Friday, January 28, 2005

Neglectful Mothering…

OK, so maybe it’s because I’m a doctor’s daughter.

Or maybe it’s because MB was always the kid who “cried wolf.” You might recall the story of when MB said she couldn’t see and I ignored her, until the eye doctor said she needed glasses. There was also the time I thought MB was ignoring me and it turned out she had fluid in her ears, couldn’t hear me and needed tubes.

You would think I would have learned my lesson by now.

But nooo!

She falls off a chair (not while sitting on it of course, she was standing and singing with her friends) and hits her head and hurts her wrist.

She comes home; I tell her it’s nothing. Today she goes off to the mall with some friends and I go shopping in Jerusalem at Machane Yehuda. When we meet up at home again, the wrist still hurts.

Ari arrives home safely, Thank G-d. I ask him to take a look at MB’s wrist. He decides she needs an x-ray. After dinner he takes her to TEREM – the acute care facility in nearby Modiin.

And wouldn’t you know it, the child actually fractured her wrist. She came home with half a cast and instructions to see the orthopedist in the morning…

Parenting is NOT an exact science!

Am I neglectful or just laid back?

Or just stupid?!?!

MB doesn’t want me to feel bad. She’s a very sweet girl.

When things like this happen, it makes me question the one thing I actually feel the most confident about – my parenting.

Oh well…

Shabbat is coming. Brother Matt and family will be joining us; Along with brother and sister Cheses from Newton, Mass.

Shabbat shalom to everyone, With love.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

My Wednesday

I want to first put out a special healing prayer to my good friend Susan who is undergoing surgery as I write this. May Shoshana Chaya Bat Rachel have a full recovery, and may the doctors only find a big grapefruit and allow her to get back to a pain free life! Amen.

So today was one of those nothing-seems-to-go smoothly days.

It started last night after a very long and intense IM (instant message) conversation with old friend Etan G. I was trying to get him to read my blog post from the other night and was explaining how I had tried to encourage DB with his theme: Believe in Yourself.

Our dialogue back and forth turned into my ongoing personal struggle with belief – both in myself and in G-d. Etan and I usually “talk” via ichat (he is one of my friends who I am in touch with more now that I live in Israel than when we I lived in the States) But I was not giving into ichat last night. The tears were just flowing too readily and I needed my privacy. Once again, though, the written word was so therapeutic.

I went to sleep very late with a lot on my mind. When I awoke this morning, I knew I would have to get some more sleep before really starting my day. I took Ely to gan after MB and NED left and crawled back into bed. By 11, my phone had rung so many times, I decided I better get up and check my messages. It’s a good thing I did, too. MB had called from school. She had fallen off a chair and hit her head pretty hard. Her head hurt, as did her left wrist. Since she had early dismissal today (they do that in this country on the day they hand out report cards) she assured me she could wait until she got home. I made an appointment with the pediatrician and decided to take a bath.

Not happenin’!
One of the great extras that we liked about this rental house when we saw it, was the Jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom. It’s very impressive, except it doesn’t work!
The first week we lived here, after a long day of unpacking boxes, Ari filled up the tub and turned on the jets. As soon as he did, all the electricity in the entire house went out.
Now, it’s one and a half years later, and the landlord still hasn’t fixed it.
Last week, the kablan (contractor, who also happens to be our neighbor) came over with an Arab worker to replace the motor on the Jacuzzi. I guess they didn’t have the right size motor or something. He told me not to use the tub and they would be back this Monday. Today is Wednesday, and I wanted to take a bath! I obviously did not understand what they told me about why I shouldn’t use the tub, so I decided, “I want a bath, they didn’t come to fix it, I’m gonna use it anyhow!”

As the water reached a certain level, water started POURING out of the side of the tub where the motor is supposed to be. I suddenly had a flood in my bathroom! Ugh!! It was a waste of good hot water and my time.

So, no nap and no bath. And it was time to pick up Ely from gan.

MB’s van arrived late to pick them up, so I had to cancel the doctor’s appointment. By the time she got home, I could tell she was feeling a little better. We borrowed an ace bandage from our neighbor, wrapped her wrist and decided to wait it out.

At this moment my girls are all sleeping. Ely in my bed – for the last night I informed her. Abba is coming home tomorrow night! (Yeeha!) Didn’t hear from DB all day – which is a good sign. He just called to say he had had a hard day, but survived.
Thank G-d.

My Wednesday wasn’t so bad I guess. I don’t like when things don’t go my way. Control freak? Maybe…

One last thing. I was congratulated and told that I was nominated for a blog award. Something about Israel/Jewish blog Awards or something. I’m not in the loop enough to really understand the whole thing. But thanks to whomever nominated me. That’s pretty cool! May the best blogger win.

Good night:)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What should I blog about this time?

These days I seem to spend a lot of time during my day thinking about what to write in my blog.

So many things happen that are write-able, but then get pushed away by the next thought.

