Monday, September 30, 2013

Willy Nilly

I woke up early to a Buzz-monster trying to climb into my bed. Over me. Yeah, it wasn't quite 6am.

I went to RBS with The Crazy Lady. We picked up some random stuff and wandered around a bit. Then we headed Home.

Buzz was being his usual crazy self, right until a carpet fell from the sky. More on that at my new blog: http://isthisstuffyours.blogspot.co.il - I'll update it whenever something new comes down to us. From our experience in the past two months I'm guessing that will be quite often.

At five-ish we went out to the park. I met a new neighbor (from the building over), and Buzz got to blow off some extra energy. Up the slides, down the slides, up the hill, down the hill, on the swings, off the swings, on the little seesaw car, off the little seesaw car... Then on the way home he wanted to be swung every third step.

I guess our 'park' ploy worked because Buzz conked out for the night before 8, which is earlier than he has gone to sleep for almost two whole weeks.

So we have lots of time to watch tv and relax. Kid free hours! Yay!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yeller Aysh!

Mazal Tov to our D-zigger cousins on the birth of a little princess! Such exciting news to hear!!!
Friday was craaazy busy. We were barely home. We left home by 9am to escape the exterminator. Z and Mr. Freddie took down S&S's sukkah. We hung out at The FamBily House a  lot. Their sukkah eventually got taken down. We kidnapped Phil and went to the mall where we bought Buzz new shoes. Yup, NEW shoes - size 23s this time - because the 21s that we bought him 6 weeks ago were tiny on him. Poor kid, I should have taken him in 3 weeks ago when they seemed small. Dinner was super simple and we managed to get everything organized despite getting home only an hour and a half before candle lighting time.
Shabbos morning we woke up early. After shul we walked over to The FamBily House for lunch. We ended up hanging out ALL afternoon. It was sort of slow and quiet - but enjoyable. Back at Home we waited for Buzz to wind down, then finally got to sleep.
This morning we got up earlier than usual. Well actually, we didn't get up earlier than usual, but we definitely got out earlier than usual. We headed out to RBS to catch a Sheffield bris and see all of the Israeli Sheffields/Fishmans. It was great!
Then we went to The FamBily House where we all piled into the van and drove up to Jerusalem. Buttons for the gown, a haircut, and all the goodies that I couldn't help taking pictures of. We wandered around 'Town' for a while then went back to The Sun House. A few more hours at The Fambily House. Then we went Home.
Z started taking down the sukkah. Buzz ran amok. We tried to figure out 'to-do' lists for tomorrow. All quite exhausting, but I can't wait to try to find an actual routine.

Tomorrow we clean the house.

Yay!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Messy Links

I was very lazy about getting the cooking done before chag and ended up spending about an hour driving around with Phil. We toiveled the new vegetable peeler and wine glasses, and we shopped at the co-op-shop because SuperH was a zoo. I did spend about three hours frying up vegetable chips. Yup, you read that right, I made my very own 'Terra' style sweet potato chips. But I made about 5 bags-worth - using 5.5 ENORMOUS potatoes.

Eventually it was time to light candles. Z went out to shul leaving me with the tiny bit of crazy. The little wierdo ate a bowl of chicken soup with rice, carrots, peas, and multi-grain cheerios for crunch. Then Z came Home to take him out to shul. The excitement was thrilling but at about 8:30 the noise overwhelmed him and he fell fast asleep. Z tucked him into bed and he slept straight through until 7am.

The FamBily joined us, at our house, for dinner last night. I decided to ignore convention and we skipped the soup course. Instead we went straight to the unbelievably, fall-off-the-bone, juicy, delicious Hawaiian-style chicken. Everyone was stuffed by the time we were done. Some mini-powernaps were taken and the The FamBily trekked back across town.

This morning Z went to a 7am 'fast' minyan in Sheinfeld. They were done nice and quick, then had a kiddush, and Z was Home by 9:45am. He actually really enjoyed it. Buzz was just thrilled to have his Abba Home so early. We had some breakfast and relaxed for a while. Then at about 1ish we left for the other side of town. Lunch was at about 3 at The FamBily House, then we hung out there until almost 6. We had planned on staying until after chag, but forgot to bring a bottle for Buzz. So we kidnapped Phil and hiked back up and over the hill. We stopped at the park on the way, in an attempt to tire out the kiddo. He ran amok and had a blast. Eventually his repeated attempts to leave the park in the direction of Home led us to believe that he actually wanted to get back to his fuzzy buddies and of course his very delayed bottle.

