Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ten Things NOT to Say to Your Wife During Pesach Cleaning

10. Watcha doin?
9. What's for dinner?
8. Why is there stuff on the bedroom floor?
7. We don't need to fix the washer this week.
6. Sure, I'll just make something to eat and take it into the other room and I'll be out of your way.
5. But I'm not in the mood for pizza.
4. But we ordered in/ate out last night too.
3. If you want, you can get a maid (when it's clearly too late to find one).
2. Why do you need to kasher the oven. I'm not going to be here during chol hamoed? (but wife is...)
and the number one thing not to say to your wife during Pesach cleaning.
1. Well, if you'd kept things cleaner, you wouldn't have this mess.

It's official.

Today is the one-year anniversary of my wedding to Yaakov!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Avoiding Pesach Cleaning

Last year I didn't post about Pesach cleaning until later in the process. The following are the triLcat stages of Pesach cleaning, in case you're curious:
1. Eating up the chametz.
2. Procrastination
3. Desperate procrastination
4. Cleaning gestures
5. Extreme procrastination
6. Laundry and bedrooms
7. Ultra-Procrastination
8. Kitchen Cleaning
9. Collapse
10. Seder

Last year, I didn't write until I was at stage 7. This year, I'm only at stage 5. Fortunately, it turns out I was tagged on a Meme last year, so I have a great way to procrastinate.

Thanks Biur Chametz.

Here it is. The A-Z meme:

American in English, just slightly funny in Hebrew. Americans think it's Israeli, though.

Red wine and cocktails. These days, I'm sticking to Kedem grape juice though

Chore I Hate:
Washing dishes and floors both destroy my back. Everything else is just unpleasant.

Love dogs, especially MY dog. Cats are ok. I'll pet them if they ask.

Essential Electronics:
All electronics are essential! except the stupid tetris game I used to have. It never worked right anyway.

Favorite Perfume/Cologne:
I like most of the Dali ones, except the red one. It smells like candy.

Gold & Silver:
I prefer gold.


High sleep latency.

Job Title:

1 Stepson and one baby on the way.

Living Arrangements:
Rental apartment.

Most Admired Trait:
Ability to be very empathetic.

Number of Sexual Partners:
Get your head out from under our covers!

Overnight Hospital Stays:
Entirely too many, but looking forward to my next one being in July and ending with me taking home a whole new person.

spiders, especially big yucky ones

"Well, I like you. You're nice, and you're funny, and you don't smoke, and okay, werewolf but that's not all the time. I mean, three days out of the month I'm not much fun to be around either."


1 sister, 3 brothers

Time I Usually Wake Up:
Whenever Poofy can't wait any longer for his walk.

Unusual Talent:
That's Private!

Vegetable I Refuse To Eat:

Worst Habit:
Talking when I should shut up.

I'd LOVE to have X-ray vision!

Yummy Foods I Make:
Everything I make is yummy. Yaakov likes my chicken with potatoes. People generally devour my lasagna. I always make too much stir-fry, but people like it.

Zodiac Sign:
I don't know, but my birthstone is a diamond and my Hebrew birthday is 2 days before Pesach. A good gift would involve help cleaning or the doggone covers for my couches!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Goodbye, Ido Arad

Ido Arad and MaayanThis was never supposed to be a regular thing on this blog.

When Shaindy passed on, I felt the need to pay a tribute to her for creating such an amazing academic program. When Teddy Kollek passed away, the loss was felt nationally. Ido's untimely death is something entirely different.

Ido Arad was my neighbor. He lived in the next building over. He and his wife and daughter moved a few blocks away several months ago, and I hadn't seen him often since then.

I got to know Ido a few years ago when I moved into this apartment, but I sort of knew him before that. He had davened at my synagogue for a while. I knew that my sister and her kids knew him too. He had the uncommon job (for a man) of being a kindergarten teacher. He'd worked in the afterschool program my nieces and nephew attended. More than that, he was one of the ones that parents actually liked, my sister included.

On Friday nights, a few of us walked home from synagogue together. I always joined the group - I hate walking alone. Ido was part of that group. He was always listening, joking, smiling.

When I'd walk my dog, sometimes I'd catch a glimpse of him and his family eating dinner together. I remember thinking how warm and cozy his family dinners looked. When he sold his apartment, I wished I could buy it, because such a warm family had lived there that I would want to live in that warmth.

Last summer, during the war in Lebanon, Yaakov and I were coming back from Tel Aviv one evening, and Ido met us at the train station. He was in uniform, heading back from his assignment in the north. When I asked him how he was, he said he was tired, but overall, just happy to be getting home to his wife and daughter. When we got on the bus, he apologetically ended our conversation so that he could get some sleep.

On Friday, Ido was driving home for Shabbat. He never made it home. His car went off the road, into the foundation of a building site, falling some 15 meters.

On Sunday, we buried Ido. The rabbis who spoke at his funeral couldn't contain their tears. Men and women alike cried openly. Everyone who spoke about Ido said the same things - they said that he always had a smile for everyone, always had a kind word. They said that he was full of joy. So many people really loved Ido. Why does G-d take such beautiful people away from us?

* The picture in this post is of Ido with a girl who was in his kindergarten. I was unable to find a picture of him alone or with his wife and daughter.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ten Good Things to do While Your Wife is Napping

10. Teach the dog to "speak."
9. Practice your yodeling.
8. Install curtains.
7. Clean out your toolbox.
6. Vacuum the keyboard.
5. Wash the bedroom floor.
4. Install a doorbell.
3. Make the bed.
2. Practice your juggling routine (complete with music and comedy routine.)
1. Prepare to be a Baal Tekiya for Rosh Hashana.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Who's the Baby?

