Friday, November 28, 2008

Murders in Mumbai

On my way home from work I spoke to one of my friends who started the conversation with 'terrible happenings in India'. Though it sounded like a general statement, something made me cut the conversation short and tune in to Fox News. The very first thing I heard on the news was that there were no survivors in the Chabad House. The glimmer of hope that intensified since the miraculous rescue of Moshe Holtzberg was gone.

I cried all the way home. I cried while I shopped and while I cooked. This terrorist attack seems more personal, my reaction more visceral. Maybe because Rabbi and Rivka Hotzberg, Hy'd were so young. Maybe because they were selfless people just serving the community. Or maybe because I hoped like many others that in the end they'd survive. I don't know. I'm sad. I'm angry.I mourn for them and other who perished in Mumbai. May Hashem avenge their deaths.

And, as my friend Esther said, today we are all Chabad.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good friends we have, oh, good friends we've lost...

In the past few years, I've noticed a trend. A 'friend' completes her higher education/marries 'up'/marries 'frumMer'/marries kolel and then subtly (though often not-so-subtly) converts into a patronizing holier-than-thou being.

A few recent examples:
-A friend (one is tempted to write 'former') recently moved to LONG ISLAND. She was generous enough to buy a birthday gift for my kid. However the commute from LONG ISLAND was too great so she left the gift by her parents (who live in brooklyn) and called me to ask if I wouldn't mind picking it up. And she wasn't kidding.

-Two friends (?) (one- a kolel wife) seem to criticize with an air of subject-matter-experts practically any opinion I have on any remotely intellectual topics. And one of them couldn't understand why I don't want to socialize outside of work.

-A former-close-friend-now-a-respected-professional didn't attend my (very important to me) family simcha and called to say that she's not sure what to give as a gift. I told her not to bother, so she didn't. She also phased out of socializing. (peace out)

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with one of these friends. And after the meeting I felt like I stepped into something stinky. Have I become petty in my old age or did I have poor judgment of people when I was young?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

He did it again

Last night some time between 12 and 1 I heard SiM coughing. After some time he called 'mommy'. So I quickly got up for my baby, gave him his "geh" ( pacifier) and went back to bed. In a couple of minutes I heard another 'mommy', got up again, gave him a drink, went back to bed. In less than a minute I heard SiM calling "abba" and as much as I wanted to feel hurt by this dismissal I couldn't stop laughing.

Abba brought SiM a fresh drink after which SiM fell asleep. This wasn't the first time SiM gave hubby the preferential treatment and I'm hoping in the future he'll start out with 'abba' first:)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The excision of silver lining

Approximately 1 hour after 'starting' work, I found out, pretty much simultaneously, that there is no access to internet and no coffee in the cafeteria.

Maybe I'll be able to catch up on my reading or just fall behind on my blogging... And maybe I'll sleep more...So long, silver lining...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Midnight thoughts

Third night in a row SiM wakes up coughing and can't seem to fall back asleep easily. Hubby's taking care of him and I suddenly find myself very awake.

An intrusive thought keeps coming up of just how much I miss my previous work assignment. Nostalgic memories of the hospital-like environment, kosher cafeteria with its brew-it-yourself coffee, hot breakfasts and lunches, the doctors, the nurses, rec programs, the morning rounds with self-important-too-numerous-to-count-vice-presidents, the almost-always-annoying-but-sometimes-cool MD and PA students, social workers, dietitians, volunteers...lots of friendly and lots of unfriendly people who finally started to respond to greetings...

(I'm aware that I sound like an immigrant whose memories over time make everything and everybody 'back home' seem bright and beautiful, educated, and polite...Awareness is not helpful this time.)

I tell myself that I was 'the bigger person' for leaving instead of staying and getting two ignorant 'colleagues' reassigned or fired. But then, I remember that good guys finish last and I don't want to be the 'bigger', 'better', 'more mature'...

Hope SiM gets better soon (for many reasons and ) because typically midnight thoughts are quite unproductive.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's doing?