After havdala Z put Buzz to bed while Phil and I watched some more GIlmore Girls. We enjoyed leftovers from last nights dinner, but skipped the broccoli.

A notice went out that tomorrow morning the building managers are having an exterminator come to spray in the halls, stiarwells, and storage rooms in the basement. Remember when we sprayed in our apartment, in The Middle of Nowhere? And I complained that the spray was on EVERYTHING? All chemically and gross and sticky? Right. So I decided to clear out the machsan and organize it. I piled everything possible onto the shelving unit, and covered the whole thing with long plastic tablecloths. Then I forced Phil and Z to help me shlep the crib, and changing table, and other miscellaneous things up to the apartment. Because, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

The fact that we were harrassed by an extremely persistent cockroach while on our way up and down led me to believe that the spraying is necessary. Not at the cost of ruining my stuff though, even if it meant more effort for me.

Tomorrow hopefully we'll pick up our exercise bike. Then Z wants to take down our sukkah and The FamBily's sukkah. I want to spend as much time out of the building as possible, to give the poison time to dissipate.

Thankfully the food for Shabbos is basically all cooked. I made the chicken tonight, couscous takes all of five minutes, and peas defrost on the counter quite quickly. Lunch is coming straight from the freezer. Yeah, this is good. Very good.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

'Only 7? Nice Try.'

I dragged myself out of bed at 8, as per Z's request that I make breakfasts at a 'decent' hour. A huge potato pancake and scrambled eggs later I was more tired than I'd started out. Then we waited and waited until the appointed time arrived to head out.
At The FamBily House we collected the travelers and piled into the van. The seemingly flowing traffic got our spirits up, until we got stopped by a train and caught in a ridiculously heavy downpour on Rt. 38. I navigated until we reached the exit for Rt. 4 - at which point I got us very lost and we ended up going north instead of south. We waved goodbye to Holon as we drove towards Haifa. We managed to turn ourselves around in Rishon, and then sped on past Holon as I insisted we should stay to the left. We waved to our destination yet again and decided that maybe it was destined to be a trip to Yavne. Eventually we saw an overpass, which indicated that our chances of turning around - for a second time - was at hand. At this point we tuned on the Dingding (GPS) and she guided us on a roundabout (because she didn't recognize the relatively new exit ramp and thought that we were driving through a field) route to our destination. The important thing is that we made it and found parking right around the corner.
We wandering into the building, up 2 really sketchy flights of steps, and eventually arrived. We got a lane, put on our bowling shoes, and started our first game. It was highly entertaining. To be honest we decided to play with bumpers (to give some of us, ahem, me, a fighting chance of breaking 50...) We bowled two highly entertaining games in a little under two hours. Then on our way out of the bowling alley we stopped of for some celebratory fethtival-spirit ice cream. We took the scenic route home - there was no traffic, and there was much in-flight entertainment.
Back at The FamBily House we indulged in the leftover Chinese from last night. Then we bummed around while The Crazy Lady worked on a gown for Little Miss Freddie to wear to her uncle's wedding.
Phil decided that Happy Hour was upon us and mixed up a couple of batches of Pina Coladas. Too many for the blender to handle though - as they found out when she accidentally turned it on to pulse while trying to open it. She and Buzz (who was helping her) got a shower of goodness. Then we divvied it up and it was all 'bottomsup' from there.
Z and Dibble are busy building a 'level' on the Xbox and the rest of us are just sitting around. I still have potatoes sitting on the counter in a bowl of water at Home from this morning.
Oh yeah, and the whole cooking thing...that has to happen too.

Eventually.

Til then, I'll have another pink umbrella on top!

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Rumousse: Heavy on the rum, light on the ousse"

Our plans yesterday sort of got lost in translation. What was supposed to be a fun filled day finally reached fulfillment in the early evening when Phil showed up for dinner. Fauxwaiin chicken and pina coladas while watching Gilmore Girls made everything better.
This morning we went on an adventure at the Azrieli Mall in Modiin. We dragged The Parentals, and Phil along for the ride. 2 hours and 48 minutes of mall wandering and shopping. I got: 3 shirts, 2 belts, 1 dress, a (replacement) vegetable peeler, and my watch sized down by 1 link (now it doesn't slide up to my elbow anymore). Highly productive if I do say so myself.

