Sunday, September 25, 2011
plenty of nuts around here
Don't you hate it when you post something on Craigslist, for instance the bunk bed that you just bought on Craigslist but that you no longer want because your kids cried when they saw it and want to keep their old one that you don't like, and then arrange for someone to come look at it late at night when you're home alone with your three kids because your husband is in Israel and then tell your friend to call every five minutes in case the buyer is really a psychopath and then answer the doorbell anyway even though you're terrified and sweating a lot having just locked all the doors and windows even though it's like 85 degrees in the house and it turns out to be a six foot three adorably doughy young man from Singapore who magically fits the entire thing into his Mazda 5 and by the time he leaves you're wired from all the adrenalin and the glass of coke you had from the two liter bottle in the fridge leftover from your dance party (don't you just love the way cold coke claws down your throat in the best possible way) so you watch the first five episodes of 30 Rock since you remembered that your friend loaded like seven seasons on your computer when you visited him in August and then you go to bed after midnight knowing full well your baby will be waking you in one hour and then two more hours?
You and me both.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
We say goodbye to 607 Leksich Ave. The baby thinks parting is such sweet sorrow.
He may also be taking a dump in this shot.
Did I ever mention how it came to be that we sold our house?
Remember in April, how we took it off the market after an offer was rescinded because of some confusion over the status of the house - whether it was technically a condo or a single family home? And remember how we were secretly relieved and planned on putting it back on the market in the fall. Plans are funny like that.
It turns out that right before the baby was born we got an offer on the house from a former colleague of mine and his wife. They came over when I was 39 weeks pregnant and said they loved it. They brought their agent the next day. They sent us an offer two days later with the exact price we wanted, a long escrow and two months or rent-back. We signed that offer the same day we signed our baby's birth certificate. Big day. In my birth story I made mention of downloading some forms between contractions. Those were for the house and needed to be signed by Wednesday and it was Monday and I was about to leave for the hospital and somehow I had the wherewithal, barely, to bring them with us, so that in a moment of post partum
And while we were thrilled to have this lovely couple (half Israeli, half American - sound familiar?) buy our home, the next forty-five days were filled with untold stress as we tried to manage a mountain of paperwork and tend to a newborn. Oh and the other two kids. And there were major stumbling blocks. Like the one where it turns out because of a recording snafu in the seventies we actually owned our property but our neighbor's garage and vice versa. Nice. All that stuff had to be untangled and we didn't have an agent. We drove our agent to leave real estate altogether after the previous deal fell through so we were left high and dry. We ended up hiring a friend of ours who is real estate attorney saving us much money but causing us to run around scheduling inspections and unearthing old contracts. Many sleepless nights. But we were up anyway with our infant so who cared.
So all's well that ends well. And this epic tale ended beautifully on Saturday evening. After we closed on the house we were able to rent it back from the new owners for two months which meant that we could actually spend some time relaxing in what still felt like our home for the entire summer. Last week we moved into a three month sublet not too far away (the home of a professor who is teaching abroad this quarter) and Mr. Rosen moved all of our stuff over the course of the week. On Friday we lit Shabbat candles one last time in our empty little house and sang songs and shared some of our best memories from that special place. And on Saturday night we had a dance party in our empty house complete with glow bands and much alcohol while a sitter watched all three kids in our new place. Genius.
And now we have three months to figure out how we are moving ourselves and our stuff to Israel. The saga continues. Turns out moving to Israel is not as straight forward as it was when my two suitcases and I did it fifteen years ago.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I used to work full time in an office. I liked work. But I didn't love it. And I was having a hard time rationalizing spending 8-10 hours a day away from my kids for something that I didn't love. There was the money, which we needed. We still need the money. But we realized eventually that while money comes and goes, time only goes. And time with these kids was precious and fleeting and I better start spending more of it with them. So I stopped working in an office and I started working at home a few hours a day painting and selling my work. And my kids spent less time at preschool and a lot more time with me.
And then I realized that what I had really wanted was a way to paint and sell my work and explore what other untapped creative potential lay buried inside me and spend some time with my kids but not a lot of time. And not time in the car or on the way to anywhere. Like gymnastics or Hebrew school. And what I mostly wanted was to spend time with my kids while they were happy and charming and then magically disappear when they started getting annoying or taking so much time to put on their shoes that they eventually needed the next shoe size or insisting to sit on the booster seat next to the window instead of the one in the middle next to the shrieking baby.