If SiM wasn't cute before with his 'Hi' and exuberant waving to any and everybody he was, he is definitely cute now with his 'hi, whatdoing?' greeting now. It seems that he learns most of his vocabulary from his sister but 'what's doing' is definitely hubby's.

Eh, like many older siblings, acts as SiM's interpriter. Last week, SiM kept asking for something and neither I nor the babysitter had any idea what he was saying and SiM was getting frustrated with us. Then Eh called from the other room "He wants the booster seat..." How did she know?

Since then 'boo' became 'booter'. And when I pretend not to understand what he is saying, SiM takes matters into his own hands, brings the booster seat himself, and tries to climb on it. I'm alternately filled with pride (if someone other than self is there to supervise SiM in his booter) or a bit frustrated with my little guys independence.

Another cute but a bit more annoying is his newly learned phrase 'awnt hold it' which quickly became 'awnt hold it pee'. If 'it' is a piece of apple, a cookie, a cup-I think "aww, my polite little son'. But 'it' is usually a bag/box of chips, cookies, candy, box of cereal, 1/2 gallon milk jar and then I wish he didn't say please because it kinda makes me feel guilty for refusing his requests...

Anywho, it seems that I actually have to go work. Peace

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Met

My sister wanted to go to Botanical Gardens to view some flowers. Last week, I told her we (self and kids) would come along. Then when I found out it was New York Botanical Gardens, I convinced her to go to Prospect Park Zoo instead. Why go to the Bronx to see plants when you can stay in Brooklyn and see plants AND aminals?

This weekend sister was determined to go to Botanical Gardens but the weather was blah and she proposed we go to the Met. Recalling all the wonderful times sister and Eh had at the Met and considering the weather, Met sounded like a great idea. And Eh confirmed that she wanted to go to museum. So we were on.

We were in the car and on our way by 10:15! SiM fell asleep on Prospect Expressway. Eh kept saying that she is tired but she didn't fall asleep until we were on UES. All was going well. I even circled around the Met for a while looking for the best possible parking spot so the kids would sleep longer. My best possible parking was 2 blocks away and right in front of some coffee shop. The kids were sleeping, sister and I were having cappuccinos, and life couldn't get any better.

Then Eh woke up , climbed in the back a bit, and decided that she wants to come out. SiM was woken up and in a bit on a bad mood. Sister and I were still optimistic.

When we walked into the lobby of the museum both kids perked up and seemed to be delighted to be there. We decided to see 'the dancer from Olivia' and then play it by ear.

Then Eh refused to get into an elevator. From that point on, (though we did look at some paintings a bit) they were taking turns attempting to cry, asking to be carried, and asking for (lolly)'pop'/apple doos. We were alternately looking for Degas, elevators, cafeteria, bathroom, elevators, accessible exit. Finally, after riding up and down the elevator and walking up and down hallways, we found a cafe. The kids perked up significantly after eating some bamba, cheese and bread.

The trip improved from that point on. We even found Degas with minimal effort (Eh's reaction to all the dancers was minimal as well). But I think the kids enjoyed most standing by the banister overlooking the main stairway and yelling hello to the people down below:)

We'll try the Children's museum next week...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Number 12!

It's finally here. The 4th buttom incisor! Yay. Now little SiM's smile is more symmetrical:)

Friday, November 14, 2008

One way streets, flashing lights

Yesterday, when I was trying to turn onto my block, I found some truck conveniently parked across the whole street leaving just enough room for a smart car to pass. I waited one light worth of time to see if he'd move and since he didn't, I decided to come around from the other side of the block. Of course, as luck would have it, by the time I came around and started driving towards my house, the truck moved. So there I was, driving my conspicuous car down the wrong way on a one way street.

First it was my not-so-favorite neighbor, staring at me with her eyes and mouth wide open. I gestured her to keep moving ( while slowly driving myself). Then my friend who almost backed out from her driveway at me, she smiled and let me pass. I pulled over by a hydrant and let the traffic pass then continued to my driveway. As I was taking my baby out of his car seat, a young religious couple passed by with the guy looking at me once and his wife staring and staring and staring in the best tradition of boro park and flatbush.

