Tuesday, July 1, 2014

מאנה להנחם- Looking for comfort

It is over. The three boys Gilad, Naftali and Eyal have been found, albeit not alive. And although we all feared this outcome, it still hit hard.
And I am having this love-hate relationship with social media right now. On the one hand, I am checking it incessantly, looking for more updates, watching the funeral and mostly looking for comfort, something to hold on to. On the other hand I am disgusted by the media circus- the incessant updates, the cameras in the grieving parents faces, everyone weighing in and feeling the need to blog and pontificate how they feel and what should be done. Maybe I am no better. After all, here I am blogging too.
But I do not claim to know anything, to have words of comfort. I am just here, trying to make sense of my heavy heart. Resentful of the intrusive media coverage but also thankful for it because it enabled me to watch the funeral from thousands of miles away.
And sad. And yet, as if I cannot stop myself, I find myself going back. To Facebook, Times of Israel and other sites too, hoping I will read something that will help me, be a balm.
And I realize I am trying to escape myself, my pain. Trying to do something, anything, just to distract myself and get away from it, not to feel it. We are so uncomfortable with feelings and discomfort, so we turn outwards to distract ourselves. In yoga and practices of mindfulness, there is a concept of leaning into the discomfort, just being with the pain. For ten seconds one day and maybe a little longer the next. So I am going to try and do that. Turn off the constant updates and social media and just be with the pain, with the realization that we have sustained a heavy loss. That we are a nation united yet so alone on the world stage. That we are hated and people wish us dead. That there are no easy political answers, strategies or solutions.
And also to know that the only way to counter darkness and hate is with light. Amid the pain and darkness we all feel, we need to try to find a way to spread light again. That is the only way forward.
ומחה ה דמעה מעל כל פנים

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

No I in Team

Somehow all my professors in nursing school feel the need to assign us group work. Maybe it's because nurses need to learn to work together or  maybe it's just to torture us more, but I really dislike it. Here is why- I am pretty responsible person and I know I can rely on myself to get the job done. I cannot always say the same for members of my groups, especially if they are assigned and we can't chose our partners.
Plus I like to do work on my own time, rather than worrying about other people's schedules.
Usually it has always worked out okay in the end, sometimes with some probing on my part, sometimes more organically. One time I got in an online argument with a girl from my class because she claimed I changed the final product without approval. So let us just say I am not a fan.
Which is how I find myself yet again in the middle of a group project feeling slightly frustrated. This is an online class, so I do not even know some of my group members and will probably never get to meet them. From the beginning, there was a lack of enthusiasm. A classmate and I finally took initiative to get the project started, wrote an outline and assigned people roles. Then I spent the next week waiting for people to respond to my emails and messages. It appears I am finally getting some responses and this project is slowly, slowly coming together. I hope the end product is semi decent.About 35% of my grade depends on other people.
Another reason I cannot wait for nursing school to be OVER! 7 weeks to go

Sunday, June 22, 2014


More than studying, tedious lectures and spending 12 agonizing hours at boring hospital clinicals, my kids have a tendency to really really frustrate me and wear me out over the weekend. It's a lot of time to spend together. Our apartment is a nice size but still not big enough for four active kids. And somehow there are always toys and clothes and food everywhere. Then I clean up and a little while later the scenario repeats itself. I know I am not unique in this but it is tiring and draining. And to ask my kids a hundred times not to eat outside of the kitchen or dining room table and still find food and crumbs everywhere.
And to have my two year old cling to me and refuse to go to sleep unless I sit next to him or he has his head in my lap or his feet on my arms or is in some way still connected to me. To have him insist on accompanying me to the laundry room every single time even when another adult is home. To have him grab my cell phone when I am in the middle of writing a semi-important email because he needs to see "pictures" or say hi to an imaginary person on the line.
It tires me out. It makes me a tad irrational and cranky and short tempered. And definitely not speaking in my calm, smoothing super mommy voice.
But it's okay. Raising kids is hard. And tiring. And never ending. And a blessing I complain about and take for granted way too often. So I accept myself where I am at in this cranky state and say my favorite line: "Tomorrow is a new day!"

The crew on the bus today....not sure the other passengers enjoyed our loud company

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Flying solo

My husband likes to travel- a lot. He loves going to conferences and grabs at any opportunity to see a new venue. The complicating factor in that is that we have four kids so joining him isn't always a feasible option.
Which is how I find myself yet again home alone with the kids while my husband is off in Los Angeles, ostensibly to speak at a conference but really just to get away and get some sun :) 
I'm not particularly fond of L.A, mostly likely due to a fiasco three years ago that left him stranded there for 5 days while I went through an awful snow storm with the kids on my own.
Nevertheless, he is gone for 72 hours and I am gearing up for a Shabbos alone with the kids. Don't really have that much on the agenda other than keeping everyone safe and myself sane, especially on the very very long Shabbos afternoon. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How we have been

Kind of hard to summarize a year and a half in a blog post. So much have happened. The kids have gotten so big.
They amaze me every day with the things they do and know and their incredible thoughts. They also frustrate the heck out of me because they are still loud, crazy, energetic and always seem to find new ways to test my patience.

Y is turning 9 in a few weeks. That is pretty crazy to me. He is doing amazing in so many ways. He has grown so tall and has really come into himself. He communicates very well and is all boy- he loves all sports, especially football and basketball. His new love is wrestling, which we are trying to put a stop to, since it never ends well.