On one of my recent posts, a friend commented on the fact that we've chosen not to know our baby's gender.

The comment was "seems odd to me. You have soooooo many surprises in line for you, and I'm not talking about the color of hair and eyes, I mean will that kid like reading or playing ball, will she be curious, mathematical, spiritual, difficult or easy? will he have good or bad coordination, will she be a picky eater or not? The very least you can do is at least know the gender so you can prepare the clothes, crib color and all :-)"

Well, here's the thing. Actually, some research has shown that parents who *do* know the gender before birth have difficulty bonding with their babies, because they have more of a picture in their mind of what "a girl" or "a boy" should be. Oftentimes, their particular girl or boy is not at all like what they expect. My husband, for example, thinks that girls like to organize things and put them away neatly. He obviously never met me... He thinks boys like to take everything apart and leave a big mess. He obviously never met my oldest brother. So that's one argument against knowing.

Secondly, I'm not a superstitious person, but I do subscribe to the tradition of not buying things for the baby before the baby is born. Most of my readers are now saying "yeah, right, you're not superstitious. uh huh! we know all about you." My mother, on the other hand, is probably nodding her head.

Many years ago, my father had the experience of visiting at the home of a bereaved couple after a stillbirth. There was a perfect nursery, with sweet curtains and a crib and pastel-painted walls. There were teddy bears and rattles and pacifiers. And there was a huge empty space that should have been occupied by a baby. It's unlikely, but it's not impossible. These things happen.

On the other hand, the room we plan to use for the baby has already been painted as a baby's room - the previous owners had two children in that room. We also plan to have the baby in a bassinet in our room for the first few months. We'll use that time to finish any decoration of the baby's room.

Next comes the very basic issue of the fact that ultrasound is only about 85% accurate. Which means that if you are "mentally prepared" for one or the other, there's a 15% chance that you'll have to make a pretty radical readjustment.

Finally, in some ways, we'd like to know (although we have possible names picked out for both a boy and a girl) but we don't want to tell other people. If we know, one of us (the one who has the baby inside of her) has a slightly big mouth... and probably we would end up telling everyone else... so we're going to stick to not knowing.

And one more thing to the guy who asked me... If you've never been pregnant, you really don't know how it feels. I didn't know how it felt until I was pregnant. I always assumed that most women wouldn't want to know, but I was told by the dr who did my ultrasound that about 90% of women he sees *do* want to know - and honestly, I understand the wanting to know. It's just not for me.

Shabbat Shalom,

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Movin' Right Along

First and foremost, since Passover is around the corner, I need to encourage you all to watch a silly Passover video. This will help those of you who are miserable about your Passover cleaning to realize that you're not alone. Here's a link to the original Margaritaville song by Jimmy Buffett.

Second, yesterday was the first time that there were kicks visible through the skin. I was at my neighbor's house, and all of a sudden I realized that I actually could not just FEEL Baby G., I could SEE my dress moving. It was INCREDIBLE! It wasn't easy to see, and it only happened a few times (my neighbor kept missing it), but I felt my baby and I SAW him/her.

In case anyone is wondering, we don't know whether it's a boy or girl. The doctor told us that he knows, but we have chosen to keep it a surprise. Lately, I've been feeling like it's a boy, but before that I felt like it was a girl, so I'm not giving my gut too much credence at this point.

I guess that's it for now.

t.c. Goodman

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Chag Purim 2007

Last year, I wrote about Purim. I meant to write a follow-up to that post this year.

This year really was quite nice. Saturday night, we went to megilla reading. The synagogue got overflowed with people, so my father volunteered to have an extra reading outdoors. I went outdoors and enjoyed the fairly tame reading. Indoors, there were firecrackers going off, wild yelling, and other noise issues which made Yaakov less than pleased with the reading.

After the megilla reading, there was a show. Yaakov performed.

If you look at the picture, you can also see some other people who are very important to me. The girl in the black sweatshirt behind the flower is Silky Lilchy. The fuzzy yellow chick is Princess Abigail Rebecca. The one next to her with the striped socks is Lady Hadas. The bleached-blonde boy in the striped blue shirt is 'Tan Tooney. (Yes, those are all siblings of each other.)

The white rabbit behind the yellow chick is Luli, my across-the hall neighbor. Next to her, you can see her mother and her baby sister Nilush. Nilush is helping me prepare for taking care of a newborn. She's very good at all the things babies do. She cries, spits up, makes cooing sounds, smiles, and sleeps. I'm watching her learn new things. It's amazing how much she has grown in just 2 months. She already turns over from her tummy to her back.

Anyway... back to Purim... Sunday morning, we went to my parents' house for a family megilla reading followed by some musical performances from my oldest brother's children. His oldest (Tzvi) played harmonica, while the next in line (Elisheva) played recorder. Both children are very proficient, and did a humorous bit with their instruments.

The next two sang very nicely. We all enjoyed a yummy bagel brunch, and stayed around telling jokes and playing games and just talking. After a while, Yaakov and I went home and took a nap. Then we went out to deliver mishloach manot - gifts of food.

We also received a variety of different foods, ranging from an incredible chocolate cake and pudding mixture to the healthier apples and almonds. We nibbled at the various goodies, and then Purim was over.

Unlike last year, there was no goodbye to Yaakov, just good night.