The world is a wonderful, if very wacky, place to be.

Archive for May, 2011

Big.

Volucris took a nap this afternoon, and woke up with a bigger jaw. Also, he couldn’t walk for about two hours afterward because his brain hadn’t gotten the memo that his legs were now a good centimeter longer. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either.

It's like watching the movie Big in slow motion.

The funny smell coming from his room, however, is this:

It's still under construction.

An interest in World War Two became an interest in period military technology became an interest in modern military technology became an interest in modeling. I’m just going to have to get used to odor of modeling cement wafting out of Volucris’s room.

He’s a decent shot, too. He went to the firing range recently, and came back with this:

Not bad for his first time out.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

But you know something? When I look at him, I still see this:

Volubaby.

802

Volucris is going to visit the States with his grandparents in a few weeks, and he’s bringing his Aunt the Reality TV Star this:

Buckled waist for convenience, long straps for maximum adjustability.

It’s double sided.

You can hardly tell it's the same carrier.

When she sent me these two very different fabrics for use in a single carrier, I was sure that they would fight it out and only scraps of the blue would remain, strewed on the floor, gasping for breath and begging for mercy from those edgy red and orange flowers. If there was ever a take-no-prisoners floral pattern, this is it. Yes somehow they manage to work together, largely because when it’s worn you can only catch the tiniest peak of the other.

With some of the leftover fabric, I made a little bag that’s also double sided, with handles that can snap around the waist of the carrier and a key attachment. It’s just the right size to fit two diapers, a thin container of wipes, and maybe a wallet.

Yeah, the toilet post was more interesting than this one (unless you follow that link above and watch my sister-in-law give birth on national television. That’s at your own risk, though). That illness still has me down. Either that, or my life really is this boring. I’m not complaining, trust me.

And if you’re wondering why the post is titled 802, it’s because I hit publish before I remembered to give it a real name. It’s been that sort of day.

Shelved.

Why is it that little kids are forever trying to squeeze themselves into spaces where only a Star Trek-like fluctuation in the space-time continuum would allow them to fit? Sagitta has a special cry that means “please bail me out”, and another that means “bail me out, NOW!”, just for these very instances. Today it was the please cry, so I sent my eight year old minion, who suggested I come quickly… and bring the camera. “Eema, you’ll want to blog this”, she told me.

Sagitta has always had a fascination with washing machines, though she prefers front loaders.

My kids know my parenting style, what can I say?

This jogged my memory and sent me into our photo archives, where I knew I would find this:

That's Lyra. She removed all the books from the shelf and climbed in.

I learned “quick, get the camera!” parenting from My Sister the Rebbetzin, who still has the video of her boys giving their superhero toys a bath in the toilet. Considering all the parenting books on the market, I think there’s a book deal in this one.

More Random than Usual

1. Sagitta has learned to take off her clothes by herself. There will now be fewer pictures for the blog. She’s recently begun insisting on picking out her own clothing, and her taste runs to frilly dresses heavy on the ruffles and flowers and patterns, the more the better, so it’s probably for the best.

2. I have a head cold. Or maybe it’s the flu. All I know is that there are a whole host of things that aren’t happening, and I cannot summon the energy to care. But my super awesome niece came to help today, and I am very grateful.

3. Cloud Man is back in South Korea. He was home for about 40 hours. During that time he and the kids installed the new toilet seat. It is, as advertised, a unique experience in total hygiene. Well, maybe not total hygiene. I still need to brush my teeth by myself. I have gotten many, many requests, so against my better judgement here is a photo of the control panel:

Please don't ask what Turbo Wash is. You don't want to know.

Oh, did I tell you, that there’s a model of the Izen smart toilet seat that comes with a remote control? I’m still trying to figure out why. And how. Who, where, and when are not my concern.

4. I haven’t finished the last project I showed you (it’s hard to topstitch when your brains are trying to crawl out your ears), but I am gearing up for the next one. You’ll never guess what it is.

I'd claim temporary insanity but you all know better.

But first I have to stop my brains from marching out of my head and finish what I’m already working on. There are maybe two more hours of work left on that thing and I am getting impatient with being sick. It cramps my style.

Privy to a Secret

Cloud Man came home for shabbat.

Look what he brought home as a gift:

Because the way to a woman's heart is... nevermind.

