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, 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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis The Season

Here are some random thoughts about the current winter/holiday season in no particular order...

If it weren't for various blogs that I read talking about Christmas plans and trees and gifts and all that fun stuff, I would not have even realized that Christmas is this week! There are no Christmas songs being played on the radio, no lights up in store windows and certainly no sign of any snow on the ground. While I truly love living in the Jewish homeland and I love that so much emphasis is placed on Chanukah, I can't help but miss a little bit of the Christmas spirit. I even a little tiny bit miss not being able to get "Feliz Navidad" out of my head after hearing it on the radio a million times a day.


I've been feeling a little nostalgic for all things winter-y after seeing so many pictures posted on Facebook from the big snowstorm that the Northeast US had last weekend. I always loved waking up the morning after it had been snowing all night to see how pretty and silent everything looked. There is nothing quite like being the first person to make tracks in the freshly fallen snow. I'm sad that my kids aren't getting to experience the joys of a snow unexpected day off from school where there is nothing to do but make snowmen and snow angels and then come inside with dripping noses and freezing cold hands and drink hot chocolate. I remember the first time Big went out in the snow and really enjoyed it. He was about 18 months old or so and it took him a little while to figure out how to walk in his boots because they were so heavy. I wonder what Little would do if he saw snow--he would have no clue what it was!


The kids Chanukah vacation was last week and went by so quickly. My sister-in-law and 2 of her kids were here which was SO amazing. It seems that cousins, even if they don't see each other all that often, have some sort of innate bond that allows them to pick up where they last left off and immediately be close. Although she didn't bring her son who is Big's age, I loved watching him play with his older cousin and his baby cousin (I guess she's not that much of a baby since she is 2 and acts like a teenager). Little and his little cousin are a match made in heaven. She is a bully when she wants to be and I think it was good for him to get back a little of what he gives!