Overheard in the car on the way Home:
Z: So let me get this right - it was a vibrating monkey with a little banana, and it could be hot or cold depending on how you liked it?
P: And when you hug it, it massages you.
Z: Yeah, that's not sketchy at all...
Back at The FamBily House, we prepped dinner. Sound checks in the ampi for the concert. A 10 minute power outage that cause panic, terror, and forced people out into the street and the light of the sun. Buzz ran amok - stealing: oven trays, protective eyewear, dragon spoons, food bowls, stuffed buddies, and other miscellaneous things.

Dinner was beyond amazing. We enjoyed Chinese Fake-out - general tso, sweet&sour, and beef with broccoli. Then there was mousse for dessert, maybe, possibly, a bit too much mousse.
Tomorrow we're heading to Holon at some point to hopefully go bowling. The website indicates that it is preferable to call in advance and book a lane. However in practice, (as I was informed by the person manning the phones) you show up and wait for a lane. So this should be fun.

I haven't figured out my meals for chag yet and I'm out of clean clothes. Oh yeah, taking things in stride.

Also, it's supposed to drizzle all day tomorrow. I wonder whether it really will or not...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tiny Oranges

Chag seems like it was ages ago. It was a lot of fun. We skipped soup for the night meal and wer able to thoroughly enjoy the Indian-masala chicken and meat stuffed shells. Buzz stayed up for dinner and sat at the table in the seat he chose for himself. It was adorable. In the morning we walked to The FamBily House and spent the day having fun with everybody. We didn't even bother braving the walk Home and hung-out until after chag.
Friday morning we decided to head out to IKEA nice and early. We kidnapped Phil and were parking at around 10am. The place was a mob-scene. It was scary. But we managed to get the cabinet doors for our living room bookcase that I've been wishing for. (Now that Buzz's new hobby is ripping bindings off of books...we decided we should hide the lower shelves from him.) The cooking was mostly done so we were in no rush to get out of the store, until we realized that it was getting more crowded by the minute. As we pulled out of the parking lot we noticed that cars were sitting on lines surrounding the place just to get into the place. It was crazier than the zoo or an amusement park on summer-camp fun-day.
Back at Home I cooked the last 2 pasta salads, fed our guest some lunch, organized the house a bit, and got ready for Shabbos. Buzz was thrilled to play with the new stuff we'd bought. Yay cups! They're short, stack nicely, and have handles!
Friday night was funny. Buzz joined us for the meal and really enjoyed the 'oriental style' chicken soup. Especially the noodles in it. (I'm not gonna lie, it tasted exactly like the Chinese take-out we used to get in Shmutz La'aretz.) I even threw in some kreplach for Z (in place of wontons) and he was thrilled with it. For lunch we were joined by a fun family from the building next-door. The table looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL all set with the pretty new china! We enjoyed a delicious bagel brunch, everything from homemade bagels and quiche to chocolate milk and mimosas. Then an amazingly delicious dessert brought by our guests of B&J's ice cream and Greek Frozen-Yogurt. Yummmmmy! All the kiddos had a blast. They played with train tracks and read. It was great! At around 2ish our guests headed out. I lay down to rest, but was stuck watching Buzz because Z conked out before me. I was drifting off to sleep when there was a knock at the door. It was Phil. Energized by a second-wind we relaxed and ate more dessesrts.
When Shabbos was over we all enjoyed an amazing dinner of leftovers. Then we watched some Gilmore Girls until we were interrupted by the torrential downpour of rain. I ran outside to bring in the last of the things from the sukkah and to cover the power strip with a plastic tablecloth. (Who the heck expected rain like that during an 'early' sukkos! It's only September for goodness sakes!) The sukkah survived, I think. The decorations got soaked and the chain ripped, but we'll fix that up.

Sunny Bear's arm popped off yesterday so we dropped her off at 'St. Fuzz Infirmary' for an outpatient limb reattachment. Thankfully it went smoothly and she was back home with her family after just a few of hours. Good as new. Many thanks to the amazing surgeon. You can't even tell she had work done. No scar or anything!!
It's getting sort of late and we still haven't decided what to do today. We are trying to choose between: bowling, 3 different malls, the beach, and/or a hike. I guess I should check the weather forecast...

