Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Tale of Three Children

In no particular order, three stories for three kids:

In today’s segment of Games Kids Play
On Shabbat, I played War with Yaakov. First of all, you should all know that Yaakov knows almost all of his numbers! Progress!

We started playing, and I put out a king, and explained that king was the highest so I got to take his card. Well, Yaakov, ever the card shark, decided that if this was indeed the case, he should just play his two kings at every turn. So I put out a card, he put out his kings and took my card. This went on for a few minutes, as my card pile rapidly dwindled. What a great game! he thought. Then, he had an even better idea. “Why should I have to take out and put away my kings every time?” you can almost hear him thinking. “I’ll just leave out the kings, and then whatever card Mommy has, I’ll just take it!” So he sat there, letting his kings do the work, and every turn, he promptly whisked my poor pathetic cards away.

Now you sharp readers out there may have noticed something – Yaakov is blatantly cheating. But you even sharper readers may have noticed something else – Yaakov had only two kings. Which meant that someone else, namely me, had the other two, But somehow this didn’t faze Yaakov. When I put out my king, he shrugged said, “I’ll just take this also.”

Needless to say, Yaakov won.

Time to Learn a Third Language
Those of you who know Ariella know that she is very sensitive. She does not like to be talked about, she hates if we laugh or even smile when she does something cute or funny, and she’s even refused to read for Bubby and Zaidy “because they will laugh.” Even though we’ve explained that we are not laughing at her, we’re just very proud. She will have no smiling or laughing or even the tiniest hint of merriment.

So last week, when I wanted to share a funny Ariella story with Momz, I took the phone out to the mirpeset. The kids were zoned out in front of a movie. Suddenly, the door slides open, and I see Ariella standing there, hand on hip. “Why are you talking on the phone out here? ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ME?” Of course, I burst out laughing. Which didn't help the situation. So, as I said, time to learn a third language. Anyone up for some Inuktitut?

Things Babies Do
Now, just because we have a very cute baby in our lives, I'm not going to become one of those bloggers that blabs on and on about her baby's every move. "Oh look, he stretches!" (Which he does, very cutely.) Or, "He's starting to smile!" (Which he is. We think.) Or, "Look how he concentrates on his mobile! He's so focused!" (Also true.) So, you see, I will not regale you with every little Nadav story.

And I will certainly not be that mom that tells you gross anecdotes regarding bodily fluids. So, for example, I am not going to share with you what happened on Friday, when Donny, Nadav, and I were in a store, and I picked up Nadav because he was a little cranky and I noticed that his diaper was kinda full - again, I'm not going to say with what, because I'm a civilized person, so I'll just tell you it rhymes with "roop" - and then Donny looked over at me and noticed that this "roop" had gotten on my shirt, so I ran out of the store, holding Nadav at arm's length, Donny chasing after me, and we did an emergency change in the trunk of the car, using an entire package of wipes, and when he (Nadav) was finally cleaned and I was putting on his new onesie I noticed that this so-called "roop" had managed to get into his hair, and of course the wipes were used up, but luckily we had an elderly bottle of water rolling around the backseat so I gave Nadav an emergency sponge bath and then he was cleaned and much happier though I can't say the same for my shirt.

So I guess I have nothing to share with you about Nadav. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ernesta's Tale

Well, I'm back. Some of you may not have known I was gone, but my beloved computer - Ernesta - was under the weather for a while. It started last Friday, when I turned it on and it beeped (never a good thing) and said, "Fan Error." After numerous attempts, we finally got it started, and it was making a strange whirring noise. "You know," Donny said slowly, "I think it may be a fan error." This is why he is so successful at his job.

So like generation of manly men before him, Donny concocted a DIY solution: Prop the computer up on little cardboard boxes, thus allowing air to circulate. It worked! For a day. Then the whirring noise returned. So we called the IBM service center in Israel. They have this great system where no one can actually answer your question. They just throw the phone back and forth to each other. "You need a new fan? Let me transfer you to the sales department."

"You want a new fan? Well, I need the item number. Let me transfer you to the support department."

“You want a new fan? This is the support department, you need sales. Let me just…”

“NO! I scream. Please, please, just let me order a fan.”

Then they told us if we wanted them to install it, it could take up to (gulp) five days. Donny looked up fan installation instructions online, and it turned out they were super-complicated. Not like, “Insert Fan Here, Stupid.” The entire computer had to be taken apart, beyond even Donny’s capabilities. Ernesta would have to go.

So on Tuesday morning, I bid Ernesta a sorrowful goodbye and Donny gently took her to the hallowed lands of Givat Shmuel. I prayed for Ernesta’s speedy and safe and speedy return.

Of course, when Donny got to the service center, they were mightily confused that we were bringing it in to get fixed, yet had already ordered the part. They didn’t know where to send him – Sales? Support? Sales? Support? It was befuddling, to be sure; the employees had to be sent home early, holding wet washcloths to their heads and mumbling feebly.

Luckily five days turned out to be one, and on Wednesday afternoon I got the much-anticipated phone call saying that my computer was ready!! Yippee-kie-ay! It was 2:00. Ariella was already home, and I figured if I went right away, I could avoid traffic. So I picked up Yaakov (because really, what’s fun with 2 kids is even more fun with 3!) and off we went.

Aside for the big children deciding a computer-service center is a great place for a game of tag – and here I was worried Nadav would be the problem. Ha! – and of course, the double-line-waiting (You pick up your computer here, but you pay for it here), it went pretty smoothly. That is, until I drove home and ended up on Kvish 4 going the wrong way. Ha ha! Drat you, signless intersection in Givat Shmuel! Luckily, it was fairly easy – even for someone as directionally-challenged as I am – to turn around at the next exit. We only lost 15 minutes. And even luckily-er I had Shugis for the big kids, and a pacifier for the little one. We were home by 4:00, just in time for Ariella to have a playdate. And for Ernesta and me to have an emotional reunion.

So, folks, I am happy to report Ernesta is back with us, whir-less and better than ever! Yay!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly News with Aliyahbyaccident

In today's segment of The World According to Yaakov:

Book: "Why don't people live on the moon?"

Yaakov: "Because we don't have anything to fly with, so how would we get there?"

And now for today's "Huh?" moment:

Yaakov [excitedly]: Mommy, Mommy, know what? Nadav... Nadav... smells like Zaidy!

Moving on....

Introducing a new segment called Games Kids Play
This one is called "Gan" and it is generally played on Shabbat. You probably remember playing something similar when you were young. You'd take out a three or four stuffed animals and pretend to be the teacher. Cute, right? Of course, because this is Israel, when Ariella and Yaakov play, out comes every. single. animal. we own. All 30-40 of them. Gan was at full capacity, with all the kids squished together on the "shatiach" (aka our bathroom rugs). Then, Yaakov leads davening, careful to stop every few minutes and reprimand the kids for not listening. Duck even got sent out of the circle. (I have an uncomfortable feeling that "Duck" may have represented "Yaakov.")

And now a Special Birthday Message
Ariella turned SEVEN last Friday (which is when I actually started this post). Can't believe she's seven. Almost as crazy as Yaakov being five. (Waaaaait a minute....)

Anyway, I won't get all goopy and sentimental and talk about how much we love Ariella, blah blah blah. Because let's face it, she's our kid. Of course we love her. It's like Ben & Jerry's. Of course we love New York Super Fudge Chunk. New York Super Fudge Chunk does not have to do anything to earn our love. We love it simply because it exists. Same with kids.

And we would love her even if she were dull and ugly and dumb. Lucky for us, she's funny and beautiful and smart. And, of course, she's our first, paving the way so that we can actually become good parents for Yaakov and Nadav.

Every time she reaches a new age, a new milestone, we think, Wow, this is great, this is the perfect age. But if there's one thing she's taught us well, it's that every age is the perfect age, because we just really enjoy watching her grow and become the pretty great kid that she is. So Ariella, (this is for when you read the blog, because I know from Arica that children do, eventually, read the blog....), just keep growing and becoming and know that we love you. Even more than New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

If Yaakov Ran the World....

Some Musings from the mind of Yaakov "Wild Turkey" (his wrestling name) Rose:

At the mesibat siyum, all the children received a book, one of those "questions about our world" type of thing. You know, like "Why is the sky blue?" or, "Why is that pelican covered in black slime?" So Yaakov and I started reading it. After we read the question, I gave Yaakov a chance to answer the question himself, before we read what the so-called "experts" had to say.

"Where do mountains come from?"

Yaakov, in an expasperated, I-can't-believe-you-don't-know-this-awready voice (roughly translated from the Hebrew, which is how Yaakov insisted on answering): "Because otherwise, people wouldn't be able to climb on something vewy, vewy, high."

Then, after reading about the blue sea and the sand at the beach, he came up with this excellent drash: "Inside the ocean is kachol; outside of the ocean is chol!"

Unrelated to the book, but very amusing......Later, he was drawing a picture of the family on the magna-doodle. "I am holding Nadav," he explained, "and you are holding Awiella. And Daddy...." [Pause. Casts eyes around the room, looking for something,] "Do we have another baby?" He was distressed to learn that in fact, there isn't another baby that we've kept hidden from him. But he perked up when we decided that Daddy could just hold everyone.

In closing, a picture of Nadav. Here he is demonstrating one of the two Emotional States of a Newborn: Not Sad. (Any guesses what the second Emotional State of a Newborn is?)

Monday, June 7, 2010


A wise man (Hillel, probably. Or Shammai. Or maybe Rabbi Akiva. They were always spouting wise sayings. Or maybe it was Benjamin Franklin. Anyway...) once said, חנוך לנער על פי דרכו

And indeed, each of the children continues to grow and accomplish many accomplishments, each in his or her own special way. Without giving away names, I will regale you with some of these latest, very accomplished accomplishments:

1. One child knows how to read and write stories in two languages. On Friday afternoon, this child read an entire, not-so-short story about Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (who is famous, of course, for inventing Fro-Yo), stopping only to share some exciting tidbit of information with the parents.

2. Another can hop on one foot for an extended period of time.

3. And one lifts his (or her! Not giving anything away here) head admirably while lying on stomach during the dreaded "tummy time." (Same child has also mastered "The Diaper's Off! Time To Poop!" and the "Spit and Mash," you know, where you spit up and mash your face in it.)

I will leave it to you to figure out which accomplishment goes to which child. We are equally proud of all of them.

Last night was Yaakov's mesibat siyum. Although there are still 3 weeks of school left, the teacher is about to have a baby, so they pushed up the date of the end of year party. Yaakov was a bit confused about this. He kept emphatically insisting, "Mommy, after my mesiba, ZEHU im Gan Almog!" I tried explaining that despite the name, it was not quite the "end" yet, and he would in fact be returning to Gan Almog come Monday morning. (Also, he will be there for "camp" in July and then return for "school" in September. So we're not "zehu im Gan Almog" for another year and 3 weeks.)

I did not attend the party, since I had the other 2 children to attend to. Ariella would have happily babysat Nadav, but as she is still a bit young and his head is still a bit floppy, I decided to stay and supervise. Luckily, Yaakov's not the kind of kid who cares about these things. He was perfectly happy to have a man's night out with Daddy. From what I heard, he sang and danced with panache and ate borekas and watermelon equally panache-ily.

Meanwhile, Nadav and I are enjoying Newborn Land. Like going into Aroma, buying an iced coffee and a blueberry muffin (hey, a girl's gotta eat), and that's it. No buying anyone a shoko, no having to share the muffin. Nadav just hangs out in the stroller, sleeping and making the occasional spit bubble. It's quite nice.

Also, unlike his older brother, Nadav does not make us chase him for kisses. We can kiss his smushy cheeks all day. And he can't run away! [Insert evil cackle here.] He doesn't particularly care for it; he has a rather bored, blase look on his face during the proceedings. Unless he's hungry, in which case kissing him on the cheeks results in him trying to eat your face off. But he doesn't run away either. So we like that.

And that is all for my weekly update.