Chanukah 5771 roundup.

Well, that escalated quickly.

I thought Chanukah with a non-infant kid would be more fun, but I guess Chanukah with two non-infant kids will be more like it. Except for when there’s no school the whole week and I want to rip out my hair like I see my coworkers doing.

But the 8 crazy nights, and days, went by pretty quickly. By the eighth night, holding (and breaking) an unlit candle didn’t suffice and Koala just wanted to touch fire.

We saw party Koala in action, too, as he had two birthday parties this week and a Chanukah party at gan. He likes boons (balloons) and he loves crowns (Chabad gan loves crowns). But mostly, he likes eating. And I learned a valuable lesson that either people have to put out food right away when throwing parties for kids, or I feed Koala before he walks in.

In sum, it goes without saying that he loves a. donuts, b. fried potatoes, and c. fire, if only he could get his little fingers on it.

Happy Chanukah!

If only religion was kid art…

I wonder what today is like for a girl named Shayna Tova.

The shana tova greetings keep coming in, and somehow I manage to forget the whole sentimental aspect of this holiday till the day of. Here’s hoping for a great year, where we get the things we need and lose the things that weigh us down…

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for little kid art:

See you on the other side.

Purim, baby-style.

Nothing like Purim to separate the early-risers from the late-bed goers from the up all night due to teething painers.

Wait, I think we were actually all three…

In many ways, Purim is more fun when you have an extra body to shove into a costume. But you kinda miss out on the party-parties. Still a fun set of days, though.

Thankful.

Yes. I celebrate Thanksgiving. Every year.

There are some modifications, of course. I serve the big holiday dinner on Friday night, since this Thursday is a weekday in Israel, like any other. I don’t have every exact ingredient; fresh cranberries are near impossible to come by out here.

But I do manage to order a whole turkey from my favorite meat counter in Jerusalem. And I don’t have to look very far (not past Emek Refaim street, anyway) to find some good ole Shop Rite brand canned cranberry sauce.

And this year, like any other, I will participate in the American holiday – no matter how sketchy its roots, no matter how exaggerated its celebration. And while no one ever takes seriously the ‘going around the table and saying what you’re thankful for’ – why, this year I will.

It’s been an intense year since last Thanksgiving, when I was just visibly pregnant and we all joked about everyone at the table wearing maternity pants after dinner. I have a lot to be thankful for, and luckily for me, it’s all corny and wonderful.

My little start up family is awesome. I’m thankful for my not-so-start up job. A good trustworthy landlord is always something to be thankful for – and on top of that, a good trustworthy apartment. Living in Israel has its many moments, but I like living here, I like that this is my culture right now, and I like that I’ve been mindful enough to make good decisions and end up where I am today.

And, most of all, I’m thankful that even thousands of miles across the world, I can pre-order a whole turkey one time a year and cook that sucker well.

Today's word: טקס

We attended the Yom Hashoah tekes (טקס or ceremony) tonight, organized by the neighborhood Scouts and Bnei Akiva kids.

It was very much a small-town tekes. A few things came to mind while I stood and watched:

  • It never occurred to me before how it must have been for the Mizrachi population to get to Israel in the 1950s, meet all these Ashkenazi European Jews for the first time and hear the horrors. What did they think?
  • It is inevitable that there will be loud, disruptive, annoying kids at a Holocaust remembrance event. But isn’t that what our grandparents survived for? To continue the Jewish people? Kids will be kids, but thank god they are here, right?
  • This was the first public Tzur Hadassah event that I saw the community come together for a moment. I took notice of the different languages spoken, skin tones, ages, etc.
  • If my kids end up growing to be tight jeans-wearing, spiky haired, Nike swoosh-donning arsim, I am going to – oh, man. Somewhere my parents are laughing at me.