Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lag Baomer 2013

Llama was tired after going to bed at 11 the night before, so before they even lit the fire she was ready to go home:

Sroch, though, now at 11:13 PM, is still dancing the night away:

Gosh, think those two are related?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am 35 years old. I graduated college cum laude. I moved to a foreign country. I've held the same job for over 13 years. I've given birth to two children. I've sung and acted in front of thousands of strangers. WHY ON EARTH am I intimidated by three loads of laundry and two sinks of dishes?

(returns to reading the internet, procrastinatingly)

Monday, April 22, 2013

On singing to my children and voice lessons

Tonight my girls let me sing them to sleep.

I had already left their room after tucking them in with various and sundry dolls (matching doll and daughter pajama sets!) and stuffed llamas, this following our bedtime activity of Hair Salon (washing their hair in the new sink, in lieu of baths) and Nail Salon (cutting nails).

I actually starting cleaning up as opposed to collapsing or computing, and I was singing. Then they called me back in to ask for a story. It being eight PM already, I declined, but offered to sing loudly enough that they could hear me with the door open.

So I folded laundry, singing All Girls Are Princesses at the top of my lungs (lyrics slightly amended)... and when I finished, they clapped.

Sroch asked me to keep singing whatever I wanted, because "everything you sing is so beautiful!"


I sang "Lean on Me." I sang Beatles - "I've Just Seen A Face" (the song I sang them in the hospital), "Blackbird" and "I Will." I sang Yedid Nefesh too.

And I remembered the conversation I had an hour beforehand with a friend who gives singing lessons. She was telling me about how singular it is to be teaching children and adults who are coming from ultra-orthodox backgrounds, the way in that she loosens them up to release something deep inside of them, people who are used to safeguarding to whom and how their innermost thoughts are revealed. She mentioned also that two sisters were having trouble doing a warm-up with her, until she proved to them they weren't, as they feared, "doing it wrong."

And I remembered how having just one voice lesson back in December was transformative to me personally, because while I was singing all my life, this was the first time an Independent Authority told me I was doing it "right."

I sang to my babies throughout their babydom, but they are graduated from the same now. And so only a handful of times since that voice lesson, since I was a chorus member in a show (as opposed to being just a pretty face, or more accurately a buffoon), since I felt really comfortable as a capital-s Singer, have I sung for my babies just because "everything you sing is so beautiful."

So thank you, babies. I think everything you sing is so beautiful too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When I remember to be a nice mommy...

...I'm really pretty cool.

Despite the fact that I think I caught strep from Sroch (thanks for nothing, germy), sometimes I'm nice.

Tonight the girls didn't want to bring their folded laundry to their room - so I told them to be cats.

Sure, cats don't usually carry laundry on their back, but, um, yeah. Strep. Anyway.

And then we played hangman, where whenever they guessed the wrong letter, they had to take off or put on something in the changing-to-pajama-process. (Okay, FINE, it felt a little odd for me but that's because I am too worldly. To my sheltered wonderful children there's nothing wrong with that, thank you very much.)

I have been listening to a parenting shiur on cd in the car, and I find myself not agreeing with all of it, which is hard, because I agree with some of it, you know? Like yes, I agree the home should be happy and full of laughter and joy and love. But no, I don't think you should spank a 2 year old, or anyone for that matter. Yes, I think you should not allow a child to get a reaction out of you when it's clear they want to provoke the reaction (i.e. if they are doing something shocking, don't act shocked, don't let them use your discipline as amusement with their behavior as the remote control), but no, you shouldn't never raise your voice - I have seen for myself that the never-raise-your-voice parenting can become wimpy and pitiful in the child's eyes.

But at least it helped me remember - if there is any way to get them to smile doing something instead of groaning through it, find it.

Now pass the penicillin.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why I'm glad Sroch doesn't do homework with an ink pot

Sroch is convinced - CONVINCED - the opposite of "they stood" is "only one person stood."

We are getting no where trying to explain this is not true.

And when I told her the teacher will mark it wrong on her homework, she flung her pencil at me.

Always something new, moving west.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A moment of public God thanking

My kids have always been in tzaharon (extended day programs at school). Always, because I work. But most of their friends' mothers are home in the afternoons, so my kids always felt a little blah about staying, because they had no choice but to stay till 4 when their friends went home at 1:30.

