Sunday, December 31, 2006

How the prophesy nearly came to pass

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about scroll down to the previous entry and read that first.)

I was just heating myself up some soup while simultaneously writing a document for work. Got busy with the document. Forgot the soup. Oops. Soup everywhere. It overflowed so much that it actually filled up the rim of the lid. I didn't even know that was possible... Thankfully I caught it in time to save what remained of my lunch. (A girl's gotta have her priorities intact after all.)

Not too hard to interpret this dream

I dreamed last night that I had forgotten a couple of pots on the stove and the entire thing had melted. My cast-iron pot supports (the thingies that the pots actually sit on, what do they call those anyway?) were plastic in the dream and they had all - all 5 burners, not just the ones with the pots - melted down into a completely flat black sheet of molten muck, with a burned out pot sitting on top. Completely destroyed.

This morning, I woke up a full hour late and that only because I heard my cellphone ringing. We apparently forgot to set the alarm last night. Gee, do you think my subconscious was trying to tell me something LOL?

On other news, it's back to the grindstone for me. New Year's Eve/Day is not a holiday here and I'll be working all day. We had a decent weekend though, for a change everyone stayed healthy. We did around the house stuff, gym, etc. on Friday but got out a bit yesterday. I took Itai to see Festigal 2006 (yes, that's a "g"), which is an annual big budget musical extravaganza for kids that they put on every year at Hannukah. I was expecting to hate it, but I have to admit that they did a really great job. There was a loose plot about a lost magical kingdom, which was basically a vehicle to tie together various Israeli pop stars (most of whom I'd never heard of, damn I'm getting old) each singing one song. It had all the elements needed to enchant a child (or their mom, but don't tell) - lots of singing and dancing, amazing costumes (and so many of them - each number was completely different), fireworks, talking trees, horses, dragons, swordfights, acrobats descending from the ceiling, fire juggling, you name it... Basically a Radio City type production. V impressive. (And those extremely well-built, long-haired, shirtless acrobats (the men, the women weren't topless LOL) didn't hurt my eyes at all. Not a bit.) After that friends we hadn't seen in ages came over with their kids for a light supper, so all in all a good weekend.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gee, that was a surprise...

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Actually, I'm surprised that the conservative came out as high as it did, particularly for defense and crime. You know, this being a highly detailed and very accurate means of judging and all...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Remembering Ray...

I can't believe he's been gone a year already. Healing happens, but yet doesn't. We move on, but the hole Ray Scudero has left in so many of our lives will be open forever.

In addition to being a tremendous songwriter and artist himself, Ray always encouraged and fostered others on that same path. Tonight Jay and I will be going to a memorial concert featuring many of those same local singer-songwriters (including Ray's wife Joanna Katzen-Scudero) and celebrating the memory of a friend who's gone but never forgotten, and who touched so many of us before he left.

I know many of you out there have seen these links before, but if you haven't (and even if you have), take a minute to listen to a few of Ray's songs and share in his legacy.

Poor Working Slob (Horizon Dawn, Through the Night, and Poor Working Slob are particularly special)

With the Help of Angels - We're Going on a Picnic is a favorite of my children - and their parents

Ray's own website - no sound clips, but lyrics to many more songs that sadly were never recorded. The song All the Way to the Rocking Chair always makes me cry, because Ray finally did find the love of his life, the one he wanted to go "all the way to the rocking chair" with, only to die just five short years later.

Thank you for letting me share this with you.

Monday, December 25, 2006

For the love of Pete, why???

I just found an unopened package of girls' underwear in Maya's closet. (I apparently bought it a long time ago under the foolishly misguided assumption that she might have actually needed it last year. BWAHAHAHAHA...) Anyway, I found and opened the package today. Now remember, this is underwear sized for a THREE year old girl. Not a 17 year old slut, a THREE year old girl.