This puppy has more buttons than a cockpit and more features than is wise.

He gets to stay.

Zen and the Art of Toddler Maintenance

Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit. I actually did post yesterday, but I had to take the post down because it was in violation of Israeli military law. Who knew that dot matrix printed reserve duty reminder notices are illegal to post online, even with the identifying information fuzzed out? Oops. I still think it’s really funny that the most advanced army in the world uses dot matrix in 2011. I showed the notice to the kids as a quick history lesson.

Speaking of the kids, did you ever hear the expression that cleaning a house full of children is like shoveling snow while it’s still coming down? I have a toddler, so it’s not just a snowstorm, it’s a full-on blizzard, much like the one I was married in (really. Blizzard of ’96. We ended up getting stranded in New York and going back to Cloud Man’s parents’ house, where we were trapped for three days. Our friend Fred was also stuck and came with us, so he gets to tell people how he spent our wedding night with us. Aunt Marilyn taught a belly dancing class in the living room in the morning and Uncle Eric walked out in multiple feet of snow to get kosher Chinese food. Everything other store in three states was closed, but Wing Wan was open. Oh, and Cloud Man’s bedroom had a squeaky high-riser and shared a wall with his little sister’s room. Our marriage withstood its first hundred tests, which all took place within twenty-four hours of standing under the marriage canopy).

But back to the toddler: Sagitta is very, very busy. She plays, she helps put laundry in the machine, she does the dishes, she helps fold laundry, and she puts away groceries, and she does it like every other helpful toddler, with full gusto and total dedication, often undoing the work done for the sake of doing it again. Today, Sagitta was cleaning out the pantry all by herself, and she found an old bag of red raspberry leaf herb that I had leftover from when she was still in utero that I kept meaning to throw out and never quite got to. The bag had a ziplock closure. I didn’t pay it much mind, because she can’t quite open ziplocks, except if they are very weak.

The bag was open and contents were spilled all over the floor within minutes. I did what any reasonable homeschooling mom would do: I called the other kids in so they could play with it, too.

Lyra and Aquila were still in pajamas. It's one of the many benefits of our lifestyle.

There are things to get upset about, but this was not one of them. It’s best to just go with the flow.

There's plenty to go around.

Turns out, red raspberry leaf feels really good between the toes.

Seriously, you should try it.

Happy kids, 1, clean house, 0.

Pop Goes the Radiator

The car is fixed today.

On Independence Day, on the way to the barbecue, the car engine went pop. Just as I asked, “did you hear that?” smoke began to pour out of the engine. It was all very dramatic and we pulled over right away. A crawler-by stopped to help (I would like to say passerby, but this was the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway on Independence Day, I’ve seen parked cars move faster) and he saw this:

The worst part is, all the photos from Yom HaAtzmaut look pretty much like this one.


 

Which, apparently, is not what a car radiator is supposed to look like. Amazingly, he was able to kluge it back together with a kippah clip, and we made it to the barbecue by driving slowly on the shoulder of the road, moving steadily at speeds as fast as 15 kph, which was still faster than everyone else most of the time. Just the other cars on the road were picking up speed we got on the turn lane getting off the highway on the way to the gas station. There we were, kids packed in the back seat, limping along with our hazards on and praying that we would make it, wondering if that funny smell was the car or the road, and another motorist slowed down and… asked us for directions.

“Is this the turn off to Latrun?”

I don’t know what about us inspired confidence in this man, but the fact was that we were the only people at that point who were moving slowly enough to talk to probably had something to do with it. The driver (I’ll introduce Tigress, the girl who lives with us now, later) and I both thought it was hysterically funny, because there really is always someone who is worse off than you… or thinks he is. At least we had to know where we were going.

Our friends (Tigress’s parents) met us at the next gas station and pronounced the car drive-worthy enough to get to where we were going, so we made it to the barbecue. As we were parking near the house, the radiator began to smoke again. The kluge lasted long enough for us to get to our destination exactly, and no longer.

Oh, and a note: if you ever have to get stuck somewhere, get stuck at the house of someone you adore, who just happens to live in the forest, has adorable children who play well with yours, spare bedrooms, and pool. If it weren’t for the minor headache of getting the car towed and having to take public transportation home with four kids, wet laundry, and picnic equipment, it would have been a vacation.

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