Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sophie Spends the Night

If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good. ~ Dr. Seuss

The girls have been asking us for another sleepover, so Kiki had Sophie come spend the night on Friday. We started off the evening with a trip to Lorraine's house for a children's mani/ pedi. How lucky we are to have the toddler charmers (aka the Loomis') just a few houses down!
Let me backtrack for a second to Thursday night when my husband decided to become a lawn guy and got a terrible allergic reaction to something outside and spent the night in the ER. Turns out it was a spider bite and his toe now looks like a three-fanged monster took a nibble out of it. Check out his blog for the whole saga. Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, he is fine.

So, as I mentioned, after Amir recovered, we were ready for Sophie's visit. First came the nail painting, then we had a make your own pizza party, followed by a video, bedtime story, and finally, sleep!

The girls nearly came to blows over what movie to watch. Kiki wanted Caspion, Sophie wanted Ariel. Both ocean creature stories- don't see what the problem was! They decided on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Other than that, they got along famously and generally teamed up on Abba and I. You'll see from the video all the fun names they came up with for Amir, and during my attempt to read them Fancy Nancy at bedtime they pretty much went nuts. I'm sure I was jumped on at least 45 times.

Kept reading though- I can't think of anything more fun! Really.
After the story attempt, Amir and I left the room to let them sleep. Of course we hear some giggling, more jumping, some talking, then some yelling (for Abba- when did I become second choice again???), and then some crying.

We ran up, Kiki insisted a REAL person sleep on the air mattress with her, and Abba obliged.

They both fell asleep shortly thereafter, and we didn't hear from them again until the heart stopping "COCK-A-DOODLE DOO!!!!!!!!!" we were awakened with in our ears in the morning. It was soooo funny even at 6:39 am.

Saint Amir got up with them and let me sleep in a little. Then, Meemaw came over, we met the Balzuweit's for lunch, and sadly gave them back their daughter.

A great evening for great friends, and we look forward to next time as much as Kiki and Sophie do...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a Small World After All

When a woman comes home from a long day of shopping, you should always tell her she spent too little. ~Nehama Dekel (toast during our wedding)

Today we had the pleasure of visiting with Amir's Aunt and Uncle (Nehama and Haim) from Israel. They had a full day layover in Atlanta on their way back home from an Alaskan cruise. As you can see from the quote above, Nehama made an impression on me from the start :-D.
Amir and Kiki saw them just last week in Israel, and today we got to see them in Atlanta! Unbelievable how quickly we are able to transverse continents. Haim and Nehama have been to Holland and Germany and now North America just in the last two months.

We took them to the Aquarium (it is the largest in the world) and to Atlantic Station (shopping and Rosa Mexicana). It was wonderful to see them, especially for me since I did not have the chance in Israel. They're already back to the airport for the final leg of their trip, and I am reminded once again that although we can visit, it's not like living close.
Finally, just a funny story about Kiki. Amir and I both were putting her to bed the other night, and she decided it isn't fair that she sleeps alone, and we get to sleep together. So, she was telling us she doesn't want to sleep by her own self, and I thought I would solve everything by giving her a beloved stuffed animal to sleep with.

By the way, she never had any "attachment" item. Never took a pacifier, never had a blankie, never sucked her thumb, etc. That's a whole other story.
Anyway, I gave her the animal, she throws it back at me with an incredulous look on her face, and tells me "No Mommy! I want to sleep with REAL people!". How is it that children become so smart so fast?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

All is Right With the World

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it. ~George Moore

Amir and Kiki made it home Tuesday morning. Finally, peace, in the form of a toddler and a husband, has returned to my home. Go figure. Kiki didn't miss a beat. She went to bed and woke up at her usual time the very first night, and even insisted on going to school the next day.

Although, Kiki does keep telling me she wants to live in Israel, not just visit there. I know she loves her grandparents, and cousins, and aunts, and uncles, and it's FUN to be with everyone. If only we could live closer.

I'm elated to have them back, but can't help feel some sadness for them both (and myself) that half our family lives several continents away.

Today we had lunch with two of our close friends and their daughters who also live far from their families- both sides. It occured to me that this is the American condition. People get transferred for work, or go away to college and stay, or simply feel like moving for an adventure (or an escape). Most of our friends are from somewhere else without any family nearby. Thankfully, we have Meemaw.

It's hard and sad to be apart, but we do turn friends into family, and can build community and security for our children if we try.

Still, I wish we were closer and could see each other more...

Monday, July 14, 2008

7 Hours and Counting

The purpose of our lives is to be happy. ~Dalai Lama

Kiki and Amir are on their way home!!! They've had the most amazing trip ever. Kiki has declared that Israel is so much fun she wants to just stay there and have Mommy and Meemaw come over. Bitter sweet I guess...

Here are some of my favorite pictures from their trip. I'm sure Amir will put up more stories and videos during the week after they've recovered some from the jet lag.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Project No. 5 Complete!

The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn. ~David Russell

I’ve never been big on second chances. Don’t know why- it’s not some philosophical decision I made, more of a natural reaction. Generally, I just don’t have the time or energy or desire to go another round in most situations. I guess I was more inclined to burn all the bridges than to try and figure out which might be worth crossing.