Moadim Le'simcha!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lindos Broomsicles

Hello world! It's me again!

This morning kicked off super-early. (Buzz was overly eager to get the day started.) We organized the guest room. I finally put my clothes on hangers and organized my skirts and sweaters. We unpacked 4 boxes, and shuffled the others around to look more neat. The important thing is that the beds have been found, so now there's somewhere for our guests to sleep. Also, my clothes are organized, so now I can get dressed up nicely for shabbat and chag. Yay!

Our next mission of the day was 'freezer-hunt'. I know I've been typing about needing wanting a big spare freezer so that I can bake/store stuff in advance (especially for holidays and the like.) We had actually discussed the possibility of buying one numerous times over the past few years - but now that we've gone through a 3-day-chag without one (and it was slightly disasterous) I decided that we really needed one. Z finally saw my reasoning (especially now that we'll always be Home for chagfrom  now on.) we spent a few horus last night researching various makes, models, and brands. I found a few that I liked and we figured we'd try our luck at the local stores to see whether they had them in stock. Unbelievably enough we went into one store and the guy said, 'I've got the model that you want on a truck on it's way to be delivered to the store right now, we can deliver it to your house today.' As you can imagine I was thrilled. The delivery guy brought it early this afternoon and we're letting it settle for a few hours before plugging it in. By tomorrow morning it should be ready for all of the goodies that I'm scheduled to make. I'm so excited!!!

Our second stop of the day was at The FamBily House. Z helped Yo'Abba get the sukkah walls dressed then they tackled the schach. Buzz took an amazing hour and forty minute long nap - on the living room couch - happy as could be. I listened to Phil's picture-taker-saga-update and found random snacks while trying to connet to the wifi. Eventually we decided to head Home.

We unpacked the freezer and put it in the corner where it's going to live. I organized the laundry room, and cleared off the dining room table. I paid some bills and filed some paperwork (ok, I made Z do the filing, but I oversaw the task.) There's still loads to be done but I wanted to make sure to update you before I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Asher Od V'Od

Yesterday we were super-busy. We kicked off the morning with a trip to the park with Freddie, Munchkin, Phil, and Uncle Dibble. We headed Home pretty quickly (because it's suuuper sunny at the park - which means that it is hot hot hot.) Akiva came to visit with Z. Then everybody left all at once. Buzz and I enjoyed scrambled eggs and potato puffs for brunch. Z came Home and then got the sukkah built in record time. Really though, under an hour. Practice does indeed make perfect. I made a 24-page long paper chain which we put up along with the twinkle-lights. It's a very pretty little booth this year. Of course Buzz helped too. Nobody is quite sure what he did, but it was something, and that's all that matters. We celebrated our progress with ice cream and a delightfully refreshing cocktail of my own engineering. The saddest moment of the day as when we finished the bottle of rum. After getting Buzz to sleep for the night, Z went out to the '4-minim shuk' with Frank to pick out sets for Frank and Dibble. I stayed home and colored and cut and crafted.
This morning dawned later than I would have liked. Or rather, I got up rather later than planned. We got off to a late start - only leaving for the grocery store at 2pm. A quick pit-stop at the post-office to FINALLY mail that letter out to GUS. We got home and unpacked the car just in time to be able to head over to S&S's house where we helped get the lights up in their sukkah. We set the timers too - but tonight will be a test as to whether they work and are set correctly or not. Buzz thoroughly enjoyed his cookie. After a nice visit we piled back into the car and drove across town to The FamBily House. There was a slight delay upon arrival - something about the mower chewing through its own cord... But not to worry - Yo'Abba fixed it right up. Yay for electrical tape! (Of course then my camera went on the fritz and wouldn't focus - hence the blurry 'victory picture'.)
Finally the mirpeset was washed and squeegeed. Then the frame came out of the machsan. Z and Yo'Abba assembled the frame and put the 'wall rope' on. Then it was time for dinner. Yummy fishies, broccoli, and fries. Deeeelicious! Everyone enjoyed. Even Oscar enjoyed some treats - cause he's Yo'Abba's friend. Then Buzz cried his, 'get me to bed quick!' cry - so we dashed out the door. Taking the contents of the tiny-freezer (all of our stuff that we'd left there before Rosh Hashana) Home with us in a big cooler bag.
Back at Home I re-re-re-reorganized the freezer. I have NO idea how I get everything in there - but in there it is. Then I washed the bottles and put away the groceries while Z put the Buzz to bed.