If there was someone directing the traffic next to the truck/ if Eh wasn't late for play group / I wasn't late for work /if I was driving the wrong way just for the heck of it, I probably wouldn't find this whole story amusing. But I'm still grinning remembering the look of disbelief on my neighbor's face- like she never drove in Brooklyn before...

On a different subject- today on the way to work I was driving behind a Lexus with MD plates.
In front of us a school bus was flashing yellow and switched to red. The Lexus kept going.
What is wrong with all these drives who speed up instead of stopping when they see a school bus
flashing red lights!?!?!

Hubby once told me a story that a former school bus driver told him. When this driver started flashing red lights, some yiddishe mentch behind him DROVE ON THE SIDEWALK to pass the school bus! This yidishe mentch didn't have kids, siblings, relatives, neighbors? Or was he just impatient?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eh's vacation aka dinning out without kids

For some time now two themes kept coming up. My mom saying that she wants Eh to visit overnight and Eh saying that she wants to go on vacation.

Tonight both wishes came true...My mom came to visit and asked if tonight may be a good night for Eh to visit. Eh didn't nap today so she was in a bit of a mood by 5 PM. However, when I asked her if she wants to go on vacation to grandma she happily agreed.

SiM napped today for about an hour and typically little people his age (17 months) and even he, do much better with a 2-3 hr nap. In short, SiM was down by 6:30! This wonderful opportunity called for celebration so we decided to dine out.

My stand-by babysitter took a night off (why didn't I think of dinning out earlier today!?) but thankfully one of my neighbors babysits. Or should I say she babysits just about any time except for the last 2 times when I asked (tonight included). She told me her husband wasn't home yet but I can come back in a couple of hours...Then, out of desperation, I called my old neighbor who only lives 2 blocks away. "Are you home? Can you come to my house for an hour or so? My husband and I wanted to go out but the baby fell asleep...We'll be out for 1.5 hours the most?"

Gd bless my old neighbor who said "I'm on my way". We were ready in a jiffy, hubby outside, me still inside in my house waiting for the neighbor. After 15 minutes I got a call "I'm stuck behind a garbage truck, should be by you in a few minutes." What happened to walking on a pleasant autumn evening?

Then, I got a call from my mom. I thought she called to say hi... No one in particular answered my hello, but I heard Eh in the background saying "No, I want to talk to mommy myself!" Apparently, Eh fell asleep, had a bad dream, woke up and decided it was time to go home (vacation interrupted). My mom said that Eh got dressed all by herself ( my big girl!), packed her pjs and told my mom that she wants to sleep in her own bed...So, to save time, I told hubby to go pick her up while I wait for the babysitter who got stuck behind a garbage truck.

Finally, neighborly babysitter arrived. I said that Eh 'may be' coming back and was politely asked to take her with us to a restaurant. At this point, I was quite hungry, a bit peeved, and a bit tired, but with hope to have a nice time out. Then hubby called and told me he is waiting outside. I come out, get into the car, and realize that both car seats are empty. "Where is Eh?" "What do you mean? by your mom. What took you so long to come out?"

Now I felt very hungry, disappointed, and not too hopeful for an enjoyable dinner out. As luck would have it, Eh didn't fall asleep on the way home. As soon as we walked into the house, the neighborly babysitter got up, greeted Eh, wished us good night and was gone.

Eh refused to put on her PJs and I was too annoyed to care ( after all , she was wearing her clean clothes intended for tomorrow). She was out in less than 10 minutes and I went to try my luck again with the babysitter on my block again since I saw her husband car parked on the street. I knocked and After the longest minute ever, her husband opened the door and said that she went 'next door for the tehilim group'. Darn it! I forgot about the tehilim thing AND I didn't have a babysitter.

Hubby offered to make me dinner or to bring something home...."No! You said we were going out for dinner! I want to go out!" and out of sheer desperation I called my stand-by babysitter again only to get her voicemail.

Then I called my dad but he told me that he's visiting with my brother and afterwards he plans on going to sleep. But, my brother is willing to babysit. Why didn't I think of my brother?!