 This was sad for me, but I didn't think anything could be done to 'fix' it. I didn't even ask Hashem to do anything but make my daughters happy in the program.

AND THEN THE LAWS ALL OVER ISRAEL CHANGED, making free afternoon programs in many communities - including ours. The schools started encouraging EVERY CHILD TO STAY TILL 4PM. It is now the 'popular' thing to do, plenty of kids whose moms are home are staying, my daughters are now in tzaharon groups of 30 instead of 5 kids per group... and all this Hashem did for ONLY FOR ME AND MY GIRLS, without me even knowing to ask the question.

Yeah, that's beyond awesome. But then - God is.


Monday, April 08, 2013

Yom Hashoa

Well, I am super-dupes impressed with how Sroch's school handled Yom Hashoa. Up until now in preschool they never taught them anything - this, I am perfectly fine with, of course. But I did not know what they would do in first grade, especially since as the wikipedia article I linked to mentions, most charedim (which we are) don't really 'do' Yom Hashoa, since we already have other days of mourning the Holocaust and other tragedies*.

But there is a siren, which thankfully is audible in the schools (item: when I asked Llama if she heard it, she said "yeah!" So I asked what the teacher said, and she said "that it was just a siren not a siren." Oh.).

So I asked Sroch, and this is what she said:

Our morah (teacher) told us that some tzadikim (righteous people, e.g. rabbis) said it's important to stand still when there's a siren because it's a kavod (honor) for the Jews the nazim (Nazis) killed. They killed A LOT. Like a hundred times a hundred times a hundred! So it's important that we stand still, like the bottom of the kuf.
This is a kuf: ק

She also told them some more about the Nazis being "the killingest" and that they were so angry and mad and cruel, and she would have told them more but they ran out of time.

I reminded Sroch that I had once told her about the war, a little, but she had made me stop since it made her cry. She remembered.

Anyway, I was very impressed at not only the age-appropriate message (Sroch, who is very sensitive, was able to understand but not be frightened), but at the sensitive treatment of the quote-unquote "political" issue of the state holiday. 

We then went on to have a 'light' bedtime discussion (while Llama fell asleep) dealing with such cotton-candy topics as...
  • why next week there will be two sirens for Yom Hazikaron 
  • why there were no Israeli soldiers killed by the Nazis (because there was no Israel yet)
  • why weren't the Jews in charge of the state of Israel during WWII
  • whether the English were good stewards of eretz yisroel (quote from Sroch: "good, because the English people do like kimat nothing to the yidden.")
  • why did God create non-Jews
  • why Arabs believe the Koran
  • what does the shema mean
  • why anyone believes in polytheism (Sroch was comforted to hear that her non-Jewish relatives aren't so silly as to believe there's a god of socks, a god of chairs, a god of the moon, etc, etc)


*This tweet from today kinda sums it up, in twitspeak's classic flippance.

Friday, April 05, 2013

New blog post, in which...

...our blog returns to its original platform of updating the masses when the babies are awake in the middle of the night.

Nothing like saying things like, "okay, you can play until three AM but then you have to go back to bed!"

They did sleep over six hours already. And of course I'm wide awake. Sigh.

What? You call that QUIET playing? Watch it kiddos, or I break out the sleeping pills.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


  • 1 DVD of "Our Secret Garden" - 100 NIS
  • 1 extra-large can of Pringles for the way - $2.55 plus tax
  • 3 cups of brown caffeinated beverage with many sketchy 'whiteners' dumped in - free with over $1000 ticket price (a bargain)
  • 1 CD of "Lylabyes" preloaded on my phone, the only way Sroch would calm down on the plane - $14.95 (a lie- mine was free cause I wrote the lyrics of one song, but whatevs. The DVD above was free for me too, but shh, you're ruining my meme)
  • 4 neighbor children who played with my kids and forgave their tiredness-induced bossiness, pettiness and hyperactivity - one mortgage
  • The fact that they stayed up until 7 PM and barely melted down and then dropped like a lead stone* the second their heads hit the pillows - PRICELESS.

*Yeah, I know. Leave me alone, I got a lot less sleep then they did!