November 13, 2006

Oh the Trials of a 7 Year old

The Monkey was at a friends house playing. The time for return home had come and gone and I was just about to send the Artist out to get her when in she bursts, tears running down her face, sobbing so loudly we could hear her before the door opened.

Of course I jumped up, my anger gone (lucky her) quite fearful that she had been injured in some way.

Nope; a fast glance showed no bleeding and she wasn't holding anything and complaining of pain.

What happend?

Apparently it was time for 20 questions as there was no response only more tears and sobs.

Did you fall?
She shook her head no.

Did you get in a fight with your friend?
Did the mother kick you out?
Were you afraid that I would be angry with you?
Are you afraid? Angry? Sad?
Finally a yes.
She was sad.

And, finally, she choked out her despair.

"Friend S said she was going to walk me home but then she didn't and she said she never said she would!"

I tried to be very sympathetic!

G-d willing this will be her greatest sorrow!

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November 05, 2006

Just in Case You were Wondering

Pen ink isn't poisonous.
Why I know this is a big secret.
But it took me 2hrs to find.
At least now I know the number for poison control in Israel.

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October 23, 2006

So Why DID The Kids Put Jam on the Cat

Hanging around the computer and playing games on Neopets or Club Penguin is one of my kids fave activities. The Artist, being a much better player than the Monkey at some of the games, often, with the Monkey's consent, takes over and plays for her. Watching is as good as doing I guess. So today, as the evening was wearing down the kiddos were playing on the computer, and The Artist was playing a game for the Monkey when she got the hiccups.

Hic SHOOT up ROLL kind of takes your concentration off your action.

IMA, can you bring me a spoonful of sugar; our best remedy (and most beloved) for the hiccups.

No, I couldn't. I was sweeping up litter and cleaning the bathroom, but the Monkey, for whom the game was being played, could.

And she wanted her up spoonful of sugar absent the hiccups.

Okay. A spoonful now and then isn't going to kill her. So fine.

Come into the kitchen and she is standing there looking guilty, and wants me out.

I figure, she's eating a bit more than a spoonful, but okay. I don't believe every "offense" is a high crime. Let it go.

Well now...come to the kitchen later, and doing last minute clean-up and I decide to treat myself to a little something. NOT sugar, but in almost. Chocolate spread. That ubiquitous plastic container of dark brown goodness that almost every Israeli has to spread upon bread. Just a spoonful; not much different than a bit of chocolate candy really.

And as I scoop it out, I see something in there. Bread? Did someone get peanut butter in my chocolate?


Guess what the Monkey was doing in the kitchen.

Putting SUGAR in the chocolate.

She's asleep, so no I can't ask WHY.

I'm not sure I want to know.

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October 22, 2006

Monkey's Got Us

Well we did get to the zoo after all. The Monkey protested when it was time to go and I offered to let her remain with the Monkey's overnight. She opted for the pizza and (shhh, don't even tell the Artist) special treat. Three meringues for about 3 shekels, that is a treat we could afford. Me. I got a salad and the Artist got whatever at her local NESTO meeting.

Special Monkey and Mommy time, and The Artist got a bit of socializing under her belt...nice to have a group she enjoys meeting with, though I don't know how much she is really talking to anyone else. Give it time.

I've got a new cleaning job, that will. hopefully, be weekly. The woman is in her 80's and she could use the help. Washing the floors making the bathrooms smell nice, well it is a tovah as well as getting me about 60 shek. I still need something else, from home, for a couple of hours a week, and maybe then we can break a bit less unevenly then we do now.

(sigh) I must have been wealthy in a former life.

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October 12, 2006

So How Was The Magician?

GREAT!!! He chopped off someone's head!

My baby, the Monkey, who isn't a baby but 7 going on 32, came home after spending almost the whole day outside with her friends celebrating the ending of "Chofesh" the holidays. School resumes on Monday. She played, went to a party, and then saw a magician, coming back home close to 6pm. TIt is still so weird to me that she could disappear for hours somewhere on the Yishuv and I can't just call her home again; can't see her, can't hear her. Out of sight but not out of mind and just having a blast with her gang of friends (who btw, range in age from 3-14).

I can't get over the fact that my almost 13 year old is taking buses in the city, at night, not one bus but two, to go back and forth between her youth group meetings and home.

I can't get over how much freedom my kids have here, as opposed to what they would have in the States.

They have more freedom, and also more responsiblity. They have more rights, and more obligations. I think, in the end, it is a much better life for them.

Oh, btw, while the Monkey loved the magician, she knew exactly what happened in the beheading trick. Don't worry, she assured me. He just scooched down, his head really wasn't disconnected from his body.

Phew. Now you know the secret too...but don't tell anyone!

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September 19, 2006

In Honor of the Yom Tovim (Holidays)

The Monkey's teacher sent home a little booklet of "mitzvahs". A smiley face was to go on each page when she did the mitzvah. Things like
Didn't fight with my siblings. (does ten minutes count? )
Listened to my teacher (um, how would I know?)
Obeyed school rules (see above)
Took out the garbage.
Today we earned a smiley face for that.
And I do mean we.
As in: I put the two bags that were going out together.
I tied the knot.
I walked down to the garbage bin with her. (Down the street, we don't get individual pickup).

She did throw carry it (don't drag it...PLEASSSSSSSSSSSE) and toss it in but...

You know, where is my smiley?

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August 15, 2006

He's Back!!!!

In Israel at least. Betzalel is home in Israel. I don't know and neither does he know when he'll be home at our house, but we are both looking forward to that day. Chicken, steak, salad and rice are on the menu. Promises that we won't serve tuna or corn. YUCK. YUCK YUCK! (well I like them but when you have been eating them for over 2weeks, YUCK!!!!)

He's coming home he's coming home.
Thank G-d.
It was wonderful to hear his voice again and I almost cried.

Poor guy hasn't had a chance to shower in all that time.

Oh and if you are in Israel and see the news and there are two guys playing checkers with bottle caps, one of them may be my son. Tape and lmk!!!!

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August 10, 2006

So With His Batteries Dead

The last time I SMSed with my son, which seems years ago, but it was only 3 days ago, he warned me the batteries were almost depleted. I haven't heard from him since, but I know he is alright since the army is quite good about informing the family before the public knows anything. Still, my stomach is grieving me terribly, reminding me that while I may outwardly deny my fears inside, inside I worry. Could any mother do anything less? If there were something more I could do....but what?

I send messages that I know he isn't receiving so that when he finally turns on his phone there will be a sign from me that I've been talking to him all along. Okay, he knows that. He knows I love him and pray for him and all. But I want his skin to feel it, the bones in his head to feel it, every part of him to know how much I love him and how proud I am of him.

And how I can't wait to finally, safely, have him home.

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August 03, 2006

Update on my son

Sent another message. Still in Lebanon doesn't know when he'll be home...I'm praying that he'll be able to come home, healthy and safe, soon. But it doesn't seem like it from his text message.

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August 01, 2006

Tanks You

Here's an article on the type of tank my son is in. He is doing rescue work, picking up the wounded and ferrying them back to Israel. I'm proud of you Betzalel!!!!!!

We all got text messages from him today; I'm Fine. Short and sweet.

He's such a good son.

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July 21, 2006

The Wit

Is pretty certain his unit will be called into Lebanon next. Betzalel Eliyahu ben Tzvi Shmuel v'Hinda Rochel.

We are hoping not, not now, not ever. I want him safe and I don't want him to have to deal with the pain of causing harm to another. But he knows his duty to his countrymen and this country and he is prepared to do what he must.

The thing is we are entering Shabbat and he won't be able to tell us what is happening then.

I'm trying not to be silly and cry. It isn't really working.

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July 18, 2006

My MARRIED Daughter

Made me promise not to stop blogging. EVER. Well okay, as long as my mind and arms hold out I'll try, but I'm not promising to write from beyond the grave.

So what can I talk about? The war....told you where to go for that, and basically things are status quo here; my immediate family is safe, my people are not, there's not much I can do but pray. I'll let you know what is happening to my sons when I know. Right now one is in the Jordan Valley and the other near Tel Aviv.

I'm working as hard as I can to keep us moving backward, finacially, as slow as I can. I'm not sure it's working. There is laundry everywhere but where it should be; in drawers and closets. Dishes are having children. Toys are rioting.
As I said, status quo.

So what else is happening at our happy household?

Today we, meaning The Artist and The Monkey and I, met up with some homeschooling families. That should give you all a clue as to the educational direction we may take come Fall. We aren't positive yet...but the families were a wonderful mix of people, and The Monkey eventually warmed up and spoke and played with others. The Artist of course did not. It will take several such outings to get her to actual voice the words HELLO!!!!

I kept trying to get her lips and vocal chords and lungs to move in unison and the others moms told me, nicely, that maybe I should just step back, and to tell the truth if it were someone else's kids that's what I would have told them. Give her time, give her space and she'll start mingling...but it being my kid and all it is hard to step back and chill. Next time in I'll just have to pretend she isn't mine and take the advice. We shall bring a book for her to read and one of the moms is going to bring her a Nancy Drew book. That brought smiles. She, the she being The Artist spoke through 5 this was cute, but it bothers me at 12....step back mom and breathe deep.

Can we ever really disconnect as parents and stop trying to mold and grow? Putting those two words together doesn't sound to hot...but you all know what I mean. Can't stop trying to make it better, trying to get them to appear to others as perfect as we know they are.

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July 16, 2006

Just Trying To

Stay on top of the news and keep up with my boys.