I think of things I want to write, but know I can’t.
I think of things I know my family and friends would want to know, but I can’t always write them either.
I think of random ideas and thoughts.

I think of funny ways to write what happened with one of the kids

Or something I saw or experienced.

I think of how I’m going say it; How to express myself clearly, without too much detail.

I almost never end up writing about what I thought I would.

That’s the therapy in all this.

So today was a blah day. I want to be able to write that (so I am!)

The best part of my day was my walk along the tiyelet (board walk) in Old Yaffo. I went to pick up DB’s piano, which was being fixed at a shop right on the boardwalk. It was a beautiful sunny day and watching the waves crash up against the rocks on the beach (besides make me think about the horrible tsunamis) was very calming.

I have a lot on my mind. I’m not very good at hiding it, either. People call and can tell something’s not right. But I can’t lay it all out there for everyone. Don’t always want to.

I’m good at holding on and moving on too.

So I will.

When people ask, "How are you?"

Do they really want to know the answer?

“Never stop believing in yourself.”

I need to sleep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Never stop believing in yourself

That is such a powerful message!

I just spent the last hour or so watching the videos from my good friend Etan G the Jewish Rapper. On his website he has the episodes of a show called NOW – No Opportunity Wasted, a Discovery Channel show. NOW is about ordinary people with a dream who ask the program to help them make it come true. My friend Etan had the dream to make a music video and have it viewed by a major rap artist while his mother sat there with them. The 4 episodes are about the making of the video; all the while his incredible wife was in labor with their first child. Take a look at the videos of you have some time. They are really worth it. If nothing else, watch the final music video. It’s really inspiring– at least I think so. And I love the music, most especially the words!

“Never stop believing in yourself” are the words of the song.

How do we get our children to believe in themselves?
Do we REALLY believe in OURselves?
As parents how do we model belief in ourselves?

I want my children to believe in themselves.

I won’t be able to be there for them for everything. They will have to speak out for themselves, ask for what they want. Go for what they want. Mommy won’t be able to always be there. I don’t think I’m supposed to.

But even with all the love in the world, a child can still not feel good about him/herself. Is it personality? One child can be more outgoing and have more self-confidence than the other?
Why is that?

Nature vs. Nurture

My friend Etan believes in himself. He always has. (Sometimes too much!) But it has gotten him where he is now. Is it about the money and the fame? Is it about whom he knows? For Etan, I know a large part of it is about reaching out to those kids who feel the way he did as a kid:

Those who felt they didn’t fit in.

We can be different, but still fit in.

We need a world of more tolerance. We need a world of more acceptances.

We need a world of less judgment of one another.

I need a world where I believe in myself and what I have to give to it.

Thank you, my friend, Etan.

You have shown my children and I that we can believe in ourselves.

And more importantly, we can believe that G-d believes in us!

Love you man!

P.S. I’m not your baby! Smile :)

Monday, January 24, 2005

What do I miss?

As I sit here in my cold tiled floor home in Israel, on a Sunday night, listening to the rain POUR down (Thank G-d) for the 3rd day in a row, and reading online of the snow storm in New England, there are only two materialistic things I miss:
First, Sitting in my warm house watching the snow fall outside my window; and second, Watching a football game with the boys!

There is something exciting about watching the snow fall in front of the street lights as the plows come by and lock your car into your driveway with another 5 feet of snow!

Bundling up the kids to go out and play for all of 10 minutes before they complain they are cold and want to come back inside.

Making hot chocolate with little marshmellows and staying your pajamas all day.

Maybe even going out into the snow myself to shovel or make a snow angel.

Listening to the wind whip the snow up into drifts outside your door. Wondering if the tree branches are going to fall on the electrical lines from the weight of the snow.

INSTEAD, I sit here and wait to see if my basememnt is going to flood again...

Then there's the TV dilemma. This is the only time of year I wish we had cable TV. I want to watch a football game. Last year, Ari was in the states for the playoff game. So DB and Dovid and I went to a neighbor's house at 11 PM to watch the game. Then went back for a Superbowl party to cheer on the Patriots. Great fun. I love football.

Go Pats!

INSTEAD, I will wake up DB, who came home tongiht to watch the game at a friend's house, at 1:15 AM. And then I will go to sleep.


We make compromises.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Over 4000


Over 4000 hits. That's so cool!

My girls this Shabbat wanted to know why strangers would want to read my blog?

I told them, I don't know?

I'm thinking of giving my blog a facelift. Trying a new template.

What do you think?

UPDATE JAN. 24: Almost 100 more hits and only two people have an opinion about my changing my template? What? No one else really cares?

Shabbat in review

Friday morning began with a meeting at DB’s school - A meeting with the principal to discuss DB’s moving back up to 10th grade. If DB is ready for it, he’s got a lot of work to catch up on. We know he can do it, but it will be a challenge. Understandably, DB is upset at the school for making him think that it would be easy for him to move up when he was ready. Now they are telling him that they will be watching him and judging his every move. Not a great way to keep a positive taste in his mouth. We will continue to try to keep it positive for him and hope it will all work out in the end.