Busy busy day - to say the very least.

Tomorrow will be busy too. I've got a 'to-do' list that it as long as Buzz is tall. Cooking, Organizing, Cleaning... you name it - I've probably got to do it. At least we're not looking at any more 3-day-yom-tovs... totally a win for Dwellers of The Holy Land!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mega Blocks!

Whoop whoop! We made it through yet another Yom Kippur. I'm not going to lie - I have become a terrible faster. To the point that getting out of bed makes me so dizzy and nauseous that I just don't. Poses a problem when there's a tiny person to consider. In order to get through the fast Z was forced to stay close to Home. I wouldn't have made it otherwise.

In other news - we had some excitement(?) on Thursday night when Z thought he saw a rodent out of the corner of his eye while washing dishes. I freaked out a little. Then I freaked out A WHOLE LOT MORE when at 10pm (lying in bed watching tv with the lights off) I heard scratching noises on the floor and looked down to see a small blob vanish under the bed. We chased the tiny mouse into the walk in closet (behind the big furniture unit) then it got past us, ran down the hall, and disappeared somewhere in my kitchen. He was nowhere to be seen all of Friday. Z went out and bought some sticky-traps (they don't have the 'have-a-heart' kind here and I didn't want those horrible crushing ones that cartoons always make fun of. I didn't like the idea of the sticky ones either, but I wanted that mouse gone.) Suffice it to say that late this afternoon - semi-delirious from low blood-sugar and partially dehydrated, I heard a noise in the kitchen. The poor little mouse had given up hiding and gone in search of food. The blob of peanut butter in the trap was too enticing and he went for it, realizing too late that he was good and stuck. Z took him and the trap out to the dumpster. I sat and cried for the poor little critter. (Happy story for after Yom Kippur, right?)

Tomorrow there will be the ceremonial building of the sukkah. We totally forgot that we need a new fabric wall because this year we'll be using it the 'long' way instead of the 'short' way (or whichever way it is - because of the shape of the mirpeset.) So we'll have to pick one of those up. Z's arba-minim have been ordered and will be delivered to the door.

Z has special requested that I make baklava, but I'm not quite sure when to fit that in with any of my menus. There are a lot of holidays, but still not quite enough.

Bring on the winter - I want it to be cold enough to eat stew!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AwesomeSwatch!

Buzz woke us at 7am precisely. We got dressed and went out to run some errands before it got too late. (Ha!) But yay for tiny foil pans to bake challot in! (More on that project - tomorrow.)

We swung by The FamBily House where I met up with The Crazy Lady. We drove into Jeru and wandered around for a few hours collecting a bunch of things on a list. Undershirts, one size shirts, hats, fabrics of a particular hue, face cream, smoked paprika, and an impressive selection of amazing smelling coffee beans.

Back in The Sun House we parted ways. (Well, she dropped me off at home.)

Buzz was conked out for a second (unexpected) nap. (He's sleeping off the rest of his sick, and was adorably active today looking after his funky-shpunky-munkey at The FamBily House. So I'm pretty sure he's feeling loads better! He even slept (mostly) through the night last night, in his own bed. Woohoo!!)

Z and I watched some tv and I conked out for an hour. By the time I woke up it was a very confusing 7pm! How'd that happen?! Not much else to do tonight. Z straightened up the living room, dining room, and kitchen, while I was out today. I was suuuuuper impressed!!

Tomorrow another cook-a-thon begins. Challot, bagels, and a couple of dessertssss... I guess I'll have to pick up some of my stuff from The FamBily House's freezer to start prepping for before Yom Kippur. Yikes! (Thankfully it's just one short day and then we get to get ready for sukkkkkkkot!! I'm so excited!)

Phil comes Home late tomorrow afternoon but you can still follow her adventures over at: http://moderatelyinterestingadventures.blogspot.co.il/

Til' next time! Toodles!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sicky-Update

Just a quick update now that the strep-test results are back.

We are negative for strep. I repeat, we are negative for strep.

All flora is normal! Woohoo!

Cough is diminishing, mood is much improved.

This morning we already threw pickles all over the place, emptied out Imma's purse, and took (a lot of) tissues out of a package one-by-one.

It's been a busy morning.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Punkinbitsh...