The first two pairs were cute, just multi-colored stripes. Fine. No problem. The third pair in the package? Not so fine. This one said "Teenager" on it in bright sparkly letters, RIGHT ABOVE A PAIR OF LUSCIOUS RED LIPS! I'm sorry, but WTF!!! Why in god's name does a THREE year old (did I mention that she is ONLY THREE?!?) need a pair of sexy lips in the middle of her crotch?!?!? I am so completely skeeved out. Now, Maya goes through underwear at a fairly fast rate (what? accidents? no, of course not...), but still. I just can't see myself putting this Lolita-esque disaster on a preschooler. Yuck! Not that anyone but her family, and her teachers, and whatever random strangers happen to come and knock on the door while she's wandering around in her skivvies are ever likely to see it, but still...

Why on earth would someone even make something like this? Why on earth should a 3 year old have any undergarment even remotely reeking of something sexual. Now I'm not a particularly paranoid mother, I don't see pedophiles around every corner, but this just really strikes me as wrong. Just plain wrong.

Am I crazy or do you agree? (Or both, can't rule out that possibility, can we?)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A to Z for me

I stole found this on another blog. Come on, join me...

A is for age: 37. Ahem.
B is for Beer: Lost my taste for it when pg with Itai, never got it back
C is for Career: Lactation Consultant / Markcom writer/editor
D is for my Dog's Name: don't have one
E is for Essential Item I Use Everyday: toilet paper LOL
F is for Favorite T.V. Show: 24, Rome (is there going to be a 2nd season of that?)
G is for Favorite Game: not really into games
H is for Hometown: Suburban NYC
I is for Instruments I Play: I played flute for many years, and failed miserably at guitar
J is for Favorite Juice: orange or cranberry
K is for Whose Butt I'd Like To Kick: My former boss', but I'm going to rise above that. Bygones.
L is for the Last Place I Ate: my kitchen (two sick kids, I haven't left the house in days)
M is for Marriage: 15 years and counting
N is for my Name: Robin
O is for Overnight Hospital Stays: twice as a young child, then just giving birth (times 2)
P is for People I was With Today: my kids (have I mentioned that they're BOTH home sick today?)
Q is for Quote: "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." Jackie Kennedy Onassis
R is for Biggest Regret: not respecting myself enough when I was much younger
S is for Sport: Swimming
T is for Time I Woke Up Today: 7:45
U is for Current Underwear: red
V is for Vegetable You Love: asparagus
W is for Worst Habit: comfort/boredom/just because eating
X is for X-rays I Have Had: Lots of my knees, and of my broken wrist
Y is for Yummy Food You Ate Today: the gourmet chocolate I snuck when the kids weren't looking
Z is for Zodiac: Cancer

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's the weekend, which means...

All together now...

Someone must be sick. Both kids have fevers and noses running like faucets. This is getting freaking ridiculous, it's the FOURTH weekend in a row that someone is sick. I feel like we have some kind of viral black cloud hanging over our house! So much for a nice weekend...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My god that was awful

Jay's company held a holiday karaoke dinner was last night, and as many of you know I was truly dreading it. Now I love good live music as much as anyone, probably more than most, but the operative word in that sentence is GOOD. It didn't go as badly as I expected. It was OH SO VERY MUCH WORSE!!! The food and drink were lousy, the "music" was literally deafening, it was very smoky (yes, you can still smoke inside if the place has a "bar") and the music was absolutely beyond my wildest nightmare awful. Not only was it truly HORRIBLE karaoke (and I mean REALLY REALLY bad), it was truly bad karaoke of truly bad Israeli pop music, coupled with huge quantities of whiny screechy "Mizrachi" music (the whiny screechy make your ears bleed music in the style of North Africa, popular among Israelis of North African descent - sorry to anyone who actually likes it, but I can't stand it).

We had to keep going outside in the cold just to get a break (I half wanted to take up smoking again to have an excuse to stay out there longer!). It was like being physically assaulted. Literally. Battered and bruised from all of your senses.Half the time they had the staff of the place doing the singing, and even they were terrible! You'd think they'd at least hire people with some small degree of musical talent.Oh, and we got stuck at a table with 3 or 4 of the most boring people possible, and their even more boring spouses. And just think, I had to pay a babysitter for this privilege!

