Monday, March 30, 2009

Stroller For Sale

Before we moved, we had a number of people asking us to bring them double strollers on our lift (they paid for the space) because they said they are really expensive here in Israel. We went a little crazy and ended up buying one for when our new baby was to be born - thinking Sammy and Kayla will only be 21 months apart so we will still need a double. We also bought a double stroller to replace our double Jeep stroller to use for then - the bigger kids. That was a mistake for sure - I really miss our small double jeep stroller!!
Anyway, Sammy loves to walk and hardly even uses his stroller anymore to get to daycare. So I'm thinking, I really don't still need 2 double strollers! And sadly, we don't even have a normal single stroller. Just the Snap N Go and an umbrella stroller.
Soooooooooooooooo, I want to sell the unused double stroller. But need some advice, how much should I sell it for in Israel? I haven't shopped around for doubles here and don't think they even sell this model here.

It is a Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem stroller. Brand new in box (box is a little broken.

So, how much should I sell it for? And where should I advertise it? And does anyone reading this want to buy it??

In addition, does anyone know anything or have experience with a Zooper stroller? They seem really small and easy to push. Where is the best place to buy?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What to Do?

Hooray Hooray!! I have a new nephew!!! Mazel Tov Sarra and Shlomo!!
Very very exciting.
I am going into Jerusalem tomorrow morning to meet the little guy and hoping I have a way back to Ariel. :) So I may have time to kill in J'lem with Shu and Kayla.

But aside from that, we will IYH be coming to Jerusalem for a Wednesday morning bris. We are going to rent a car and are looking for things to do on Tuesday and Wednesday with the kids. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Brother

Jonah and Sammy were playing with Kayla while she was in her swing this evening. Jonah accidentally bumped her with one of the toys that hangs off the swing and she started crying. He jumped up and said to me, "I'm sorry!! It was an accident." She was fine and I asked him to give her her pacifier to soothe her. He did then said to her:

"Kayla, I'm so sorry. Are you ok? Do you think that Big Brother doesn't like you? Are you worried that your Big Brother doesn't like you?? Well, your Big Brother does like you. And I will always love you. Even when you are big. And even when you are a Mommy. I will still love you."

It was SOO sweet!! He is crazy about that girl. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Morning Shuffle

I did it! Hooray for me!! And it was all accomplished by 9:00.
Ok, maybe it isn't as big a feat as I am making it out to be. But what can I say, I'm proud of myself.
You're probably wondering what I did that was so don't laugh.....
I got all 3 kids out the door this morning. By myself!!!
Are you laughing?

Yes, I have been lucky and spoiled up until this point because Shauli has been home with me. Although the reason he is home is because he doesn't have a job so that's not good but I like to look at the up-side.
I generally deal with Kayla in the morning: feeding, changing, cuddling, etc. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it. Shauli usually gets the boys ready and takes them to school. Occasionally we change it up and I take them to school - but then he stays home with Kayla. Even the mornings that he goes into Jerusalem, he generally leaves after the boys are already gone.

However this morning, he left at about 6:30am to tremp (hitch-hike) to Jerusalem. And I was on my own. Luckily, no children were awake at 6:30am. They all woke up at the same time at 7:30. So we started off on the late side. Kayla woke first yelling about how hungry she was cuz she didn't eat all night long!!!(That's an approximate translation). Of course as soon as I start feeding her, Jonah calls out that he has to go to the bathroom really bad and needs help getting down from his bunkbed. Picturing an accident about to happen in the top bunk - I detach Kayla (who is NOT happy) and rush into the boys room. Sammy is sitting in his bed, face covered with boogers (as usual) and Jo is leaning over his railing. I ask him to go to the end of the bed, so I can lift him down from there - where the ladder is and voila, he climbs down himself. I take Sammy out of his bed and rush back to Kayla who is wailing away. I start nursing her again, Jonah goes to the bathroom and Sammy, unsure of what to do - starts twirling in circles in the hallway.
Kayla is now trying to decide whether she wants to eat or doesn't want to eat - can't make up her mind - is this a girl thing?? I think she is enjoying the fact that I can do nothing else while holding her.
I take this opportunity to get the boys to the table and give them cereal. Kayla decides she does in fact want to eat and so I sit on the couch and feed her while Jonah eats his half bowl of cereal and Sammy (who usually eats about a bowl and a half) puts Cheerios in his mouth and then shows them to Jonah, who cracks up, encouraging Sammy to do it again and again.
Fine. Whatever. No one is crying. And I know Sammy will eat when he gets to daycare anyway.
After I more or less finish with Kayla, who doesn't want to be put down, I bring her swing into the boys room and get them in there to get dressed. Sammy is attempting to push Kayla's swing for her - NOT a good idea. Jonah is jumping about yelling about how he doesn't want to take his PJ's off because he doesn't want Sammy to hit him. It's a valid concern because when Sammy sees skin (like a back, tummy, or legs), he likes to smack it!
I tell Sammy to go get me one of his new shirts from the living room (they are really hand-me downs from Jonah but we just brought out the newest size and were going through them in the other room). Of course, that means Jonah wants to wear a new shirt but the only new clothes he has are summer clothes. And today is not summer weather. But since I don't feel like battling a 4 1/2 year old, I let him as long as he wears a sweatshirt too. Ok, 1 kid dressed. 2 to go. Plus me.
Next up to bat, Sammy. Diaper change first - screams! I can't wait for him to be toilet trained. But I think we have about a year to go on that one!!! I put his clothes on and he is excited about his "new froggy shirt" even though Jonah is jealous and begs me to buy him a froggy shirt (with a blue frog on it) too. Jonah says he remembers this shirt from when he was 3 and it was one of his favorites. He keeps touching the blue frog on Sammy's shirt. Sammy doesn't like it and Jonah tells him that "everyone is allowed to touch the frogs - not just Sammy". Although I can only imagine what Jonah would do if the roles were reversed!
Ok, 2 kids dressed. Socks and shoes. Kippah. Check, check, check.
I try to send them back to finish their cereal so I can get dressed but of course bothering me is much more interesting. Sammy however, doesn't want to miss out on his cereal so he goes to get his bowl, comes into my room and proceeds to dump out the Cheerios onto the floor in the hallway and my bedroom. Ooh - cleaning for Pesach will be a blast!
Sammy and Jonah start running up and down the hallway screaming. It's giving me a headache and scaring Kayla a little but no one is crying so .....
Ok, now I'm dressed. Now we just have little Kayla. I decide not to change her entire outfit (no time for that) but add a few layers of clothing. If I don't, I know all those Israeli women will lecture me about how cold she is. That's why Israeli babies always look so puffy. So many layers!!! Ok, so she's got a lot of layers, and fuzzy ones on the outside and while I am sure someone will make a comment, it's the best I can do. I know someone will say something about bringing her out in this weather. But what is my alternative - to leave her at home? Alone?