This morning when I woke up, Z was missing. It was admittedly quite a late start to the day (all of 8:15am) but it was also awfully quiet. I found the boys out cold on Buzzy's couch. It must've been some party they went to. They were out cold.

I had some leftover boiled potato cubes in the fridge. They'd been meant for potato salad on chag but I didn't get around to making any. I decided to use them up this morning. I seasoned them, then pan fried them until they were deliciously crispy. They were amaaaazing, especially because I fried them in onion infused oil. YUM!
Thanks to Facebook I knew that a local housewares store was having a huge sale. I like to go and look because I have an addiction to kitchen gadgets. I set myself a 100shekel limit, convinced The Crazy Lady to join me on an impromptu outing, and we went! The selection was mostly unimpressive but I found some finds and feel like I made out like a bandit! 2 adorable tiny water carafes (1/4 liter each), 2 tiny storage bowls, a piping bag, an offset spatula, a small fine mesh sieve, and a set of 6 white wine flutes - final bill: 80 shekels. Oh yeah!

We also stopped in the toy store where I picked up a puzzle and a box of 'chunky' crayons for the kiddo. I had them gift-wrapped individually too - because that always makes them more fun!

Back at Home I gave Buzz his gifts. He unwrapped them, and played happily for a few minutes until he realized that there was 'more' in the bags that I'd brought home. I was showing off my purchases to Z and resting them on the table. Before I knew what had happened, my new spatula and sieve were gone. I turned around to see Buzz disappear into the kitchen brandishing a new implement in each hand. He calmly took out a few bowls from the pareve cabinet and sat down to prepare some complicated delicacy. (In case there was ever any doubt of his maternal lineage...I'm pretty sure the kitchen gadget obsession clears up all doubt.)
At a little before 7pm the airconditioner repairmen arrived. They looked at the unit and informed us that the technician who came yesterday had no idea what he was talking about. Then they proceeded to rearrange all of the cords and cable attached to the machine. They found two big gas leaks which had to be sorted out and then refilled the unit. It took about 40 minutes, but I think all is as it should be now.

The remote is set to 25 degrees and the thermometer on my shelf is registering at 25 degrees. That's pretty cool since we haven't gotten the apartment any cooler than 27.4 for the last month - even when the unit was running full time.

I called Phil to say 'hi' to her in Rhodes - she had a fun day and will hopefully post about it over at her blog: http://moderatelyinterestingadventures.blogspot.co.il/

That's all for today. Toodle-oo!

Stickypants

What a busy day.

The air conditioning tech came today - took one look at the unit - packed up his stuff and said that he can't do anything because the whole thing was installed wrong. Now we're waiting for the landlord to get his act together because the guy who originally installed it needs to fix it. Mercifully the technician didn't charge us for his visit.

I spent the rest of the morning on the phone with the arnona office trying to figure out why the bi-monthly property tax bill hasn't shown up even once in a month and a half. It took half an hour on the phone, three e-mails, and scanning half a dozen documents but I finally managed to organize the 'tik' and get everything sorted.

We had attributed Buzz's exhaustion and grumpiness over chag to some new teeth and his late bedtimes. This morning however he seemed like a real 'nebach' - his throat seemed to be bothering him and his intermittent fever was back with a vengeance. I made an appointment with our favorite family pediatrician and we took him in. Turns out he has a very sore throat, ears bordering infected, and possibly strep (the dr did a throat culture) but we won't know the results until tomorrow. Until then we have cough syrup and tylenol and thus begins sleepless night number 5. Joy.

Rice salad for dinner to use up some of our leftovers.

Then I spent two excruciating hours sitting at the first 'tenants meeting' for the building. Mostly people complained that the halls don't get cleaned often enough and that the cleaning costs too much.

Finally at 11pm, I walked back into the house. Exhausted and unfortunately energized. Happily Z had used the time that I was out to wash all of the dishes left from chag/shabbos. Then we spent over an hour and a half trying to get Buzz settled in his bed.

Gosh am I tired.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Lil' Jerome Don'Like Bein' Watched

Motzei Shabbos and a new year - welcome to '74, I'm sure it'll be great!

We were successful in getting our fridge up and running before chag. The air-conditioning was sort of a lost cause but we ran it anyway. We felt super 'space-age-y' with our electric burners, oven, and plata all hooked up to shabbos-clocks.

The first night was quiet. Z and I enjoyed a quiet meal alone.