It's the following morning now and I still have a sore throat from all the smoke and all the screaming to be heard over the chaos.Thankfully, Maya's off from school today so we can just spend a nice relaxing day together while I wait for my ears to stop bleeding...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Well nevermind

I tried to post one of those stupid "stuff to put in your blog" things ("What kind of Blue are You?" in this case) but the code didn't work.

Nevermind. It wasn't that interesting anyway. Still, it's annoying that it didn't work. Bah!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All work and no play

Makes Robin a very dull blogger. Sorry folks, real life is intruding (the nerve!), deadlines are looming and heads (mine) are spinning.

On the bright side, the blogosphere, and the entire internet for that matter, are so completely dead in the rundown to Christmas that very few of you will have noticed anyway.

Back soon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gotta love winter in Tel Aviv...

Taken this afternoon... We woke up this morning to a beautiful day, so we decided to go in to Tel Aviv for breakfast and some biking/rollerblading on the promenade along the beach. We'd planned to head for our favorite breakfast place - a French bistro which has killer chocolate crepes that my children adore, but it was closed for a private function. To stave off the impending meltdown disappointment I had to quickly promise we'd find a place with hot chocolate instead. We ended up at a little place we'd just read about that was known for "breakfast couscous" of all things. Jay and I split that and a panini (sandwich) with goat cheese and pears. The couscous wasn't bad, it was served with hot milk, walnuts, dates and cinnamon and was basically a not all that exciting hot cereal. The sandwich was a lot more interesting. Itai was pretty well pleased with his French toast and all was right in Maya's world as soon as she got her chocolate milk. After we finished breakfast we headed around the corner to Rabin Square for the wheeled portion of our day's entertainment. The kids rode around, chased pigeons, and fell on their butt more than a few times. In other words, a great time was had by all. Maya even fell asleep on the way home, which she only does if she's REALLY tuckered out.
We came home and watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (again. 3rd time this weekend, not that I'm counting... Itai's obsessed, and he knows it has to be returned tomorrow morning so he's trying to get as much in as possible.) It's now 5:30pm and Maya's just woken up. Must dash...
Hope everyone else out there is having a great weekend.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I love this!

Just found this: (why oh why can I not figure out how to add the freaking title to the link???). Very cool. The former NYer and current urbanite in me is loving this site (Ok, it's somewhat small-townish suburban urban, but hey, I live in a penthouse surrounded by other highrise apartment buildings and can walk to most of my errands. And, we're close enough to the "big city" for my husband to bike to work. Close enough.) Funny. Edgy. A great read. The lactation consultant / LLL Leader in me has decided that it's too late at night and I'm too tired to go read the "Breastfeeding Conspiracy" article for fear of getting sucked into some kind of breast vs bottle vortex (I have very little patience or tolerance for fanatics on any side of pretty much any argument), but I'm loving the rest of the site. And hey, I may actually read the other article tomorrow...

Happy Hannukah

Wishing all who are celebrating a very happy Hannukah, filled with love, joy, and lots of latkes and jelly doughnuts!

Thursday recap

It's been quite a day. It's 1:30am (ok, so it's actually Friday morning by now) and I'm exhausted. Which means of course that I'm an idiot for sitting here blogging when I should be going to bed, but nevermind...

Got up early this morning after just 4.5 hours sleep (more stupidity, don't ask). Got both kids dressed and ready then took Itai over to school. I then ran back to get to work (deadlines looming and making Robin a very cranky camper). It was only 10am when I got a call from the owner of Itai's afternoon program. His class was getting out early today since their big Hannukah party was tonight, and she was supposed to pick him up at 11. Unfortunately she was having a problem and couldn't get there, so I said I'd get him and take him for an hour until her assistant could get there. Dropped him off again at 12, ran a couple of errands while walking home (one of the advantages of urban life) and got back to work, in between cooking the rice salad for tonight's GNI. Picked up Maya at 4, took her to the greengrocer's next store and then hopped a cab to go get Itai. The kids played and had a snack while I did laundry and dishes. At 6:30pm it was time to go to Itai's party. They did a great job - lots of singing, dancing, props, black light effects (they had all the kids wearing white), candlighting, etc. Very cute. Hopefully a few of my pictures came out well and I'll have something to post tomorrow. I'm not sure though. I was sitting in a corner, and nearly every picture I tried to take either has someone's head, someone's butt, or someone else's kid!