One-minute digression: Parenting is hard! We want what is best for our children and try to do our best by making decisions we hope will be the right ones for them. Sometimes we make mistakes. (I'm not saying that we necessarily made a mistake here, but only that we do indeed sometimes make mistakes.) But we still want what’s best.
This whole school experience with DB has been hard on us too. I feel for him. We have tried to make the right decisions for him until now, and now he has begun to make decisions too. He’s a good boy. He does not want to disappoint us. Another day goes by and something else happens. We just want the best…

5 New England girls and 3 of MB’s school friends, all sleeping and eating here. Room enough for everyone, and plenty of food. My challah came out hard and heavy, though. Not sure why??

I fell asleep with Ely Friday night, before cleaning up. I awoke at 12 – kitchen mostly cleaned up (thank you to my clean-up angels!) - everyone home and in bed, but DB. His Friday night curfew is usually 12. I sat on the couch and waited for him to walk through the door. I awoke Ari at 1:00 am to ask if he had extended curfew. He told me he gave DB until 12:30. At that moment DB walked in the door. We went through the old, “I-am-the-parent, you-are-the-child. I-make-the-rules, you-don’t” thing again. He argued that I was not fair, blah-blah-blah, gave him a hug, and we both went to sleep.

It rained all night. But he was up and in shul early. I awoke with a killer headache. It was cold and rainy, thundering and lightning. So I stayed in.

Had a great lunch. Deep conversation about growth and change and brainwashing.

Ari and I and DB fell asleep on the couches talking about DB’s “promotion”. We used the analogy of an employee going to his boss and asking for a raise. When an employee does that he has to show that he is serious. He has to show up to work on time. He has to show that he is serious, pay attention, work diligently, and not try to leave work early.
I thought the analogy worked perfectly and I think DB got it.

Ely went to a friend’s house; MB and friends were out and NED was hanging with the big girls. So it was quiet in the house. We all woke up as Ari and DB left for maariv (evening service).

Shabbat was over.

Another week gone.

Another week ahead. The unknowns.

Ari is off to the states tonight. Flying right into a major snowstorm. Please G-d, he should get there safely.

I will try to sleep more this week.

Shavuah Tov, have a good week.

P.S. Happy Birthday to Ari's 91 year old grandmother and my sister-in-law!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Still more questions

My post yesterday seemed to have stumped some people. It's simple, really. There are alot of decisions I/we need to be making in the next weeks and months. None of them are easy, and none of them have a perfect outcome.

So I am dealing with not being in control, once again.

To list a few:
- where do we live? another temporary community? forever?
- what do we do with DB and school?
- what do I do for work? do I start looking if we are moving?
- relationships. How much time to invest in them?

the unknowns.

it's all overwhelming.

it's our future.

decisions and questions.

with no easy answers.

got it now?

Have to write about this

And begin by saying that it is very upsetting!

I am just sick over it.

In today's Jerusalem Post, there was a front page write up about four American Yeshiva students who were arrested for dealing drugs. And another one about a yeshiva kid who died of a heroin drug overdose.

As you can read, the article names the boys and their schools here in Israel. Is my reaction so strong because of the closeness in age of my children?

My children have alot of independence here. They are allowed to walk the streets of Jerusalem. At any given point, they could be approached by JEWISH KIDS offering them drugs.

That's the other part that's got me. These are "my kids" selling and buying and using drugs.

I asked my foster brother who is closer to this drug world than I, although he insists he doesn't use drugs, and I believe him. I asked him WHY? Why are these kids doing this?

He told me that in one of the Yeshivas that is listed in the article, one of the boys there made over $100,000 last year selling drugs. If the boys want money, this is how they get it.

Without any thought of the consequence.

MB came home and heard me talking about the article on the phone with my foster bro. She got upset that the boys' names were listed in the paper.
"It's embarrassing," she said. "The parents will be embarrassed."
I explained to her very adamantly that kids need to know the reprecussions of their choices and behaviour.
I always called it the "It-ain't-gonna-happen-to-me" syndrome. And inevitably in some shape or form, it "will happen to you!"

Choices and consequences. My main motto.

Just because one kid made money off of the system, others think they can do it too. Without any thought of the effect it might have on their future, their families, their friends, their schools.


Where are the parents?

And so I get nervous. I am nervous for my children. They are good kids (B"H). But peer pressure is peer pressure. And it is very strong! I remember it well!


It's late and I need to get some sleep. Ari and I have a meeting at DB's school to discuss his possible move back up to 10th grade. I still have to make my soup and challah for Shabbat.

Shabbat is coming. We will all be home together with some extra of our "kids."

I need to pray more...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Answers to Questions

Sometimes I think I know all the answers.

Then I am reminded.

I know nothing.

I think I know. My intuition tells me so.

