Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Holy Land, Friday - Sunday

In Israel - the universal day off is Friday. It is the eve of the Sabbath, and all who are practicing Jews, are preparing. (this also means that Sunday in Israel is a typical workday) On Friday, traffic is thick around Jerusalem, especially near the "Old City". In addition, the original streets in Israel were created to allow for donkey passing, NOT cars. Add to this the "incredible" driving by your average Israeli (yes - sarcasm implied), and you have got yourself some chaos.

It takes eons to get from point A to point B in Jerusalem. Because I did not finish my unpacking and ironing activities the night we arrived, I had to finish this up before we could attempt our trek out for the day.

Also, because we were beginning the Sabbath before 7 pm, we had to come back from wherever we were to bathe a family of six and dress as we do for our typical Sabbath weekend, as others do for Christmas and Thanksgiving, in time for the start of the Sabbath.

That being said, my original plan of going to the Kotel (The Wailing Wall or Western Wall) and also walking the Cardo, Rova and Old City, and maybe taking a walk to Geula and Meah Shearim where one can find beautiful gifts and Judaica, followed by a walk to town for , only the BEST Frozen Yogurt EVER, did not exactly come to fruition. Because, we obviously did not have enough time for ALL of this.

So our plan was to take a taxi to the Kotel and then return to the apartment.

The Kotel, also known as "The Wailing Wall" or "Western Wall" has a lot of significance. For the Jewish people, it is the last remaining portion of what was the wall that enclosed the "Holy Temple". There were two actually. The first was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the second was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. And it just so happens, that this night on the Hebrew calendar is exactly when both were destroyed. Tonight begins one of our BIG fast days to mark the destruction of the Holy Temples.

The Kotel also has significance for those who are not Jewish. Many people flock to the Wall, Jewish or not, to pray and insert notes of prayer into the cracks of the wall. In fact, Obama did just that, and unfortunately, someone removed his note and published its content, which is a big no-no. The reason we stand at the wall and pray, is because we believe, that right above the wall, where the Temple stood, and more specifically where the "Holiest of Holy" - the room that contained The Ark, once was, is the place that G-d's Spirit rests "so to speak" and our prayers ascend directly to G-d.

So our intention, was to stand there and Pray for a while, and take our time to reflect and think... But, have you ever stood at The kotel in the Summer??? Holy Heat!!! The sun beats down like you are standing under a blow torch. Maybe it will remind you how HOT, Hell can be, so that you pray harder. Well, we could not exactly take our sweet time and make small children stand in that heat, so we rushed it. But I think I got a few good words in.

"The sun's in my eyes. The sun's in my eyes..."

Either the sun is still in Ro's eyes or she prays with great intensity.

Bam's first trip to the Kotel. He looks thrilled.

Okay, not the best picture. But we were literally MELTING at this point.

Bobby (Grandma) helps us cool off at the fountain near the Kotel.

There is nothing like water play in a Country that has a SERIOUS water shortage.

Someone give this boy some water...

Dreaming of Air Conditioning...

So, that was our trip to the Kotel.

We returned home and prepared for the Sabbath.

Friday night, our entire family ate in the huge entrance way of an apartment building. We were approximately 50 people or so and ALL the food was cooked by my sister and nieces.

Saturday, I did not make it to the Synagogue or the yummy reception that followed after (because, while I was able to get the older kids ready and out with Hun, I had to nurse and get myself ready, and nurse some more, and, well, I made it to lunch).

Lunch, also for about 50 people was in my sister's apartment. And again, she and my nieces cooked all the food.

There was also a third meal in the evening at her apartment as well.

If you did not know by now, when Jews Celebrate, Jews chow down ...... A LOT!

On the Sabbath itself, we are not allowed to use cameras, so I have no pictures. However, after Sabbath ends, there is a ceremony called "Havdallah" that brings us back to the weekday.

The Sabbath itself was nice. We were able to catch up on sleep. All the little cousins played so nicely together (even though the American kids were now climbing gates and jumping from five foot ledges and running off to a playground at ten o'clock at night, which does not seem to phase my Israeli dwelling siblings). I wish I could have caught these interactions on camera, because it was so sweet to be together.


It was a beautiful weekend and a kick off to a great week. But it seems I have run out of time today, so I will save Sunday and more for future posts.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Holy Land

Why did we even go to Israel?

I am very grateful for the fact that we went to Israel, however, it was not originally in our plans. And honestly, I sort of could have done without it at this juncture in time.