After that it was home to visit for a while and then off to GNI, where much eating, drinking, laughter and mayhem ensued. A perfect end to a long day.

Well, I've rambled on enough for one night. I need to get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow. Jay will get the kids to school but I've got a 10am meeting and some other things to accomplish tomorrow morning. G'night all. Check back tomorrow to see if any of the pictures survived the cull...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A quick hi to everyone who's come out of lurkdom

Just wanted to say a quick hello to all those who've posted comments on the blog. It's great to "meet" you. A few of you had added comments to older posts recently, but since I don't have any kind of comment notification on here I just found them today when I was messing around trying to avoid folding 2 more loads of laundry (it worked by the way, the laundry still isn't folded...).

So anyway, hi :). The coffee's nearly ready, why don't you kick off your shoes and stay for a while...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Great GNI Recipe Hunt of Dec '06

(a/k/a Robin needs a break from working for a few minutes)

I have a fantastic group of girlfriends here. We're all local anglo (native English speakers) moms who decided to form an English speaking playgroup for our kids back when Itai was about 2.5 and I was very pregnant with Maya. Since then, we've met at one of our houses for playgroup just about once a week, with the occasional playground or other field trip thrown in. It's very informal, just a bunch of good friends getting together to chat (and eat!) while their kids play. As the kids have grown, they've started playing more and more in Hebrew, but the moms have pretty much given up that battle, especially since a few of the kids really don't speak English all that well. Besides, playgroup is really for the moms, anyway ;-).

Anyhow, to drag this post back on topic... About two years or so ago we decided it would be fun to have a girls night in. Basically a girls night out, but with us all cooking dinner together at someone's home rather than going to a restaurant. Our first dinner was Thai/Asian. It was such a hit that we decided to make it a regular event and try to hold a GNI as it's become known at least every 6 or 8 weeks, all with some theme or other. Over the years we've had Italian, Indian, appetizers, comfort food (yay homemade mac'n'cheese!), Mexican and too many others to mention.

Our next GNI is tomorrow, and we decided it should be Malaysian, but that was too limiting so we ended up with pan-Asian. I LOVE Malaysian food so I thought this would be great, but after searching countless cookbooks and recipes I ended up SO frustrated! Everything I thought to make was somehow no good - it either used ingredients I can't use (no pork or seafood - no one there is kosher per se but some won't eat them, no seriously spicy food - someone else can't handle that, no coriander - S HATES it with all her being, or else it required a host of exotic ingredients I can't even get at the Asian market). I was too late to offer to do a noodle dish so there went all those favorites too. I finally decided on a rice dish, but was stuck back at the same place. So, after much deliberation and hand wringing, I'm reverting to my roots and making an old favorite - Molly Katzen's Indonesian Rice Salad from the Moosewood Cookbook. Tried and true. A bit boring to me since I've made it so many times (it's a potluck picnic favorite), but hopefully new to the others and easy to bring since it's made in advance. (We try to cook together, but within reasonable limits, since in the early days of GNI we did so much cooking there that we'd end up not eating until 11 at night!)

So, Indonesian rice salad it is. Oh well, at least it goes well with the rest of the menu - "orange" Thai soup, noodles with beef, sate something or other (chicken I think), various pickled veggies, coconut cookies for dessert, oh, and loads of pina coladas :). Methinks the veggies won't be the only thing pickled tomorrow night...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where it all happens

And last but not least, my brave knight wearing the armor he made at this very smithy (table)...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My turn to share a comic strip

Gotta love Bloom County... The official Berkeley Breathed site had a bunch of his favorite strips, I was laughing so hard looking at them. Some of them I even remembered from back in the 80's (hairy fishballs, anyone?).

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Tis the Season...