But I don't really know.

Others might think I have the answers. Believe I am "all-knowing".

My intuition answers alot of my questions.

But sometimes I cannot trust it.

There are so many questions here.

I cannot see the answers.

No one can help.

And I cannot see the answers.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I shouldn't have eaten it...

...But glad i did! I think.

"old" friend visiting from the States.
Took him to Mevaserit Mall
KFC and McDonald's
He can say he took me to McDonald's for dinner!
I ate a hamburger and fries and coke.
And now I regret it
Can't digest it.

But the company was worth it.

Comfort people.
Makes everything worth it.
Friends since high school
Not married.
Should be.
Why not?
Makes me mad!

All my good friends should be married.
Why doesn't G-d let them be married already?
I don't get it?

It's been 29 years since he's been to Israel.
it's not the same country.
So much has changed.

You know those friends who have known you for years.
Really known you. Since you were a punky flirty teenager?
You don't have to be anyone else.
Comfort people.

Tomorrow we go to Neve Daniel.
Check out houses. Prices. Land.
Is it the right move? Right place?

Colder. Windier. Closer to Jerusalem.

Tomorrow another one of "our kids" goes back to New York.
Pretty soon we won't have anymore of "our kids" here.
We will be has-beens.
No one will remember us.
No one will know my kitchen.
No one to help raise my kids.

Tomorrow I bring clean socks to DB in Yeshiva.
Ari suggests turning them inside out.
DB thought that was gross.
He wants cereal too.
I'm happy to bring it to him.

Will everything be OK?

I shouldn't have eaten that burger!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

NED wrote a book report!

This is monumental!

With NED's permission I would like to share with you the process of the writing of this report.

Back when NED was in 5th grade (she's now in 7th), I realized that her ability to write book reports was a challenge. She always struggled with summarizing what she read without making up her own story. Our very good friend, Dana, who is a special education teacher, discovered that NED had some complex word processing difficulties and taught me how to help NED with her work. I will always be greatful to Dana for this help.

Fast forward. NED is finally in a school where they understand what a complex word difficulty means! And they know how to help her! It was worth moving to Israel just for that!

Last week NED tried to get away with turning in a book report she wrote in 5th grade, but we wouldn't allow it.(She admitted this to us, which we also were proud of her for.) It was a major blow up. Not something I enjoy with NED!

So NED stayed in all Shabbat and read a book called "Call Me Ruth," by Marilyn Sachs, which NED picked herself. She read it and actually enjoyed it.

In order for NED to talk to her friends on the phone again, she had to finish the book report herself.

And she has!

And I must say, I am very impressed with it!!

Most of it, she wrote by herself. I only tweeked a couple words and grammar things. She wrote an interview with the author, with some original questions and answers made up by her! No help!

The summary actually makes sense! She still needs help with proper English wording and grammar, but she followed a theme and made sense of it until the end.

I am so proud of her! And I have told her so!! (She has even read this post.)

Go NED!!!

It has been NED's educational history that she struggles through the first 3/4 of the year in school and then something clicks and she gets it at the end. Even though it's a little early this year, we must be entering the last 1/4 of the year. This is so huge, I can't even begin to tell you. When she finds the right book, she actually enjoys reading.

NED can now go back to talking on the phone to her friends. And I can pat myself on my parental back for not giving in to the easy way out.


P.S. If you wanna read the book report, send me an email and I'll send it to you. It's really great!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Nothing to write

I'm writing now only because I feel I have to.

But I have nothing to write about.

OK, that's not completely true, of course, but since instating my two new rules, I've lost my creativity to write anything of much substance.

Maybe it's just the day - or week?

I'll snap out of it soon. I always do.

I need to sleep more

And to stop eating chocolate!

Talked to two "old" friends tonight. Comfort people. Always makes me feel better.

One of them, I'll call him Mike, is here on a shul mission with 2 of his kids. When I spoke to him, he was on his way from Tzfat back to Jerusalem. I asked Mike when the last time he was in Israel. The last time was 1986, when I was in seminary. I had a life altering experience there, that time, with him and his brother. I reminded him of our trip - him, his brother and I - to Tzfat. I was feeling rather rebellious that trip. When we pulled into the bus station, I pulled off my skirt and put on a pair of sweat pants. We walked around the holy city of Tzfat. We came to the holy synagogue of the Arizal, but the shomer (watchman) wouldn't let me in because I wasn't dressed properly. He said something to the point of, "Only Jewish women are allowed into the Arizal's shul." I don't remember exactly anymore what he said, but what I remember is that I felt very hurt. I was a Jewish woman. I was. I was just feeling a bit rebellious and decided to change my clothes for the day.

That experience changed my attitude towards dressing modestly forever. (It might not make much sense reading it from here, but I remember it making an impact!)
What’s important here is I asked Mike if he remembered that trip? He said he remembered two things. "Oh yeah, I remember that you weren't sure if you wanted to share a motel room with us and that you got very upset when the guy wouldn't let you into the Arizal shul. They'd let you in there today, don’t worry!"

