chips if you like.

(for the sake of our metaphor, we will ignore the fact that after they were made, Sroch didn't like them)

There are really just two or three ingredients to this whole 'shana tova' business as well:

Love God
Serve Him
...and be besimcha, have joy.

Love and happiest of years to you and all of us and everyone, a year of peace and health and security and safety, of few bugs in our food and few bugs in our hair, of ample paychecks that arrive on time and appliances that work without interruption, of warm, teary smiles that make you brush off your cheeks, and of poriyut and nachas for everyone, amen.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sroch and her perception of socioeconomic status

Tonight at bedtime Sroch and I were talking about Paw and Ganger. She said she likes their house the most. Why? "Because it's so fancy, it's like a really rich person's house."

Um, Sroch, huh? It's a tiny little house. 

"But the rooms are so fancy! And yeah, and the bathroom is like for a KING."

Sroch, remember Bubbie and Zayde's bathroom, that's so huge?

"But Ganger's bathroom is the nicest. Bubbie's is like regular rich people, like for a queen, but Ganger's is for a king."

Aha. Finally I got it, and asked her - "Is it because Ganger's bathroom has everything pink?"


Oh. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

After school

Llama, after a full day of - anything - just wants to snuggle, cuddle, and primarily have some tzeitzi time.

(Tonight, getting into the bath, she's about to jump in and asks for the pacifier because "It needs me to suck it  one time first." nom nom "Okay, done.")

This is after she came home today, cuddling under the pile of towels warm from the dryer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

School pics - sorta

Well, it was Llama's actual first day, and Sroch's "shalom kita alef & press conference with the mayor" day. We'll try to take another picture tomorrow.

The first day of - what?

The beginning is too convoluted.

I shall start with the end.

Except it might not be.

But right now, we THINK the (temporary) end is:

Llama: in gan arba with Morah Tammy in the mornings. Afternoons currently at Mrs. L across the street, who is saving our life.

Sroch: finally had registration the day before school began, was accepted into kita alef (THANK YOU GOD), so far had one hour of "school" (i.e. press conference to show these 100 eager faced first graders had no classroom, tada, okay fine, you'll get classrooms), tomorrow has school in building A, next day as well, and from Sunday (PLEASE GOD) will have a sponsored bus to school in building B, there until October (betcha December) when she returns to building A for what will then be her very own caravan (trailer) classroom, stuck into a yard. Afternoons, she's currently also at Mrs. L across the street.

Afternoons will change after the chagim (October) when SUPPOSEDLY the Ministry of Education will be offering extended day programs in my daughters' schools. Maybe.

For Llama, the first day of school wasn't a big deal - and sadly, to me as well. Because of all the finagling for Sroch, it got sort of pushed to the back of my mind, and I'm sorry for that. But I'm very grateful she's in the same physical location, knows the teachers, knows the kids, and she's totally a mellow-puss.

For Sroch, all these machinations meant that my big "My oldest is going to FIRST GRADE" reflections and inevitable weeping... didn't happen. Even our acceptance into the school (something I've been worried about for what, six years now?) was practically a non-sequitor, just a pat on my arm that I didn't need to speak to the menahelet and could come back tomorrow.

My biggest regret thus is I didn't have The Moment, which meant I missed out on the spontaneous rapturous THANK YOU GOD moment.

Tomorrow, when Sroch is (again) in her uniform and I have to actually get her to school on time and she'll come home with homework, the emotional weepy stuff may hit. But the THANK YOU GOD stuff, hey, it's always time for that. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On Tel Azeika

Little impromtu trip up to the top of the mountain today. It is COVERED by recent, fresh, still-active brand new digs, which was seriously cool to see, although made me a leeetle nervous ("Have fun playing by the large open pits with possibly unstable walls and large, sharp stones, kids!"). We did some serious hand-clutching with the girls.

The dirt all around the area was so dry it was like walking in ash. I kept calling it Pompeii. Actually, it's not like ash, it's like dirt that hasn't been rained in a thousand years or so.

