Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What A Difference A Few Years Makes

September, 2006--Big's first Red Sox Game at Fenway Park, Boston:

January, 2010--Big's first soccer game, Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, New Decade

New Year's Eve 1999 seems like it was just yesterday and it's hard to believe that it's actually been 10 years!
A lot has happened since that Friday night when we waited to see whether the Y2K bug would actually bring the world to a screeching halt (luckily it didn't).
We spent that New Year's Eve at my parents' house in Boston--Krazy went to bed early as he was in the midst of chemotherapy. We were engaged, but not yet married, on the brink of the rest of our lives...here are the highlights of the past 10 years:

In 2000...Krazy finished chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free...we got married...we moved into our first apartment...and then moved into our second apartment a few months later...I started my first real job at UBS PaineWebber

In 2001...I quit my first real job and moved to the non-profit world and mostly haven't looked back...Krazy got laid off...Krazy got a new job, funnily enough at UBS...September 11th happened and the world changed forever

In 2002...we moved from New York to Boston...we bought our first condo

In 2003...I don't remember anything particularly earth-shattering happening but I'm sure we had fun...I think we might have gotten a new car

In 2004...Big was born and our lives changed forever

In 2005...we celebrated 5-years of Krazy being cancer-free...we sold our condo and bought a bigger one...

In 2006...Little joined our clan...we made a big decision to spend a year living 6,000 miles away from home

In 2007...we headed out on our big adventure to the Holy Land...I started my MBA program...Big started to learn Hebrew

In 2008...I got my MBA...we decided to continue our adventures here in our new home...our decision caused some turmoil in our families...Big perfected his Hebrew knowledge and Little began to learn it as well...I lost my grandmother...I faced a huge fear and flew 6,000 miles ALONE with both kids to Boston

In 2009...we managed to put off major life decisions for another year...I tried my hand at being a work-at-home-mom and hated it...my beloved grandpa and my uncle passed away...Krazy began the process of starting his own business

Looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring. I hope it brings us the clarity that we need to make some major decisions...to sell our house in Boston or not? To buy something here or not? To bring all our stuff here or not? To move back to the States or not? The answers will have to be revealed in the coming year, but I haven't a clue what they will be!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Inspired by MckMama and her snow pops I decided to say yes when Big asked if we could make a yummy dessert yesterday. A few weeks ago, he was looking through a cookbook and folded over the pages of things he wanted to make (or wanted me to make). Every once in a while since then he has asked when we are going to cook the things he chose. Usually, I have some reason why we can't do it, such as "not now because it is the middle of the night." Or "it will be hard to bake while you are in the tub."
Yesterday, I asked Big if he wanted to have some strawberries and he said yes and then he said "wait, one of the recipes has strawberries, can we make it??" I pulled out the cookbook and saw the the recipe for crepes filled with strawberries and whipped cream didn't actually look that hard and that we had all the necessary ingredients. He was pretty shocked when I agreed to this project.
We mixed together all of the ingredients for the crepes themselves. At some point, Little came to investigate what we were doing and he helped mix as well. The boys were amused by my unsuccessful attempts to flip the crepes, but what can I say? Gourmet chef I am not!!
Once the crepes were done, I gave each kid a crepe on a plate and I put out a big bowl of whipped cream, some strawberries and some chocolate chips. Big had a lot of fun assembling his, although it was impossible to pick up and eat! Little just ate the plain strawberries and had no interest at all in the crepe.

I just ate a leftover crepe for breakfast with strawberry-pomegranite jelly spread on it. Delicious!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Heart Faces--Hilarious Outtakes

As I was choosing pictures to put in the annual calendar that my sister and I make for our parents and grandmother for Chanukah, I couldn't help but burst out laughing out loud at this one (totally worth clicking on it to see it bigger--one day I will learn how to post bigger pictures here):

My younger son must have just taken a sip of his orange soda and was making that "oh, this is bubbly and I wasn't expecting it" face just as I snapped the picture.

See more Hilarious Outtakes at I Heart Faces!

Glad I'm Not Traveling Now!

