I am posting by grace of my new Samsung Stratosphere, which is a particularly nifty toy. You see, various commitments have called dibs on basically every one of my waking moments. It's become rather tiresome. I long for a stretch of time which demands nothing of me, but until then, I have my fancy pants phone with its metallic fuschia cover to present me to you in verbal stereo while my kids take a bath.
Another great relief to the tedium of the densely scheduled life is the fact that we have booked our Disney Trip! This gives me license to navel gaze to my heart's content when I'm feeling fed up with reality. I can even wander over to Excel and work on one of several planning spreadsheets that help me feel like our trip is two months longer than it is (while simultaneously making me a huge tool, but I'm totally OK with that).
I keep hitting wrong buttons on my phone and accidentally opening Google or a Siddur. Amazing how this little phone does waaaaay more than the first several computers I owned.
In other news, the boys are pretty amazing (duh). Moo is doing great in school, reading sentences in both English and Hebrew, but while he has the entire Alef-Beis and all the nekudos down, he is more slowly acquiring the complexities of English phonetics and just beginning to work on blends and hard vowel sounds. In math he's just mastered single from double digit subtraction and has been working on skip-counting. I'm so thankful that he's in a school that allows him to work at his own pace according to his abilities. He's very proud of his progress (obviously, so we are we). Most rewarding is how his Yiddishkeit has blossomed. He's so firm and comfortable with who he is; he's really an inspiration, like a living, bright blue-eyed Yetzer Tov, KAH.
Izzy is growing like Alice on candy hearts, physically and cognitively. He has about a bajillion words, give or take. He's working on his two year molars (Yerachem!), and he's kind of interested in the potty, which is kind of a funny situation. He totally gets what's going on when it happens, but doesn't get any advanced warning, not even enough to go pantsless and keep a potty handy. He also isn't receptive enough to read and understand "Time to Pee" or the like. Maybe he'll do well with training pants and timing? IDK, we'll figure it out. Izzy has also finally managed to grow enough hair for a ponytail. Now I just have to train him to say, "I'm a boy."
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Till half my mascara came off.
And I got a headache.
I really just wanted some ice cream.
It wasn't until 20 minutes or so later, walking down the street (wearing one of these masterpieces of future firewood) that I realized that maybe, just maybe, something else was bothering me.
There's way more testosterone in my surroundings than estrogen. And it's starting to get to me. I am married to a man, I am raising two sons. I am the only woman in my department. I am one of four women on my floor. At any given moment, no one in my immediate vicinity thinks on the same wavelength as I do. Not that I wish to speak ill of the quality of my marriage, but Hubby and I do think in different ways and approach issues from different angles - that's why we're complimentary and we make a good team - but at other times I wish he had a little more...ovaries.
The fact that I spend 40+ hours a week surrounded by men doesn't help matters, but again it's not an situation I care to change. I'm suited to the work I do and it's a great company, it's just lonely and alienating through no deliberate fault of its own. I've tried to make my own little corner as comfortable for myself as possible - I have a little teapot (short and stout), with super girly pink flowers painted on it and gold trim. I have a sweater and slippers (my feet swell from sitting all day. I'm so old). Softening touches though they may all be, none of them is empathetic. I can call none of them friends, only collaborators in making my environment more tollerable.
Which is not to say I don't have any female friends, just no time to actually see them or nurture those relationships. I don't have daytime access to facebook, I can't pop out for lunch, really and by the time I'm home in the evenings and on the weekends, I just want to see my family. Of men.
So, that is one of many reasons I'm praying for another daughter.
I'm not trying to bemoan my lot, just lay it all out and make it make sense.
That's why I have nothing to write about. My job is pretty mundane, and that is A-OK with me. I actually misplace my cellphone for days at a time and when I find it, I have no missed calls. Friday was sort of interesting in that the store got SO MUCH internet traffic that it borked our internal systems (or something?) and our intertubes were down for an hour and a half. On a four hour day. Nice.
My kids are awesome, but everybody thinks their kids are awesome. I mean, I know I'm actually right and my kids really ARE awesome, but still, it doesn't make for super interesting writing, but I'll give it a go anyway.
Izzy is little and delicious and hillarious. His pronunciation is getting better, but he still has baby malapropisms like calling Mickey Mouse "Bickey Moff," and the Mickey Firetruck that plays the MM March is the "Bee-tee-why, Bee-tee-why."
Moo likes to try to tell knock-knock jokes like,
Mister Mister Underpants!
Mister Mister Underpants, who?
Mister Mister Underpants in the eyeball.
And then you have to pretend to laugh.
Izzy wants to do everything his brother does, so he tells knock-knock jokes too. They go like this:
Oo dare? Booeykeeyee uhhh.
Blueberry Kitty, who?
While Knock-knock jokes might not be Moo's forte, he's doing really great in school. At parent teacher conferences, his Morah's said that for reading groups, both English and Hebrew, they have like 25 mins allotted to learn the lesson. The only problem Moo is encountering in school is that it only takes him 5 minutes to absorb the lesson, and then he's bored for 20, which leads to behavior problems. They can't move him ahead yet because he is learning basic phonics in both languages and he needs that in order to go onto the next group. My kid's too smart. Woe is me.
And there. I've run out of interesting things. I'm tired and spaced out and that's about it.