The Agent, who is 19 and in Nahal Charedi, the religous arm of the Israeli army, was woken up early in the morning ON SHABBAT and, together with his unit, moved to a different base. They don't move Nahal Charedi on Shabbat unless great need, but he isn't near any of the fighting yet. The other son, The Wit has been moved up north, but not near the border.

It is odd; I hear nothing and see nothing where I live (close to Jerusalem.) It is all happening somewhere else at the moment and I feel very guilty that my life is continuing as normal and others are suffering so much.Many in the north are living in a shelter or remaining close to home and shelters which makes life extremely difficult, especially during the summer time when children should be able to run free.

Instead we are bottled down in a war that could be over 1, 2, 3. Return our soldiers, stop firing on us, dismantle the terrorist organizations.'

We pull back and out.

End of story.

I am glad that the foreign nationalists are being evacuated. I want as many innocents safe as possible. It also makes it easier for Israel to defeat her enemies. The less innocents that could get in the way, or be used as human sheilds or be deliberately killed in a publicity ploy by the Hizbullah the better.

On the actual homefront, homefront, we are enduring an attack of our own. ANTS. Blasted creatures. We have sprayed but the spray is ineffective. We don't want the heavy duty high powered knock em dead kind of spray (ie having an exterminator come in) because the reports on such measures seem to indicate a need for US to leave the house for at least a week. Three days was not enough to avoid the smell according to one family. And we have the cat and kittens to think about. So we are attacking them in bits and pieces, hoping they'll figure out we aren't going to let them alone. Natural repellent ideas anyone? The kinds that will leave the kitties to grow in peace? Barring that; anyone want to host a family of four to six, depending on when the boys are home, plus four cats?

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July 14, 2006

If You Wish

Neither of my sons are in the current battles directly. Both are relatively safe at the moment. However, I don't know if they could get called into action or when.
For those who wish to keep my sons in your prayers they are:
Betzalel Eliyahu ben Tzvi Shmuel and Hinda Rochel
Meir Shlomo ben Tzvi Shmuel and Hinda Rochel.

Again, so far both boys are in a safe area...

And do keep all those soldiers who are fighting against our enemies and for the citizens of Israel, all those in the North who are in the line of fire directly, in your prayers...

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What's up with us

Well I guess just read the news. We are not in the north and there are no bombs flying here, but I've two sons in the army and yeah I'm worried. One was briefly moved to the Lebanese border but then moved down south again. The other is in a state of readiness.

I'm praying for the safety of my sons and the rest of those in Israel. I'm not doing anything different than millions of other moms and dads.

I want my sons safe, but I also want this threat stopped and now, or no one will ever be safe.

So...I just want Israel to go in and do what she has to do and not worry or give a damn about the opinion of any country/leader or other being, except for G-d.

My Hashem protect us and defend us.

That is my prayer and that is where we are.

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June 30, 2006

My Girls

Did very well on their report cards...all goods and very goods and the Monkey got an excellent...

I'm very proud of them!

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March 20, 2006


If you could take back one thing you said to one person, what would it be and to whom was it said, and what would you say instead?

I know what I would take back: I was waiting outside a Shul in New York city, a rather well known Shul, waiting for my husband to arrive so we could go in and listen to a Torah lesson. A strange (in many ways) woman came up to me, very angry, her face set and hard, and she began ranting about Mikveh, how she hated it, how she didn't really go but only told her husband she went and actually she just went for a walk around the block, on and on...and I sat there stunned, not at all certain what to say. I must have responded somehow, gave some answer to her anger, but I can't remember the exact words.

Then she stopped; her face took on a look of disdain: "You'll probably be one of those who has ten kids!" she spat at me.

"No. Six" I snapped back, because this was what my husband and I had talked about, and I, at that point, was anxious to show I wasn't the kind of woman who just had baby after baby. At that point in my life I wanted a career; children nursed for 6mns, then set to the care of a babysitter, me off doing some good for someone else. "Six" I said, making believe I really was the one in control of the situation.
And if I could II would take back, and would answer instead.
"I'll take ten or I'll take twenty, or half as many or three times agian. I will take whatever G-d gives me and be happy for the blessings I am given."

Now, older, wiser, I wonder how I could have thought that I could named a number of children as if each and everyone granted wasn't worth all the world, as if G-d wouldn't know the right number for me. I wish I had known to appreciate the blessing of carrying, bearing and raising even a single soul in the world.

I have been blessed by my five.

Sometimes I wish I did have this great career where people were amazed by my ablities and accomplisments; plaques and testimonials on the wall, a fat pay check.

But I got my blessings, and I am the luckiest mom in the world.

And I take back everything I said to that woman.

Thank you G-d for blessing me as You have.

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My Kids Constantly Amaze Me

It isn't necessarily so much what they do but it is who they are; how wonderful they have turned out. I think; how could I, who am so flawed, have given birth to these beautiful souls. I feel overwhelmed with joy for their being. I look around at the other children in the world and my heart swells and I feel an enormous pride in myself for having been given the children I was given; as if I had anything to do with it.

I guess all parents feel this way inside; but hey, I know the truth.
Whether or not I deserve it: My kids rule.

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January 01, 2006

Oh What Fun

insert curse words of your choice here...
grumble grumble grumble grumble.

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December 14, 2005


She being the artist finished a book in a day. Less than a day. less than 3 hrs. really; we came home from the library and she began reading; 175 pages. Nancy Drew. A page a minute.

This is a child who didn't learn to read till she was 8. Basic words at 8; and then she flew! Now I can't get her nose out of a book. She describes it as "eating" and the books "make her read". Four years make such a difference!

All those whose kids aren't reading at the "right" time, take heart. My daughter was the same way. And she is now a fantastic reader.

Now if only I could get her to like math.....................

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December 12, 2005

This is the Speech

My dh is going to give for my daughter, The Artist's Bat Mitzvah:
(It is Parsha V'yishlach) Though he'll do it in Hebrew and there will be some minor adjustments to focus on my daughter.

She has a new pretty dress courtesy of a friend, and many friends have offered to bake cakes etc. for the event. She'll probably wear the necklace from her Bubby and Zaidy.

The Artist isn't talking. She'll probably blush a lot and hide against me.

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November 21, 2005


It is the Agents turn to have his ceremony for completing boot camp. He doesn't know where he wants to go yet; I hope he gets his first choice, Nahal Haredi. But he won't know for a few days yet.

For us to come see him it is a three hour bus ride. Yuck! And it is rainging. Fun fun fun. I persuaded the Monkey she would enjoy home and friends and pizza or falafel better...but it took some doing.

The Wit is home till Sunday. YEAH!!!! He is going with us natch to his brothers ceremony.

have a great day

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November 16, 2005

G-d was Laughing

I was making an early dinner because today I was due to go to the library for help-night. It is about 3:45, 4:00. Pasta and cheese, I know, thrilling, but there it was. Dinner ready I call the girls.

The Artist flies down the stairs; I set out her plate.
"Where's the Monkey?"
She didn't know. I call up the stairs, I go looking in the attic, I yell outside.
No Monkey.
I had yelled at her a few minutes before hand for once again picking up an unwilling cat. Maybe she was hiding and sulking somewhere.

A through job of looking everywhere; no Monkey.
I'm starting to get scared now.
I tell the Artist to look in the attic, and then a friend of hers call and they both look about the house and then together go to see if she went to the store/library ahead of us, or the park or somewhere.

No Monkey.
Not under a bed, in a closet, in a box, behind the cabinets. Not in the park, at the library or in the store.

I call the husband.
I'm really scared.
I call friends.

She isn't to be found.

FINALLY, as the Artist and the Artists friend heads home, the Monkey answers my cry... a good half hour or so later.

WHERE WERE YOU????????????????????????

She met a friend. And went off to a sort of day-camp.


As the Artists friend is here, she volunteers to help her out with math rather than have the Artist come with me. She is quite a bright child and knows both English and Hebrew. We shall call her Philosopher. (the kids really bright.)

I get home and the Philosopher is still here, but saying her goodbyes.

I make soup, serve it and ask the Artist if she was able to finish her homework.

Just take a guess what she forgot to do.


Dear G-d I just hope You are enjoying this because I am not having a good day.

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November 03, 2005

Dear Morah (Teacher)

The Monkey comes home from school and tells me she needs to read a special card to me. Said card has no writing on it that I can see, but the Monkey explains that it is like those 3d pictures, you need to hold it to your nose and move it out till you can see it. She will translate it into English for me.

So she holds up the picture she colored and says (this is about as verbatim as I can get):

Dear Ima,

Tehila was crying all the way home from school today. Do you know why she was crying? (she glances at me over her shoulder, folding the card to keep it hidden from me) Because N took her teek (knapsack) home with her. Tehila didn't want N to take her teek, but she took it and she was afraid her Ima would notice that the teek wasn't there and get mad. N took the teek because she tied it to her and couldn't get it untied and so had to take it home to her mother so she could untie it. She tied it to her because she wanted to pull it* without holding it with her hands.

Now, I'm just trying to think how to translate that into Hebrew so her teacher will understand she has a valid excuse for not having done her homework last night.

*the Monkey has a rolling cart for her knapsack

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October 31, 2005


The Monkey stopped off at a friends house after school (another of those things I wouldn't have allowed to occur in the USA) called me to let me know where she is and asked if she could stay.