A is 7.5 and is still the princess and ruler of the house. The boys look up to her and go along with her crazy schemes and games. She has become an avid reader, which I am going to have to claim as coming from my gene pool, since I spent most of my childhood lying on my bed reading. She loves American Girl books, Katie Kazoo, Ivy & Bean and anything else she can get her hands on. She loves gymnastics and is pretty amazing with the things she can do- cartwheels, handstands, you name it. Although she is a girly girl, she is also very bouncy with a constant need to move, which can drive me a little crazy. She is very mature and insightful, often understanding things without us having to explain it to her. She inherited my stubborn streak, which can make life "interesting" but mostly it's been fun watching her grow up and her personality develop.

M is 5 and us our absentminded professor. He is very smart and is always deep in thought about something. He is very good at math and has taught himself addition and subtraction. He is also teaching himself to read and is reading sight words and short books such as the Gerald and Piggy- series. He is very social and is Mr. Popular in his new pre-school. I usually get frustrated at him, when I am trying to go somewhere and he is still standing around without his pants on or got distracted somewhere between putting his first and second shoe on. Or when I am trying to talk to him and he is too involved in coloring/reading or building lego to even hear me...Mostly we have fun together, he has a lot of playmates between Y and AY although he seems to clash with A sometimes. He is also very sensitive and he often talks about his feelings being hurt. I try to validate his feelings without coddling him too much, a delicate balance.

And then there is AY. Not even sure where to begin. He is 2.5 and now a walking, talking firecracker.
All my kids are energetic but this one takes the cake. Always on the move, always touching/breaking/spilling something, he definitely keeps me on his toes. He has that mischievous twinkle in his eyes and says the funniest things. Right now, his obsessions are: Torah, spiderman and firetrucks. He talks about torahs non-stop which is quite hilarious. He also runs to the window every time he hears a siren. He is an awful sleeper and often ends up in my bed overnight and I let him because he is the fourth and I'm tired and I just want to sleep.
He has an infectiously positive personality and it's hard to stay angry at him, even when he does the craziest thing. He is also very friendly and is buddies with all the doormen and utility men in our building. His hair is getting longer and curlier each day and we still have six months to the haircut.

And there you have it, our crazy, motley crew!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Wow, internets it really has been a while!
I'm back, perhaps. I stopped blogging right around the time school started getting busier and did not really come up for breath till now.
As I write this I am in my last semester of nursing school. I started an accelerated nursing program at the End of August 2013 and am finishing up August 2014! It's been quite a ride. Starting with the fact that we moved apartments in the first week of school followed by Rosh Hashana a week later, I hit the ground running and did not really get a chance to stop for very long.
They were not kidding when they said this program is accelerated. The time commitment both in class, the hospital at clincals and studying at home was immense. I juggled more things than I thought possible and dropped quite a few balls in the process. Guess what, I am not superwoman. oh well, always learning or at least trying to.
Nursing school was different than I thought it would be. Nursing is different than I thought it is. Did you know that we work with these useless things called nursing diagnosis? Google it if you're bored.
I finished my spring semester at the end of May and had a two week break. Now I am taking summer classes and the pace has slowed down tremendously. My friends and I are a bit confused, not used to having all this free time and always wondering if perhaps we should be doing something/studying or reading or....?
What is funny is that now I have some time instead of feeling relieved, I am feeling a bit unmoored. All this stuff I have been ignoring or too busy to deal with is suddenly resurfacing now that I have some time to actually think about things other than nursing school and what I am making for dinner tomorrow night.
And at the end of the day, you take yourself wherever you go, feelings don't go away and you can only run away from yourself by keeping busy for so long. So I am trying to just take it as it comes these next few days and accept that it's okay to feel sad and angry and crappy sometimes even if you don't really know why.
This too shall pass.
In the meantime I am watching little A.Y sleep in my bed (not so little anymore but that's for a different post) and listening to this song on repeat. Tomorrow is a new day

Sunday, December 30, 2012

4 years old!

I think blogging is like exercising. When you are in the routine, you do it regularly. Once you slip, it's hard to get back into it. I'll use that to explain my long absence from this blog. No real excuse other than life, family visits, finals and other fun things. Moving right along...
M turned 4 today! His English birthday is still two weeks away but we decided to celebrate the Hebrew date. He helped me make his birthday cake and we decorated it  with frosting, chocolate chips and sprinkles. We had cake and pizza (in that order) and he wore a cute little crown we made him.
birthday boy

ay enjoying the cake a bit too much

Our little man has really grown up this year. I have finally gotten used to his short hair cut, although I still miss his curls. He is getting used to wearing a kippa and tzitzit every day.
M loves coloring. He could sit there for hours and uses up reams and reams of paper. He has a great imagination and colors people, robots and other things. He can also write his name. Lucky for him it is short. He loves the color red and superheroes such as spiderman and superman. He also loves music and can often be found singing to himself.
Another thing he likes is books. We try to go to the library weekly for new books and he loves to sit and read together. He also likes puzzles and games such as memory, chutes and ladders or Go Fish. We are still a little wobbly on all the rules but he is learning.
M has a great personality- very easygoing and loving. He is friends with everyone in his class and his teachers tell us how everyone vies to play with him. We love the preschool he is in and he loves going there. He is disappointed when there is vacation and often asks when he can go back.
M says the funniest thing such as "If I watch too many videos I will be a potato couch" and he also asks very smart questions. Of course he is mischievous and always thinking of creative ways to wreak havoc, but that is all part of the fun of having a boy.
wearing my headscarf and heels

in the newspaper box

When he is tired, he can get a little whiny and tantrumy but so do most people. He is still a little jealous of Baby AY but I do try to give M attention when the others are not home. We go to the library together and we usually bake together- another activity he loves. We usually make muffins or cookies and M is a great helper..when he is not spilling flour all over the place or putting his cookie hand prints on the wall.
I can't wait to see how much more he will grow and learn this year!
being silly w the siblings
PS: For the few of you who like this stuff- a link to M's birthstory