Here's a link to the project website. Awesome stuff in our backyard. I'm so glad I live in Israel, otherwise I'd be jealous of me.*

We ran into Noam Yaakovson of Latma fame. We are so incredibly cool, are we not?**

Smores for dinner. I see nothing wrong with that. We also roasted soy dogs on a stick. Mmm.

*Could that sentence have been any more pompous? Discuss and state examples.
**Okay, maybe that one qualified.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My life from TV

Thanks to Google and YouTube, I no longer need a memory of my own; I can just type in keywords and find the full memory I had lost.


I remembered this amazing drawing show I used to watch on PBS, where this guy drew a massive mural and was so into drawing it was contagious. I remembered he would say, "Draw draw draw, draw everyday," and I remembered something about a city, and maybe his name was Mark?

Thank you Google. "The Secret City" with Mark Kistler, good old Commander Mark. Just watching a few clips from there made me realize how much my own drawing / doodling style is straight from what he taught. Huh.

Sesame Street taught me to read before I turned three. True story.

A collection of science and math shows on PBS and Nickelodeon (thanks for the cable Mom and Dad), like Mr. Wizard, 321 Contact, Square One and more gave me tons of information I actually still use as well as the idea of the depth and breadth of science and math and logic. 1,1,2,3,5 - eureka!

Mr. Rogers and others like him taught me my imagination is more important than anything else.

Shows like Kids Incorporated taught me that it's perfectly socially acceptable to break out into song at any given point. (This is still true today, if perhaps only in your mind.) You Can't Do That On Television taught me to be obnoxious to my elders (hmm) - but also that not only attractive people go into acting (true - some of those people were funny looking).

And of course, the Muppet Show (like you need a link) taught me to believe in myself - and to laugh at myself.

...My children, growing up essentially without television, are going to have to get all of that from somewhere else. Some will come from school. Some, from books. But I cannot but wish with perfect nostalgic rose-colored hindsight that they could get only the good from all the television I watched.

...But they can't. Because, sadly, it doesn't work that way, and there are plenty of horrible things I got from television too (yeah, cable. Eek).

Which is why I just told my husband, I think I'm buying the Muppet Show DVDs for my kids... when they get married. Then it's on their own heads.

...Kidding. I'm KIDDING.


Monday, August 13, 2012


She's thrown away several now, always her initiative. And this one was no different. All of a sudden in the middle of bedtime she said, "I want to throw my tzetzi in the garbage. Cause when I'm going to be four I don't need a tzetzi, so I want to throw it in the garbage." And then "If my tongue wants to suck on something, I'll just tell it no."

Then of course Sroch started giving Llama a list of things she could suck on instead, but I said - um, no.

Llama threw it away and was so, so pleased with herself!!

...and now after being sent back to bed five times, she asked if she could take it back out of the garbage.

Oh well.



Oh my gosh, oh my gosh.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Hardcore druyanity

I don't expect any but the fondest grandparents to feel compelled to watch all 4+ minutes of this, but here ya go:

My favorite thing is that Sroch started making up this 'song' about one minute before I made the video. I love her attention to detail as the director, and I love Llama's ability to play along so quickly (especially the impromptu harmonies).

In case you can't tell, it's a story about 'ohr' (light) and 'choshech' (dark), who are asleep in the dark and wake up in the light, then get their babies dressed and take them to school, then bring them back and it's dark again. Enjoy!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sorting laundry

Nine days aftermath, sorting laundry while we sang "darks darks darks" to the tube of the bass line of 'Louie Louie.'

Dinner at the Cafe Spider

For dinner, Sroch wanted a restaurant with a menu. So we took a drawing of a fifteen-legged spider she made a few days ago, and I, made the back into the menu for Cafe Spider (no spiders in the food) (I hope!).

Sroch ordered for her and her daughter, Llama. Then she took a pencil and drew in juice on the menu- and ordered it. Punk.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alei tzion

Tisha b'Av again. (Previous years' posts: 2006: here, 2009: here, 2010: here, and 2011: here)

As my children get older and more, well, what's the word for taking-over-the-house-y? It's hard to focus on aveilus, on mourning. Right now Sroch's morning playgroup thing is winding down in the other room (it was half here, half at another house) and the hollers and peals of laughter don't feel very 9th-of-Av-y. Llama is at a camp program finishing in 45 minutes, then Sroch is going to ANOTHER organized program.