Jackets on the boys. Jacket on me. Jonah wants an umbrella because it looks like rain (great!) but our 10 NIS umbrella broke and hasn't been replaced so I convince him that wearing his hood will be good enough - and pray that the rain holds off.
Now - how do we transport all the kids? I put on this funny little front-carrier that makes me feel like a kangaroo. But since I can't push 2 strollers by myself, the front carrier it is for Kayla. It has a LOT of straps. And one of them goes on the upper back. The spot that is just out of reach of my hands.... And Jonah doesn't quite have the coordination to snap it by himself. So I snap it before I put it on and then put the backpack on like I am putting on a sweater. I get Kayla's arms and legs in all the right holes and we are just about ready.
We head out the door and then remember Jonah's backpack. I send him back inside while Sammy, Kayla, and I start the journey down the steps. Sammy still takes a while going up and down stairs. He wants to be held but that is just not going to happen. Jonah is worried we are going to "win" but I reassure him that he has plenty of time.
We mosey on down the stairs, make it to the bottom and I get out Sammy's stroller. He looks at it and announces "WALK". Oh great. He doesn't walk that much faster than he goes down stairs. My original plan was to take Sammy to daycare first, thereby avoiding a bunch of stairs with Sammy. But since it's already about 8:20 and Jonah's Gan gate gets locked at 8:30, change of plan. We'll take Jonah first because the lecture from Jonah's Gannenet is much worse than the one I would get at the daycare. It's too early in the morning to be scolded. :) We somehow make it to Gan, before the gate is locked. And there I get my first comment about taking the baby out in this weather. I tell her my husband isn't home and the kids have to get to school - Mah La'asot? (What to do?).
Sammy wants to stay at Jonah's Gan but luckily that doesn't turn into a huge fight. I keep reminding him that when we get to Ma'on (daycare) he will see his little friends, Maya and Etai. He constantly says their names whenever we are home. He loves them! So with promises of Maya and Etai, we head to Ma'on. There is a shortcut which we take through the park, the only problem with it is that there are about 50 steps to climb. They aren't 50 steps straight but it's like 4 steps and then a "landing", 4 more steps, then a "landing", etc. Sammy tries to make it up by himself (remember he was not interested in the stroller) but gets tired halfway through. So there I am, with my kangaroo baby on my front. I first take the stroller up the 5 steps, then kinda lift Sammy up the steps. I can't really carry him or even get a very good grip because of Kayla but we manage. Although we look ridiculous.
We make it to Ma'on in time for breakfast. I love watching all those little kids sitting at the itty bitty tables with their plates and big tablespoons eating up their yogurts or whatever it is all by themselves. Making a huge mess all over themselves. But so proud for being so independent. Sammy walks in, glad to be with his crew and is not phased when I say goodbye and leave. It is still harder for me to leave him than it is for him to stay. I think he enjoys being there now.
I see the lady in charge as I am leaving and she sees that I have Kayla so she comes over for a quick look. I brace myself for a comment about Kayla not being warm enough or something but she doesn't say anything!! She tells me how her "baby" is now 17 1/2 and it seems like just yesterday he was this small. We talk about how time flies - although my oldest is 4 1/2 and hers is 25. But when it comes to kids, time flies - no matter how old or young they are.
It is a nice feeling that I am starting to get more comfortable with the language and the people. There has definitely been a big language barrier issue. But I'm getting off the subject.
Ok, so Sammy's at Gan. Kayla and I start heading home and only get rained on (drizzled really) at the end of our trip.
Kayla then spends the next hour and a half wide awake and fussy!! Maybe she was mad at me for taking her out.
So I started work a bit late this morning. But I must say I am proud of myself and relieved that we survived.
However, I can also say that I do NOT look forward to a lot of mornings like this if/when Shauli starts working.