The promise of part time work and part time child-rearing was misguided at best. Foolish, more likely. There's nothing part time about what I do. I work around the clock these days. I'm up two to three times a night nursing. Then we're all up getting ready to get out of the house in the morning. I'm driving to school, I'm driving home, I'm driving to the supermarket, I'm making food, I'm picking up, I'm emailing proofs, I'm nursing, I'm straightening the house, I'm printing some orders, I'm playing with the baby, I'm helping with homework, I'm brushing out tangles, I'm weeding out the 4Ts to make room for the 5Ts, I'm reading stories, I'm nursing, I'm calling UPS to track a shipment that went awol, I'm brushing someone's teeth, I'm writing this blog, I'm going to bed and then I'm repeating the whole exercise again. Everyday. Forever. With a smile.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Yes, today is my birthday. And my adorable southpaw baby boy gave me mastitis in my right boob. He prefers the left. Good times.
For my birthday I also reopened my shop and restocked it with all of your favorite prints and cards and for TODAY ONLY (possibly tomorrow if I can unplug these milk ducts) I'm offering 38% off (maybe you can guess why). Go here and use this code: BIRTHDAY38 and get those new baby and wedding gifts off your back, get all of your Jewish New Year cards and gifts out of the way and then reward yourself for being so on top of your gift giving obligations. Go crazy!
If you need me, I'll be alternating warm and cold compresses between pumping, massaging and nursing.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Even though he won't remember a thing, we have proof the baby enjoyed his first road trip.
Especially the view.
We're back home. I think we were all happy to be home for about a day and then we started missing our trip. Everyone asked me how it was possible to travel with three kids including an infant in a van for four weeks. I can hardly understand it myself, but it was wonderful. It was a lot of work. Especially on nights when we camped. But most of the work, the loading and unloading of our gear, the setting up, the breaking down, the cooking, the cleaning was handled by Mr. Rosen. I was on baby watch. And baby feed. The breastaurant was open 24 hours. So while I wasn't on duty for any of the heavy lifting, I did put three pounds on our baby and that counts for a lot. By the end of the trip none of his clothes fit for which I take personal pride. These aren't lowfat knockers.
After Utah we met some friends in Salida, Colorado, friends who are also moving to Israel albeit three months before us. Their eldest daughter is the one that my son has been friends with since birth. They played beautifully as did their middle daughter and our middle daughter and as it happens they have a three months old. We are perfectly paired.
And then it was the final haul to New Mexico where we returned the Bear Proof Vehicle to its rightful owners and enjoyed some quality times with the Rosens. We realized early on in the trip, after the first exhausting night of camping, that this trip was not about us. It was about the kids - creating some family lore for them. Filling their summer with idyllic childhood experiences. Letting them explore. Making them watch hour after hour of classic Loony Tunes in the van.
Some of the highlights:
- Cooling off in the creek at Lithia Park in Ashland
- Kayaking on the Oregon Coast
- The Wolf and the Bear food cart
- Seeing my 5th grade teacher Mr. Marshall at the Saturday Market in Portland
- Eating wild strawberries
- Mt Hood
- The hour that Mr. Rosen and I had in the morning on our anniversary after three kids inexplicably went back to sleep
- White water rafting in Bend
- Deserted hot springs in Eastern Oregon (deserted everything in Eastern Oregon)
- My daughter's knock knock jokes (this merits its own post)
- Monsoon rains in Utah
- Two terrified kids snuggled into the same sleeping bag during a lightening storm overhead
- Double rainbows
- The river walk in Escalante National Monument
- Picking apples in Capitol Reef National Park
- Rooftop margaritas with my brother in law and sister in law
- My niece's fifth birthday at the alien themed roller rink in Santa Fe (where the baby had a blowout so big it almost dripped into my skates).
- Friends and family we saw along the way - Danny and Tara, Danny and Rachel, Sue, John and Jessie, Jenn and David, Holly and Rob, Sim and Jen, Shirley and Ran, Yitz and Patricia, Saba and Savta. You guys made this trip unbelievable.