Tuesday, December 27, 2011

End of December

First, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year, and I hope that whatever holiday you may have celebrated (or still be celebrating) was wonderful.

I just returned from a quick trip to West Palm Beach, Florida, to visit my 100 year old grandmother, Doris. But I should probably say "100 years Young":


We should all be like this lady! She is quite amazing. Still lives alone. Stopped driving only last year (she said her eyesight isn't as good anymore - although she only wears glasses for reading!). Loves to dance and drink and cook and play cards.

I could only escape my family for three days. David and the kids drove me to the airport Friday evening, and I landed in WPB at midnight. She kept me up until after 2am, looking at the photos from her 100th birthday party (which I had missed, back in October). I had brought her a digital photo frame and put all the pics on that. She loved it.

We went to the mall Saturday morning. Shopped a bit, went out to lunch. She thought perhaps she wanted to buy an iPad! However, I convinced her that a Nook Color would be what she needed - and Saturday afternoon (15 minutes before the store closed), I raced back to buy it for her! (I also got to spend a few hours poolside. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!)

Spent Sunday, which was Christmas day, setting up her Nook and sitting by the pool. Thankfully, the Clubhouse has WiFi, so she'll be able to download books there. She likes the ability to make the print bigger. I also set her up with email, but I don't know if she'll actually use it.

Sunday night, we joined thousands of other Members Of The Tribe for an ancient ritual - in our case, deli, rather than Chinese Food. Extremely long line to get in, chock full of folks from Central Casting - old Jewish folk, mostly from New York, but a few Israelis and Russians, too. And the visiting "children" of all ages.

The wonderful thing about South Florida, and especially about eating out, is that you talk to EVERYONE. Everyone wants to make a comment, or ask how your food is, or tell you their own complaints and woes. It's a riot.

(Actually, at lunch on Saturday, I got into a conversation with the ladies next to us about Special Need Adoption - two of them work for an agency in Philly!).

Still: Romanian steak with onions, kasha varnishkes, homemade stuffed derma. Heaven's got nothing on Boca.

Spent Monday morning at the pool and then took Grandma grocery shopping. Then it was time to come home. So sad to leave. It was sweet - on the phone I asked Micah if he wanted me to bring him anything back from Florida, and he said "Can you bring Grandma?" I really wish I could (well, no, actually, I wish I could stay there - its' much too cold for her here!).

So my 100 year old bathing beauty:

will stay home:

With her digital photo frame and her Nook, and her granddaughter will try hard to go see her again soon.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...David took the kids to shul and then in the evening to Kosher Chinese (the REAL custom!). Sunday he took them down to my uncle's house for Christmas, and Sam went home with my sister and the twins for the week. My folks will bring him back Thursday (so it'll be nice and peaceful here for a few days!). Yesterday, David took the little ones to the Chipmunk movie (yeah, means I don't have to go!!!).

The two kids were VERY happy to have Mama back. Micah, who had been calm and mellow all weekend, was bouncing off the walls, and Sofia kept clutching me. Mama can't go away for more than a few days.

The rest of December was nice. We had a Bat Mitzvah on the 17th, my dear friend's daughter, who used to be in Sam's class. Micah didn't come to the party, opting for an afternoon with his friends instead, but the rest of us had a blast.

Hanukah has been nice and mellow. A few new movies and video games, an RC Copter for Micah, snow hats for the boys, a "Cowgirl Jessie" doll for Sofia. Simple pleasures.

Sam bought himself an iPod Nano - with his own money! He's trying hard to grow up.

Laura's boyfriend installed a new laminate floor in the boys' bedroom - it looks FABULOUS. We rearranged the furniture, so the room looks much bigger. Of course, there is still a large pile of stuff in the hallway to be sorted through, but we are trying to throw out (or donate, if appropriate) as much as we can. Of course, for all his trying to grow up, Sam would only get rid of about 3 stuffed animals ;)

I'm happy.

