We've been here for three months, as of sometime last week. In honor of the occasion, a random list of totally unconnected observations and updates:
1. Marika is 11 months old. This is the same age that Barak was when I started this blog. The mind reels.
2. She just got her second top front tooth, bringing the total to six (four top, two bottom). She is the loveliest, happiest, mellowest baby imaginable; she's still totally content in the snugli for hours, but once I get home wants nothing so much as the freedom to crawl around the floor and taste anything she might find.
3. She's still nursing close to exclusively. This is a first around here. At seven months, an inadvertent attempt at putting Avtalyon to bed with only nursing and no real food was met with hysterical objection (solved by spanakopita); I'm pretty sure that if I didn't give Marika any real food all day, she wouldn't mind. She nurses a LOT--every couple of hours all day and maybe twice at night. I don't mind if she doesn't.
4. Avtalyon is feeling a lot better now. Last week on Thursday, after days and days of his being generally unhappy, and waking up constantly all night screaming, with my thinking it was all because of the pinworms (oh... did I not mention the pinworms? Yeah, he had pinworms.) my husband called me just after I dropped off Barak to tell me that he had peanut butter on his face. Had he taken peanut butter to bed or something. "He's a mess," he told me. "Does it... smell like peanut butter?" I asked. "Um... no." "Is it coming out of his ear?" An expression of horror followed. (Have I mentioned lately that MHH is colorblind?) So, one ruptured eardrum later, I thought we had our answer. But no! Because when I walked into the doctor's office, all she seemed focused on was a little patch of red rash on his face. The strep rash. From the strep infection he'd probably had for weeks (in my defense, there had been not one but two pediatrician trips in that period and she hadn't noticed any strep infection either.) Antibiotics are a miracle, I tell you; two days on amoxycillin and another antibiotic cream for the rash and he was, as his ganenet said, a different kid.
5. Remember X, where X was the weight I was at when I had my first prenatal appointment with Barak? I am now down to X + 12. I was X + 25 when we got here. This is good.
6. What is not good is our budget. I have not been nearly as careful about money as I should have been and have done zero keeping track, mostly because of all the crazy stuff that's been going on around here for the last few months. Result: extremely unpleasant surprise tonight when I sat down with our Israeli bank account and figured out how much we've been spending. WAY more than we should be. I knew that there would be some unanticipated expenses, but they've exceeded what I planned for: I did not expect transportation costs of NIS 600/month, for example, or laundry costs of NIS 240 (and that's without using the dryer--now that it is, B"H, raining, that might be necessary some of the time). I also didn't expect to be spending this much on food. The kids have rebelled at the dining-hall-provided breakfasts (not surprising) and Barak is never here for the dairy lunches. So we've been buying a lot of food for during the week, and more than I anticipated for snacks, Shabbos, etc.
I never kept a formal budget before we got here because I did everything online and I just knew where our money went. It was pretty much the same every month and I knew every month if there was room for a luxury item or not. Here, I have not been keeping a formal budget and I don't know where our money is going and I have to change that. We've also been doing an awful lot of our spending in cash and not tracking it, so now I am looking at a bunch of ATM withdrawals without knowing for sure where all that money meant. I am naturally pretty thrifty and extremely budget-conscious and not knowing where my money has been going for the last three months is giving me conniptions. MHH and I have had A Talk and both of us are now equipped with notebooks in which to write down EVERYTHING we do in cash. Further bulletins, &c.
7. Iyyar, B"H, is way way happier at school than he has been. He goes with a big smile and comes out with a big smile. No more screaming in the morning, at least not "I hate gan!" He talks a lot about the wheelbarrows. Apparently there is a sand pit with wheelbarrows at gan and this is a wonderful thing.
8. I was going to do a list of ten, but see item 3, above. I'm being summoned.