About Liz

A lot has changed since I started this project in 2004. I moved to Israel, got a job, started school, got married, moved to the ‘burbs, got pregnant, had a baby boy, got pregnant, had a baby girl… That’s what it’s all about, right? So whereas this started about aliyah, it’s become more and more just where I take notes. About life in Israel in general. I like to think that was the goal all along. Need something? Email or tweet.

Nettles update: twelve months

Nettles,

We did it! We made it to one! You’re still a functioning human baby and I’m still a functioning mother of three!

You’ve experienced much beyond your year. A busy home life! Job interviews! Two trips abroad! Two snows – make that three snows – make that a ton of snow between two countries! Exhausted mother bumping you into things! Siblings stepping on your head!

You destroy things, but you also build.

When you enjoy food, you really enjoy food.

You’re feeling out nature (without eating it all the time).

You’re talking back to us, to the dogs, to the walls, to the pacifiers, to the occasional Sesame Street.

You’re one of the gang.

I remember seeing you the first time like it was an hour ago. My first thought was, ‘it’s a girl?!’ and my second thought was ‘hahahaha your awkward first photo is going to haunt you.’

And then, just like that, like a puzzle piece, like a booster seat strap, you snapped right in… to my arms, to our daily routine, to our car (thank you Diono) and to our family life.

Keep wide-eyed, keep growing, keep laughing with us Nettles.

Nothing to see here, just a little election therapy.

Me? I’m slow to anger. Usually. When bad things are on their way, I tend to peek around the corner to find the good somewhere. And then as I pass around the corner, it hits me like a ton of… Bibis winning an election on a platform of fear.

Unlike me, usually, I was pretty cynical the months leading up to Israel’s latest election. For all the people who really believed there was a chance for some fresh government, I smiled politely. Either way, Bibi would be prime minister again – and the fact is, the right wing numbers are just significantly larger than the center or left. The question would be, what would the drama be around coalition building?

And, disappointingly enough, there was no drama. We went to bed expecting to wake up to drama and we woke up to same old.

So here’s why I’m angry.

There’s so much more to Bibi – to any human – than one-dimensional fear mongering. Deep down inside the man – hell, inside Likud – there are more issues than just security.

I’m angry because we are not just Israel, the defensive state. We’re not just a bunch of riot police with shields in the air. Underneath our riot gear, we are going to work every day – well, most of us. We are buying groceries at the supermarket, calculating how to make it work. We are choosing charities to donate to; there are just so many people in need. We are wondering why our taxes are this high, and how could the economy be a little more balanced.

We debate how religious this state is vs how democratic. We debate where we can be both. We debate whether our kids will go to the army. We debate who should be getting secular education.

We debate.

There are a lot of dimensions to us.

And every year that we get fed that Iran is attacking us next year, is another year we are not solving our army/national service problem. Another year we haven’t sorted out our housing issues. Another year there are still groups of people here who don’t have all their rights realized.

Tell me, who is going to fight Bibi’s wars in ten, fifteen years? How and when are we going to solve our scalablity problem with regard to our demographics?

So here we are, electing a government based on fear, conflict, the Other. Again. There is nothing creative, refreshing, imaginative, out-of-the-box about the latest coalition being built.

I’d argue we’ve regressed.

And because the anger is setting in, I’m starting to twist uncomfortably in my chair. And rant at people. So I wrote it all here.

I just want to look forward to the next debate, if anyone who is not afraid to move forward, to be creative, to consider something new – can get a word in.

Another year, another Bibi, another election.

Surprise surprise, I am undecided and it is nearly midnight on the night before Israeli elections.

Here, every vote actually counts. Elections are a big game, a day at the casino. You’re not necessarily voting for who you believe in at any given time – you’re weighing who may take the biggest slice, who has a chance here or there, who will make the threshold, etc.

The parties are all over the place. You consider religious issues, economic issues, security issues, and you may have a different preferred party for each of those.

Anyway… I have another, well, 22 hours left to decide.

Nettles update: eleven months

It’s very possible you are the cutest thing ever to have existed.

There’s nothing about your face that I don’t want to eat.

There’s nothing about your laugh that I don’t want to make you keep laughing.

In the last month, you’ve really gotten involved with the household chores. Or, as a parent would call them, ways you go around and mess up the house so I have more to do. But I appreciate the sentiment.

You are incredibly curious. You’ve flown internationally twice now. You’ve been on countless day trips. You take it all in. Every little thing. It’s obvious in the way you look at the world.

You’re moving along so fast… You watch what’s going on with your brother and sister and you want to join. You see a button, you have to smash it. You see a bathtub, you have to hang out next to it until everyone has left the bathroom. You see the stairs, climb them, and I have to breathe really quietly and step really lightly to catch you from falling down them from laughing too hard.

You stood up by yourself for a couple seconds, just to try it out. You get your kicks from just about anything. For example, punching me in the eye. Repeatedly.

On that note, you are a relentless cosleeper.

It’s clear you take more risks than your siblings ever did. You refuse to miss out on the fun, crawling right up to the pile of Lego and freaking out your brother (“She’s going to eat it!”) or attempting to brush your sister’s hair with your nails (“She hurt me!”)

Hey, I warned them you’d want to get involved sooner or later.

And they take you on, too.

But my favorite thing from the last month was that you’ve sharpened your first word. It started out ever so softly, so much so I didn’t realize it. But now I do.

Eeehmma, eeeehmma…