So, I've been busy. I've made the transition to working full time days. I grew up with two working parents, so it's like I'm finally starting a regular life. BH, I'm happy with my job, the work is good, the benefits are good, the money is good. Good, good, good. And then, when I get home at the end of the day, I'm SO HAPPY to be here and see my kids and give them all my attention. Which reminds me, I have to make Moo's lunch and snack for tomorrow. He asked for popcorn. I also have to draw Pigeon on his lunch bag.
The boys are both FINALLY settling back into a normal routine after Sukkos. They were up late every night for either meals or Simchas Beis HaShoeva or going to Shul.
Moo was an absolute joy over Yontif. As he grows, his perspective fascinates me. See, I chose this life, and I choose it again every day, but Chasidus is the world Moo's given, and yet, he chooses it. It is not simply his default of practice and function, but his concious decision to seek a mystical relationship with G-d. I can put him in Tzitzis, I can teach him yiddishkeit, but I can't make him love and desire G-d, that comes from within him. Over Yontif I saw it in so many ways.
He learned the Bracha, "Asher Yatzar," which we say after using the bathroom, and even though he doesn't fully understand the words, he is conscious of thanking G-d for making his body and making it work.
He shook the Lulav with such plaintive determination.
At Shul and at Simchas Bais HaShoeva, watching him dance was transcendant. He was of course enjoying the experience, but there was a light shining in him that clearly glowed with divine simcha.
We went to 770 on Simchas Torah to kiss the Rebbe's Torah. The line was long and crowded and it was dark and dinner time, but he waited it out eagerly for a split second by the Rebbe's Torah.
I can't do justice to what I saw in him, I just can't. I can tell you "he did this, he did that," but there aren't words for the pure faith and love he has.
I was also going to write about the stuff we did, like Ya-li-ya-lipa and the Zoo and all the meals we went to...but that seems boring compared to Reb Moo the Mystic.
I sent the boys out with a babysitter and the instructions, "Head to the bagel place for brunch, on the way there, you'll see a playground, after bagels, go there and stay there all day."
Trust. We has it.
The space is great, in fact, I have more space than I know what to do with, quite literally. The foyer is probably 10x10 - a full size, usable room, but what to use it for? We have a full size living room. The foyer is the first room you see when walking into the apartment, so I want it to set the tone for our home. Massive wall mural of the Rebbe and Mickey Mouse? Cardboard stand ups of the Baal Shem Tov and Data?
Anyway, I am kind of excited to be moving back to the shchuna - as I said, we have lots of great friends there, in fact, walking around today, every time I would see someone approaching, I thought, "Oh hey is that - " but it wasn't. Shopping will be easy. Eating will be easy. Davening will be easy. I just have to get over the fear that Kingston Avenue is like a real-life ImaMother and someone will just walk up to me and tell me I'm parenting wrong or not being Jewish enough. That doesn't happen in real life. Right?
IYH, we move on Sunday. The movers are packing us, BH, but we are starting to prepare the house, nonetheless. Everything is organized (even moreso than normal), and we'll be packing a suitcase out of which to live until Hubby gets us all set up. I already packed Moo's school bag because he's going to be starting Kindergarten (Holy COW!) next Wednesday and I don't want him to have to scramble through piles and boxes to find what he needs.
I hope he and Izzy will be happy there, I think they will be. There are tons of kids and it will be nice to not be the only Chasid in his class. I wonder how long it will take for Moo to stop walking up to every kid on the street in a Yarmulke and introduce himself. I hope the honeymoon lasts.
I have my own little cube-desk with a computer with two monitors. I sit and do my work and listen to Grooveshark all day. Even after three and a half weeks, I'm quite unaccustomed to single-tasking and sitting still. I get up about once an hour to stretch my legs and enjoy the benefit of being a well-hydrated multipara. Still, sitting all day has my body aching and I don't know what to do about it. I'm considering getting an exercise ball to replace my desk chair for at least some of the day, but I don't know what kind of ridiculous looks that will garner. I bought a heating pad, which has made the situation a great deal more comfortable, but I am still in pain, my lower torso aches as though I were hugely, heavily pregnant...and I'm not even a little bit pregnant.
I am the only woman in my section, which is quietly awkward. Everyone is very, very kind, but it is difficult to socialize, not only with men, but men who are not my contemporaries. There is one man my age in my group, and we actually do have a lot in common, but it is obviously very important to me to maintain a respectful, tzniusdig boundary. There are more women in other departments on other floors, but I don't really have the courage to go looking for friends. So my weekday existence is kind of a lonely one, made moreso by my pining away for my boys.
I imagine after some time with my evenings free (starting next week), I'll grow used to being gone all day and I imagine I'll come to enjoy a "normal," schedule. But for now, I still miss my old life. I miss the playground and running errands and cooking and keeping house and laying down with Izzy and all of it. I feel like this is a totally different kind of mothering and I just haven't gotten settled in it yet. My nails have grown long because I'm not buckling the stroller or pushing a swing or building legos. It is a hard adaptation to make, but I imagine it will get easier once things have settled.
We are still looking for an apartment. We've decided to move to Crown Heights for the school and community, now we just need a place to live. The uncertainty coupled with the transition to working full time has me more than a little on edge, but I'm trying to focus on the excitement of yay, new job! New house (IYH)! New school! Old friends!....Tishrei?!!