Anybody else ever have a memory validated by another person? Someone else who was there. Someone who you haven't spoken to in a very long time and then when you do you remember the time you spent together 18 years ago, and they remember the same thing you do?

It was so validating for me! Thanks Mike!


So I found something to write about!

P.S. Happy Birthday 2nd Big Brother!

Friday, January 14, 2005


OK, so I have been writing now for a couple of months.

My posts have been about various parts of my life.

It seems though that I might be crossing the boundary of appropriately shared info about my family.

Two of my biggest fans have pointed out that I might want to be more careful in what I write about my husband and children.

It's frustrating that I am once again being censored into writing not what is on my mind, but what is nice or respectful or considerate.

Now, G-d forbid, I would never consider myself any of these things (mean, disrespectful or inconsiderate) - at least not purposely! But I will admit that when I share a story about one of my children, or even Ari, my words could be taken as not nice or embarrassing.

And I am learning that part of this blogging culture means censoring oneself for the sake of others.

So I have decided on two rules:
1. I will not post anything about my kids - at least the three older ones - without them knowing or reading the post first.

2. The same goes for Ari.

I can appreciate that for total strangers, it doesn't really matter what I write and most of the feedback I have received is from readers who appreciate my candidness.

But for those who know my kids and husband, I will be more carefully so that when the time comes when you see them, you won't mistakenly say something to them or know something that would have otherwise been private.


Wanna hear a cute Ely Diddy?

Yesterday Ely had a friend over to play. Ari is the new little boy in her life. As they were ending their playtime, Ari came upstairs and was standing coyly by the door.

"You ready to go home," I asked.
With the sweetest little smile, Ari said, "I imagine that I could live here."
"Why is that?" I wondered innocently if maybe it was our toy collection.
"Because then I could play with my friend all the time and never have to ask my mom first."

Such young innocence.

And so sweet!

Good night to all. Shabbat Shalom.

Do something you've never done this weekend. Something special for Shabbat. And let me know what it was...

Smile :)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

J.A.P. – not your usual Jewish American Princess

Back in December my Mom took me and my sister-in-law and good friend to a wonderful show called J.A.P.
(Since I don’t know how to do that link stuff here, her website is

In the show, Rachel talks about the time she was on Broadway in Miss Saigon. I went to high school (and prom) with a great non-Jewish guy who was in Miss Saigon after we graduated. After we saw the J.A.P. show, I approached Rachel and asked her if she knew my friend. She remembered him from her days on Broadway and asked how he was doing. I came home that night and called my friend who is now married and living in Hawaii. He remembered her and got a kick out of the fact that Rachel is now a Jewess doing her own show.

So, to all my girlfriends and female family members in America, I highly recommend you see her show!

It’s inspiring, it’s fun, and she is really talented! We even bought her CD!

She's in the States now doing shows all over. I mean ALL OVER!!

Check out her website, and the dates she is performing.

Take a friend and GO!

And think of me…

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hit by a truck!

I did not expect to feel the way I do this morning. I guess I did a little too much groove shaking last night! My head is pounding and my body feels like an aching mess. I am soooo out of shape!

Had some thoughts about last night.

Why was it so difficult to dance in front of women?
It was all women. The room was darkish.

Just pondering...

So I went back to bed for a little this morning, hoping to feel a little better. I do. but only a little.

Now I can't get focused on my day. Ely is going to a friend's house until later. I have "free" time until 4. What should I do first?

Motivated? not really. bored? a little.
Alot to do? you bet!

Time to think about Shabbat. Lots of girls coming. Menu. Shopping list. Cooking.

I better go.

oh, btw, I never got hit with that cold. i either knocked it out with the vitamin C and echinecea, or it was never really there to begin with.

oh, and another thing, Ari and i are looking at other communities again. Are the schools in the Gush really much better? We have a meeting at DB's school tomorrow. That might help us make our final decision.


Shake your groove thing!

Just came back from Ramat Bet Shemesh, where I danced for hours with a friend at a woman's only disco night.. It was awesome! Haven't danced like that in years!

The DJ played all kinds of Pop English and Hebrew music. Even got a square dance in!
and more...

Religious women moving their bodies, feeling the music. What a sight!

Next disco night will be in three months.

I will have to wait that long to shake my groove thing again! :)

Good night...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's a new moon

Chodesh Tov!

I'm off to the Kotel this morning with Ari. I want to try a monthly visit on Rosh Chodesh. Otherwise, I will never go regularly.

After that we have a meeting with a therapist to continue speaking about DB - and probabaly us too!

After that I need to be back here to run playgroup for Ely and 3 of her friends. We'll make an art project, have lunch, read books (new ones from SPAZ - thanks so much Spaz!!) and free play. 4 o'clock won't come soon enough!