We walked over to The FamBily House for lunch the first day. BBQ deliciousness and socializing. We made it back Home juuust in time for Z to run out to mincha/maariv.

The second morning we waited for Sara to arrive but instead her brother showed up carrying a message that she was under the weather. We thanked him for shleping the 15 minutes out to let us know, offered him some water, then sat down to an amazingly delicious meal.

We learned some new halachot about chag with regard to food preparation. I had miscalculated the number of challot that I would need for the holiday and was short - so I ended up baking a loaf of 'no knead' bread. We ate it warm from the oven with the juices from the roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes. It took less than 5 minutes of hands-on effort and was better than any restaurant I have ever been to.

Friday afternoon dragged on. I was slightly anxious about the upcoming meal - the whole mishpucha was coming. I wanted everything to go perfectly. Our table was opened up to its fullest length (with both leaves). We set the table with a hodge-podge of dishes (all 6 of our Shabbos dishes and 3 of our everyday set). Our collection of chairs (including 4 plastic ones washed special for the occasion). The only thing in my (relative)'power' was getting the food to the people in 'near-perfect' condition and I was suuuuper nervous (ridiculous, I know - but it was intimidating.)

Everybody arrived, we found our seats, and finally it was kiddush time. The meal went off without a hitch. Appetizers, soup (with the fun stuff on the sides), main course with sides, and finally dessert. I consider the whole thing a success because the Dibble partook of 2 courses (in addition to challah) - that's a new record for me.

After the meal there was much; storytime, journal reading, picture browsing, laughter and all around enjoying. Poor Buzzy didn't want to miss out on any of the fun and refused to go to sleep. He wandered around the house crying from exhaustion and trying to have a good time as his little eyes tried to close. Eventually we got him into bed but it was way past his bedtime.

The next morning was, wow, it was this morning. (It seems like so long ago.) We made our way to the other side of town. Then we enjoyed another delicious lunch at The FamBily House with some of my parents' neighbors. It was really nice. Later in the afternoon we headed Home. Z and Buzz ended up going straight back Home while Phil and I continued on to S&S's house for a birthday visit! We delivered the birthday muffins then spent a couple of highly enjoyable hours shmoozing with S&S. We made it Home a little before havdala.

That 3-day holiday sort of flew-by. I'm not quite sure how it went so quickly. Although my fridge is FULL of leftovers. Where'd those come from? Ohhh riiiight...

Next weekend - Yom Kippur. Til then - more fun stuff!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Icky Biccys

Raining and pouring is putting it mildly. To say the very least.

Ever since we moved to The Sun House (where 95 degree weather, and no breeze is the norm for a summer's day) we have been running our air-conditioning. Not continuously, but throughout the night (because although the weather cools outside, lack of cross breeze - or any breeze really - keeps the place from cooling down) and from about 2pm. We love it because in previous years we didn't have the luxury. Or course the price-tag of luxury is the electric bill - but ours seemed unusually high.

Last night at 10pm our downstairs neighbor paid us a visit. He said that an electrician friend had been by them for Shabbos and had noticed that though the unit was brand new and recently installed that the cooling didn't seem to be working efficiently. Upon further investigation he found that our both of our compressors (which are hung side by side over the neighbor's garden) have a twisted pipe/cable which is causing some sort of issue. In short - we need to get an electrician to come and fix the problem. Then our bill will be slightly lower, and the unit will cool more effectively and efficiently. The big issue here being that the landlord will most likely not do anything to help defer the cost of the technician. Also because it is a new unit and under warranty we need the company that installed the thing to do the maintenance and repair. Unfortunately that means sitting around and waiting until they find time in their schedules.

We managed to get an appointment but they are not available until after Rosh Hashana, so I guess we will just pay the inflated price for our cool until then.

We spent the morning on the phone (well, on hold) with the air-conditioning-people. Not too much got accomplished. I did make a really delicious creamy cheese sauce for lunch.

Then we picked up Phil and popped over to S&S's for a visit. Always a delight - I love living down the street from them! It thrills me that Buzz is getting to know them an that they get to spend so much time with him.

We toiveled my new coffee-cup, the mugs that Timmy bought for us in Belgium, and the awesomely amazing baking dish that S&S gave us for purim (which I am really excited to make stuffed shells in for sukkot!) Then we went Home. I forced Phil to bake a double batch of FF chocolate chip cookies for me and we watched Buzz watch Curious George which was quite amusing.

