Sunday, May 27, 2007

Parents off to China Again!

I've seen this thing where they start an episode from the end, and then they get back to the ending from the beginning... you know what I mean? So I'm going to try that.
My parents left for China this evening (Motzai Shabbat).

2 days earlier...
Yaakov had a cold, and felt seriously icky, so he came home early. I let him sleep until we had to get up for our prenatal class. We finished our prenatal class on Thursday evening. We opted to have someone come to our house. It might be a bit more expensive, but we really wanted the 1 on 1 for several reasons.The woman who taught us (Libby Z., for any Modiin residents out there who are interested in prenatal classes) was really great. She's pretty practical and (I think) realistic. I just hope that I'll hold up okay during the birth...

After Libby left, we realized that we didn't have any chicken for Shabbat. So we set an alarm for bright and early, and called B.E., who totally saved our lives by taking Yaakov to Kiryat Sefer for grocery shopping.

Friday, I slept a lot of the day. I seem to be doing that a lot - sleeping all day and being up all night. At night, I tend to be too hot to sleep. I'm not sure why this happens, but... it just does. I end up taking a cool shower almost every night, and sometimes it helps. Mostly my palms are the problem. My face sweats, but for some reason the hot palms bother me much more.

I used the easiest Shabbat food recipe in the history of the world - Potatoes and chicken with granulated garlic in a clay pot like the one to the right. Actually, ours was cut into pieces, and I couldn't be bothered to put in any veggies. I had some fruit after dinner, and I pretended that that counts as veggies.

By the way, I love the clay pot. It's made by a German company called Romertopf. My mom got one when we lived in Germany (around when I was born), and I've never had chicken or roast better than my mom's made in it. The clay keeps all the moisture in! That means that even though I totally overcooked the chicken this week, it was pretty decent. The potatoes were great. For lunch, I had cold chicken, and Yaakov had cold cuts.

After lunch Shabbat morning, we took a nap, and then we went to my parents' house. They had my middle brother's 5-year-old twins over for all of Shabbat. My sister has also sent her almost 11-year-old twins over to help out. It was good that we brought Baby G's twin too... (a watermelon...) We also brought Poofy over. Menachem (5) was very excited and Yael (also 5) went back and forth between being very excited by Poofy and acting afraid of him...

My sister's 11-year-old boy decided that Poofy once bit him. I'm 100% certain that that never happened, because I remember being terrified that he'd bite the kids. He once snapped at a kid who pulled his tail (put his teeth on him, but didn't bite down), and once bit me to blood, when I grabbed his scruff while he was trying to mount a female. He's growled at kids a few times, and walked away countless times, but he's never bitten a human other than me, and that was so long ago that he still had baby teeth. I wonder what my nephew thinks he remembers...

Anyway, the kids drove Poofy completely nuts, so he decided to make himself scarce. He generally likes to go to my parents' sunroom anyway, because sometimes there are cats that he can see and growl at. (He can't get to them, b/c they're on the other side of the glass.)

Later, my sister's 13-year-old came over, but she had to leave a bit after that with her sister. They belong to the religious scouts in Modiin. They seem to be having a lot of fun at scouts. I think it's really great that they get this opportunity. I wanted to be a Girl Scout when I was a kid, but I couldn't because the meetings were all on Saturday, and the food wasn't kosher, and it was just generally impossible to work it out as a religious Jew. My dad belonged to a kosher Boy Scout troop when he was little. The way he describes it, I feel like I missed out on so much. I hope the religious scouts will do well here, so that our kids will have the opportunity my sister's kids have. (Her son decided he doesn't want to go.)

Meantime, Yaakov took the other kids to the park.

After the girls left, Yaakov brought the other kids back, and then we had dinner. While we were eating, my sister came with her husband and her two youngest daughters (2 and 1). The girls are soooo cute. The 1-year-old is just starting to walk, so it's very cute to watch her. Both girls were pretty fascinated by Poofy (he deigned to be petted by them, but he' s generally distrustful of short humans.. he finds that they're sometimes not so gentle).

When it started to get dark, my sister took whichever of her children who were still there, and went home. My dad came home and made havdala. The 5-year-old twins were still there, so my mom sent them upstairs to pack, and they brought their bags down. Then we asked Yaakov to put on a video for them, and hang out with them. I helped my parents (a little) to get their things packed and ready to go. They're taking a lot of supplies for the trip to China, although officially, they're going as tourists and not as guides this trip. I actually kind of think that it's annoying how much work they had to do for this trip when they paid close to full price anyway, but such is life. My mom is excited, because they'll be going to a whole bunch of new cities this time, and this will put them in a position to lead this trip (called China 2) in the future.

Anyway, they packed something like 6 suitcases with g-d knows what. I think my mom took 4 shirts, 2 skirts, and a sweater for herself... not really, but they were basically able to pack all of their clothes into a single gym bag each.

Meanwhile, we still have these two kids who need to be picked up and taken home... And my parents had to leave, so Yaakov and I stayed after my sister's husband came to pick them up and take them to the airport (strangely, since this leaves him with my parents' car - meaning that he and my sister will not have to share the car for the next 2.5 weeks - he doesn't find this a terrible hardship. Actually, I think he'd do it anyway - he's a very nice guy.)

After my parents left, I went around and tried to clean up a bit so that they'll get back to a decent house. I made their bed, and I unloaded the dishwasher and put new bottles of diet coke (one with and one without caffeine) in the fridge so they'll have cold drinks right when they get back. I didn't find much else that I could do without a lot of bending, which I don't do so well these days.

Then I sat downstairs and waited for my brother to come pick up his kids. He must have hit bad traffic or something, because it took him an hour to get from Beit Shemesh to Modiin, a ride that's usually about 25 minutes. I started to get kind of worried. The road is an awful road, and I couldn't get my brother on the cell phone. My brother-in-law came back from the airport and was going to give Yaakov and me a ride back home, but we still had the kids. I asked him to lend us cabfare, and he was about to leave when my brother arrived.

In the end, my brother-in-law took us home, which was really nice and helpful.

When I FINALLY got home, I took Poofy for a walk, and on the way into the building, my neighbor said that they'd been wondering if everything was ok. I gave him the super-short version, and said thanks, everything was fine, and baby isn't going anywhere...

If only I weren't having quite so many contractions... ugh... they're not serious, I know, but they hurt just enough to make me crabby all the time.

I just hope that they stay not serious until my parents get back... I really don't want to think about the logistics of labor & delivery and getting a baby home and all that without my mom to help us through it all...


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