...for stomach bugs, fevers, and other assorted ailments. The creeping crud has definitely hit our house. They're healthy enough to want to be running around playing and have lots of excess energy, but they're too contagious to actually leave the house and burn it off, so it's stir crazy city around here. We're pulling out all the stops to keep the kinders occupied without resorting to just sticking them in front of the tv for the entire day.

So far this weekend we've designed and made a suit of armor out of oaktag for Itai (vest - Narnians didn't have leg armor thankfully, helmet, sword and shield), done a Yugi-Oh activity book (Itai), taken half my kitchen utensils out of the drawer and marched around with them (that would be Maya), danced around to the song from Maya's Hannukah party (she did all the motions too - so sweet, especially since I missed the party itself staying home with a sick Itai), done make-your-own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Maya), broken out the frozen leftover birthday cake (both), taken down a bunch of forgotten toys to rediscover (puppet theater, broken camera and flash cards) and a whole slew of other activities.

Gee, I wonder why I'm not feeling relaxed from a nice weekend at home... Hopefully everyone will be well enough to head back to school tomorrow.

Edited to add that now I've got it. And if you were wondering, no, an out of the blue asthma attack coupled with the sudden arrival of the stomach bug (yes, at the very same moment) is no fun. No fun at all.

Friday, December 8, 2006

The digital snowflake site is back this year

I love this site. Such great mindless entertainment. And this year, they're giving money to the Salvation Army for each flake, so all the doodling and procrastinating serious art you do there is now actually justifiable as a charitable contribution.

Go ahead, flake out!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

They actually expect me to work for a living

I'm swamped at work right now. I'm back doing proposal work this month, with all its pressure and deadlines, and am finding it hard to make that mental shift. I've gotten much too used to working at my own pace, with no one looking too carefully over my shoulder. I think this new division I work for is going to keep me on my toes a lot more than my work with corporate did.

And if we're being totally honest here, my flagging mental state is probably also influenced by the fact that I worked my ass off all day yesterday (without even time for a shower - blech!), then raced over to playgroup, then raced over to Itai's rollerblading class, then raced home for a conference call at 7:30 at night, then raced out to meet Jay for a friend's birthday celebration. We stayed out till nearly 1, then found out that a visiting musician had parked in a parking lot that closed at midnight, leaving his car stuck and him with no way to get home to Haifa (about 90 minutes away). He ended up coming home with us, where we then had to break out a bottle for a few drinks and conversation, and I finally dragged my sorry ass to bed after 2am, only to find myself up coughing all night long because I'd foregone my cough syrup in favor of a couple of drinks. Have to be a good hostess after all ;-). Can't have the guest drinking on his own... I think he had it worse though, he actually ordered a cab for 5:45 this morning in the hopes of making it back home to shower, change and get to work by 7:30! Can't say that would have been my approach...

Thank heavens it's Thursday, no work tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Hey cool, Finland!

Wow, someone out there found my blog all the way from Finland. How cool is that! (Can you tell that I'm having fun with my site counter?) I'd love to go to Finland someday, but alas, I haven't gotten any closer than Norway yet. One day...

I'd love to hear from whoever's out there lurking, it makes blogging a lot more fun to know I've actually got someone reading (besides my star commenters Terri and Kim (who are nearly my only commenters, besides a very cute sympathy comment from Tertia - smooches right back atcha buddy)).

So come on, say hi. I double dare you!

Just sitting here starving

I'm starving, but can't seem to get it together enough to get off of this chair and go the 4 feet to the refrigerator to find some lunch. Part of it is that I'm stuck into a fairly complicated and nit-picky work project, and part of it is just (lack of) inertia. Either way, I'm hungry and this is getting silly.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.

Monday, December 4, 2006

The Big Tooth Fairy Question

Itai's got a few more loose teeth, which is begging the question - what do we do about the Tooth Fairy? I love the Tooth Fairy, HE loved the Tooth Fairy, we were all quite happy with the idea that she slipped a little something under his pillow while he slept. Heck, he's even got a tooth fairy BAG that Grandma made...