Heard there was a women's only disco night in Ramat Bet Shemesh tonight. Sounds intriguing to me! Anyone wanna come with me?! "Shake your groove thing..."

Gotta run,

Have a good one!


Monday, January 10, 2005

It got me!

As I write this, my head is getting fuller/heavier and my nose stuffier. I can't stop sneezing....

...and I think my body has been successfully taken over by a cold virus!

I know it's usually worse at night, so I'll wait until morning to feel the real results, but I think it has happened.


Time for the potion:
-echinecea drops
-vitamin C
-vitamin E

Lots of water and maybe...but not really realistic for me...some rest!

A part of me would love the excuse to be really sick and have to stay in bed and be waited on. The other part of me is realistic and knows I'd be on my own.

So it's no use thinkin' about it!

Back to work-

Wish me well (literally!)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Quick Motzei Shabbat check-in and Ely diddy

Shabbat was very nice (that's a 4th grade adjective, isn't it?). I was done my cooking and cleaning-up an hour before candle lighting - amazing!

Quiet Shabbat - only two girls. Lisa from MIT, here on a pilot trip for her upcoming aliyah (ah, to be idealistic and young). And Sarah from Connecticut.

My kids love having guests who will read and play with them.
My cooking was OK, I've done better. My challahs turned out great. They were HUGE and really yummy. I'm starting to get the hang of baking challah again.

Fell asleep on the couch Friday night, waiting for the big kids to come home - Ely fell asleep on my lap first. I love that! I awoke and DB was asleep on the other couch, fully clothed. The girls were already asleep in bed. I didn't hear anyone come in. Why do I wait up for them again?!

There was a brit milah (circumcision) in shul this morning. Ely came in to me just as they brought in the baby. I picked her up and we were able to see over the separator what was happening.
"What are they going to do to the him?" Ely asked the question.
"The mohel, he's a special brit doctor, he's going to cut off a tiny piece of the baby's p****." (I can say the word to my 5 year old, but can't write it here!)
"Ewww," she said, with a great facial expression.
"Hashem put the extra skin there so it won't hurt the baby when the mohel cuts it off. All Jewish boys have a brit."
She wanted to stay and watch the whole thing. She was even the first one to hear the baby's name after they named him.
I cried. I always do at these things. Another addition to the Jewish people.

Sat outside in the sun and read after lunch. Parenting stuff. Sun was warm. Air was cold. Used a blanket.

DB and I argued again about whether he can wear a sweater on Shabbat without a shirt underneath. (Trivial, I know. But once I start bending, I lose all my parental influence.) I think it looks sloppy and "unShabbasdik". He says he's uncomfortable and it doesn't matter. He listened to me, albeit reluctantly. Growing up...and out.

I can't deal with this! We're struggling, but still loving.

Caught up with Lisa and Sarah and their lives... and Shabbat was over.

The kids pitched in for clean-up and we were done in less than 2 hours. Thanks guys!!

Now, all four kids are piled on the couch with Ari watching Harry Potter 3 on the laptop. I have no desire to watch. Not my kind of movie. Ari's mad that I'm not watching with them. "I watch movies with you that I don't like." He's right. But, he'll get over it.
I made pizza for them. That makes it better.

So much for a quick check-in.

I have to share another Ely diddy, though.

Once we decided that we were going to watch the movie, we had to get it from our friend's up the street. The Lloyds have a son who is Ely's best buddy. She walks to his house by herself on Shabbat all the time. During the week, I walk her up the hill and walk her across the street before she walks the rest of the way by herself.
Tonight after we called the Lloyds to borrow the video, Ely announced she was going to get it. I told her she needed to wait for someone to walk her.

Our guest, Lisa, said she would go with her, but when we called for Ely to get ready, she was no where to be found. She has been in the habit of hiding from us when we call her these days, but we couldn't find her anywhere in the house.

Her coat and shoes were still here, so I "knew" she couldn't have walked by herself.

I was so wrong!

I called the Lloyds. She wasn't there - yet. Two minutes later the Lloyds called and told me that she was there, with no coat on and sandals (it's cold outside!) I could only laugh!

I sent DB up to get her with a coat and instructions to give her a big brother talking to!

Should we punish her? I'd only start laughing. Should there be a consequence?
She feels so safe and independent here!

She walked back in the door and said, "I'm sorry Imma."

I gave her the lecture about not doing that again and all was good.

It was funny and thank G-d she was okay!

Off to a decent night's sleep - I hope.

Shavuah tov.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Now for the serious stuff…

But before I begin, I want to comment on a couple comments left for me in my comment section. (Is that too many comments?)

To Babe, I want to say that BB said it for me. A very wise woman taught me when I became a parent that when a child asks a difficult or sensitive question; only give them an answer they can understand. Don’t give them more than what they are asking for. I have a couple great “birds and the bees” books for kids and as my kids have gotten older, we have read them together. But a 5 year old can only handle so much. She knows Mommy and Abba love each other (because Ari is always telling the children how much he loves me), and I prefer to use the opportunity to teach her about Hashem’s involvement in our lives. And like BB said, there is a time and a place for everything.