Around 9 PM I heard my brother come in. As I instructed him re: what to do if the baby wakes up brother said, If I knew I was babysitting I would have brought my book. But it's ok, I'll use the computer...No no, I don't mind babysitting...

Apparently, brother thought he came to visit us.

In the end, we went to Cafe Venezia and had a great dinner. On the way back to his house brother told me that one of my neighbors came over asking if we still needed a babysitter...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day (PG13- graphic details)

The other day I asked one of the residents, a Vietnam vet, what was it that he was wearing around his neck ( just to get him off the topic of his infinite and almost always not so clean self composed jokes). And he told me a story that one day he saw a 9 year old boy whose body was torn open from his neck down to his groin, with his intestines all spilled out. This man, George, said that all marines had two ampules of morphine with them at all times. So George injected one of this ampules into boy's neck, picked the boys intestines up, washed them with the liquid (water with something a bit stronger) from his canteen, and sewed the boy up with a regular needle and a thread.

"We both knew he was going to die... The boy gave me his necklace, saying this is all he had, thanking me for what I've done for him. It's not gold or anything but I wore this necklace ever since."

Dirty jokes and all, I see George in a different light now. And today, I thank George and all the vets for fighting for Freedom that we so often take for granted...

Medicinal benefits of garlic

Yesterday I cooked one of my best meat sauces for pasta- the meat was actually defrosted when I started cooking it, the onions and garlic weren't burnt, the spices were just right. I also decided to sprinkle some fresh grated garlic on top of it because the kids have colds and fresh garlic is a wonderful healer of colds. ( I even made a salad because I was so excited about my main dish!).

We all sat down to eat. SiM wanted to protest being put in the high chair but as soon as he saw the delicious dinner that I put on his plate, he quieted down and started blowing on it saying 'hot?' Eh even put on a bib because she was so eager to start eating her pasta. Hubby served himself a full plate... And as soon as I sat down at the table, husband said "Oh, I think you made the sauce too spicy." I tried to deny it but Eh right away echoed 'Mommy, it's too spicy and it gave me a boo boo" and SiM continued 'hot?'.

I tasted my incredible, made on time, dinner. It was delicious. And the freshly grated medicinal garlic was quite overbearing in every second forkful... Once I explained the problem, hubby still finished his pasta and even took a second helping. And the kids seemed to be content with bread and cupcakes...

I must try to remember to use only 1 garlic clove next time...

Monday, November 10, 2008

All that glitters

It probably started when I was a kid. All the grown-ups looked so big and tall and fascinating. Then, when I grew up to be of average height I still found tall people interesting and fascinating. What the heck, I even married one.

Then I realized that there is a catch. It started with tall husband putting everyday objects on top shelves without realizing that the only one who can easily reach them is he. Then came the tall babysitter who also put things 'away' thus after either the husband or the babysitter straightened up the kitchen, an average person would for days and something weeks think that things disappeared from her kitchen (cursing potential culprits and buying replacements) only to discover the missing necessities weeks later on a chance trip to the top kitchen cabinets.
Then there is short yet one of the best (with a touch of OCD)cleaning lady. She disposes of dead and dying stuff from the fridge and other obscure locations. She finds a place for every toy in the house. She also straightens out my kitchen- it becomes extra shiny and beautiful. And, I cannot find half of my stuff.Last time she was here I had perfectly clean baby bottles but after 20 minutes of searching couldn't find the nipples that went on the clean bottles. The other day I heard a glass shatter while she was in the kitchen... Was it her way of recycling or was it yet another one of my wedding gifts disappearing into nothingness?

Anyhow, now that I've written my long intro, here's tonight's story. Our family went out for our first motzaei shabbat pizza together. We had fun, ate lots and lots, came home, put kids to bed. I was too lazy to go out again, so hubby went out for a bit and I decided to write a bit with a glass of good wine and then turn in.