Christmas time when we lived in Boston always meant some sort of travel. We had off from work, the kids had off from school/daycare. The weather was crap. Having grandparents in Florida was a good thing! Being the not-so-good flier that I am, I always dreaded the flight (it's funny to me now how stressed I'd get about the 3-hour flight to Florida that seemed so long...now, that is NOTHING!)
I would pack my carry-on for the plane with enough provisions to last just in case the plane got hijacked or crashed on a desert island. Half the time I never even took anything other than snacks out of the bag, but whatever! I would plan my own outfit and shoes and the kids stuff to minimize the amount of time we'd have to spend in line at security taking off our jackets and shoes and whatever. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it!!
And the crowds and the inevitable weather-related delays. YUCK. And then the sheer joy of landing in beautiful sunny Ft. Lauderdale and knowing we had a whole week of no jackets and no snow in front of us!
Those days of a short trip down to Florida to escape the snowy mess seem to be a thing of the past, at least for now. First of all, it's way more than a short trip from here! Second of all, there is no snowy mess to escape from!
Surprisingly, I now find myself a much better and less scared traveler. Maybe it's because we've done the long-haul trans-Atlantic flight about 11 times (I just counted but I might be missing some) and I've just gotten used to it. Or maybe it's because I know how important it is to do these trips to go back and see family and friends so that outweighs my fears. I still don't enjoy the trip, but it's more a fear of how am I going to entertain the kids for a gazillion hours and less a fear of the plane crashing or being hijacked or other fun stuff like that.
Of course, when things like this happen, it reminds me that maybe some of those seemingly irrational fears are actually justified. Sadly, the main result is going to be more ridiculous rules and screenings that may or may not really be keeping air travelers any safer. It's going to mean longer lines and more delays at the airport. I'm just glad we are staying put for the next little while!

Friday, December 25, 2009


This is why I love it here...weekends with the following forecast:

It is December but it is not snowing or even remotely cold! I did cut off the picture at Monday, because starting Tuesday there is a 40% chance of drizzle. Not rain, just drizzle. And it will still be 64 degrees.
This is why we get to do things like this in December:

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Apparently, we are doing what is called "raising bilingual children." I am finding myself completely and utterly fascinated by the process. If we were living in America, sure the kids would be in a Jewish Day School and would learn Hebrew there. But, our house would certainly not be considered a bilingual one. From my own experience, the Hebrew learned in Jewish Day School is not exactly the same as the Hebrew learned from growing up as an Israeli kid! Big's vocabulary at almost 6 years old already surpasses mine. He's had 2 and 1/2 years of living immersed in Hebrew, compared to my 12 years of Hebrew at school in America. And, of course, he actually sounds Israeli when he speaks Hebrew. I sound like the immigrant that I am!
I asked Krazy's cousin who has lived here for years whether it ever gets old listening to her kids speak in Hebrew. She said she is still consistently amazed at how easily and fluidly they switch between the languages. I think it will always amaze me as well. And if we end up not staying here, I will be sad when they lose their super-cute Israeli accents.
Over Chanukah, we were in the mall with my sister-in-law and her kids. We were eating pizza in the food court and my 11-year old niece didn't finish hers and wanted a box to take it home. Although she knew how to say that in Hebrew, she was shy and didn't want to do it. I, mostly out of curiousity to see if he would do it, turned to Big and asked him to go to the counter and get a box for his cousin. Without hesitating, he ran over and I heard him say loudly and clearly "b'vakasha, efshar l'kabel kufsah?" (please can I get a box?) He NEVER would have done that a year ago. His confidence is just incredible. As is his intelligence (not that I am a bragging mother, of course!) and ability to absorb and learn 2 languages at once.
His teacher pulled me aside yesterday to tell me how great he is doing. She said he is not only writing all the letters, but he can sound out words and figure out how to spell them. And most of the time he gets it right! He is starting to do that a little bit in English as well, but seems to have an easier time of it in Hebrew. I think that is primarily because the Hebrew letters are more consistent in the sounds that they make than the English letters so it is somewhat more straightforward.
Little is also making progress. He still speaks a lot of gibberish and says it's Hebrew, but I have caught him having conversations with himself that are actually in Hebrew. I go with him to a gym class that is entirely in Hebrew and while he doesn't talk much during it, it is pretty clear that he understands most of what is going on because he follows instructions for the most part.
I find his mixture of Hebrew and English to be charming. Yesterday he told me: "At Gan Frieda (gan means kindergarten and that is the name of his school) there was ein or." That literally translates to "at school there was there was no light." Apparently there was a black-out, but I love the way he said it.