The last time we were there was summer 2007. The timing was perfect, our trip fell perfectly during those two weeks between the end of school and the beginning of camp. And it was being planned almost a year in advance. There were TWO nephews becoming Bar-Mitzvah (the age of 13 when a Jewish boy is responsible for his religious actions and gets called to read from the "Torah" {Old Testament}) and it was also my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I have 4 siblings who live in Israel already, and 3 of us are here in America. I also, was sort of missing my siblings at the time. However, after about five minutes with them, I am over that. My parents thought it was a great opportunity for ALL of us to be together, and this makes my Mom happy. So we went.

The first weekend we were all in Har Nof - a neighborhood in Jerusalem, where my parents have a second home. But while I stayed there, some of us who do not live there were spread out amongst other homes. The second weekend we all chartered a bus to a p
lace up north called "Kibbutz Levy". It is essentially, a hotel - on a farm. It was an amazing experience.

Honestly, that experience two years ago would have been enough to tie me over for way more than two years. I know there are people reading this who would give their right arm to go to Israel with the whole family, and maybe think, I am not appreciative of how often I have been there. It is not that I did not want to go this time arou
nd, it's just the timing was a bit difficult.

This trip was originally thought of months and months ago. But, in the mix of planning to maybe go, my Dad was dealing with some unexpected foot pain. My niece got married in Israel at the end of May, and my Dad went in for that, and was not sure when he would have time between that trip and this trip that was scheduled around a Bar Mitzvah (which is dictated by the actual birthday of the child - so the date wa
s written in stone) to have surgery and recover. The first Doctor he went to, said the procedure would be very invasive and recovery would be 8 weeks - which meant, my Dad would skip the Bar Mitzvah over the wedding and therefor, we would all NOT be going. But then at the last moment, my Dad went to a different doctor who offered a less invasive procedure and less recovery time - so the trip was back on.

It was all rush, rush. I had already enr
olled, and paid for a full summer of camp for three kids, and now they would miss ten days. I just had a baby and had to rush to get passports. I was busy with a newborn, and had to find time to acquire things that were needed for this trip. My husband kept going out of town, because he is working diligently on a new product line for his business, and had to get it in before the trip. And, furthermore - if we could have gone to Israel at a different time, we could have made it into a REAL trip, extending our stay for 3 weeks. But, due to the business Hun is currently deep in the middle of, we could only stay the minimal 10 days.

My Mom also wanted all of us together, because we would be celebrating my Dad's 80th year of life (Thank the Good Lord - He should Live through 120).

So, we did not choose the timing. I did not miss my siblings enough, yet. And we went to complete the function of h
aving the ENTIRE family together, not reluctantly, just, not with breathless anticipation either.

Hun and I also made the decision ahead of time, to spend our time in Israel wisely, focusing on treating our kids to a VIEW of the country as opposed to visiting TONS of relatives and friends that we each have there.

(Hun was born in Israel and his Father's entire family still lives there.)

So we arrived Thursday, late afternoon and got in a Taxi called a "Shey-root", and high tailed it Israeli style to Har Nof.

My parents (who live in Chicago) have a lovely apartment. It is not large, but the space is definitely maximized. (Did I ev
er tell you that my Mom is an Architectural Interior Designer, or "space planner"?) My Mom designed the apartment herself. My brother D. (who is single) lives there on a regular basis. The apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has a den with a pull out sleeper sofa. It has a lovely living room with another couch. There is also the dining area, eat-in kitchen, and a small laundry room. And of course, there is a porch called a "mirpeset".

My parents have their master bedroom. My brother's room was taken over by my sister from NJ and Ate. Hun, myself and Bam in the lovely pack n' play I brought in from America were in the third room. The girls were in the den on the Sleeper Sofa. And my brother D. took to the couch in the living room. It really worked out well. My brot
her from Chicago, his wife and three kids stayed at my sister's home, which is two buildings down the street. I also have another brother with 12 children who lives downstairs in the same building as my parents, but trust me - even you would not want to stay there. Everyone in my family was pretty much in a 1 block radius, except another sister and her family of 9 who live about 45 minutes away in a town called "B'nai Brak". But she came for the weekend, and somehow found somewhere to stuff her family.

Every time we come to Israel, the day following our arrival is usually a complete loss, because we are tired, unpacking, and ironing clothing. I swore this time, I would get everything done Thursday night, so we could get out for part of Friday. Of course, this did not happen. We got a start later than expected on Friday, so w
e were limited, but we did get out.

I will have more on that in the next post.

My parents had gone to Israel before we arrived, so they were already in the apartment when we got there. By the
way my Dad greeted us, you would think he lived there on a regular basis and had not seen us in years. He especially seemed to enjoy Bam's arrival. My Dad is a "beamer". It's the way he smiles. (Ate smiles just like him and we call Ate a "beamer" as well.) Dad was beaming, and because we were the last to arrive to Israel, i think it was his pride and joy in knowing that his family was finally ALL together again.