By this point in my life I knew where hubby stashes the wine (top shelf, kitchen cabinet), I climbed up on a chair, chose wine appropriate for the occasion and went to get the cork screw. Except it wasn't in the place where I last saw it a few months ago. I climbed up on a chair again. Checked all the top cabinets, while blessing all the tall people under my breath. Nothing there. I got off the chair, blessed all the short people including my cleaning lady, and checked all the bottom ones. Nothing. I checked all the obvious and not so obvious locations.I didn't even want the wine anymore. I wanted to feel that the kitchen and its contents belong to me even if I don't cook so often, darn it!

I almost thought I got it but it ended up being just a cork stopper. I WANTED MY EASY-TO-USE-TRUSTED-CRATE-AND-BARREL CORKSCREW!!!

And then, epiphany. Earlier today, the shortest person in my household in his infinite need to explore emptied contents of one kitchen drawer. And I remembered seeing one of a souvenir basic corkscrews from Hotel in AZ where hubby and I had our first wonderful Pesach vacation together. (Thank Gd for obsessive souvenir collecting) I looked in the drawer and there is was "Omni Tuscan Resort and Spa" stick which converted to a corkscrew!

It wasn't as simple to use as my crate and barrel one and I gave a couple of negative vibes to all those who misplace stuff in my kitchen in the name of order but at last the bottle was opened.

Naturally, when I was in the middle of writing this composition and happily sipping my wine I realized that I could've called hubby and asked him where the corkscrew was but that would make my life simple and ordinary and I'd have one less entry in my blog...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lateral Epicondylitis

Thanks to encouragement from friends and family I'm writing about work, again.
There is a new nurse supervisor in the building. She seems quite benign. She had a bit of a problem reading my handwriting (she isn't the first and definitely not the last) and then comprehending the content but she's new and may not be familiar with the procedures followed in this facility.

Then, my lateral epicondylitis aka tennis elbow started acting up again. By midday I couldn't write anymore without feeling acute pain so I decided to ice my forearm a bit to get some relief.

Since this facility is run on a tight budget (read: no ice packs in the gym) I went to staff cafeteria to get some ice, put it into a disposable glove, and thus ice my forearm. I was about to start putting ice into the glove when I saw the new supervisor coming up with a cup. I told her to go ahead since I'd take a while. She looked at me and said 'You're going to eat your ice from a glove?!"
I smiled at her joke but she continued, wincing a bit "You know, the ice isn't going to taste so good from that glove". Then she turned around and went on to eat her lunch.
And as I poured the ice into my glove I wondered 1- how many years was this woman fooling the system/has shebeen falling through the cracks all this time? 2- poor poor residents whose care she'll be supervising...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quick reflection

While trying to decide what to have for dessert, I thought I'd look through all the 'drafts' and see if I can finish any of my thoughts.... Well, I decided to have tea with sour sticks ( though didn't get the energy to make it yet) and no finishings to any of the drafted thoughts came to mind.
However, I saw my very first post on the blogger and it reminded me when and why I started blogging to begin with- my first pregnancy. I started blogging so I won't forget what an amazing experience it is to be a mom(-in-the-making) and I won't lose the 'diary' too quickly.

When the heck did my blogging evolve into a medium for venting about work, ignorance of friends and strangers, disappointments, politics and wannabe politicians, and other crap!? Do I really care about all that stuff to put it in writing?

Must remember to focus....And should make the tea before I finish the last sour stick...


As I've mentioned many times before I'm a proud flag waving American. So imagine how warm and fuzzy I felt when after coming from (a long day of partially gratifying) work I saw that my daughter came home with her hand made flag that said "don't forget to vote". My little patriot.

On to more routine matters. My kids, especially my little son, have a hard time adjusting to the return-from-daylight-savings-time. Two days ago, around 6:30 I told my daughter that I'm going to put the baby to bed and then she can watch "Elmo visits the Doctor" before turning in.
Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later my baby rejected his good-night-bottle with an unhappy no ( which he usually greets with delight) and started crying. I asked him what's the matter and he said 'unt Elmo data'. I was so impressed I let him watch Elmo data. He didn't watch much because he started dosing off after a few minutes. And I'm still impressed with his power of persuasion.