"Yes, but you have to walk home by yourself."
Pause: "What?"
"You have to come home by yourself."
"Maybe N's Ima can walk me home."
"That wouldn't be fair. You can walk home by yourself."
"But I don't know the way."
Ima thinks. "Can you get to the park?"
"Can you get home from the park?"
"Okay, then go to the park and then come home."
"Okay. I'll walk to the park and then home!"
Child happy, mom happy.

Why can't all my problems be so easily solved?

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October 29, 2005

Ah, the Joys of Mommyhood

There is nothing quite like the odor of vomit now is there? So much fun to clean up! Yes, like I said, nothing quite like it.

(sigh) The Artist is the one who is sick. The Monkey is rather nervous about walking to school alone tomorrow, so mom will accomapny her part way.

My alter-ego is grinning like an idiot. My alter-ego lives in a two story house, five rooms, one room completely dedicated to books. She has a creek in her backyard, a little black and white terrier, and a silver grey cat. She never has to clean up someone else's anything. She never has to put away someone else's junk. Her house always smells of laveder and citrus. She knows how to bake bread. She is neat and orderly. She is confident about aging. She is everything I am not.

Poor thing.

No one put their arms around her today and declared her the best mom in the world.

So I'll let her smile, I know who is rich.

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October 24, 2005

Reverse Pantology

Back in August, when the sun was hot and the living was easy, we, meaning dh and the girls, made a stop at the local (and fairly new) mall for all their back to school needs. Well, not exactly all, they still need winter stuff, but enough to get them started.

One pressing requirement; underpants. We got them each six pair new.

But, poor Tehila! She found so many faults with her new ones; they were uncomfortable, they pinched, they gave her a rash. They were bigger than the old pairs, and I tried lots of things to make them more comfortable--stretching them and washing them and tossing in fabric softener.

But alas and alack to no avail. Comfortable undergarments are a must, imho, and I sympathised, so we figured another trip to the store. Then today I pulled out a pair of her new ones, handed it to her and she gave a cry...

Here, I said, and stretched them hard. It seemed to help somewhat but;

Look she said, quickly getting out of and then back into her panties, but this time with the back to the front.

The label, sewn into the back was scratching and irritating her.

Well, then wear them inside out."

"Inside out?" she asked me increduously.

Voila! Problem solved. They are as comfortable as her own pair.
The solution was there all along; easily solvable when we had correctly named the problem in the first place.

Like a lot of life's problems.

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October 23, 2005


When we were in the States there was a cartoon about a little girl who loved pets way too much. Lets say she loved them to death.

I think the cartoon has come to life.

Poor Shiny, poor Chamomile! The Monkey loves them so much, she can't stop herself from picking them up and carrying them everywhere! Their faces take on this "why me" look, and if they weren't both sweet and gentle animals I would fear for my daughter's skin!

Shiny will have some respite; she goes home tomorrow. As for Chamomile, well a cat is wise and keeps her hiding places secret; there are places my loving daughter can't get.

She'll learn. She isn't cruel, just a wee bit enthusiastic. And the animals do realize they are loved.

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September 26, 2005

(Did You See What She Was Wearing?!)

Oh dear, it is starting. That lovely, I would rather walk through fire than go through that stage again, time when young girls are very concerned with what their friends have on.

The utter gal of someone to have the wrong outfit! Why, it is a sin just short of murder!

Now The Artist doesn't really care all that much about what someone else is wearing, though she is getting interested in what she puts on, it hasn't reached the "What will I do stage! I can't wear this with that! Are you crazy!!!" turning her nose up at what seems to me as a perfectly acceptable pairing because the blues aren't right. So I tried to explain to her; you don't care, and you don't make your friends based on dress style that is fine. BUT it is a good idea to become more fashionably inclined. NOT because that is what is important, but because it does make it easier to live. That she can make friends with those who dress "right" and those who dress "wrong" by taking an interest in what she puts on, but not worrying about what someone else wears.

No, this is not the talk I want to have with her. I'd like to tell her clothes don't matter, as long as one is being respectable in terms of how one is dress (jeans aren't appropriate to formal weddings etc.) But reality strikes; and I've decided I don't want her going through this period unprepared. I'm teaching her, or hopefully teaching her, how to walk that fine line between living up one's ideals and living in reality.

I hope I'm doing it right. But that is the pain of parenting; one never really can know how well one is doing, if one is doing it right.

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September 11, 2005

September 11, 1981

That's the day I first took on the role of mother. That is the day I opened my arms to be for another wholey and completely. That is the first time someone smaller and weaker than I completely ruled my heart.

I know the day has a sadder connotation to most of the world, but this is the day knew joy as I had never known joy before.

I am so proud of this child grown woman; she has come far in life. She is planning a wedding, working and in law school all at once. She is a marvel, beautiful inside and out.

Happy Birthday beautiful. We love you.

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August 30, 2005

Back to School Thursday!!!!

The Monkey starts first grade; she is so excited! There was a program for her tonight in school and she was quite happy and thrilled with what went on. Her teacher seems like a real winner; but we still don't have all the books yet!!!! Arggggggggghhhhhhh...

The Artist is feeling much more confident with her Hebrew. The box has helped. We are however getting rid of the satellite soon, so I made dh promise he would purchase some Hebrew movies and such for the girls. I'm hoping the teachers push her a bit more next year. She can do it, but it just takes her awhile to build up her courage.

Me, until I end up with a job I'll be alone at home for a good couple of hours.


It has been awhile.

Okay, I'll have the incontinent dog. But I'll also have some peace and quiet.

Yeah I know. Within two weeks I'll be bored out of my ever loving mind, but oh those two weeks!!!!

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July 10, 2005

Words Of Wisdom

Scene: Living room couch, in front of the t.v. snuggling a sick Monkey (stomach virus. Glad it missed vacation). We've just watched the Lion King Video and we are into the commercials. The Aristrocats theme song (Everybody Wants to Be a Cat) plays.

Monkey: Everybody doesn't want to be a cat.
Me: Oh?
Monkey: If you are a cat you have to eat mice and mice taste like mud.

Anyone who wants to verify the truth of the statement can go right ahead. Me, I'm accepting it as the truth. Hey, maybe she was a cat in a previous life.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 24, 2005

Spoke too Soon

She came home from school teary eyed. She just couldn't do it; couldn't leave us for Shabbat.

Oh well.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:11 PM | Comments (1)



The Monkey's Hebrew speaking ability is begining to surpass her English speaking ability. Not only does she lapse into Hebrew in the midst of speaking, but she stumbles less and has less trouble finding the words she needs to speak. I sometimes ask her to speak in Hebrew to end the "um, uhing".

Amazing! at least to me.


The Artist will have a wonderful time this Shabbat. She is, after saying NO NO NO and worrying and tearing up about it, going to spend the Shabbat with her Hebrew teacher. WeeHAW!!! Same story as the overnight trip. She wants me to push; after making various promises etc. and gaining her reluctant agreement---never actually stated (If I go I won't have to do this ever again) she ends up thrilled about it and looking forward to the outing.

G-d; a handbook. PLEASE!!!!!


At least some of my kids will live close enough to me in terms of distance and love, that I can see my grandkids often. They are all growing up so fast and I'm missing them already. So G-d, why did you have to make it so hard?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

Please Don't Sing

Women, according to Jewish law, are constrained (depending on the cirucumstances) from singing before men. This is a blanket statement which, like most laws is dependent upon whom one asks for the actual parameters of when and under what circumstances and before which men and well, suffice it to say, everything depends. This law is referred to as KOL ISHA (kol--voice, isha---woman.)

We are more lenient, the we meaning my dh and I and family, restricting the "not listening to" to times of Shema/davening and love songs in general. (And dh says I shouldn't be listening to the love songs of a man either.)

But that isn't what this post is about. See, the thing is:

I sing like a crow. I've no vocal abilities whatsoever. I am probably one of the few women in the world who is told by her children when they are as young as age 2 "Don't sing Ima." More of a plea. A desperate plea.

Probably a good idea to comply. Singing much past that time is likely to do irreprabable damage to their ear drums if harm wasn't done already.

I can not carry a tune. I can't even find the tune to pick it up in the first place.
But I love to sing--I think a requirement of us crows...why those two genes would go together I've no idea---, and I'm apt to break out into song at a moments notice, simply in response to a single word.

"THAT'S NOT A SONG!!!" The Wit shouts. Poor child. Most of the time it is at best a corruption of a half remembered song whose tune is questionably related to the one I'm trying to belt out. I have subjected this chld to such torture with my vocal chords that I am fairly certain that one of the criterions for his future wife will be that she is mute; or at the very least will take an oath that she will never sing. What have I done to the child!!!

However, my sister R. sings beautifully. She is in fact an opera singer (and a pianist par excellance) and insists with the proper training I too could actually produce something approaching a melody.

She's a nice sister to lie like that.

Oh well. Aside from poor singing I'm absolutely pirfict.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:38 PM | Comments (3)

June 17, 2005

Shalom Gan! (Goodbye kindergarten)

Today was the goodbye misiba (party) for the Monkey's gan. Next year she is in first grade.

The girls welcomed us with a beautiful song, telling us how happy they were by our presence. Then they launched into this adorable play about three butterflies, purple and yellow and pink; how happy they were in the sun, dancing together from flowers to flower, laughing and joyous in the warmth. But then, alas, the clouds came out, and the ran poured on the poor butterflies---They were so cold, they were shivering from the cold. What should they, what could they do? Could they find shelter among the flowers? They went to yellow flower. Could we enter? Only the yellow flower could enter, the flower replied. No, the yellow flower said, if my friends can't come, I won't enter. We are one together in joy and sorrow. And the butterflies flitted to the purple and then the pink flower with the same results. Only that color could enter, and they refused. Then, G-d saw what happened and was pleased with their love for one another, and how they supported each other, and sent the sun to dry up the rain.