Ma La'asot?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Memories of Rick Martinez z"l

Today is my dad's 12th Yarzheit.

I like to think if he looked down on me today he would be proud and happy. I'm very happily married to a wonderful guy, have 3 amazing kids, and live in Israel.

As Jonah gets older, he sometimes asks about my dad. Or makes comments about him. He knows that he is with Hashem. He also apparently knows that means he is dead. So much for "sugar-coating" it.

I'd like to ask people that knew my Dad to post or send me a Memory you have of him. It can be anything from a conversation to something you remember him doing. It can be something small or big - whatever. Just a memory.

As time goes on, I don't remember as much about him. And I am not around very many people that knew him so I don't hear stories about him as often.

So I would really appreciate if you could send me a memory. :)

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Purim in Israel is AMAZING!!!!! I really loved it. I loved taking the kids to Gan on Sunday and seeing all the other kids (and plenty adults too) walking to school, waiting for rides, in Gan - and all dressed up. Everybody is into it.
My mother-in-law made a good comparison. In America, when we see everyone dressed up in costume - like people working in stores, walking down the street, etc - for Halloween, we think oh, how silly. They look ridiculous.
Here, in Israel, when the same thing happens but it's for Purim - we are SO excited!!
I guess because this time it's our holiday. This time we get to participate. And we aren't the minority. The whole country is into it. It's so great.

In general, I think we have been settling in quite well. And there are many times when I just take a moment to look around and realize how lucky I am to be living here. Living my dream. It's somewhat different than what I expected but it's amazing. I still look out my window at the hills of the Shomron and think WOW, I'm living here. I am living in Israel.
Last week I went to Petach Tikvah 3 times. This is a big deal because without a car, it's really difficult leaving Ariel (with 3 kids). Twice I went there with a friend in her car and once I took public transportation. Petach Tikvah is considered "The Big City" near us. It's exciting to go there, to go to the mall, eat at the food court, or go to some of the bigger stores. I enjoy it - but would never want to live there. Too big of a city for me.
On the drive there and back, on one hand, I am already used to the surroundings and the scenery. This is my home.
On the other hand, sometimes I still switch to my "tourist eyes" and remember how I would look at my surroundings and how I felt. How desperately I wanted to be living here. I remember how I would look at the trees and the buildings and the sky and the mountains and be in love. And I fall in love all over again. I love living here. I am proud of myself that I made Aliyah. I am proud that I am raising 3 young kids in this land. I am proud that I am working. I feel like everything I do here means more. It counts more.
I thank G-d for all this being possible. I thank G-d for sending me a husband that made ALL of the above possible. Life is good.....

On the flip side, I miss my friends and family SO much, it hurts. I have especially been having a hard time since Kayla was born. I just can't believe that my American friends haven't met her, haven't held her. My own mother has not even met her!!! It's really really rough. Some people might think that because we made this choice to make Aliyah and because we are doing well here and are happy here, that it makes leaving that much easier.
I don't agree.
I think the 2 things are completely separate. On one hand, I am happy here. I like the way our new life is turning out.
On the other hand, I MISS MISS MISS MISS my friends. Quite a few of my friends are having babies and a few had girls, just a little younger than Kayla. And I'm not there. Not there to visit them in the hospital, not there to make them meals, not there to just be there.

Our "chevra" all got together for a Purim Seudah and posted some pics. I started looking through them and it was so nice to see everyone and see how the kids are growing and how cute they all were in their costumes. A couple of our friends had babies at around the same time Sammy was born and as I looked at the pictures, I was thinking - we should be there. I can't believe we aren't there. It made me so sad, I had to stop looking at the pictures. I literally X'd the page. I couldn't handle it.

So my emotions are just back and forth. I am so happy and so blessed to be living here. We did the right thing in moving here.
But missing everyone is rough. Really rough. Does it ever get easier?

My dream plan, when Shu's business ends up being wildly successful, is to be able to spend about 4-6 weeks in the summer in America. This way, I would have some time to spend with friends and family. And to do some good shopping of course. And I would know every year when I would be going back and when I would see them again. That's one of the really hard parts now - we have no plans to go back to Detroit, we can't afford it! And we have no idea when we will come back either. So I don't know when I will see my friends there again. I don't even know when I will see my Mom!

So - to all your veteran Aliyah people - does it get easier? The missing everyone part?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Game Over

I get a weekly newsletter from a website called BabyCenter. The above picture was on the newsletter this week.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.