This morning on the floor, I ended up not watching a shiur but a documentary on the Gush Katif, ahem, "disengagement."

Oh Hashem. Oy. Crying, crying.

It's a very relevant connection to the destruction of the batei mikdash, of course. Because there too we had to walk away from that which we'd built, loved, grown, and walk into exile. Because then too all the begging and pleading just didn't work.

The soldiers, those poor young men and women who were just doing what they were ordered to, though it hurt them, were (hope this is not blasphemous) like God during the destructions. A sympathetic, even a loving face, while the hand pushed them out the door, carried them out the door.

The kina says, "alei tzion keareiya kmo isha betzureia" - we wail for Jerusalem like a woman wailing in labor. As I recall - vividly - the wailing in labor I did was because I thought: this is futile. I'm never going to get anywhere, this pain is beyond what I can live through, I am going to die and everything is bleak and black and broken (they tell me that's called 'transition').

In many ways, it would be easy to think our wailing now is the same. It's been thousands of years since we had a Temple in Jerusalem. Surely our crying now is futile. Surely there's no hope.

But no.

Our pain is likened to a woman in labor because she DOES get somewhere in the end. There IS a goal, and a purpose, and two seconds after the baby is born you go - oh. That was transition, not red-hot-death-with-iron-rods-in-my-lower-back. Oh.

We are getting closer.

We are getting so much closer.

My children WILL see the rebuilt Beis Hamikdash in Yerushalaim. You'll see.

...because without that belief... the pain is just too much.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hidden track

Bonus Llama song:

Once a time there was a baby in the house that was our (sic)
That called Shulamis and once a time there another baby that called Srochel
And we, and we are are a nuh uh uh we-e from from
And also we can't know know
And I have a lot of flowers that I made in school
And that's very cutey 
So is flau tu (?)
And it's pretty for shabbos
From the sun, from Shu-uhlamis
And this is the picture from Sar... from Shulamis

Thank you notes, 2012

My girls actually wrote thank you notes on paper (well, colored them. Or attacked them with markers. Whatever.) several months ago for the stuff we were gifted over Pesach.

So maybe I just gave them to Savta to mail in America because I never use the mail. Oops.

So when we received mondo package-of-joy from Bubbie and Zayde, I made sure to quickly get my children to do their generation's version of thank you notes: YouTube!

Heaven's to betsy, what WILL they do after their weddings? But I digress.

I look the liberty of writing transcripts of their thank yous.

I miss you, I miss you! I love you so much! I really will be in Beit Shemesh, so thank you, thank you! You are lucky (dance number) Goodbye camera!

Hello. My name is Sarah Rochel. And thank you Bubbie for this yummy Hello Kitty, yummy yummy yummy. Thank you! It has red, pink and orange. Thank you. And I want to show you something else that you didn't buy for me, Savta bought it for me, but I want to show you, 'kay? [producer's comments] First I need to put it on here. Hello! See what it is? Ding!! It's, it's a yalkut, and I got a ball with it. Wait, bentaim (ed: meanwhile) you can look at it. [producer's comments] No, wait! And here's the ball that went in it, because it was supposed to be, it was on the top so it needed to be fat and good. So they put a ball in it. And he said it's bishvil hayalda, (ed: for the girl) yay! [producer's comments] Goodbye!

Family matters

I tell Sroch a friend of mine (who has been a guest here with her little boy) is engaged to get married again (mazal tov). I tell her with the new husband she's getting two or three more children.

Sroch's face totally lights up and says, "Why don't you and Abba get married again so we can have more children in our family?!"

Um, Sroch. No, I like Abba, I want to stay married to him.

She does not see this as a contradiction.

"So you and Abba will pick somebody you both want to have in the house too!"


This doesn't even get a WPO. This gets a "I'll explain it when you're older."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Genius or idiot?

My problem?

AC icing up after 4, 5 hours of usage. When left on last week for 24 hours, by hour 15 or so cooling efficiency was highly reduced - by hour 24 the air wasn't cooling at all.