Z was happy because the post office slip finally arrived for Phil's birthday gift so he ran to the post office to pick it up.

Of course as if one appliance going kaput wasn't enough - our fridge decided to conk out (yet again) early this afternoon. I noticed that it was warming up, Z was in denial (as usual) and by 5pm he couldn't deny my complaint. He called a friend from GushEzion (who does travel to The Sun House) who is in the business but he was unavailable until after the chag he was however able to recommend a friend of his. We called this friend of a friend who was on his way home to prepare for his son's sheva brachot - but he was so kind and made the time to stop by and check out the situation.

Diagnosis: Ice in the airways. We keep the fridge in shabbos mode all the time (by keeping the lights taped up) which confuses the internal computer and the machine never runs its defrost cycle - so ice accumulates in the airways and vents that move the air from the freezer to cool the fridge.

Treatment: Defrost the thing.

Problem? Well, I've only cooked about 70% of all the food that I'm planning to make for Rosh Hashana, Shabbos Shuva, Erev Yom Kippur, Motzei Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and of course the other random stuff that I've got in there to eat until then.

What was it that I was saying about needing a secondary freezer? *sigh* Right.

Thankfully I have the most amazing parents in the world. Their extra-extra fridge can be set to a very low temperature and is virtually a freezer. So we filled up two huge laundry baskets and shlepped most of the contents of my freezer over to their house.

Then we hung out for a bit and pillaged/foraged for dinner in their fridge. Shabbos leftovers are deeeelicious! We shmoozed and relaxed. Eventually Buzz got tired and cranky so we packed up their coolers and drove across town.

I packed the remainder of the contents of my fridge into the freezer bags, unplugged the fridge, and set a pot of boiling water in the freezer to help steam-clear the vents as per the electrician's recommendation.

Hopefully in a few hours it will have cleared out enough to get us through the first leg of the chagim.

What an adventure.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Bern A Det

Shabbos was a whole lot of fun. Friday night we enjoyed an interesting meal with Buzz. He cried for food - then when he got food he threw it across the room. We left him strapped in his high-chair while we finished the rest of our meal. It was quite delicious. We've finally figured out how to set the timers and shabbos-clocks in the apartment and now everything runs like clockwork. Shabbos morning we walked over to The Fambily House. Buzz and the munchkin played splendidly most of the time and they also played with Fuzz. Lunch was delicious (as usual). Then we spent a large chunk of the afternoon relaxing in the living room. Once the heat of the day had passed we walked over to S&S's house for a visit. The kiddos love playing with all of the food toy and Buzz tried every trick he knows in an attempt to play with the dishwasher and refrigerator buttons.
Dressed by a committee of drunk sea monkeys
We woke up pretty early this morning. Come to think of it - we didn't sleep very well last night. I reckon another round of teething is beginning. (8 more teeth to go! 8 more teeth to go!) Scrambled eggs were on the menu for brunch. Then Buzz took a 2-hour nap (he hasn't done that in aaaaages - proof that he didn't sleep well last night) and I watched some tv while the house was quiet. Eventually I got up and decided to be productive. I baked two batches of double chocolate brownies, and two almond butter coffee cakes. I also baked up both of the FF broccoli quiches.

Buzz helped me with the baking and before I knew it we'd gone from 18 eggs to a mere 3 - with 7 of them ending up splat on the floor. A couple had just cracked slightly so I opened them and put them into a container. At that point I realized that I was in dire need of some more eggs. Which is how we found ourselves at Super-H at 6pm. We saw half a dozen people that we know and got to see S&S too - living in The Sun House definitely has its perks.

As we left the store Buzz cried that he wanted dinner so we popped into the pizza place and picked up a couple of slices. We made the poor kid wait until we got home - then he scarfed down an entire slice. I was impressed (considering he's been on an anti-food-kick for the last two weeks.)
Like a Rockstar
I managed to fit all of today's baked goods into the freezer by taking out the first of the chicken to defrost. It's in the coldest part of the fridge so it will probably stay frozen until Tuesday when I'm ready to cook it.

I need to figure out when to make my challot. This is so complicated with just one small freezer. Maybe one of these days I'll invest in a spare freezer. Then I can sell cookies and cookie dough as a side-job. Oh the possibilities.