Thanks BB! BB to the rescue again.

To Ed, you don’t give yourself enough credit. DB looks forward to your arrival in the Holy Land next year and having another big brother around!

And to Louis, I will email you directly, but I want you to know that I can no longer, in good conscience, recommend aliyah to families with teenagers. It’s just SO HARD! There are so many variables that even if we have the greatest kids, which I think Ari and I do (pu pu pu), it is sooo risky! If you have a good thing going on there - don't mess with it!!

OK - What a day!

Started with the flood in our basement. Not just a puddle anymore. I sweated my way through wringing out towels, cursing the builders of this house, and “sponga-ing” the entire floor. The water ran from one room to the other, soaking our area rug and several cardboard boxes we hadn’t yet unpacked.

The air always gets tense between Ari and I when stuff like this happens. I have my way of cleaning up and taking care of things, and he has his – basically, he doesn’t. He makes himself breakfast and reads his email. (I exaggerate, of course. He helped pull wet stuff off the floor.)

By the time it was cleaned up (mostly), I had to take another shower. Grumble Grumble Grumble!

That was all before 12.

At 12:15 I drove to pick up DB to take him to Jerusalem for an appointment with a therapist. I mistakenly thought DB was going in on his own, but when I got there, I was invited into the room (I had to find parking first, no easy feat in the heart of Jerusalem!)
Before the appointment, I told DB that we were going to speak to someone to try to help him figure out his confusion about school. He was okay with it. He only asked, “How do you know if this guy is any good?” Great question, so I checked him out.

In a nutshell, DB does not want to be in this Yeshiva. He had to go back to 9th grade and he does not want to be there either. He feels that he doesn’t fit in and feels frustrated. The question is what do we do about it? That part isn’t so simple. Ari and I will meet with the therapist next week. In the meantime, DB was given the homework to make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of his school. And he was given chizzuk (encouragement) to make the best of everyday. We left with DB feeling that this therapist understood him and hopes he can help him more. yay!

DB and I had a very nice talk on the way back to school. I asked him, “What is so bad about being frum?”

Labels are so confusing – especially at this age!

He answered, “I don’t want to be charedi. You can’t do stuff. Fun stuff, like watch movies.”

See, my difficulty with all this is that I didn’t get this all confused – or straightened out - in my head until I was at least 30. He’s so much wiser than I was at 15!! I’m 38 (and a half) and still haven’t figured it all out!

I dropped him off at school and went to meet with the school counselor, who was very nice, understanding and helpful. I informed him of DB’s learning difficulties (thanks Dana for the testing years ago!) and he was very happy to have received this info.

The one thing that upset me the most was that again the counselor told me that the teachers see that DB is not socializing. That he stays to himself. WHY? Why is this great kid staying to himself or hanging with the wrong kids? I just don’t get it. Anyone who knows DB knows him to be such a great kid. It just makes no sense. sigh.

I left his office completely spent and upset that Ari hadn’t been with me. Carrying all this alone is just too much!

I came home and left again with NED to do my shopping for Shabbat. On our way home she hit me with:

“Imma, can I ask you a question, and please don’t get mad at me for asking it. I’m not saying I do, but what would you say if I told you I had a boyfriend?”


I simply told her that she was too young and that if she wants to have boys as friends and hang out in groups, I would not LOVE it, but I would prefer it that way. I explained to her what dogs guys are and that only girls understand girls J
Then she asked me what she should say if she was hanging out with her friends and a boy asks her to be his girlfriend.


I told her that she should politely tell him that she is not old enough and that she is not ready. (Ari says she should tell him to call her back in 15 years!)

We talked a little bit more about how friend’s influence us (I had to explain the word first!) and why it’s so important to surround ourselves with the right people.

I came home and gave Ely the biggest hug! I don’t want her to grow up. I love her innocence (in fact she patted my belly and asked, “Did Hashem put the baby in there yet?”)

So that was my day. I am emotionally spent. Now I have to focus on preparing for Shabbat. Distraction for now.

What will unfold? What will happen next?

No one told me having kids was going to lead to this!!

G-d give me strength!!

I love my electric sifter!

As I wait for my apple crisp to come out of the oven, I thought I'd tell everyone how much I love my electric sifter - something trivial before I get down to the "real" stuff.

In Israel we have to sift our flour for fear of ingesting bugs. One can buy an Israeli hand sifter, basically a hand seive with tiny tiny holes, and spend an hour shaking the darn thing.

Or you can have a great husband who goes out and buys - that is, of course, when you ask him to - an electric flour sifter. Set the thing up in one minute, pour the flour in, and in less that two minutes you have sifted flour ready to be used.

For those of us who are crazy bakers, it saves so much time and frusrtation.

Thanks to Ari for buying it for me!