There were a few more songs, then another little play about a meal fit for a king. BUT the forks were too long, they couldn't get the food to their mouths. Half the people left, sad and hungry. But the ones that stayed sat and thought, how could they eat? Ah! We'll feed each other. And so the ones t hat stayed and helped each other had a delicious, nutritious, feast.
(Achdus, being one, is a big part of Jewish culture, the idea being that we are all one body, of many parts.)

I know too cute. Silly bits of cloth tied about heads, or draped over necks. The teachers standing over the children, showing them what to do, mouthing and saying the words with them. Kids breaking ranks to hug parents, rub their noses, or like my daughter, take an inordinate interest in their knees, so a film would have shown her with her skirt hiked up scratching her leg for a good portion of the event.

No one would have won an emmy.

So nu, why did my eyes keep tearing up especially when she stepped through the arch saying Shalom kitah aleph (Hello first grade?)

My babies are all growing up! I don't remember telling them to do that!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:32 AM | Comments (1)

June 03, 2005

Quiet; the Artist is Sleeping

She had a great time btw, and hse is glad she went. She didn't come home till 10:30, stayed awake till my dh came home at midnight, and is still sleeping now. The food was great! (Hot dogs and sandwiches--okay, she isn't an epicurian.) Aside from some minor stomach problems (she threw up at one point) the rest of the time was fantastic. Ask her what she did though and she'll tell me "stuff." (sigh). Talkative she is not.

The Monkey missed her tremedously. She is so glad she is back.

So am I . I missed her!

All my babies are growing up!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:57 AM | Comments (1)

June 01, 2005

There She Went!

The Artist took off today on her overnight. She won't be back till late, late, late, tomorrow night. Smiling, excited, happy, confident---quite different from last week---she was telling me not to worry! Such an order is hard to obey however; I kept waking last night out of fear that I, the Waker of all but the Agent, would oversleep and she would be late and miss the bus. I'm presuming that tonight will be an uneasy one for me as well; waking every hour or so fearful that I missed her phone call. (She has my cell phone in case she becomes homesick. The potential loss of the cell phone due to the normal inattentiveness of children was vastly outweighed by the potential security benefit to my darling girl.)

By the way, for those who missed it, the Agent introduces himself on my blog with a couple of criticisms. If only he were incorrect in what he said! But truthfully, it makes me smile. I like being defeated by my children. I like how they are turning out; strong, wise and wonderful.

(pssst, Agent, is this better?)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)

May 31, 2005

Tomorrow Is The Big Day

Tomorrow the Artist is off for her overnight.
Um, she's ready, I'm not so sure I am.
Putting on my happy smilely face, and I promise not to hug her as if she were going off to war.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:20 AM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Do I insist the Artist take part in an over-night trip with her school even though she is afraid to make the trip because of her shyness, on the basis that if she doesn't she will, mess up her social life, not to mention miss a great experience that she very might well regreting if not for the rest of her life but for a number of years but if she goes she will end up enjoying herself emensely, and gain confidence in herself?

Damn, where did I leave the book of answers anyway?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:23 PM | Comments (3)

May 19, 2005

So My Girls are Blogging Now

So sorry, but you can't go read what they have to say. They've got private blogs. Please believe me when I say you are glad you can't see the Monkey's blog. Her color choice is, to put it nicely, blinding. All neon colors and they are and I think they at war with each other. May the best color win. So ar she has not written in her blog, and there is a good chance she won't her interest in blogging at this point more mimicry than desire.

The Artist, being older and more subdued, has picked colors that are a bit more harmonious. She is also writing about her daily life, occasionally, something I intend to encourage. I do hope she gets to the point where she wants to let everyone in on the thoughts bumping round in her head, but for now, it is great that she is writng. Of course pen to paper is also good, but there is something freeing, at least for me, about the internet, and perhaps there is for her as well (though she has made several stabs at the old fashioned, key bound, type of diary.)

Which leads me to a question for everyone; how many of you keep a pen and paper journal/diary? A private blog? How many of you have tried to keep a journal or diary but were never dedicated writers until you began to blog?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:36 PM | Comments (5)

May 03, 2005

Maybe it is the Medicine

Maybe it is the medicine, or the pain (she has both strep and the fungus infection), or a combination, but for the past four days the Monkey has woken with one of these.

She isn't the best of sleepers; sleepwalking is not uncommon with her, and usually occurrs because she has to go to the bathroom but hasn't quite woken fully yet, and she has had episodes of night terrors before. I think she actually sleeps more deeply than most do, and so isn't able to rouse herself fully when necessary, and perhaps this is a contributing factor toward both states.

But she hasn't had only one night of regular sleep since Friday night. Two nights ago was the worse; the look on her face was such pure terror it chilled me. What was she seeing behind her eyes? What monster was threatening her?

It is so hard to deal with night terrors because one's natural impulse is the wrong one; if first attempts at calming don't help (her crying could be a simple nightmare) silence, and just lying beside her, touching her lightly or not at all is the best response. No talking, no hugging, many times rubbing her back or shushing sounds are the wrong choice. To have you child screaming and staring out at you and not being able to pull them onto your lap and snuggle close is a nightmare in and of itself, but touching only brings kicks and more screams.

Last nights episode lasted about 1/2 hr, though it seemed longer, and ended with her wanting to go to the bathroom, and snuggling down beside me in bed, finally drifiting off to sleep once more.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:43 AM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2005


To whomever invented Daktarin, that wonderfully yucky tasting balm, that has seemed to have worked magic after just one dose. The Monkey, after more then 24 hrs of non-eating and drinking nothing more than water is eating rice, and now wants tuna fish.

mom is glad.

This does mean of course that the next two days she is home are not going to be quiet ones.

Oh the laundry doesn't get done.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005


I fixed the Artist's doll, sewing her head back onto her body. Surgeons can breathe a sigh of relief; I am not going to be coming after their job. But I did the job.

The Monkey spent three years (well it felt that way) arranging her dolls on her bed. She even had to referee a fight between two of the dolls. The two littlest ones both wanted to sleep next to her. She is such a lucky Ima, to have her dolls fighting to sit next to her. She settled the arguement admirably; both dolls were given places beside her.

I'm lucky. My children are healthy and my worries are slight.

My prayers are with the Schindler family. I really pray they win this fight, and they can have their daughter Terri to love for the rest of her natural life. Keep fighting for her, keep praying for her.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:52 PM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2005

Cuddle Time

The Monkey is turning into a real snuggle-ball lately. Her latest thing is to demand some cuddle time with me before she leaves for school. She snuggles deep into my arms and relaxes there for a few minutes. For so many years this little girl was almost all "daddy's girl" prefering him to me in most cases. Recently my value has gone up in her eyes...her age? A new passage in life? The fact that Aba is only here for her in the mornings and I'm there more often or what? I like my ascendency, to tell the truth, I love the morning cuddles and her highly emotional declarations of love and admiration for me. Hey, it's not like a whole lot of other people are tossing the accolades out!!!!

Mommy hood definitely has its ups and downs, and at least with the Monkey I"m in an up phase; and I'm going to enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:41 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2005

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off To Work

The Agent goes.

He has a job as a construction worker now. He rushed off in the morning, came back for a quick bite of food and rushed off again, coming home in the early evening sweaty, dirty and tired, saying "Ima, food, computer" before he rushed up and hit the showers.

I can remember when avoiding the showers was his main goal in life and the thought of work would bring a rash! Now he is grunting and swating and operating this pulley thingee to lift heavy items from the ground through the second story window. And helping me, without complaining, with whatever needs to be done.

It is trite sounding, maudilin, unimaginative, and all those adjectives thrown in. A repeat of what millions of moms and dads have said in the past---but where did the child go? How did these years pass by so fast?

I feel like singing a rendition of Sunrise, Sunset.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:07 AM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2005

Bedtime Hugs

The Monkey snuggled up in my arms, a story was read, and then, because she was missing her sister, off at a sleepover, I told her a story.

The storyline was simplistic, and, admittedly rather insipid. If I told this tale to anyone, oh let's say over 7, and asked if it were sellable, I would be laughed out of the room. The only positive attribute of the story was that it did have a beginning (a little girl has a magic stone which takes her to a secret world when she is mad/sad) a middle (the little girl's big sister goes away to a friends house, and the little girl goes to the secret garden) and an end (the little girl is lonely in the secret place. She leaves and finds her big sister, sitting all alone, sad, and lost. (The big sister part was added by the Monkey.) Little sister takes big sister to her secret place. The end. The little girl is a heroine, and even has her big sister back.

But there were two things the story had that made it special to the Monkey. The story was about her--her smile when I said the name of the little girl was her own name was wonderful to see--, and moms arms were wrapped about her. Comfort and the chance to star in her own wonderous drama.

In two years time I doubt she will have anything but the vaguest memories of the story. "Oh" she might say "remember when?"

But I think, I pray, there is more to it than this. The quiet peace at the end of the day, the warmth of my arms, the chance to be a hero, isn't this a cushion against the pains of tomorrow; the minor hurts and bruises that will surely come her way? A friend who acts cruely, a teacher who is "mean", a lost toy, a failed test. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, I hope the story rests, with many other bits of life, not as a memory but as an unrecallable knowing that no matter what her mother loves her, she is safe, and she is the hero of her own dreams.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:51 PM | Comments (4)

March 08, 2005

I've Created Two more Wave Fans!