Dad and Bam "Moonbathing" on the Mirpeset (porch)

Needless Suffering


Prayers for Stellan




Thursday, July 23, 2009

Leaving On An Aero-Plane Cont...

So where was I?

Oh yeah .... JFK sucks!
(the airport, that is. Not the President)

They have that ONE initial line that weaves around in the tightest of space before you break off, just as you get to the metal detectors. It's like waiting in line at the amusement park without the benefit of the cool water mist (and you have nothing to drink while you wait, because you had to throw all your drinks away before you entered the line, which is just as well, because you would have to hold your pee in for about an hour, or a day). And the ride you get on at the end, better NOT be making loop de loops and doing 90 degree drops.

But I believe, you are still required to follow the

At some point, to get the line moving quicker, a TSA agent standing towards the front of the line told us to weave through the already tight space, as two lines, in double file fashion. I was following the dude in the white linen suit the whole time. Trudging along with two strollers and all our sh&#, I had my eye on the white linen suit, and I stayed as close behind as I could. Our line was moving a bit quicker than the other one, and I was doing my best to move our crap quickly to keep up with the AWESOME linen suit. I guess the wheel of Bam's stroller became caught on a pole that holds up those tethers that create the space we are walking through, and there was a lull - for a split second. And 4 people decided to take advantage of this split second lull. And before I could blink, these 4 people walked out of their line and filled the space between white linen suit dude and me.


So I call out (I swear, just loud enough so the person furthest from me who cut me off could hear),

"Excuse me! I was following that guy (pointing to the suit) this whole time."

This is all I said, nothing else was said at this time. And with that, the two people closest to me, immediately moved back and gestured for me to pass, and only after that, did the front two assholes instigators, let me pass as well.

At which point, the man of what seemed like a couple said in a very obvious "Cockney" accent,

"Calm down, no need to yell."

First, if you do not know what Cockney is, it is a specific "British" accent that typically is telling of those who speak it, in terms of their socio-economical background. It usually means they are from the East End of London - the lower working class and not as educated.

To put it in terms "Americans" can understand - They are southern hicks, white trash, trailer park...

So I say, (gesturing with my hands as I speak, because as a woman, I pretty much always speak with my hands - which were at level with my belly at this time)

"Uh, I was not yelling, I was only calling out loud enough to get your attention."

His girlfriend says, (in her Cockney accent)

"sokay, we are ull hot and bovered, we are ull hot and bovered."

(I was really done with this, when he let me pass back, but it seems he would not let it go)

So I look at her, THINKING {I am not BOVERED - whatever the hell that means}, but I do not respond to her, because her boyfriend is now moving on to the fact that I talk with my hands.

"Don't wafe yur hands at me, don't wafe yur hands at me..."

"I am not WAVING my hands at YOU"
{Slimy, British scum}

It was at this point when I realized that he was one of those guys who did not like being wrong and admitting it, and nothing would change that.

So I just looked at his girlfriend thinking,
{He is your problem, not mine}

And I walked away, as the line was nearing the TSA agents who was checking boarding passes and passports.

He followed his line to a TSA agent and I followed dude in a white linen suit to my TSA agent.

But, besides for the very appropriate "Fu*# off and Fu*# you he said, extremely loudly amongst all the impressionable traveling children in the general vicinity, I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was still staring me down.

I dared not make eye contact, because I am pretty sure if I did, he would have pounced, but he just could not let it go.

Can you say,


Even his girlfriend realized he was blowing the situation out of proportion. I could hear her telling him, to let it go, and move on. And his response to her...

"Well she wuss talken' to me like I wuss a bloody child."

I was so tempted to turn to him and tell him he was acting like a child. No, actually, he was acting worse than a child. Even my children know better than to behave that way. What he did in the first place was inappropriate. Then he could have licked his wounded ego when he was called out on his indiscretion, but instead he carried on worse than a child. I will just assume, he was not brought up that well, on the East End of London, where "Bovered" is a word.

Now who else can I have a confrontation with.

Why not, the extremely bright TSA agent? (Because only the most elite are hired for that position).


I am so NOT an "ELITIST". But please at least hire people who can accomplish the task of "directing organization" and have a basic understanding of cause and effect. And please hire people who do not berate the passengers, due to their own shortcomings.

When I approached the TSA agent, she noticed me holding a pile of boarding passes in one hand and a pile of passports in the other and right away yelled at me,


"No, when did you say that?"

"I have been yelling the whole time, Passport with boarding pass, passport with boarding pass. I don't even have a voice left."

{Yup, THUS, the reason I could not hear you - genius}.

"Well, maybe the guy at the front of the line who told us to get into two lines, should deliver that bit of information so people can be prepared."