Now back to my apple crisp and more serious stuff...

Over 3000...

In just two weeks!

That's so cool!

Thanks for reading

Thanks for your comments

I love writing :)


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Happy Half Birthday to me!

Today I am 38 and a half. Moving closer to 39, and then 40. I used to love remembering my half birthday. Now? I just let it happen. My first half birthday after we got married, Ari gave me a pair of slippers. I remember that.

My half birthday is also my oldest nephew's real birthday. Happy Birthday Ber!!

To be truthful, I totally didn't realize what day it was until Ari came home for dinner and reminded me. I spent my day as Mommy nurse, playmate, cookie maker, project maker, nap taker, book reader, and TLC giver. All that because Ely stayed home from gan with a fever. She desperately wanted to go, but her eyes told me otherwise. It was one of those, "Mommy knows" things. I knew I would get a call within an hour to pick her up. So instead, we brought gan to our house. We baked cookies, watched Lion King 1-1/2, read books, took a nap, did an art project, made dinner. She wasn't pathetic, thank G-d. In fact, I actually had fun.

I love to watch her. She is (pu-pu-pu) so yummy! She's got a great smile and great facial expressions. She is starting to ask a lot of questions.

Like this one:
Ari and I are sitting at the dinner table with Ely talking about her not being the baby anymore (I talk about it a lot. It's reality orientation for me!) Ari asks her if she wants to have another baby.
"Yes," she answers.
"You want a boy or girl baby?" Ari keeps going.
"I want a baby."
"How are you going to get a baby?" Ari KEEPS going!
"From Mommy's tummy," Ely looks at me.
"Does Mommy have a baby in her tummy now?" Why is he doing this?!
"No," and turning again towards me she asks, "How do you get a baby in your tummy?"
I sigh. "Hashem puts it there."
"How do you get Hashem to put it there?"
"You have to daaven (pray) to Hashem and ask him, and if he wants to, he will."
She turns away from me; I can tell she is thinking. “OK. I will,” she answers and the conversation is over.
I look at Ari and say, “You are such a trouble maker!”
He smiles and I smile back.

I digress.

I was inside all day. Raining and pouring outside. Puddling in our basement. It’s not worth telling the landlord. He won’t do anything about it. I just keep laying down towels and mopping it up!

Ari and I met with the Rosh Hayeshiva of DB’s school tonight. They are concerned he doesn’t want to be there. He’s hanging with the wrong kids – he’s always done that. Why do kids do that? How do you get them to stop?!

I’m rambling.

Good night. Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

All over the place

Can you tell I'm a little disjointed?

Read on...

Tomorrow is another day.

Oy! The pain...

I am coming off of one of the worst all-day headaches I have suffered with in a long time. When I awoke this morning, I took my advil, thinking it was only a sinus headache and would go away.

By 12 o'clock, it had moved into a borderline migraine - with sensitivity to light, loud noises and nausea. But I couldn't justify getting back into bed. I closed my eyes off and on, but had a goal to go through all the papers that had been sitting around since NED's Bat Mitzvah, and couldn't let myself lie down.

So I got done most of what I wanted to get done, and my head is still throbbing.

i push myself.
i know I do.
i don't allow myself time off very often.
i feel too guilty.

I fell asleep with Ely at bedtime. Awoke at 10 PM. Ari came home late tonight.

And now here I am, writing instead of sleeping.

No birthday cake today - feel good about that. (I sent most of it back to yeshiva with DB)

I have laundry hanging everywhere.

Tomorrow I'm home again, Ari will take the car.

I need to start the job search thing. I am SO not looking forward to it. I need to make phone calls, send emails. Sell myself.


More closet shelves and drawers to organize.

Shabbat is coming...


Special friends from America.

Great for our kids.

Great for me.

They bring hugs, they bring familiarity.

They bring love.

Comfort people.

We appreciate when we are part of the schedule.

It's still raining here, has been all day. We pray for rain. We got it!

Puddle in the basement. In the guest room.

Good friends - they don't care.

I am thankful. I am blessed.

More birthday cake today. Wish I didn't ever have to eat!

Try again tomorrow.

Good night!

Monday, January 03, 2005

My baby is five!

So that's it.

I blinked.

My baby is five.

Took her for a hair cut today. Makes her look so big-girlish.

Still sucking her thumb. Snuggling on the couch.

But five years of raising another baby. Passed. Like That!

Would love to have more babies. We make such great ones! This body just can't.

Need to be responsible for the ones I have been given.

responsibility. I was asked if i would do it all over again.

I was taught to be responsible.

I have been given my lot. I am thankful.

my plate is full. i am full.

i have said it before, no one told me having babies was going to lead to this.

It's a blessing.

it's a challenge. a selfless challenge. an exhausting challenge.

I am thankful.

Happy Birthday little girl!

happy birthday to me...

P.S. I ate too much birthday cake today!! self-sabatoge, anyone ever heard of it?!