We got front row seats! Mainly because we were first sitting on the stairs and the front was the only place that could safely accomodate more people. We sat right at the end of the aisle and had a great view.

The Aritist was just fascinated, smiling the whole way through. The Monkey sat on my lap, arm about my neck, clapping furiously when anyone else did. She kept wanting to know if there were still more! She was so afraid that the next song would be it. I think most of the audience agreed with her---there was a great reluctance on the part of most to leave, and we tarried in our seats much longer than I have at any other play.

The Monkey was also fascinated by the lights, and kept looking upward to see what they would do next. Coming home she fell asleep and remained asleep when laid down on the couch and then transferred to the bed. The Artist tried to sleep but nausea kept her from comfort, poor child--but the air refreshened her, and by the time we got home she was cheerful and excited was midnight and she was too excited to sleep!

All of us were reved up, both those who had seen the play before and those of whom it was a first time experience. It was quite emotional to see the Torah brought to life, and the performance is top-notch.

I really highly recoommend the play to all those who are coming to Israel.You won't regret it!!!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2005

Ride the Wave Part II

The love bugs, at least the two girls get their chance to see this great production. We are going tonight.
So of course they are excited. And of course, every fifteen or so minutes from 4:00 on I get:

Is it time to go yet? I want to go up? Let's go up!

It took some time to explain to the Monkey that the actresses weren't waiting on our arrival to begin their preformance. I've been trying for Empress of the World, but I haven't been elected yet.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2005

Oh THOSE Conversations

Walking home with my daughter, The Artist, from school. Conversing about this and that. She glances over to the side, past me, into a neighbors yard.

"Oh, Ima. Cats!"
I glance over. *gulp*. Yes, I say brightly.
"Are they getting married."
That did about sum the situation up.
"Exactly!" I chirp. We did just cover this section in a conversation not a few nights before.
"I'm glad I'm not a cat!" She replies. "Though I guess a cat likes it. But I'm glad I'm human."

Knowing what the cat goes through, me too kiddo.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2005

White Goes With Everything

My daughters outfit today:

Green tights with bunnies and hearts.
A red and blue polo-shirt with a white collar.
A pink and white sundress, with a watermelon for a collar.

White she informs me goes with everything.
And that is exactly what hse is wearing.

I'm quite certain she would be willing to help each and everyone one of you choose the perfect outfit if you would just ask.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:16 AM | Comments (4)

February 15, 2005

Playing Hooky

We just felt it. In our bones. The need NOT to get up at 6:30 and get the kids out the door. The need to sleep in and have no where to go for hours. The need to just not do.

Bum around, laze about. At least until my dh had to go to work.

So we declared a day off. The Artist had a friend sleepover, and they actually got to bed at a semi-decent hour. I woke at 6 and realized I could get back to bed for a couple of hours. I had a leisurly cup of coffee. I read blogs of friends and blogs that I haven't been to before.

I needed this break.

Dh just woke up; it is 10:20 here now.

Sweet day!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:20 AM | Comments (2)

February 03, 2005

Dear Moms

Please tell me that you too have picked out the chunky bits from the peanut butter because your child only likes creamy and you were out of her kind.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:38 PM | Comments (6)

January 31, 2005

You think it will help

If I order them not to get sick?
Seond kid, down for the count.

It's gonna be a long week.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:06 PM | Comments (4)

January 30, 2005

What it is

So, like I said,

Monkey's been sick. I thought Thurday-Friday was it. Then Shabbat she threw up in my hair. This was an interesting wake up call, to say the least. But then during the day she was well. Night sick, day well. She gets tired in the afternoon, doesn't want to eat much, psuhes food away and sleeps. But during the day, fine as can be.

I key into weird little symptoms; her hands redder than normal, her snoring, the way she sleeps, different than normal. And I worry.

Does this mean more than I think it does? I both dismiss and worry about these little things, laughing at myself as I picture myself tearful in the hospital as a doctor lambasts me for ignorning a symptom every thinking person would know indicates some horrible disease that requires prompt and immediate attention to prevent catastrophe.

And I laugh at myself because I know no such scenario is likely to take place. She has a virus. She is getting better everyday. Each evening there is less of a fever. she sleeps easier. There is nothing horrific or terrifying about this illness; it is common virus, following the pattern of many viruses; something is going around, and she will, like all the other children and adults in the area get over it, if not by morning, by the next morning.

She is fine.

Except she is MY daughter, MY child.

So I worry, and laugh at myself for worrying, and worry still..

Which is normal too.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:45 PM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2005

Conversation with The Monkey

Who is five if you all remember.

"Ima, is Caesar a puppy?"
"No honey, he's all grown up."
Dramatic wail.
"Oh! then he is going to leave us soon!"
Ima, thinking she is thinking the dog is soon headed for doggies heaven. Which, owing to his age is probably not all that off the mark. But still...
"Why do you say that honey?"
"Because he is going to go find a wife and leave us!"
Mom manages not to laugh while assuring the child this is not a likely possiblity. It isn't so much that he is snipped; he isn't. That was part of the purchasing agreement. It is more like he is that dumb. Caesar doesn't even lift his leg to pee.

Smarts, this dog doesn't have. If a pretty Basset Hound lady came strolling around he probably just wouldn't know what to do.

At least he is cheerfully stupid.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2005

Ima! How do you like my bangs?

Inquired the Monkey, and I don't know a parent who would get this wrong.
Surprisingly she did a good job-- (embarrassingly) probably better than I would do!

(sigh) I told her to ask me next time, and to not cut anymore today or they would be too short.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:54 PM | Comments (2)

January 05, 2005

Evil Mother Report

I am so cruel. I thrive on cruelty, at least when it comes to my children.
My viciousness doesn't stop at making them (gasp!) clean up their rooms, or try a bit of what I made for dinner, even if they don't like it, oh I know you will be shocked to hear this, today I made my daughter, the Artist, go to an after school math class where she will not only (along with the rest of the girls in her class) do a bit more math at her teachers house, BUT also get some treats.

Oh no, you are all horrified. Horrified! What mother could be so low-down mean and nasty to make her child try the class ONE WHOLE TIME!!!!

The extent of my cruelty will not be known until said child returns from the torture chamber either angry or having loved it.

So what evil mommy (or daddy) deed are you guilty of today?

I got a sheepish smile and an agreement to go again. Hey she got bissli! I knew that would win her over.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:16 PM | Comments (5)

December 31, 2004

Home for a Visit

The Wit got his first break; he is home for the weekend (arriving in dress uniform!) This is pretty common to come home at first. I don't know if he gets off next week as well or not. Anyway, he is home, tired, muscles aching, and looking pretty good. The Army feeds them pretty well; I guess there were too many Bubbes to get away with the normal army mess fare in Israel.

Anyway, I'm going to be a bit quiet for a couple of days.

Have a great weekened everyone!!! I pray for a peaceful and calm Shabbat.
(And when I come back I've more than a few things to talk about!)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:04 PM | Comments (2)

December 24, 2004

In Their Corner

There are no artist that can ever be as creative and inspired as one's own children. A story they have penned would, if all were honest, make the NYT bestsellers list. They are budding commedians, musicians, acrobats, somethings. We see the gold beneath the dust, the pearl in the making.

My kids tell me "You always think everything we do is fantastic." They are right; I do. They are fantastic, wonderful, real gifts from G-d that, well, sorry all, but no one else's children match up nor should anyone else's children match up.

I think all children need to know they are special, wonderful, fantastic in at least one persons eyes. That, in some ways, the world does revolve about them that. They can take a more objective view of themselves from the world, from themselves. From me, they'll get the real truth.

They are special and I am lucky to have them in my life.

So what brought that on? My daughter, the Monkey, just brought over three artistic renderings to my friend, two for her (because she was sick) and one for the baby we were caring for yesterday. I know her pictures, drawn on small, post-it-note sized pieces of paper will never hang in the Louvre or the MET; but they will always
have a place in my heart.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:04 PM | Comments (2)

December 16, 2004

Back To School

Well the Artist has headed out the door, and the Monkey is eating breakfast; back to school after Chanukah vacation!

I hate that. I love having them home, sleeping late, hanging about in their p.js. I miss them when they aren't here.

I admit it; I wish they were still homeschooling; they are happy in school now, so that won't be and, in this area, that would be counterproductive. They would never learn Hebrew if they weren't in school. But I miss the sounds of them being about; squabbling, laughing playing. I miss seeing them tucked into a corner of the couch reading or gathered together watching a program on t.v., or playing together on the floor. I miss the minor interactions, the calls for a glass of water, a little one cuddling on my lap, annoying me while I play a game, or calling me over to read something they've written or see something they have done.

When they are in school too much of the time they are home is spent in business; homework, getting ready for the next day, getting ready for bed, getting ready for school. It is rush, rush, rush.

It is easier geting work down when the aren't home. It is also lonlier.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:12 AM | Comments (1)

December 06, 2004

The Party

Take: 27 or so girls, all between the ages of 8-11.
Have them speak a language you are not proficient in. Loudly. At the same time.
Have them all want the exact same type of prize.
Lose control very early in the day. Like from the start.

Wild, crazy, but fun. Everyone apparently did have a good time.

But oh my ears!!!!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:52 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2004


I've blogged about the Artist many a time; about how she is so shy, about her reluctance to play or talk with the other girls, even though they have been so welcoming. If her shyness had only started when we arrived her I would have simply put it down to the changes in her life, her difficulty in learning Hebrew etc. etc. But her shyness has been a part of her life since she was a little one, barely out of my arms. Don't talk to me, don't look at me, don't ask me questions was her motto.