Only catch? The Tooth Fairy isn't widely known in Israel. So some of those too-big-for-their-britches jaded older kids from his afternoon program some little darling has apparently told him that there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy!!! Now Itai has informed us that there is in fact no Tooth Fairy, that fairies in general are not real (and couldn't talk even if they were), and that he knows it's been us all along.

I'm SO disappointed. Being a Jewish kid in Israel, it's not like he gets Santa Claus, so I was hoping to at least be able to do the Tooth Fairy thing for a little while... Hmmm... maybe evil mom will plant the idea that if there's no tooth fairy then there's no money, and see if he regains his faith... *snicker*

And on another totally unrelated front, Miss Mouse a/k/a Maya seems to really be getting the hang of this potty training thing - woohoo! I thank her, her teachers thank her, and my rugs and couches certainly thank her! She's so darn cute about it too - she knows it's been hard for her and that she's finally done something really great, so each and every time she uses the toilet she jumps up and literally shouts at the top of her lungs "I DID it! Yayyyyyyy for Maya!!" and starts clapping madly. What a character.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

The hunt for a decent picture for my cards

I want to send some holiday cards out (VERY SOON!) and as in years past I'd like to include a photo of the kids. Only catch - they are not feeling very camera friendly at the moment. This one could have been halfway decent if only dh hadn't decided to chop of the bottom half of their bodies. It's unbalanced looking the way it is, and I can't crop it any further because their heights are so different. Back to the drawing board methinks... (and this time I'll do it myself!)

Friday, December 1, 2006

I believe in gentle discipline, I believe in gentle discipline, I believe in gentle discipline...

And it's a damn good thing, or my son would be having a VERY bad day right about now.

Every single button I've got has been pushed today, and I have HAD it. The defiance, the talking back, the violent language, the entitlement... Aaaaaaahhhhhh!!! I have no freaking clue what has set off this latest round of beastly behavior, but by god it is going to stop. It's bad enough that Israeli parents tend to accept standards of behavior (or lack thereof) that make me cringe when looking at it from outside, I absolutely will not accept it in my own kid.

Ok, it's an hour later and we've all calmed down again. DH and I had a major talk with Itai, and it seems like at least some of it got through, for now anyway. We've kissed and made up and I've just finished reading him a chapter of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", and am now sitting here typing one-handed while sitting next to his bed while he falls asleep. It's a good thing he can't read yet, though I suspect from all the snoring going on that he wouldn't be paying attention anyway...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Almost Thanksgiving

What? You thought Thanksgiving was last week? I'm sorry, you must not have heard about the Central Israel timewarp. Here you see, it will be Thanksgiving on Saturday. Actually, there really is no Thanksgiving here (confused yet?). The actual US holiday is just a regular work day for us, but we have a long-standing tradition of celebrating the holiday the following day (Friday is a weekend here) with several other very good friends who are also originally from the States. This year though one of the spouses had to be in Korea all last week, so we had to postpone Thanksgiving. We figure once you're already celebrating on some other day anyway, there's really no reason it has to be that same weekend. So, this coming Saturday has been declared the official date of our annual MidEast Thanksgiving (Observed).

Which reminds me, I still need to write up a shopping list. I have to make a carrot souffle and a child-friendly dessert to bring with me.

I'm an idiot

And a pathetic one at that.

I'm so used to checking other people's blogs for updates that I'm sitting here checking my OWN blog. Idiot. Of course there's nothing new. YOU have to write it. Sheesh! Get a life Robin!

More fun than working...

After spending so much of my time reading other people's blogs, I've finally decided it was time to take the plunge and start one of my own. I'm a writer, editor, lactation consultant, and most importantly, a MOM. I'll be writing about my kids, my life, all that sort of boring stuff. Stick around if you'd like. I can't promise scintillating prose or deep philosophical debates, but who knows, you may at least get a cute picture every once in a while. I've got a 5 1/2 year old son, Itai, who's learning to rollerblade backwards, and a 3 year old daughter, Maya, who just yesterday decided to sit quietly and let the hairdresser trim her bangs without a fuss (of course it helps that his name is Mikki and she thinks he's related to Mickey Mouse!).