Me and Irene.

Our trip to New York City is down to its last 24 hours. It was too short, and I’m not just saying that because it’s always too short. It was actually on the short side. But, alas. We spent the weekend with Irene, same as the millions of other peeps across the East Coast. I tend to come to New York for the exciting times: the 2005 Blackout, the 2006 Blizzard, Hurricane Irene. The hurricane that wasn’t. Yet, was. Parts of Staten Island got smashed; we were five minutes into one that wasn’t. After the rain stopped, I walked in the drizzle and got dramatic:

Among the ‘wreckage’ I found a survivor…

Surviving. Another trip to visit family, another reminder of the long distance relationships I’ve created. Another dilemma. Another flight. Another next time.

What could have been.

Being back ‘home’ is always a pleasure. After almost seven years, the bad has faded away, and the good nostalgia remains. The hometown is glorified, the old friends still taste fresh in a few quick bites.

It allows the pangs for what could have been to creep to the top. What could have been if I stuck around; what I could have been for my oldest friend in her times of need, what grandparents my parents could have been for my kids.

The flip side comes through at the last minute: What could have been if I had stayed with that guy, what could have been if I had gone for that publishing job in the city. The what could have beens that probably would have lead to the obvious conclusion for an alternative universe: what could have been if I had moved to Israel?

Lizrael Update: Insane mom you hate on flights edition.

Bulletin:  I’m leaving tonight to New York, with both my kids, alone.

That’s one adult to two kids. Or, one adult to an infant and a terrible two.

So if you’re on my flight, sucks for you. Sucks worse for me.

Like I told my mom, who I’m sure is containing all the giddy-with-pleasure as best she can until we’re settled in and over the flight:

It’s going to be hard and I always come off cursing but this is the kind of life I chose so here goes…

Ok, Bezeq Parrot. You win.

Well, the Bezeq Parrot had earned his keep methinks. And an Israeli company has proven it is capable of providing not only quality, but creative, customer service.

Lots of companies have Twitter accounts for so-called support. Some of them actually keep up with that premise. But @bezeqbenleumi really has it down. We recently switched our home internet from HOT to Bezeq. Before the switch, I had noticed from the corner of my eye that peeps were @-replying to this Bezeq handle. I kinda ignored it until I became a customer and thought, huh, isn’t that nice.

Then today, I needed some service myself. I tweeted about my sloppy internet connection today and they wrote back instantly. We actually had a conversation over Twitter that ended with me DMing my details and them passing it along to a rep who would call me promptly. Which, they did. The issue (a non-emergency) was fixed over the phone a couple hours later.

This is in sharp contrast to @htc, which has yet to reply to one of my frustrated tweets concerning my shitty 14-month-old HTC Desire which, in the last week, has conked out its camera, microphone and speaker (so what’s left, exactly?).

Funny, that. Excellent Israeli customer service, poor international company service.

Kol hakavod, Bezeq parrot. You done good.

Dedicated to Hadas.

When I was 8-9 months pregnant with Bebe, cold-blooded murderers swept into a sleeping family’s Itamar home on Shabbat and slaughtered defenseless parents and harmless children.

One of the victims was Hadas Fogel, a baby just a few months old.

I haven’t stopped thinking of Hadas since then. Once in a while, I’ll look at my own girl and the pain of learning about that horror will creep back. When she reaches another month old, I think of the little infant whose newness, purity, innocence was somehow not enough to stop someone from slaughter.

What a world to bring a baby into.

By the way, I don’t buy the story they’ve fed us on who committed the murders. Far be it from me to pretend to be an expert, but something in my gut tells me there’s something wrong with the way the story has just faded from national memory…

Working mama.

It’s not a joke when they say working moms work two jobs. And it’s not funny that there is no solution to Israel’s absurd month of August problem.

So it’s been rough being a work-from-home-mom for the last few weeks. It’s been stressing me out, and I’ve absolutely been taking it out on the kiddies. It makes me regret going back when I did. It makes me feel awful. It makes me want to improve the situation because it can’t go on like that.

So in the last week, I’ve begun shifting the patterns. I’ve been collecting tips from peers in similar work stylings. I’ve been setting aside special focus time for each kid.

On occasion, each kid tries to empathize…

Bebe update: Four months.

Bebe! It’s been an incredibly rough month. And none of that is your fault. But the fact that you are so… calm. And sweet. And delicious. It just melts away the challenges I’ve been dealing with… when I’m lucky enough to see clearly through it and find your smile behind the haze.

Your laughing is a symphony of snorts and baby guffaws. It’s sloppy. I love it. You’re not loud like your brother was, with a deep laughter. And you don’t make yourself the center of attention like he did. You’re watching. You’re amused. And dimpled. And pleased.

But the best kind of laugh you have to offer is when you’re downright tickled by some shenanigan that Koala’s pulled – a funny face, a silly sound, or even his own infectious laughter.

You two have really bonded in the last week. You’re noticing each other more. And you, Bebe – well, you just adore your older brother. The looks you give him, the smiles, the coos… And he’s lapping it right up, too.

His concern when you – ‘oh no, Bebe!’ – roll over and he thinks you fell. After you’ve spit up, he’s very quick to point it out (maybe that’s just his own clean nature). And he thinks it’s downright hilarious that you don’t eat anything. Yet.

Yet… And soon you’ll be eating, drooling, crawling. Grabbing, taking, fighting. And it’ll be glorious. Because that’s what siblings do.

But for now, I’ll continue enjoying the adoration on both ends.

What’s funny to a two-year-old.

Didn’t think he’d even get this joke, nevermind find it funny.

But there we were. Me, pouring coffee for the huz and I, and what we call coffee, but is actually chocolate milk, for Koala.

“Look, Koala – (I point to each cup) – for Abba, for Mama, for Koala… (I point to my boob) for Bebe.”

This was hilarious, and lead to a sequence of discussing that while the rest of us are eating pasta/drinking water/eating an apple – Bebe never does those things and it’s terribly silly to even suggest it.

By the way, what’s not funny to a two-year-old is daring to suggest that where he is drinking his ‘coffee’ is ridiculous.