The other day she came home from school and I asked her if she had spoken Hebrew to anyone--I had started awarding her points for speaking in Hebrew to anyone except her best friend whom I will refer to as Blue Bonnet.

"No." she said at first, and then added. "Well, I did tell Dawn (not her real name either) that I didn't have a pencil..." and she went on to explain that she and Dawn and Blue Bonnet were playing a game; Dawn was the teacher, and the Artist and Blue Bonnet were the pupils---who were behaving rather badly, and the "teacher" threatened if they didn't behave the Principal would come, and at that point Blue Bonnets big sister showed up at the door-- and the two girls ran up to her shouting that she was the 'menahel" the principal. They were playing. They were talking. They were happy!!!


Silly game played all over the world most likely in various forms. Silly game that until now my Artist avoided. I was really begining to think she needed psychological treatement of some sort.

But she played with ehr friends, and she talked. And she and Blue Bonnet went off early to school to hand out invitations to her birthday party here on Sunday. And she is very excited about having the party.

This is good.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:35 AM | Comments (2)

November 29, 2004


The Artist has a trip today; she is going to a Chanukah center full of fun things to do for the upcoming holiday. So she went off this morning in a happy mood, a plastic shopping bag slung over her shoulder containing a tuna sandwich, yogurt, Clementine and two bisslis (a snack food).

I had gone into the other room to make my coffee when the door burst open and a tearful Artist confronted us. "What happened? " my dh asked?

My first thought was that she had returned home frozen; this happened before. She chose the wrong gear and came back crying from the cold. I was all set to hand her the heavier sweater (she was to take two sweaters and not a heavy coat as where they are going is very hot do to the projects they are making.)

"A dog" she said. And my heart jumped.

A dog had come up to her and stolen her lunch, snatched it right out of her hands. She was afraid it was going to bite.

Mom gave her a hug, told her she did right to come home, and rushed to make another lunch, Dad gave her a hug and comfort and rushed to fill more water bottles for her. The Wit, who generally never deigns to make his appearance before ten in the morning, if that early, and who has a propensity to tease and taunt the Artist mercilessly, came downstairs, arms outstretched and captured her in a gigantic hug.

Lunch gathered mom went off with the Artist to walk her to school; I wasn't going to let her walk alone this morning. We met the dog along the way; truthfully the animal seems friendly enough, but it was a stray, which had me rather worried till the Artist assured me it didn't bite her.

Coming home I found her lunch and the dog came over to me and tried to grab the lunch from me. I could see what scared her so. It was quite persistent, and followed me home. But I think it was hungry more than anything else. It didn't try to bite or terrorize me; it just wanted the lunch. Still, Artist has been effected. Many children can shake these things off; but the Artist tends to absorb them. Will she be willing to walk to school tomorrow alone? She wanted me to pick her up. (I can't; for the simple fact that I don't know the time she is returning from the trip and the school is unlikely to either. Buses tend to return rather late.) I also don't want her to become more dependent on me than she is right now. She needs to assert herself more in the world and not retreat.


Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:41 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2004

She's Going Places!

The Monkey: Can I have a banana?
Me: They aren't ripe yet. They are still green. You won't like it.
Monkey, grabbing one anyway: "Yes I will."
Me: "No you won't. Trust me. They are green. They are not ripe. They do not taste very good. You will not like it."
Monkey, insistent "YES I WILL!!!" She takes banana and starts opening it.
Me, getting frustrated: "We don't have money to waste. If you take that and you don't eat it you won't get bedtime snack. Do you understand?"
Monkey: "Yes. I will like it."
I open it for her and she takes a bite. Makes a face and hands it to me and says
"I guess I don't want bedtime snack today!"
(wait a few minutes)
"But can I have a sucking candy to take away the taste? It isn't bedtime snack!!!!"

(Hard nosed mom made her take away the taste with water. I know. I'm eeeeeeevil.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:02 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2004

Conversation with The Monkey

I am teaching the Monkey how to read, as English isn't taught till third grade in Israel. Last night she decided she wanted to play a game with letters; trying to find words that began with a certain letter. As it was Shabbat we could not write so we did this out loud. As I also wanted to read we limited the game to a few letters.

Later that evening, as I was doing the dishes, she came to me elbows pressed together, palms facing up, fingers outstretched as if she were cupping her beaming face.

"Ima, something strange and wonderful happened!"
"What?" I ask her, wondering what strange and wonderful thing could have occurred in the space of 20 minutes.
"You said we would stop after we did the S's and I accepted that!"

She got a hug, and a smile and walked away feeling quite proud of herself.

Now if we could only have more of those days!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:36 PM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2004

Silk Cords

"Could you put my hair in a tight braid before I go to bed?" The Artist enquires.
I am very pleased to do this. As a pre-mom one of my fantasies was brushing and playing with my little girls' hair. Then I had one child after the other who hated to have a brush run through their locks.

But the Artist is approaching her teen years; the moodiness has begun as well as the extra long looks in the mirror and the striving for looking her best.

As I comb out her hair I think of a recent show I watched---one of these Hallmark movies; big issues, moral development, happy outcome. The big issue was cloning and the moral development was a reporter learning that sometimes the human part of a human-interest story was the most important aspect, and perhaps the story shouldn't be told.

Of course cloning brings up all sorts of ideas; Brave New World children, bred for eye color, occupation and time of death, replacement children, who would most likely never really fulfill their parents hopes, little mes running about, forced into the vicarious dreams of their progenitors.

I do not really see much use in cloning of a human being; much good use. I can not see what the benefit would be of having a same gened child as someone else, living or dead. No clone would be the exact duplicate of the person cloned; the environment having too much to do with our development, perhaps more to do with our development than genes.

But, there are other ideas brought up as well; eugenics; evil as they come. But also the elimination of disease; no more tay sachs, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's or neurofibromatosis.

My daughter has the last one, as do I; a lot of guilt there, having passed it on. So far, she is fine, some learning disabilities, she is smaller than the average ten going on eleven year old, but these are very minor troubles in her life, and I pray it continues that way with her.

But things could go wrong; very wrong and that frightens me. And as she takes up a mirror and smiles at her image one worry is deformity. I know some of you have heard this before.

Since she has been young I've taught her what is inside is greater than what is outside. That beauty, true beauty, comes from the soul. I haven't held back from her what could happen, though it isn't discussed everyday, it is just a fact in her life that I've spoken with her about.

Today, as I held her hair in my hand, as I began to brush it into silk, I asked her if she wanted to see what a neruofibroma looked like. I talked again how it could affect her; showed her one on my forehead, let her know that it could disfigure her, though we hoped not.

Heavy conversation for a ten year old, but I feel it is best to have the truth early enough to learn how to deal with it.

Here was her response.

"Oh, I don't care how I look."
"But people can be mean. What will you do then?"
"I'll ask them how they would feel if they looked like this. How they would like it"

This is why I began early on to teach her about the truth of beauty. She has absorbed my lesson well. It is in her heart and in her soul and though nothing can really prepare one for the actuality of an event, she at least is forearmed.

And then I wonder; if I could eliminate this disease, and still have this child, would I do it? And the answer is yes. But the real question is, could I eliminate this disease and still have the same child? Even if she had the same training, even if I stated the same things to her from the moment I knew what course her life could take, would I have the same child in my life?

I really think the answer is no. I don't know that we can separate the various parts of ourselves like that; her is the disease and here is the benefit. And there are so many benefits to this child. She is a wonder, sweet, gentle, caring. She is a natural mother, quiet, reserved, a bit of a loner. Most people who meet her tell me how sweet she is...and that is true. Not that she has no rough edges; I'm her mother, not a moron. I know she has a angry side, can hit or hurt sometimes. But her overall personality is sweet.

Which doesn't mean I wouldn't eliminate the disease from her if I could. But I wonder who would, in the end be created.

Part of me wishes I would have that choice. Part of me is glad I don't.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:04 PM | Comments (6)

October 15, 2004

I'm Going to Mommy Hell

I am sending the Monkey off to school with a honey and jelly and peanut butter sandwhich. At least there is a bit of nutrition in there along with all that sugar.

This child has such a sweet tooth!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:57 AM | Comments (2)

October 11, 2004

Kids? Who Needs Them?

That was the debate that flared up among several bloggers recently. I'm not going to go back and reiterate the whole discussion; it really isn't necessary. It took place between several moms/dads and "childfree" people.

They are difficult, children. Last night the Artist woke with a bellyache and needed soothing; this from a mom who had only gone to sleep about 2.5 hrs before and who was set to wake up 2.5 hours later. Mom's five hour sleep was cut down to something like 3hrs total.

The Monkey protested going off to school; she was scared she said. Possibly it had more to do with the fact that mom's new temporary job kept her from being home when she arrived home and mom's mom job required her to leave at about 6 to take the Artist to her new (formed by the tenth grade class), twice weekly group for new Olim. Having come here only last year she qualifies for extra help and Hebrew learning practice. Then mom came up for a quick snuggle and went back to help the Artist with her math homework. This was when the Artist was still going to go to school today.

They are costly. They break things. We no longer have a full set of dishes.
They whine, have tantrums and can give one a headache faster than a concert at full blast.
They drive you nuts.

And I guess there are quite a few people who haven't had kids and don't intended to have them might legitimately wonder why anyone would want one, let alone more than one.

So how can you get rid of your right arm? Right arms bother people sometimes; they ache, they get bitten by mosquitoes, they get sunburned, bruised and a host of other pains that come their way.

They drive me nuts; but they fill me with wonder and excitement and joy and hope. I seem them and I see a world; a toss of their head and I'm taking off to the stars. a smile, a snuggle and hug and I am in Eden. How can anything compare to my children?

I know they are the best children in the world. No one else has children like mine. Oh, I know that is what some people think, but I know they are wrong.

And every mom and dad knows that about their child.

They are the gift that breaks the heart every moment of the day. And I can never quite understand what I did to deserve them.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:25 AM | Comments (6)

October 10, 2004

Vacation is Over!

Vacation ended and my children are estactic about happy to okay with resigned to

They are back in school today, okay? And it only took two crowbars and a stick of dynamite to get them out of bed.

And I've a new job for this week only, unless I can work something out for the Monkey's care; taking care of an elderly man; light housekeeping and feeding him lunch. I think that is about it.

We shall see how it works.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2004

The Trip

The Yishuv were the celebration took place is a new one; anyone wishing to come to Israel and be part of this young community would be very happy. The view is wonderful; on a clear day you can see the Dead Sea. Right now they are still living in caravans but I'm sure someday soon the actual house -building will begin.

Now on to the events of the day.

We start off at 8:45 in the morning,, meeting up with Other Mom and her kidlets.

We reach the bus stop at 9:00. We wait for the bus. And wait for the bus. And wait for the bus. Bus arrives! about 15 minutes late.

We get on the bus and head off for the main bus station. One hours ride. Then we shop a bit for a
few things necessary; the bus we need won't arrive till 11:30; there are suppose to be three special buses just for us going to the Yishuv to celebrate and fly kites day.

We wait for the bus. We wait for the bus. Hip hip hooray! Bus number one comes. Many people get on the bus. Other Mom and We wait for the next bus. Next bus arrives. But there is no room on this bus for our group either. We wait for the next bus. Bus number one takes off. Bus number two takes off. Buses number three and four and five arrive but they are not our buses! Oh no! We are the group that waits and waits and waits and waits okay; and hour later we get on the bus. An hour later we get off the bus.

Our first stiop, after bathroom trips was the Magician. We were right in time for the first show. He was a stupedous magician; he made himself disappear for an hour! Luckily the management told after about 30 minutes of waiting that he would reappear in time for the second showing.

Okay, it was nice and cool in the building. We headed out for lunch.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, or chicken sandwhiches., and fries. Not the most extensive of menus. The girls both had their hot dogs, ,and I elected the chicken. 45 minutes later, and the kids had taken their food and gone to watch the magician who had finally poofed into existence., while oOther Mom and I waited, and waited and waited for the fries. I think they had to go to idaho to get them.
But finally they were finished, the food was paid for, and I went up with the fries while Other MOM went off in search of drinks. This later took a phone call to settle some issues (slurpees or soda.) or would have taken a phone call only the phones cut off at the crucial moment. One of Other's Mom's children expressed a wish for her mom. I went in search of mom.

Other Mom came up the hill having made the decision on her own.

Other Mom and I didn't see each other.

I come down the hill and Other Mom wasn't there and the phones are still not working, so I went back up the hill.

I find a child searching for his mom. I search for his mom. I am unable to find his mom. But I found someone who knew who he was and who his mom was. Child and neighbor went off in search of mom.

I get to see the tail end of the magicians act.

Everyone heads down the hill but me in search of the othe activities for the day; I'm saying my after meal prayers.

I go in search of family and friends. I can not find family and friends. I wander around aimlessly for awhile and then try a caravan. I am about to leave said caravan when two children attack me. They are mine children. But where is Other Mom? Other Mom went in search of other activities to see if they might be better. Other Mom joins us and says other activity looks better. We head off to other activiity.

Other activity is making jewelry. We wait about 1/2 hr before we can get supplies. We get supplies and head outside to make said jewelry. Other Mom's son and oldest child went to make kites. Oldest child and son return with said kites. Other Mom's son trips and gets a nasty gash on his knee. Said gash looks serious, but son doesn't want to go to the doctor and isn't to happy when the doctor came to the child. Many, many minutes pass as Other Mom tries to convince her son to let the knee be examined and cared for. There are also man other concerned souls about over-seeing the whole examination. But eventually knee is given the a-okay, and the crowd disperses; and by that time, though my two are only half-way finished with their project TIME IS ALMOST UP. Okay, my two are on the slightly slow side of finishing projects. Finally, time is up, just as The Artist adds her last stone.

We clean up, we have another bathroom break. We refill water bottles. We have missed the big finale (kite flying) We start off for the buses. We buy cotton candy. We get on the buses. We wait 30 more minutes on the buses. We finally start to move.


Time is now 5:30.

We arrive at the main bus station at about 6:45, having missed the last bus. More shopping. Ice cream. Coffee for the older people. Wait. Bus comes at 8:10.

Just as we are about to get on the bus The Monkey says

Will it take long enough to get everyone on the bus because I have to go to the bathroom.

It is an hours ride.

Bye bye bus!

Next bus 8:40.

Reach home 9:40.


Dh arrives home. Why aren't the kids in bed yet?


Typical fun day fallout and fight.

Little one's off to bed.


but really, it was a fun time. I mean they got necklaces out of it and are all happy and excited and stuff.

And we are all going to sleep late tomorrow morning.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)

October 04, 2004

The Truth: Children for sale

My two girls spent about 2 hours cleaning their room; This can be broken down into easily understood segments:

15 minutes of fighting about who was or wasn't cleaning
1/2 hour of drama and asking if they had to pick this up or that up or if it was clean yet
20 minutes of general fooling around.
40 minute break, following dramatic demonstrations of their exhaustion.
15 minutes of actually picking up clothing, stray papers and toys from the floor.

And yes, the Monkey really did walk down the street yelling as loud as she could

I was going to write a post heavy with emotion about how wonderful the state of being a mother is, but I don't think I can pull it off today. Maybe next week. Next year?

Maybe the best way to say I love them is to say despite there having done all and more than the previous post, I'm keeping them. The price for these drive me crazies? All of heaven and earth, and all of time. Won't take less and I'd refuse even that if it were possible to offer.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:40 PM | Comments (2)


My children cheerfully clean their room, without fighting or arguing or any dramatics, the first time I ask them to do so. I don't even have to ask. They do it on their own. Their rooms are never really messy.

My children never really fight.

No one ever says YUCK!!! when I serve dinner.

No five year old of mine has ever walked down the streets of the Yishuv shouting at the top of her lungs "WE CAN'T SPEND MONEY!!! WE ARE POOR! WE DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!!!"

They always say please, thank you.

They always go to bed on time. They wake up smiling and happy. They are need no encouragment to get out of the house and off to school promptly.

They never forget to give me notes from the teacher. They never lose such notes. They always do their homework.

Nope. My kids are just perfect. And how are your chidren today?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)

October 03, 2004

But the Ferret Bit Me

So, what do Israeli's do with their week of hofshe (vacation?) Day outings of course! So today I took my two little ones and went with a friend to the animal farm. No, not that one. Piggys weren't taking over. The CHAVAYOT is full of nice animals who allow exhuberant children to hold, pet and play with them.

Most of the animals on the CHAVAYOT were orphaned; all were raised from birth with humans so the animals are accustomed to the presence and affection of human beings. The animals ranged from birds, some so tiny I could hide them in the palm of my hand, to an emu, a deer, and a llama.

The experience is of course fun; my children enjoyed the rabbits and the Artist is certain she wants one as a pet. My friends children couldn't get enough of the snakes. My girls also oohed and ahhhed over the new born mice.

And there is an educational side; children are introduced to the animals more formerly, and the animals are used to teach a variety of social skills and values.

There is a third side as well; the animals of CHAVAYOT are used theraputically, helping everyone from a child with down's syndrome, to and elderly person, to a vicitim of terror. Treatment is used in conjunction with parents, social workers, psychologist etc. If the patient can't or won't come to the animal the animal is brought to the person.

It is amazing to me how a dog who does nothing more than allow itself to be petted can calm an Alzheimers patient, or how the warmth of a rabbit in the lap can put a shy child at her ease. Feed a deer, and a vicitm of terror feels connect to joy and life, and step a bit away from the horror he survived.

The world has so many gifts for us, and so many times it seems as if we ignore those gifts. I can't think of anything more precious or valuable than the expressions on my girls faces as they played and fed and petted the various creatures today. I captured them on film but more important I captured them in my memory.

It took us two hours and two buses to ge there, and nearly 100 shek to hold, feed and play with the varmints,and the ferret did bite me; but, as the commercials say, the day was priceless.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2004

More Praise For The Artist

The Artist had a test today; in one of her Jewish studies class; it was on the recent and up-coming holidays. There were ten questions, three of which she was to try and answer in Hebrew (the rest she could answer in English). She only got this paper on Thursday and that is when she learned of the test, and as I said, Shabbat/Yom Kippur she fasted. Still, despite all that, she got 100% on the test and answered two in Hebrew.

I'm so very proud. I know, I brag about my kids too much; even they say so. But they make me so happy. And it's my blog!

She also got an A+ on her spelling test. (English)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)

September 25, 2004

Proud Mommy Moment

I just wanted to brag to the world that my 10.5 year old, the Artist, fasted the whole fast. No food or water till after the Shofer was blown. She decided to do this on her own! Had to say that first.

