Pesach ended yesterday. The Pesach dishes are put away but the chametzdik dishes are all still shoved in a jumble in the two taped-off cupboards. I don't yet have my regular toaster ovens or hot plate or sink bins, so can't do much till Mr. Bigfoot gets those out of the storage room sometime later today. We were both up till 3:30 am between the baby (wide awake/crying) and the kitchen, and got up at 6 am (him) and 6:45 (me) to deal with laundry/kids/school. I thought I'd get to go back to sleep but three (three!!) people knocked on our door before 9 am for various things; then I brought Marika to gan and then I had a couple of urgent phone calls to make and then... yeah. I'm still here. I could go back to sleep but now I'm sort of wired and besides the baby is going to wake up to nurse any minute now.
Lots of things to talk about. I am so tired I don't even realize I'm tired anymore; I'm just used to random words coming out of my mouth midsentence. Doesn't that happen to everyone?
List? Sure, why not.
1. The baby is sweet and adorable and lovely. Seven weeks on Friday (how? did? that? happen??) and he hasn't really settled down to any kind of a schedule, other than usually sleeping for most of the morning. He's outgrown all of his newborn clothes, is looking at my face very intently, and has juuuuust begun the first glimmerings of smiles.
2. I know I owe you the rest of the birth story. It's coming. In the meantime, remember how he was born on Rosh Chodesh Adar? It's a good birthday, because it's a day you are supposed to Be Happy anyway, because Purim and all that. So his blog name is going to be Mordechai. There you go.
3. Pesach was nice. It was the most minimal Pesach I have ever done (with kids, anyway). The house got cleaned of chametz, the kitchen was turned over, I did do some cooking, but nothing beyond chicken soup/schnitzel/chicken and potatoes/some vegetables. No baking, nothing fancy, I never even broke out a milchig pot. The kids ate a lot of matza. We got a hetter for Avtalyon and Iyyar to eat peanut butter (ordinarily a no-no for Ashkenazi Jews) and that saved us. I really don't know what we would have fed them otherwise.
4. The seder was lovely. We went to Racheli's house! It really was the nicest seder I can remember; the kids were involved but I didn't feel pressured to be at the table every minute, everyone more or less behaved, it was fun and we all enjoyed. Racheli is one of 8 siblings (one is married, rest at home) and they like to put on plays in the middle of the seder; this time, one of the brothers was Pharaoh, one girl was Moshe and another was Pharaoh's gabbai, and Iyyar and Avtalyon were, of course, the plagues. Frogs and lice, specifically. It went like this:
Moshe: Let my people go!
[Cue Iyyar and Avtalyon pretending to be frogs and jumping all over Pharaoh, who waves arms in distress and screams for his mommy.]
Needless to say: hilarious. Four Questions were carried off with aplomb, and Marika, unbelievably, stayed awake to the very very end.
5. Tried to refinance our condo again. No idea where it's going, but not feeling optimistic at this point.
6. Just found out we may need to move out of our apartment 2 weeks before school ends for the kids. I am trying to tell myself this isn't the end of the world, but it throws a huge monkey wrench into my work/family/move plans for June. It will work somehow but if this happens, it means a huge amount of extra work for me. Which, frankly, I just do not need right now.
7. Speaking of work: there are a lot of speeches to write and some of them I am still writing. I wrote a speech the day after I got home with the new baby. I have written more speeches since then and people are still calling and emailing and even texting me for more speeches. I wouldn't say maternity leave is a total mirage--I am, after all, not getting paid, which is pretty real--but I'm definitely not off call like I have been in the past. I remember previous maternity leaves as being six weeks of sleeplessness and then six weeks of getting my house nice and clean, being pretty well rested, and feeling like I had my life generally in order (before it all crashed down on me the day I went back to work, obviously). This year, it was speeches the minute I walked in the door, then the bris, then Purim, then Pesach prep, then Pesach, and that ended... yesterday. And now the speeches are starting back up in earnest. And then I have to get ready for the move, find an apartment, buy furniture, etc. It's a lot.
8. Mr. Bigfoot still does not have a job. He does, however, have his MA (they even sent him two diplomas!) and just finished his last bechina for smicha (his last rabbi test for ordination). It's something.
9. The current thought is that both Avtalyon and Iyyar should do a year of gan safa (language kindergarten) next year. Iyyar is doing better but I don't think he's ready for first grade. Avtalyon's speech eval showed that he had retrieval issues, which we see a lot of although I didn't know what they were; he'll be talking about cutting an apple and instead of "cutting" he'll pantomime with sound effects. It's not that he doesn't know the word, it's just not at his disposal at the moment. But it happens a lot and it seems to be (says speech therapist) why he chooses not to speak Hebrew at gan even though he understands as much Hebrew as English and clearly is quite capable of speaking Hebrew at home and in other settings. I had initially been pretty resistant to the idea of putting Iyyar in kindergarten again, since I didn't see what it would accomplish, but gan safa would be a different story. We had a meeting with the gan psychologist before Pesach, who had observed him, talked to the psychologist in the yishuv where we're moving, and seen all his evals; that was her recommendation and it seemed like the best option. He's got a special ed placement board meeting in a few weeks and that's what we're going to request.
10. Going to take a nap now. More later. No promises on when, though.