Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I keep thinking during the day of various things I want to blog about, and then when I sit down at the computer... do I really need to finish this sentence? I don't, do I?

Usually when this happens I sit down and write a list post. Today, I think I'll take more of a stream-of-consciousness approach. Bear with me, please.

I just got back from a skirt sale someone was holding at a neighbor's apartment. I went for the skirts but stayed for the shmoozing--it was mostly Anglos, a couple of new olim, and one who just got here a few weeks ago. She told me that she came on her pilot trip in January and saw nice rentals in this neighborhood for about $650. By the time she came in June, there was nothing--not even yucky little apartments--for under a thousand. They did not have the money for a nice place and did not want to live somewhere gross, so ended up renting something a half-hour walk away from the religious neighborhood. Not the way to an easy klita.

The religious neighborhood is, in fairness, spreading out and up the hill; the mayor does not want to zone any of the new neighborhoods being built as religious, feeling that the city should be integrated, but of course the religious families want to live together (in walking distance to the religious schools, happy minyans, and so on). Of course, as the desirable neighborhood spreads, so do the rents. I am hoping that in two years, our current timetable, the following three things will happen:

1. The Israeli real estate market will tank as it has already done in the states, making things more affordable;
2. The American real estate market will recover, such that it will be possible to sell our house without taking a massive loss (the woman I talked to tonight took a $70k loss on the sale of her house--doesn't bear thinking about);
3. The dollar will recover, at least to the level of, say, 4 NIS to the dollar.

Hey, a girl can dream, right? And while we're at it, how about good jobs for me and the mister?


The good news (did I write this already?) is that Asnat is staying with us for, it appears, another year; she can only stay until 12:30 so I will have to work with that. The bad news is that I still, as of this writing, have no way to get Barak home from nursery school in the afternoon. I have a ride in the morning, but that's it. So for now, I have to pick Iyyar up at playgroup 15 minutes early and walk the mile and a bit to get Barak. It's okay for right now, but once it gets cold it won't be.

Avtalyon is still not-quite-crawling. He gets up on all fours, pushes back with his feet, and propels himself forward a few inches while collapsing on his stomach; by doing this a few times in rapid succession, he gets around quite nicely, although not fast enough yet to be really dangerous. One thing he just started today was pushing his tush up and to the side, in one of the early stages of getting into a sitting position unassisted--I guess I'd better work with him on sitting, because for now he topples right over. He is so happy lying on his stomach, doing the swim and watching everything around him, that I don't spend nearly as much time with him as I probably should. Barak, at this age, demanded constant attention--he was too big to want to lie on his back, couldn't roll over or sit, hated being on his stomach, and basically either was in my arms or crying pretty much all the time. Good thing he was my first, hm?

Uh-oh. Avtalyon's awake and kvetching in his crib. He's already had his late-night snack, so I'm hoping he'll go back to sleep on his own. For the last couple of nights he's been waking up a few times in the night and then declaring morning at 5:15 am. It's getting a little wearing. Today I put Iyyar in his crib for a time-out--I don't remember now why--when Avtalyon was already napping. I thought I'd lie down on the couch for the allotted two minutes of Iyyar's confinement and guess what? Yup. I fell asleep. I don't know how long I was asleep for but suffice it to say that Iyyar was royally displeased when I finally came to rescue him.

Speaking of Iyyar, his phrase of the month is "cool water!" which is actually intended to be "cold water!" You have to be drinking water all the time here, and we usually keep a few emptied soda bottles full of water in the fridge. Although I don't think Iyyar really cares about the temperature in his sippy cup, he has heard us talk about cold water enough that he demands it himself. He also likes it when I give him ice and let him put it in there himself. "Iyyar do it! Iyyar do it by a self!"

He is also very fond of bicycles. The entry way of this building is a veritable parking lot of bicycles and strollers, and Iyyar wants them ALL. "Bike ull! Hell mut! Bike ull!" And he tries to climb on. Strangely, he has not at all been put off by the spill he took last week when we were in Beit El--three concrete steps down on a tricycle, landing on his face. One of his front teeth is now at a different angle than it was--think it'll fall out? I'm hoping not, baby tooth or no.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm tired and cranky. It's hot, I'm not getting enough sleep, the cost of living here is discouragingly high, we're leaving in a few days and I have a really intimidating amount on my plate both at work and at home. I'm hoping the people who rented our place left it clean, but there will still be a fair amount of apartment reassembly, not least of which will be putting away all the stuff I tossed in the back bedroom before we left. And returning the borrowed baby saucer to my SIL. And packing. And getting food for the trip. And cleaning the vomited-on car seat. And repacking the Shas, Shulchan Aruch, and assorted seforim into boxes sized in accordance with BA's luggage allotments. And so on.

Ah, well, it's all good. And tomorrow I'm taking Barak on a quick trip (without Avtalyon, so it'd better be quick) to the Tachana Merkazit for one last tichel-buying expedition. Hey, they're cheaper than seforim--and a lot lighter to pack.

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