As is customary, directly after Yom Kippur fast ends, after one has eaten and rested a bit, families begin working on their Succot. All over the Yishuv are the sounds of hammering and tinkering and building of these small booths which we will eat in and the men in most cases will sleep in for 7 days, starting Wednesday night. In some cases the whole family sleeps outside; our Succot isn't big enough for that though. It is really one of my favorite seasons of the year and one of my favorite holidays.

Maybe it is partly do to the feeling of being cleansed by Yom Kippur and the sense of relief that whatever has been decided has been decided. Maybe it is the sense of community; we are no longer inside, but outside; we can clearly see and hear each other going in and out and at meals. Last year we had a Succot hop; going to each Succah in turn and eating a bit of food in each place. We will do the same again this year. Maybe it is the season; it is cooler outside, but not so cold as to be uncomfortable. It is in some ways perfect weather. Maybe it is the idea of living outside for a few days; camping in style. Whatever it is I always feel awakened and refreshed during this time, and life seems like one big smile.

Hope those who are celebrating enjoy the season!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:24 PM | Comments (3)

September 02, 2004

From Now On

I'm going to tell my children to NOT do their homework, NOT do their chores, to eat candy and cake and soda for dinner and to skip those annoying veggies, to go to bed as LATE as they can; perhaps when the sunrises.

One of two things will occur.

1)they will not listen and thus be healthy productive children who always have their homework done on time.
2)they will be obedient children.

Either way, I win.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:27 PM | Comments (2)

September 01, 2004

And They're Off

My two littlest one's are back in school. It is easier for them this year than last. Last year the Monkey spend almost everyday for two months crying that she had to go. Every morning she would wake up in tears. Today she sailed off happily; this year she will be the one to hold and comfort a new student.
The Artist is banged down the stairs with her new bag; scared, but happy. She also left with a smile on her face and greater confidence. She knows where everything is, knows the girls in her class; even though her Hebrew still isn't good she is "one of them now."

But I wish they were home. I miss them already.
Off to clean my house.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:22 AM | Comments (2)

August 30, 2004

Changing Seasons.

Last night as I walked the dog I noticed a fine mist on our neighbors car; could it be they just washed the car that evening and, as happens in desert areas, where when the sun goes down the earth cools, the car simply didn't have time to dry?
But no, the next car, and the next car, and the next, all were beaded with moisture. This morning too; moisture. The begining of a new season.

There are other changes for our household:

Today my oldest son, the Wit, is going for his psychological testing prior to entering the army. The time when he dons the uniform of the Israeli army comes closer; and yes I'm scared. But not only is it a duty, it is true heroism. Without these men and women in uniform we would not survive.

This afternoon is my last afternoon working for the autistic child; it was a hard decision to make, but the hour wasn't good--dinner time,, and it was having a negative impact on my children. There were other frustrations as well, that I won't ennumerate. I feel bad; but they will find another person, and the sad fact is I just don't matter to the child.

The Artist and the Monkey both start school tomorrow; new teacher for the Artist but the Monkey has the same teacher as last year, which is good. I think this year will be easier on them both; the Artist is making other friends now, and she has picked up a bit of Hebrew. I'm hoping she makes friends other than just the English speakers; she has become too dependent on them for friendship and thus isn't learning Hebrew as fact as she could. I will miss them both during the days; I am not one of those moms who are happy to see their kids go off to school; I've always hated the begining of fall with homeworks and schedules and the hours separated from my kids.

The Agent is going to be taking courses to get his GED. Advice I have for children coming into Israel who are in high school? Arrange a high school first. We thought it would be better to be here and find a place but it never worked out correctly. So two days a week he will be having a class in how to take the GED, then he will, G-d willing, get his GED, then it is off to the Army for him as well. By the end of the year I am most likely to have both my boys in the army. Yeah, my stomach is in knots.

I will be working four hours on Thursdays now, instead of two hours on Thursdays and two on Fridays; one two hour session right on top of the other. I'm trying to keep my work days limited to three days a week, because my house has been so badly neglected, and with my husband's hours, he really can't lend much of a hand.

So there is my fall and most likely winter. A bit of good a bit of hope, a bit of fear.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:59 AM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2004

Snuggle Time

Scene: Nighttime, in my bed, the monkey beside me.
She wraps her arms about my neck, hugs me close and says
"I wish I could always stay little so you could be the boss of me forever."
Brief pause. I'm thinking, Zero Boss eat your heart out. Then: she rolls onto her tummy:
"Scratch my back. Harder. Up a bit more. The other side. Not so hard. Down a bit."

Hmmm. maybe I'm not understanding this word, BOSS.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:03 AM | Comments (2)

August 20, 2004

A Gift from my Father

Better here;

Okay, after two days of cleaning work, my back is hurting again; it isn't spasming this time, so I was able to actually work, but I needed to rest. I'm laying on a heating pad (thank you dh!) and trying to rest when I hear some yelling downstairs, and the Monkey comes up to me crying.

She broke my wood dog. She pulled on the Artist, unsettling her as she was trying to put something on the shelf, and the Artist's arm struck the dog and it came tumbling down.

This is a favorite piece sculpture of mine, because the artist is my father. He carved it from a single piece of wood in the shape of my Basset Hound. It wasn't a perfect rendition of a Basset Hound, but it was very well made, he most likely could have gotten some money from it, but even if he wouldn't be able to I loved it---my father made it for me. It was a keepsake treasure, one I hope to pass maybe with the help of some glue.

Now it is earless and tailess and yes I'm upset; but yelling about it to the Monkey won't help; she was sorry for what she had done, in tears over it. So I hugged her and told her it was okay, maybe we could glue it. I suppose I could ask him to make me another one, but I think that would leave him hurt that it was broken.

And I'm hurt, and angry.

This was a gift from my father.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:29 PM | Comments (4)

August 16, 2004

The Price of Love

I was snuggling with the Monkey, trying to get her to sleep; this is a Herculean task-- I think even Mother Teresa would have had her patience tested! After finally getting her to lie still for a few seconds, she turned to me:

"When are Bubby and Zayde (grandma and grandpa) going to come back? I miss them!"

"Well, soon I hope. Bubby was sick so many not this year."
"Oh! I miss them." pause.
"Well at least I miss the desserts they had. They were good!"

Nice to know they are loved for something important.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

Pressed Between the Pages

This past Sunday I attended a lecture, on the Yishuv, in a little library, by the author of the book "Expecting Miracles". It was an interesting lecture on the spiritual side of being pregnant, and being a mother.

At the end she asked us to do a bit of an exercise. As moms we don't get those little letters after our names that seem to establish ourselves as "somebody" in the eyes of the world. She asked us to "fill in those letters"; what would they be? We were to write, for five minutes, on a defining moment in our careers as moms and wives.

I was flummoxed; perplexed. This was beyond me. What would I write about? What could I write about? I have five children; what incident should I pick out, what event held great importance; such great importance that it would be worthy of committing to paper?

There were tons of events, and more over, I felt overwhelmed, and, moreover, I couldn't see myself writing about one particular event, as that would have to do with one or two of my children. And then I thought; what event brings them all into the picture? A Bar Mitzvah? Thanksgiving? Our first trip to Israel in 2000?

No; none were as important as this; a day when all the children were here; my daughter visiting us from the USA; after the Shabbat meal; everyone but me still hanging about the table, joking, laughing, arguing, their voices rising to meet me in the bedroom; happy, together, safe. Nothing earth-shaking; nothing really that would set it apart from other days and other meals; but together, laughing, faces happy and buoyant; full of love.

If I had a choice of only one memory to hold onto for the rest of my life, it would be an evening such as that; all my children together, their voices mingling and separating, and me listening in., satisfied and joyful; they were all home.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004

Renaming my Kids

For blogs sake; I'm tired of writing my 10., and my 5. They aren't numbers for goodness sake!

Here's an intro to my creepy deeps:

The P.R. which stands for Petier Rechem, meaning the first one to open the womb.
Obviously my oldest; she's going to be 23 this September and has the audacity to continue to live in USA instead of with her mother. Hmphhh!!!

The Wit, which is my second born; he's a comic--well he always cracks me up anyway. He's 20 and will soon be in the army

The Agent, as in secret, because whenever I talk about him, even if it is something innocuous or nice (as in The Agent said you called) he becomes irate. "Don't talk about me! From this I can only conclude he is an alien spy from a planet light-years from here. He is 17 and will go into the army next year most likely.

The Artist, and she is serious about her career. She has told me that she has to look at everything carefully because she wants to be an artist. She does some great graphics and writes her own stories. She is 10, 11 at the end of November.

The Monkey; she swings from doors, jumps and twirls, she never, ever slows down. Her favorite line is "I didn't mean to!" and "it was an accident" She is 5. If she were first she might very well have been the one and only. LOL.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:21 AM | Comments (4)

Nails on the Chalkboard

It is 6am. I'm awake, so is my ten year old, who we will hence forth name the Artist, as that is her chosen career.

Artist could not sleep last night; this is a bit of a problem lately, but not the issue of the post. The upshot was she was downstairs and dressed at a time everyone but me is usually snuggled deep into sleep.

I'm bopping about the kitchen making cholent (mainstay of Shabbat lunch in many Jewish homes) and she is standing by the refrigerator, door open and already my back begins to tingle.

"What can I eat?" she so innocnetly asks.

Argh! I hate that question! I don't know why but it drives me nuts, but it does. Sometimes I name off ideas, sometimes I say "I don't know what your body wants, you have to tell me that." but I always feel like answering "I'm not a resturant menu! "

So, are there any innocent kid questions that drive you up the wall?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:08 AM | Comments (4)