If you miss what you’re leaf-ing behind…

I discovered a place where you can stroll on Erev Thanksgiving and feel for a second like you’re home in North America: Gan HAPa’amon in Jerusalem.

The leaves are colorful, noisy, and abundant. You can crunch them, kick them, and show your kid a lil taste of motherland in just a few steps. While learning colors.

That’s a long diaper-change.

“Ok, Beebs, let’s stop here on the side of this shop and get that diaper changed… Man, that’s a big one! Lady you are not…”

…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

“Oh, the bomb siren drill. Weird that it’s a siren and we don’t have to stand at attention, eh, Beebs? Actually, no one is even close to taking this seriously… Check out those soldiers strolling along Emek Refaim like it’s all totally normal… Where are the wipes?”

…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

“Did I not bring enough diapers? Oh, there we go. Yeah, there’s actually no one on the street so maybe people just went inside places. There’s a bus, floating by…”

…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

“Beebs, what would I do if it was real? Am I the kind of mother who would take you and run? Go anywhere but here? Is that right? Am I the kind of mother who would stay? And hug you in bomb shelters till it was over?”

…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

“I dunno, girl. I really don’t know. That’s a lot of poo, and the siren is still going and I’m still cleaning you up. We suck at this, Beebs.”

…eeeeeeeeeeeee.

“And, boooom.”

Baby Shape ‘Happening’ tomorrow in Jerusalem.

Thought I’d share an opportunity for moms and babes tomorrow, June 5, in Jerusalem. Baby Shape is a YMCA program designed by Rachelle Oseran (whose childbirth Lamaze classes I’ve plugged before). Hebrew and English friendly.

Check out the free class:

Moms with babies in strollers are invited to our Baby Shape “Happening”: a FREE Mom and Baby Fitness Class followed by a lecture on “How to get your baby to sleep – teach your infant healthy sleep habits” by Amanda Goldman, Certified Infant Sleep Therapist. The lecture is FREE to participants of the Baby Shape class that day.

WHEN: Sunday 5th June at 10.00 a.m.
WHERE: Gan Hashoshanim between Pinsker and Dubnov near the Jerusalem Theater.
WEAR & BRING: Sneakers, your baby in a stroller, a towel, a hat, a bottle of water and your energy!

BABY SHAPE: FUN FOR BABY – FITNESS FOR MOM!
Baby Shape is a fun, outdoor fitness program for moms with babies in strollers. Babies have fun while moms lose their pregnancy weight and regain muscle tone. See our website. For more information, call YMCA/Great Shape at 02-6258436 or e-mail.

The new American consulate in Jerusalem (now with room to breathe!)

Let’s hear it for American consulate 2.0!

Had to go back to ze Fatherland territory to register new baby’s citizenship, get her passport (1/3) and apply for her Social Security number.

For a while now, Jerusalem and Jerusalem-area American-Israeli residents have been going to the shiny new consulate in ‘west’ Jerusalem (is Arnona not a hop-skip away from East Jerusalem, in reality? I kinda thought it was East Jerusalem).

The building is really nice and there’s a lot of American-ness in it. The giant, thick glass window-walls of the interior facility made me feel at home for some reason. It’s a bit airport-y but that makes sense; what with the security details swiping the cars in the (spacey!) parking lot to be tested for chemicals… and all.

Basically, it’s not a dank, old, claustrophobic ichsa with no parking in East Jerusalem. So, win!

Kudos to security for making me drink my own poison (water in an opaque bottle) instead of taking it away and wasting/pouring it out. That’s an Israeli airport technique. As opposed to an American airport technique. So I guess American security is learning?

I had heard that the new facility would be ‘mother-friendly’ which I assumed meant a nice nursing section. If you turn back the time to the last time I went to the American consulate – two years ago – I thought I was meant to breastfeed in public and then got sent to a tiny little corner with a shower curtain around it. This time, from what I could tell, I was supposed to nurse in the bathroom, in a separate space from the toilets and sinks which had a couple chairs. Next to it was what I suspect was a change area (a long counter top). Definitely an upgrade, but most breastfeeding moms would complain about having to use the bathroom.

Well, in any case, I nursed the little one in the gorgeous courtyard outside the bathroom, complete with park benches, shady trees and patches of grass.

In other news, the ordeal was fairly quick, except having to wait nearly an hour at the end for the passport papers to be approved. I’d recommend going on a day when you can get the first appointment slot. The parking is spacious, so if you can drive, go for it. Otherwise – I’m not sure if/how the public transportation works (I saw other people pulling up in cabs). I also think they need to get a bit more organized with how you line up once you’re inside.

But otherwise, not bad, American compatriots.