2. The house, specifically the packing-up of the house, is coming along. It still looks very lived in but when you start opening closets there's not nearly as much in there as there used to be. And half the living room shelves are empty, which is saying something because we have two full walls covered with built-in bookshelves.
3. The speeches for the Big Event are done and I am taking a little bit of a breather--I still have plenty of work to do but it's not as crazy as it has been for the last, oh, three months or so. Which is good, because, seriously: buncha little kids + nursing baby + job overload + aliya planning + packing up house = no sleep. Tonight I went to nurse the baby as I was about to get the kids into bed; my husband was starting them with teeth-brushing when I went into my room with Marika. The next thing I knew it was 10:30. Obviously I needed the sleep but then I spent an hour on the phone with a friend and I haven't even started cooking. It was an awesome nap though.
4. Grandma E is coming! Grandma E is coming! I spent most of yesterday making the guest room inhabitable, which was a pretty mammoth task but one that needed doing anyway so it was good to have the impetus to do it. Mysteriously, the bed that I cleared off completely last night is now covered with junk again. How how how???
5. Marika is six months. I LOVE six months. It's one of my favorite ages. She is pushing way way up and rolling both ways, although she still seems kind of surprised when she does it. She's having a lot of fun with her feet--grabbing them, chewing her toes, and all the usual diversions. She's babbling up a storm, lots of thoughtful, considered statements like "Ah buh-buh-buh." She also whispers, which cracks me up. Like, she doesn't really want this to be public information, but you should know: ah buh buh. Keep that between us, OK?
6. When I am about to have a baby I get weird about money. Ordinarily I am pretty budget-conscious and I am extremely disinclined to splurge. Any big purchase, I think about and plan out beforehand, and by "big purchase" I mean anything over $50. When I'm about to have a baby, I do things like--hmm, I'm embarrassed now, but I definitely do things like spend inexcusable amounts of money on yarn or whatever. I'm not about to have a baby now but maybe aliya is like that because I have been spending money like it's going out of style. Mostly on things we need but it's a fairly loose definition of "need." I wanted the boys to all have matching shirts for the flights because it makes them a lot easier to keep track of, and then realized that there's no way they're going to go the whole trip in one set of clothes so got everyone two. (Lands' End tie-dyed t-shirts. Very visible! Barak wanted to know why I hadn't gotten one for Marika and I explained that I don't need her to be very visible because she can't run away. "Oh.")
7. I got new pack and play sheets, fun ones with firetrucks. I also got a new carseat, based on the recommendation of the fabulous Carseat Lady (thecarseatlady.com): a Combi Coccoro. And then I also got the Flash stroller, which is the Coccoro's version of a snap n go. I'm going to need it when I come back here for work next winter. I got my husband a bunch of new shirts, which he needed, and Playmobil for the boys, which they did not need but I bought anyway. And I'm going to get a new mattress for one of the pack and plays, which kills me, because we have THREE pack and plays, but two of them have warped mattresses and I can't have Marika sleeping on a warped P & P mattress her entire infancy. It's got a big ridge running right down the middle. Right now she's small enough to avoid it but not for long.
8. Further to the Playmobil (I'll make this its own item): I am not sending Barak to camp this summer, mostly in the name of thrift but also because I think he'll be happier to just have a few weeks to chill out and play before we move. So there was a little extra money in the budget from that, which I had earmarked for fun summer activities. It's really hard to go anywhere though with everyone--MHH is still working all the time and without a car we're really limited. We'll go to the aquarium and maybe the zoo when my friend K is here, and do the zoo at least once when Deb is here, but other than that we're sticking pretty close to home. And I wanted to do something to make the last few weeks here, and the first few weeks in Israel, easier, for me and for them. So I spent what was, for me anyway an unconscionable amount of money on Playmobil. Not hundreds of dollars or anything--some of the small sets, and some of the Playmobil 123 for Marika and Avtalyon. Our MO around here is toys from thrift stores or yard sales. I just don't spend a lot on toys. For some things, like Playmobil (and Lego, and puzzles), you have to pay the money to buy it new, and I do think it's worthwhile to have good, well-made, educational toys that will last. Playmobil is firmly in this category. Still, I'm feeling guilty. They HAVE Playmobil. Not only do they have some already, but an extremely generous blog reader (hi!) is planning on sending them some more. So I didn't need to go on the Playmobil site late at night and buy them a bunch of Playmobil construction guys. But I did. At 1:30 AM.
9. I am trying to figure out why exactly I feel so guilty about buying that Playmobil. I bought my kids toys. This is, I am told, a normal thing for parents to do. But I'm feeling guilty about spending money on Playmobil when they have a box of Playmobil already and do not, strictly speaking, need any more. They have a 28-qt Sterilite of Playmobil. This is the Sterilite box one size up from the shoebox size, but taller. It's not a huge box by any means and it is full of smaller Gladware boxes with the actual sets inside so it's not like it's even really full: they've got a box of Romans, a box of policemen and firemen, some pirates, a killer whale, the small firetruck, a police car, a fire helicopter and a Roman fort my friend Karen sent. No giant castles or pirate ships or anything, tempted though I have been.
They love this stuff, they play beautifully with it and they play with it a lot. I feel comfortable that my kids are not spoiled with too many toys. So why do I feel so hugely uncomfortable with myself for having splurged on Playmobil for no particular occasion? Well, that's not true. It's aliya Playmobil--it's more expensive there, and easier to pack than the big bulky toys we're leaving behind. Not so crazy really. So why am I spending three items on the same list justifying it to myself? While I seriously consider buying them a ship or a castle or a fortress because I know how much they would love it? Discuss.