Call our appliance insurance guys, who say all the fluids/gasses are fine, it's just too dirty BUT for YOU, giveret, just 250 NIS to clean it. But not now. Call us again, 58 NIS for the visit, okay bye.

It's Thursday. What am I gonna do? Even if I wanted to have the guy clean it, or any other guy, ain't no way I'm getting someone here by shabbos.

Read entire internet on cleaning air conditioning evaporator coils. Research foam cleaners I can use myself - $5-$12 in America, starting at 120 NIS here. Aha.

See many references to fin combs. Think think think.

Turn off air conditioner power in breaker box. Grab window cleaner (Sano's version of Windex). Water it down 3 to 1. Spray down coil thoroughly. Start to comb with my Assy 2000 super duper metal lice comb.

Hmm. Not too bad. And bonus, lots of fins that were smooshed from previous bumbling us or bumbling technicians - I am now straightening them.

Comb comb comb, spray down the whole coil again just with water. Hold breath and turn on breaker - it's okay. Pray and turn on AC - and it's working.

....So I'm proud of myself, because BLI AYIN HARA I not only didn't cause damage, but I may have actually done something productive.

...And this belongs on my blog about my girls, because 'genius or idiot' is a fair question for most of my parenting techniques - and my hope is to avoid damage, and if I'm lucky, actually do something productive.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy summer break!

Today was the last day of school!


Good shabbos!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Update on the poultry

Thank God Almighty to the nth power, Sroch returns to school tomorrow!

The vaccine proved itself - she never felt ill, never even really itchy (!). She was just spotty. And bored. Tomorrow she'll return to school (we took her to the doctor to confirm, since her case was so mild some of her pox never, um, dried, since they never fully, er, were wet, so, um, yeah I'm too grossed out to finish the sentence, but suffice to say she got permission to go back to school, few).

Llama is still pox-free, thank God. If she comes out in spots, undoubtedly it will be while Saba and Savta are here. Hi guys! Something to look forward to!

Speaking of which, regular school ends this week. I really need to post pictures of the girls' end of the year (weep weep ) parties, and Sroch's first (weep weep) graduation. Did I mention they still haven't done registration for next year? Yeah. Anywho...

Next week begins camp-within-school, which is only till 1 PM everyday. I'm investigating after 1 PM options. In three weeks begins real-camp, which is till 3 PM everyday.

Poor kiddos. Don't you sometimes wish they could just have free time at home with no need to go to school, you know, just stay with their parents all day and...

Um, yeah. Sroch's missed three days of school this week. All hail school and camp!

And now, a picture of me off to get my train from England in February:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Airplanes and another avian issues

Before we went to America for Pesach, I spent many many hours getting ready for the incredibly long travel times with my girlies. Games and short-list-of-approved-videos on multiple devices (phone and computer). Coloring books and stickers. Snacks. Mental preparation and airplane etiquette lessons for the girls.

And all the prep paid off, mostly. Mostly the journeys were easy-ish and smooth-oid.

Because, gentle reader, when you're preparing to have a endurance test of parenting restricted to a small physical area, you take the time to be ready!

...Which is why Sroch breaking out in CHICKEN POX this afternoon has shaken me so much! I need warning if I'm going to be spending multiple days at home with her!!! She needs warning if she's going to be told NO she can't go to a friend and NO she can't have that friend over and NO she can't go to the alef-bais party on Sunday.

Thank God, she has had the vaccine, so (so far) she's having a very mild case - she's just covered in spots. (My neighbor, using her mother-of-six wisdom to diagnose Sroch's spots as something other than an overactive mosquito, listened to Sroch whining and said, "See? She's not feeling well, she's kvetching, give her Acamol (acetaminophen)." To which I replied - "If I gave her Acamol every time she kvetched I'd be arrested." Well, I should have replied that. What I ACTUALLY said was "Does that work???")

Llama, also vaccinated, is not showing any symptoms at all. We cancelled our shabbos lunch plans, I already told Yoav he gets to take off work on Sunday (insert smiley face emoticon) and please God, this should be our worst problem, amen.

GOOD SHABBOS, cluck, cluck.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coming attractions

Sroch, in a borrowed (very oversized) first grade uniform:

And Llams, just being delicious: