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Missing in Action

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So, as a brand new iPhone owner I really should blog more. The last few weeks have been crazy busy! Let me try to remember when I last blogged… Oh yeah, the elections that didn’t end with the results I had hoped for. Let me just stop there. Even though Bibi is, in my opinion, far from the besz thing for this country, he was elected by the people. And that itself is something that needs to be respected.

 

 The week before the elections my oldest daughter got married in Prague,  Czech Republic. It was a sweet and short wedding, with kids taking their job seriously. It was a great trip. We even joined a free walkong tour and the kids did wonderfully on the nearly three hour activity. Judy was carried on Kevin’s shoulders for part of it and walked part of it. The other kids walked the whole time! We stopped at the Bake Shop about halfway through, and I offered the kids some super expensive treats… And they turned me down. That was a first.

Judy turned two, and in the almost two weeks her vocabulary has grown like crazy. So has her curiosity and her independence. The great thing is that there is always someone around to keep an eye on her and only intervene if absolutely necessary. She is starting to play with other kids, and entertains herself surprisingly well for chunks of time. 

Getting back, it has been super busy. Between work, medical appointments, and homeschool I have very little free time. In fact most of our homeschool teaching is done by Kevin’s mom and the Open University. We decided to keep the littles in school for next year, too. They thrive there and are in a mostly Hebrew environment, so there is no reason to change that. 

In my limited free time we caught up on American Idol. I actually enjoy this season, though I wasn’t exactly impressed with most of the 80s week performances. I especially disliked Joey’s awful rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and Jax’s Bon Jovi attempt. Clarke, on the other hand, was great. Nick was the best! I generally thought that the soundtrack of my childhood was trampled on. I know Boy George’s voice is not what it used to be, but he was still the best in the group performance of Karma Chameleon. Which, by the way, is one of my favourite songs from that decade. 

http://youtu.be/xvqlA41mxzY

Another thing I realized is that I must have a Jewdar. I’m not even kidding. We have been binge watching Salem. There are two characters I especially love: Cotton and Isaac. Part of the reason for that is that I find the two actors, Seth Gabel and Iddo Goldberg incredibly hot. After googling them it turns out that the former is a Jew from Florida and the latter is Israeli-British. 

Mentioning Salem, we need to do some Salem Witch Trial and English phonology and phonetics projects with the kids, lest they believe that Cotton Mather was against witch trials snd Increase Mather was sctive in them. Plus back then Brits spoke like Americans. So yes. I have a week of furlough, we can work on those.

Passover is fast approaching. We are mostly done with cleanong and preparing for eight days of unleavened bread. This is usually. Challenging week for me, because I don’t like matzah, but this year Kevin found some great recipes with it.

While cleaning is mostly done I was dreading all the cookibg for the Seder. Some of my friends suggested to just take it easy and serve a simple salad or sandwiches or something equally simple, but that is the equivalent of a simple salad and sandwiches for Christmas dinner. Luckily my awesome stepmom invited us to Seder! It is partly catered, so everyone wins.

We as a family also decided to spend the days of the counting of the Omer–the seven weeks between the Seder and Shavuot–eating vegetarian, at least till Lag B’Omer. No, not eating vegetarians, just following a meatless diet. We are drawing inspiration from Indian cuisine as well as Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty.

I have finally decided to try filet crochet. 

 

Loving Them

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I spent yesterday morning trying to get Yonah get over his first major hangover while also trying to help my daughter figure out alternative feminine hygiene products.

On Friday there was a birthday party at our congregation, that involved several February birthdays. Yonah was one of the birthday people. Another was a lovely Russian, Gavriil, who, like many of our Russian friends, likes to use vodka to celebrate. Good, quality, very nice vodka. Not too much, just enough to have a good mood, and get Yonah tipsy. We really can’t blame him for Yonah trying some other alcoholic drinks, not knowing that sticking to vodka would have been his best bet. So my boy came home delightfully tipsy, and I learnt a whole lot of the content of certain corners of the Internet than I ever thought I would. Our Yonah is a chatterbox when slightly intoxicated.

Saturday morning he learnt how to cure a hangover. The first step is: make sure there is Aspirin in the house where you are planning to wake up. We never have Aspirin at home. Aspirin makes me and my biological offspring sick. So I always forget to buy it. The older boys of legal drinking age have a little first aid box of their own, but they, too, were out. Of course it being the Shabbat nothing nearby was open to get the magic pills. So lots of water, eggs and orange juice was his therapy. And he wanted to know what he was babbling about the night before. He was also very apologetic and wondering if I was eternally embarrassed of him.

“You must regret adopting me.”

Oh how wrong he was. Before I could have explained that to him, his sister stormed through the door with her son on her arm, and as a greeting she said, “Dad, you have to help me pick out some menstrual cups!” After I found my voice after the initial shock, I just reminded her that she was just at her other family’s, where, you know, she actually has a mom and an older sister, and she could have stayed longer and ask…. and then she said, “I couldn’t possibly talk to them about topics like this!”

So I went on to making a very strong espresso for Yonah, find the last Advil Ultra Forte for him, while giving Bella ideas about what to Google, and listened to a rant about uncomfortable tampons, the never properly working tampon and condom dispensers–to which Yonah added that there is a tampon dispenser in the guys’ bathroom in this one club he has been with Yehiel–and that they never have change when you need it and did I know menstrual cups came in purple?

There I was, on the couch, between two teenagers, who have turned my world upside down, and who believe that I can fix all the hurt in their lives, simply because I’m dad, and I must know the best remedy for hangovers, even though I’ve never been drunk and I must know what the best feminine hygiene products are on the market, even though I’m a man. If I had the kind of power and knowledge they ascribe to me, I could make sure wrestling stays an Olympic sport!

Of course they are mad at me when I just don’t understand how hard it is to be a teenager, when I don’t want them to do something or when I want them to do something–sometimes the same thing in the span of a few hours. Of course they think I know nothing and I’m seriously outdated and hopelessly old, but they graciously forgive me for my shortcomings.  And then I find myself debating whether Mooncups or Diva cups are the better investment, and I find them curled up next to me on my couch as I read and they recover, and I am loving that they tell me about the weird stuff online, their desire to be crunchy, down to earth and hip mothers. I love it when they tell me their failures, and I love it when they stand up again and again. They think I did something to help. I didn’t.

They just let me love them.

A Super Busy Week

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It seems like we didn’t stop this week at all! Being back to work sure did make things even busier than I expected, with discovering on my return after almost a month that a collegue somehow deleted a year-to-date report that is updated weekly… and its backup file as well. We still don’t know how it was possible–he doesn’t have write access to the shared drive the files were hosted on, and because of a technical issue, the most recent restored version could be made to what the file was like in January. I spent most of the week recovering data and redoing the file. So that was work. Actually, I love doing this report, but I got angry for having to do things over again.

Then there was Craig’s birthday, and I know I didn’t write everything I wanted to regarding it. We kept it relatively low key, because in two weeks he is having his bar mitzvah party! When his Jewish birthday rolls around in a few days he will be a bar mitzvah, with or without a party or celebration. I never had one, but I still get called to the Torah and do everything that those who had their bar mitzvah celebrated. Craig declared that if he has a party it won’t be during Passover, so we are pushing it back to a date that’s more suitable. He will also be called to the Torah next week on the Shabbat! I’m so very proud of him!

Craig, my most religious child ever, has been maturing a lot in the last two years in his thinking and faith. He is finding his own path in a fine area between rationalism and belief. An area where the Universe still makes sense. He is reading a lot–both science and religion–to make his own deceisions. He knows more about the Torah that I’d expect from an average Jewish adult, and he likes studying it. And he loves pondering the Universe, and guess what, he understands more about the physics behind it than most adults. Of course he got genius genes from Kevin. 😀

One of Craig’s favourite birthday presents is a T-shirt with Franklin the turtle on it. He used to love him as a little kid, and we just found the coolest Franklin shirt at one of the local novelty clothing shops. I knew he’d like it, and I was right. I love knowing my kids. 🙂

I mentioned before that we spent the evening of Craig’s birthday with my sister and brother-in-law in Herzliya. While there we also found out that they were expecting their first baby, a little boy. I’m so excited for them!

We are also busy with Bella getting ready for her sister’s wedding. Her biological sister is getting married in Russia in the summer. Bella was invited to be a part of the wedding, and well, we are doing everything to get her and her son there. Most likely Kevin will accompany them for the week-long trip to Birobidzhan. This is going to be a lot of fun for them, and then, a month later, Bella’s sister and new BIL will have their honeymoon in Israel! They are all very excited about their reunion.

Also, as it’s now the first night of Passover, I hope my Jewish readers are having a great Seder. I have an excused absence tonight, so next year and for many years after that I can observe the mitzvot of Passover, but I did have a hardboiled egg. 😀

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