"You, should have listened, then you would have heard me. Now step aside and put them together."

So, I stepped aside, wondering - if I would have LISTENED, would it have helped me HEAR the VOICELESS lady?

And then I thought, am I the only one who did not hear this directive.

So I looked around, and it dawned on me, it really does not matter if others heard this directive or not. Because the majority of people going through security are either, individuals or couples. And individuals, as well as couples are comprised of people who are EACH holding their own passport and boarding pass. Whereas I (I, meaning a family of six) was in possession of six passports and six boarding passes. So really this directive is specifically in place for families of small children where one parent was tricked into being (unwillingly) designated as the passport/boarding pass holder.

It would really benefit everyone, if someone (with a voice) at the front of the line, would gently make this directive - DIRECTLY to those who are holding 12 security check items as well as a crap load of other things.

If I was not hot and bovered bothered before, I certainly was now.

Next time, just KINDLY ask me to step aside and put the crap together, instead of berating me for not HEARING, something that anyone in a one foot radius with satellite dishes for ears would NOT have heard.

Well - Hun was having one of his "I so married the right girl" moments, I am sure.

And with that, we were off to remove safety threatening shoes, and pull out 3 ounces of life threatening hand cream.

Oh, and try getting a "telephones" (headphones), obsessed 3 year old, who has been wearing them detached from any electronic device, because he rather try and stick the cord in any other random hole he can find, to place those on a tray to be x-rayed. Oh, joy!

By the time we made it to the gate, the plane was in the midst of being boarded. I was so happy to finally make it to my seat, only there was an interesting Israeli woman sitting in it, with a young boy who turned out to be a Grandson, sitting next to her in the seat that belonged to one of my kids. I assumed she was Israeli, because only an Israeli would have so little patience, that she would assume that seat was empty before the plane was even 1/4 boarded. My assumption turned out to be correct.

SAVLANUT! (more about "Savlanut" in an upcoming post, for my non-Hebrew speaking friends.)

Anyone who knows anything about El Al, knows this. It is an airline that fills with families. And if for some reason there is an empty seat to be had, it will most certainly not be found in the bulkhead seats where the baby bassinets go. So she returned to her seat when she realized, mine was not available. Her seat was diagonally across from mine, ahead of me. But a few minutes later, she tried the two seats to the right of me, in my 4 seater row. I bit my tongue, but I knew it was only a matter of time before she was booted from that seat as well. And less than a minute later, she was outta there. I realized - airplane seat hoppers, kinda amuse me.

I would say this flight was uneventful, which, once we took off, it mostly was. But we could not really take off until this one poor guy, who refused to fly, would get in his seat.

He looked to about 80 something and was with a guy about 40 something who may or may not have been his child. If I had to guess, I would say, he had dementia or Alzheimer's or something similar. He was yelling really loudly,

"I......... DON'T.... WANNA FLY!"

It took about ten extra minutes until they could convince him to sit. I just felt really bad for him and his caretaker.

But the flight attendant who handled it, handled it like a true Israeli.

"You dunt wont to fly? But we er ulraydee in de sky. We ulraydee fly eng. What I should do? Lend de plane? No, we ulraydee fly eng."

We so were NOT, but whatever...

So we made it out, flew across an Ocean and some hostile Countries, and landed in Israel on Thursday, with applause.

I never really get why they clap. Is it because they are so excited to be in this Country rich in history and culture? Or are they thankful the Plane did not go down in the Atlantic?

Either way - Yippee!

I can finally post about our actual time IN Israel.

Till then ... 8-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leaving On An Aero-Plane...

I was pretty pleased with how I was so prepared ahead of time when it came to packing up 4 kids and myself (Hun was on his own). I had purchased all I needed. Everything was in place. All my laundry was done. Tuesday morning, all the luggage sat open in my living room, waiting for it's contents. The kids clothing and accessories had all been chosen and sat waiting in laundry baskets. By Tuesday afternoon, all the children's luggage was more or less packed.

I will interject here to say, for the week and a half prior to our trip, Hun was in and out of town constantly, trying to pack in as much business as he could before taking off of work. He was even out of town until Midnight Tuesday, before our trip on Wednesday. I knew, in order to get things done, I needed to hire myself a surrogate baby holder. So my usual College age babysitter came by Tuesday Evening while I finished up.

However, it was now time to pack myself. And I was certain, with everyone else's belongings in place, my packing would only take a short time more, and for once in our lives when embarking on a trip, I would actually get some sleep the night before.


It seems, no matter how prepared, I am doomed to be up until 4 am, only to arise again at 7 am, because that is what happens when the F. family is about to take a trip. Aaaaaaagh!!! It did not help that, Hun (did I say he was on his own) kept interrupting my own packing so I could "yay" or "nay" his choice of wardrobe. Men!

We had 6 pieces packed, plus a suitcase for my nephew and a brand new pack n' play to replace the death trap aging crib in our apartment in Israel. That is 8 pieces for check in. Each kid has a carry-on full of toys. I had a purse, diaper bag, backpack full of electronics, and food bag. Hun had a carry-on as well. And we also had a stroller for Ate and the car seat and wheels for Bam.

Ready, Set, GO!~

Hun took the van full of pretty much everything, and So and Ate and drove to his factory not far from the airport, to pick up his father, who would then drive 'em all to the airport, where Ro, Bam and myself would meet them via taxi. It worked well

Checking in was a breeze. I only had to nurse a baby STANDING on line to check in. That, itself should be an Olympic Sport. I would so win a medal.

A bit later, after purchasing 16 oz bottles of water that cost roughly 1000.00 dollars each, so that the sky can be safe from my own 50 cent bottles of water from home, we wer
e on a plane to JFK.

The two hour + plane ride to New York was pretty uneventful. But due to the current cash hoarding of airlines, creating policies that require one to pay extra if they want an aisle seat, we were placed in row 17 - window and middle, row 18 - window and middle and row 19 - middle.

And so I approached the gate counter and

"Please suggest to me, how I spread my family of six, oldest child only 6 and 1/2, across these 3 rows, so that everyone can possibly be supervised by an adult..."

"Well, you can have one adult in each row with a child (including the infant, lap child)..."

"And the final child?"

"Oh - I see the problem..."


And so, they fixed the problem.

We arrived at JFK at 4 pm EST and our bags were checked all the way to Israel, so all we had to do was schlep our five children, two strollers, and eight carry-ons from the domestic terminal to the international terminal, to check ourselves in and receive our boarding passes.

Easy as pie?

Hell no!

Who the hell built the connection from domestic to international terminals at JFK? No, seriously, who? I want to thank him for all the calories I burned, and the hour of life
I lost.

We went up an elevator, and down an elevator, walked ten minutes, found the airtran, went up an elevator to the airtran. Then we held onto our children and possessions for dear life as we rode the airtran. We then left the airtran and went down an, anybody? Anybody? An elevator, that's right. Then, of course, we needed a pit stop, nursed a baby, wiped a nose, and walked another fifteen minutes, until we found another friggin' elevator. We went up the elevator - no, no, I sta
nd corrected. We were SUPPOSED to go UP the elevator, but first decided to take a detour down due to overzealous button pushing on the part of a small child who shall remain nameless. Then we went up an elevator, crossed a hallway and then I had to remember who's turn it was to push the buttons of the next elevator (shoot me now) - this better be the last effin' elevator. And down we went.

And there it was (rays of light shine down upon it and angels sing) the "El Al" counter.

And we answered the security questions, and passed with flying colors...
"By the way, in case you did not know, the reason they ask the questions...

"Bee cuz whe are efred som one geeve you somsi
ng that luke een no cent, bot reeley it ez bum." (as in - bomb)

So we check in and have a little misunderstanding about epi-pens (epinephrine pens {syringes} carried by me so I don't die when accidentally exposed to fish), but it gets worked out. It is now almost 5:30 pm and our flight does not board until 7 pm.

It was planned ahead of time, that Hun's cousi
n would bring Hun's Grandparents (all from Queens), as well as some grub, and we would hang in the very scenic JFK and chow down together.

(Not pictured: Hun's cousin D., and her adorable baby girl)

It was a lovely, yet short visit. But it was also the first time that Nana and Dada met Bam.

I will end this post here, only because the next part includes two confrontations on my part that totally embarrassed my husband to tears had Hun so proud of the "Mama Bear" he married. (No body messes with my family.) And that part will take more energy out of me. Just thinking about it, has me all riled up again.

JFK sucks, and so do the people who travel through it (excluding US, of course).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Aaaaaaaah, it is nice to be home.

Our trip was amaaaaaaaaaaaazing, but alas, it has come to an end.

I hope to spread out the details of our trip over the upcoming posts, but I will start at the end today.

(I digress to point out that my new header picture is most probably temporary until I find one I like better. I never realized how much harder it is to get ALL four kids to look decent in a picture at once, than it was to get three kids to coordinate themselves for a decent shot. I also updated the "about me" section, with just a small change.)

We arrived home yesterday at 12 pm or so. The trip home was pretty uneventful and the kids were well behaved, as far as kids who are traveling a good deal of a whole day can behave.

We left at 12 am Israel time on Monday morning. We landed on American soil, "Newark" to be specific, at about 5 am EST. My parents who reside in Chicago and my sister who lives in NJ took the same flight home. Although, my parents are spending a week in New York, so they completed their trip. My sister who should have completed her trip was continuing on to Denver for a conference, and we had to wait until 10 am for our flight to Chicago.

Since (my most favorite) Uncle was picking up my parents, he so graciously brought us some yum food from the Staten Island KOSHER Dunkin' Donuts, so we had something to eat over the next five hours.

We hung with my sis until we each had to go on to our respective flights.

When we landed in Chicago, my father-in-law came from the factory, which is less than ten minutes away from the airport, to pick us up in the van. I have an 8 seater Toyota Sienna. With two seats folded, we got ALL our crap luggage and carry-ons and strollers etc... into the car. This left six seats... uh, we are a family of six, and my FIL drove the car to the airport - do the math. So, illegal, dangerous, questionable, actions aside, Bam remained in his car seat, and his car seat sat on my lap. Shhhhh, don't tell.

We drove to the factory to drop off my FIL and so Hun could pick up his car and follow us home (of course I was now able to safely secure Bam's car seat in place). Bam cried all the way to the factory. I wanted to leave to home as quickly as possible, but I promised Ro a cup of soda, as she was sleeping on the airplane when they passed out the toxic bubbly drink. Bam cried as we waited for the soda and then cried all the way home. I assumed he was hungry (although, the boy does not stop eating, so who knows).

As soon as we entered the house, no quicker than opening the door and placing the car seat down, Bam stopped crying. I went off to give the kids a quick lunch of 3 yogurts, six "Eggo" blueberry muffin tops, one "Thomas" whole grain English muffin buttered, some leftover bagel and cream cheese from Dunkin Donuts and one bowl of maple brown sugar oatmeal, and totally forgot Bam was still in his car seat, due to the silence. I was able to get the older three in for a nap before I even thought of taking Bam out of his car seat, and he was so content.

I am convinced, that even he knew he was home. He was probably sick of being schlepped around on airplanes, taxis, buses, cars, strollers. He probably recognized the familiar temperature, smell and atmospheric pressure of his home. He seemed so happy to be home, in his safe and familiar environment.

The kids napped until 4:30 pm (only because I woke them up). 4:30 pm Chicago time = 12:30 am Israel time. If I did not wake 'em, disaster would ensue.

I had hoped to take a nap as well between 1 pm and 4:30, while they slept, only Bam decided to nurse, fall asleep, be placed in crib, wake two - six minutes later, repeat... for 3 and 1/2 hours straight. So at 5 pm, I put a movie on for the older three (and let's face it, one jet lagged, overused mother was totally justified in utilizing this babysitting process at the time). While they watched, I went off to the couch in the living room, l lied down with my baby "attached" and pretty much, he nursed, while I slept.

I vaguely remember some kids approaching me for items, such as...... FOOD, but I think I made them fend for themselves. G-d knows what they ate.

I woke at 6:45, in the same spot, with the SAME child still "attached" to me, only because Hun walked in the door. (He had gone back to work for a bit and then to the grocery store for essentials, because I allowed my housekeeper to shop in my fridge before we left and she cleaned me out.)

It seemed Bam, was asleep, whilst "attached" to me. So I removed him and placed him in his crib. Hun so graciously gave the children supper some sort of meal which consisted, mostly of cereal and milk, and then bathed them and put them to bed, while I woke from my couch slumber to walk upstairs and begin my bed slumber.

I only want to say one thing right now....


He pretty much slept from 5 pm until 5 am (give or take a bit). He woke to nurse and smile and coo until 6:30 and then went back to sleep. I did not get out of bed until 7:45 am. (Although the other little critters began to rise at 6 something, but that is pretty good considering their circadian rhythm is all messed up).

I did not know if they would be up to camp today, but off they went. And me - oh sooooooooooo much laundry and I have to get it all done by tonight (because we begin a nine day period that leads to a fast day in which we can not do laundry, amongst other things).

And with that, I will leave you, because the next load is up.

Good to be home!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coming To America...

Well, I am still here.

And look, I get one post out in Israel.

I will have so much to blog about, hope I remember it all.

Anyway, don't have a lot of time.

I will be leaving tonight at 12 am Israel time.

"See" ya all back home.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'M A PACKIN'..........


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not Me! Monday - Superheroes And Emergency Workers

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival full of superheroes and emergency workers was originally created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read how she and everyone else have not been superheroes this week.

It was not me who was SUPER single Mom almost all week while Hun was out of town.

It is not my Hun who had to get in as many business trips out of town as he could because he is about to .... go out of town.

It was certainly not the organization of my house that fell through the cracks this past week, 'cuz SOMETHING had to give.

If my house did in fact become a pig sty this past week, I most certainly did not almost trip over my baby who was laying on the floor, because he was like "Where's Waldo Bam, amongst all the toys and dolls.

It was not me who trekked all the the way out to the suburbs for some shopping on July 1st, only to realize when I got there that I had not placed the Chicago city sticker on my car and today was the deadline.

It was not me who was praying out loud, all the way home, that I would not become prey to a cop for failing to have my city sticker.

I did not then also realize that my plates expire in June (06-09) and I did not place my new plate sticker on the car yet.

It was not me who experienced shortness of breath and heart palpitations and I certainly did not almost vomit when I saw a cop on my tail in my rear view mirror.

I was not pleasantly surprised that I made it home without getting pulled over, even though the cop could clearly see my plate sticker was expired.

When I went to place my new stickers on my car, I did not then come to know that my plates actually expire (09 -09), not (06-09).
It did not then occur to me that I was slightly dyslexic and the new sticker for June that I had, was actually meant for my husbands car.

I did not then pray out loud that my husband make it home from work without being pulled over.

It was not my Superhero husband who noticed, on his way home from Synagogue Friday night, that our neighbor's garbage can was on fire and was right next to the house.

It was not Hun who ran home and retrieved our fire extinguisher when there was no answer on the neighbor's door.

When the door finally opened, my kids and husband and I did not hear this,
"David, you stupid sh$#, you can't throw HOT COALS in the Fu&*in garbage can."


When the fire extinguisher did not work, I did not seize the arrival of the fire department and police as an opportunity for my "Emergency Workers" obsessed three year old son to have some fun.

I did not teach my son, after waving to the firemen, to make a fist and pull his elbow up and down.

He did not totally freak out when the horn blared unexpectedly.

When the cop came across to say hello, I was not secretly relieved that Hun had all his appropriate stickers on the car.


Happy Freakin' 4th!!!




Why the "F" must my neighbors pop their freakin' firecrackers, beginning a week before July 4th into the wee hours of the night, for three weeks after, so my kids have an excuse not to sleep.

Ate is scared to death of all the noise and , frankly, I find it rather annoying. Also, this is a highly "combustible" residential area, and I would like to avoid watching my house unnecessarily go up in flames.

I am about to pop a cap in the A$$ of my self - absorbed, inconsiderate neighbors. See if they like the explosions that rattle their behinds.

The only consolation I have, is the fact that we are leaving the neighborhood in three days for our trip. But I really need my kids to sleep these next three nights so I can get all my crap done.

So put away your illegal firecrackers that you had to cross the border to purchase, and read a good book. Or go take a trip to North Korea, because over there, they will actually strap you to one Friggin' huge Rocket and you can actually BE the fireworks.

Just, stop spraying my neighborhood with all your noisy sh*%, and leave my family in peace.

Oh, I am all for freedom and I love our Country, yada, yada, yada...

But, for the love G-d and for the love of my tired children feel FREE to STOP!!!

OK, I am done venting. I feel better.
But that is because it is 3 in the afternoon and blissfully quiet as my kids nap. Tonight, if anyone hears popping noises in my neighborhood, be certain that some of it is the sound of my caps going off in their a...........

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For


A while back, probably closer to the beginning of the school year, I blogged about So's growing concern over her lack of tooth loss.

She was desperate for any sign of a loose tooth, constantly wiggling her finger against her tooth and exclaiming,
"it's loose, it's loose".

Being that her birthday is in September, she is one of the younger one's in her class. Many of her classmates have already turned seven and they are already the proud bearers of adult teeth.

So still walks around, spending moments every day, testing her teeth for any sign of impending loss.

We have had a couple of close calls,
some accidental collisions of two heads,
a few walks into a wall,

hyper, joy jumping too close to a light fixture,
all resulting in some blood loss in a tooth area.

But those dang things are made of steel.

I inappropriately joked about how it might be a
loving gesture if I punched my daughter in the mouth.
(Don't go calling children's services, I would never.)

Now So notices Kindergarten kids proudly walking around with their smarmy toothless grins. And I am just eagerly waiting for the moment that Ro wakes up declaring a loose tooth is upon
us and it does not belong to her older, inpatient sister So.

But, only a few days ago - this all changed.

Thanks to my husband's genetic crappy teeth donation to So's gene pool, a "pulp expulsion" a year ago was not enough to save a tooth.

(I will insert here, that as much as I love my husband and his family, it was only because of my MIL and hubby and his brothers that we finally got Dental insurance. I am proud to say, that I do NOT have one filling in my adult teeth and had very few in my baby teeth. Damn, cavity loving genetics...)

I brush my kids teeth for them. Yes - I do. Because I do not believe my almost seven year old and five year old will do a good enough job themselves. Now, you might argue that they have crappy teeth because their mother is lousy at brushing their teeth. But I beg to differ. I get every inch, at least two - three times a day. I bough
t special flossing sticks so they might have an easier time getting the hard to reach areas. I am totally on top of the tooth crisis in my home.

But this one poor tooth...

Last week, So and Ro had a dentist appointment. Each had one more small cavity that needed filling. (I could deal with this, they are candy loving baby teeth.)

But then the Dentist called me over. It is never a good sign when you get the ol' "call over".

Apparently, So's tooth, the one that had the pulp expulsion (which is just shy of a root canal) did not make it. The cavity infec
ted the jaw bone and the tooth now needed to be pulled.

I left her office with my head hung low, awaiting the next appointment for cavity filling and teeth pulling, and wondering what the best way would be to break this news to So.

I did not tell her until the morning of
the tooth extraction.

"Ummm So."

"What Mommy?"

"C'mere, gotta tell you something."

"What Mommy?"

"Uhh, well, we won't only be ha
ving a cavity filled today..."

"Why, what else are we doing?

"Remember that tooth last time, the one that needed extra work?"


"Well, it did not work
so well."

"So what do we do?"

"Well... So.... uhhh...I think ... uhh ... it needs to be pulled out."


(waiting for the crying)

"I need my tooth pulled?"

(anticipating the tears)

"The dentist is going to take it out?"

(here it comes)

"I won't have a tooth there an

(waiting for it... waiting for it...)


"It's okay S..... Huh? Why are you doing your
hyper joy jumping?"

(Seriously, I was certain all her excitement would cause the tooth to extract itself.)

"Wait, can I still put this tooth under my pillow? Will the tooth fairy give me a dollar?"

"Wha? I... guess. Well, I mean - a dollar? Sheesh - inflation. I don't know, the tooth fairy may be another victim of the economy, and... well ....maybe."


I don't remember her being this excited since she h
ad her tonsils removed. She probably would have put tonsils under her pillow as well, if she thought there was a tonsil fairy.

Well, the bottom line is ... So finally lost a tooth. Maybe not the way she really would have hoped. We shall see how excited she is to have a metal spacer put in until she is about nine or ten, so the
adult tooth has space to come in.

And not only did So lose a tooth, she is probably the only one of her friends who can say, she lost it with the root attached.

So, your wish has been granted.


It seems I failed to mention the extent of So's excitement over the loss of her tooth.

After So had her tooth removed, she woke at 6:00 AM and found the tooth gone and a dollar under her pillow and quickly decided to throw open my door and express VERBOSELY, her excitement. But it did not end there.

Later that day I received a call from a friend who "DELICATELY" (her words exactly) let me know that her phone rang at 6:30 AM and a certain six and a half year old child who weighs one tooth less was requesting to speak to her 7 year old friend at that residence. My friend "DELICATELY" informed this caller that not everyone wakes at the crack of dawn and her daughter would call her later.

Needless to say, I had a serious talk with So about "proper phone usage" and also how, sunrise should not determine her moment of arousal. She will no longer be making phone calls at 6:30 AM.

(How was that Adina?)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time Out 8-)

I really don't want to scare anyone off, so I don't typically ask this question, but...


I would really love to know.

I have had a visitor from Atlanta, and Staten Island for a long time, but alas, I have never heard from you.

I have many "Blackberrys" but, you are just a "smart phone" to me.

There are so many nameless visitors, who have yet to share their thoughts with me.

What is it about my blog that keeps you coming back?

What was your favorite post?

What was your least favorite post?

Have I ever said something that you so completely related to?

Have I ever said anything that so completely turned you off?

I do not discriminate between comments of praise and agreement and comments of constructive criticism and disagreement?

I accept all comments (unless vulgar).

I made my blog public, because I wanted to "meet" new people and get insight from people who are not part of my immediate world.

Do your thoughts reflect a different culture, a different religion, a different gender?

And if you are part of my "immediate world", my community and I know you "IRL" (in real life), I would love to hear from you as well (even anonymously).

I appreciate those who come back and read my blog. I appreciate those who have commented (and those who have not). I also appreciate those who keep checking in, waiting for my next post.

I am sure, some of my posts are more enjoyable than others. And I know some are more moving than others. What feelings and emotions are you looking to gain when you read my words?

Should I focus on utilizing my sarcasm and wit (if I actually encompass any of these characteristics).

Or should I focus on serious issues?

Should I keep mixing it up?

I have asked YOU so many questions, do you have any for me?

I have so many topics in mind to blog about.
But, before I go on, tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, I would love some input.

Thanks for listening.