Just simply happy. Not ecstatic. Not overjoyed. Just pleased with life in general. I love love love working at the school. I love being a mommy. I love my husband (although I do wish HE were happier, but we're working on it - work is very stressful for him). I have wonderful friends, near and far. I have a nice house, which is getting nicer (hopefully in time for the Bar Mitzvah in June!). I have some cool tech toys (I got a slide converter, and am working on digitizing a carton-load of my dad's slides; I also took his old Super8 movies in to be digitized, and found a reel from my mother's childhood, that my grandfather had made, that ended with my parents' wedding!).

Life is good.


Oh, and Dear "Anonymous" - I will not be publishing your hateful comment. Sometimes you have made a good point - notice that now I block out faces of background folk - but your way of saying things is so nasty. Please thing about how "words hurt" before you type. Take a deep breath. And feel free to use your own name. I do not publish "Anonymous" comments.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Mild and Relaxed week (for a change!)

So we dropped Sofia at school on Monday, and the boys and I ran errands. This included a jaunt to the Mall. Sam bought himself a new iPod Nano with his own money (amazing!!!). My parents had gotten him an iPod Touch last year for Hanukah, and it has both music and games. And it is the first thing we are likely to take away from him when he misbehaves. So he figured if he wanted to listen to his music, he'd better get something that was JUST for music (much less likely to be punished for music than for games).

Micah stressed over a decision at Game Stop. Ultimately we had to go to the store three different times during the week, and he finally got something (with birthday gift cards) yesterday. Exhausting! But at least he is enjoying his new Wii game (a Zelda title, not sure which).

I "worked" at the school all day Wednesday, which was fun. I really love being there and working with the kids and the office staff. But I had the oddest dream at the beginning of the week. I dreamed that I went to Professional Development Day, and all the classroom and Hebrew teachers were brand new, so just the office staff and the few "specials" (art, gym, literacy) were familiar faces. We had to go around and introduce ourselves and tell our plans for the year. But after each person spoke, they left the room. And I was the last person to speak. So it was only me and the Office Manager left.

I handed out Torah portions to Micah's classmates for their January 25 "debut" reading. They had read a paragraph as a whole class together last year, but this time they each have their own one or two lines to learn. They were very excited. And the 3rd graders looked on with varying degrees of jealousy - their turn is next, and they will read in May.

Anyway, while I was with Micah's class, his friend A (my "adopted brother"'s younger daughter) said to me "We're having lobster tonight, and I don't like lobster, so can I come home with you?" Too cute. She did come tagging along with us, to Sam's dentist appointment (she and Micah stayed in the car and did their homework), then to drop Micah at gymnastics, then to shul for Sam's first lesson with the cantor, then back to gymnastics. Her father and brother met us and we took the kids out to dinner (so really, only her mother and sister were having the lobster anyway!). Craziness, but still fun.

Another of Micah's classmates and her mom came for Shabbat dinner, which was really nice - mom is my friend, first from shul and now from the day school. Nice evening.

Lazy weekend. We skipped shul (no babysitting, and I just did not have the energy to chase Sofia around), and all the kids got haircuts in the afternoon. Sam convinced me to let him get what David calls a "high and tight" - very very short on the sides, and very short on top. Fortunately, the kid has a gorgeous head and face, so it's not too horrible, but really not my taste.

Evening, Micah went to his friend J's sleep-over party, but knew in advance that he would not want to sleep over. I dropped Micah off and picked up J's brother, who was coming to our house for sleepover with Sam. They watched a couple of movies, and I could leave them with a sleeping Sofia while I went later to pick up Micah.

This morning, more movies, more hanging out. David finally returned from India, and we picked him up at the bus at about 3:45. Home, take-out sushi, and he passed out right away. Got Sofia to bed, and helped Sam work on his Social Studies project some more. We think the model is done (three story house! thank heavens we remembered I own a glue gun!).

I finally made plans to see Grandma. David's suggestion: I am going by myself the weekend of Christmas. I leave Friday evening (landing quite late), and come back Monday afternoon. He will take the kids to my uncle's house for Christmas day. I get two-and-a-half kid-free days with my grandma. YEAH!