I’m starting to see that may actually be an immature reaction, and I’m thankful that, lately, I’ve been open to second chances in a few areas of my life. People have been very forgiving of me in the past, many times when I didn’t deserve forgiveness. It’s my turn to learn to forgive and to accept forgiveness, and luckily I’m still growing.

I’ll keep the most personal aspects of this growth to myself, but will share that in a business situation, the second chance turned into a beautiful house that is going to make someone a beautiful home.

See the before (left) and after (right) pictures below.

How Lucky Am I

When you don't love too much, you don't love enough. ~BUSSY-RABUTIN

Just thought I'd post a couple of pictures of Amir and Kiki in Israel. I have so many great ones to put up, but wanted to go ahead and share these two of my beautiful family.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I think this is funny!

The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused. ~ Shirely MacLaine

Amir, his family, and I have always gotten a kick out of the English spelling used on signs in Israel.

So, Amir, taking pity on my sadness from having been abandoned ;-), sent me a few funny pictures from Israel.

At first, you might not notice the misspellings, but just check out what is supposed to be "Entrees", "Cheese", "Pickles" and "Fries" on a menu. Mmmmm. I'll have the assorted fires! It is funny!

And, how do you like the computer delivery service. Hysterical.

By the way, everyone I have ever met from Israel speaks better English than I do, and most speak English, Hebrew, and some other languages as well. My "educated" self only speaks English, and not very well at that!

However, when I was visiting my in-laws in September I did run to the drug store on my own, and needed some help finding something from one of the store clerks. The guy I chose (from Russia) to try and help me did not speak English, and was running around trying to find someone who did. He found the one Israeli girl who was not fluent in English.
The guy started yelling at her. From the little Hebrew I understand, it went something like this "You are Israeli! You should speak English! You need to help this girl! What is wrong with you!"

She looked at him like he was crazy and told him to go take some English classes himself.

I love the passion.

Kiki did talk to me today after a long drought. Amir called me on the speaker phone in the car on the way back from the beach and visiting friends, and Kiki started singing me a song.

It went something like this: "I love my Mommy! Oh, happy day! I love my Mommy! Oh, happy day!"

I sang back to her: "I love my Kiki! Oh, happy day! I love my Kiki! Oh, happy day!".

She issued some instructions on my not having the correct inflection for the song and perhaps not the right words, but before I could correct myself, Amir pulled the old "I'm driving into a parking deck" excuse and we were cut off ;-D.

On my side of the pond, I had a lovely dinner with two of my very close friends (thanks for entertaining me Susana and Allyson) and then had to go by Walmart at midnight to buy industrial strength fans because my A/C is broken upstairs. IT IS 96 DEGREES UP THERE! My bedroom sounds like it's going to take off...

Finally, something did get accomplished today, though not exactly by me. The latest investment property project is complete officially today. I'll put up some pictures in my next post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

1 Not So Very Eventful + Some So Very Beautiful Days

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~Lyn Yutang

I had big plans for today-things to accomplish, tasks to mark off the list. But, pretty much all I got done is dropping off my wrecked new truck at the repair shop and picking up the rental car (plus a little tiny bit of shopping).

The truck was damaged last week as Amir and I, involved in a lively conversation, backed out of a parking spot and into another car. OK, so I was driving, and, yes, the conversation was mostly a one-sided diatribe concerning his parental responsibilities while in Israel in the areas of vegetable supplies and pool safety.

You will see from the pictures that my lecture may have fallen on deaf ears (note absence of water wings and presence of ice creams ;-D), or perhaps he has temporary amnesia resulting from the accident.
In all seriousness, she could not be in better or more loving hands, and I only having trouble sleeping because I miss them so much.
No matter, they are having a BLAST!!!! Every morning I wake up to a wonderful summary of the days events and a ton of pictures. There are pool trips, beach trips, trips to the zoo, visits with every member of the family, cousins spending the night, Grandparents oohing and ahhing over my baby girl (which they gleefully share with me when we talk on the phone), and so on and so on!

Kiki is so busy, in fact, that she is not returning my phone calls ;-D. In consolation, though, Amir assures me she does miss her Mommy.

I must admit I'm terribly sad about not being there, but am thrilled that Kiki and Amir are having such a fabulous time. What more can you ask for for your family????

Check out Amir's blog for more details and videos- yes, guest writing on my blog was not enough, and so he has started his own, quite charming I must say, Abba blog!

Hopefully, tomorrow, contractors will finish their work, banks will follow up on offers made, and Mommy's will get to work organizing a house in desperate need of organization.

Until then...

P.S. Crystal, can't you just hear Kiki saying "cheeeeeeeeeeeessseee" in all these pictures :-D?

And, last but not least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ITAY!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

And So They Went

Who travels for love finds a thousand miles not longer than one.~ Japanese Proverb
Kiki and Amir left for Israel on Thursday night. This is Kiki's 5th trip to Israel in her short 3 1/2 years on this earth.

She was SOOOO excited to go and be with her family as you will see in the video.

By now she is a complete pro at traveling, and Amir has the perfect system for getting her to sleep and entertain herself on the plane. He said she was an angel, slept a good 7 of the 11 hours on the plane, and was thrilled to see her grandparents (as they were to see her) at the airport.
I'll post pictures of their adventures as I get them from Amir...
I miss them terribly, but it's wonderful that they are getting to spend some time with the family! I'm so proud of them both, and wish I could be there to share in all the fun.