Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The 3 Weeks Are Upon Us

it's 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. sahar is napping so i decided to blog. it's been some time. i've been taking care of sahar a lot lately. i know that i went slightly mad while the kids were in eilat. i wanted equal custody of sahar.

since they came back. i've been saddled with taking care of sahar. no discussion, as usual. i think there are some issues with the family dynamics, which i'm not privy to. i guess it's for the best. i really don't want to be a part of the situation. i just want to support them lovingly and help them out when i can.

i was having terrible thoughts and fantasies, of a custody battle with the in - laws. it disturbed me greatly, even imagining, the unimaginable. as hard as i tried, i couldn't shake these horrific thoughts. i am a medium, in the sense that i receive thoughts. i pick up on troubling events, too. i was picking up on the kid's current marrital crisis. being a drama queen, i over react all the time.

we are in the midst of the 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the holy temples. this is an historically unlucky time for the jews. we must take special care during this time. yesterday, my grandson ran into the street and was nearly hit by a car. we had a miracle. the car stopped before inpact. it wasn't on my watch. i worry all the time that something might happen while he is my care.

we must simply trust that Hashem is watching over us. we cannot become paralyzed by fear of the 'what if'. however, we must be vigil and not careless. with this kid it is not an easy feat. he is all over the place, all the time. he is always getting into trouble. this morning he was putting his fingers into the fan. thank goodness it wasn't on but it was plugged in. he is always trying to insert metal objects into the electrical outlets.

in a blink of an eye, he's on another foor. i have to keep all of the doors locked all of the time. besides grabbing for crayons and markers which are not dangerous, he finds sharp objects like japanese knives. he stands on his tippy toes and reaches the counter. i am running out of room to hide things from him. he is aggressive with the dogs and throws objects at them. he head - budded me this morning on my eyebrow. he threw himself down on the couch and hurt his cheek.

i was hit by a virus yesterday and could barely stand on my feet. i actually retched up some bile. i couldn't eat or drink. i finally was able to get some water down. the girls came over to swim and i opened the door for them and then went back to sleep. i slept all day and most of the evening. at 11:00 p.m. i felt a bit hungry. i had some melon. i went back to sleep.

i woke up feeling better. yesterday morning, when sahar came up at 7:00 a.m. it took all of my strength to get him a bottle. i was so sore and achey. i was a bit panicked that the kids were going to leave him with me. they didn't and i was relieved. i never thought that something bad might happen.

oh it is so peaceful while he sleeps! please grant me the strength to care for him!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Toddler Wars day 4

it's 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just indulged myself with a tuna sandwich on a whole wheat roll. i usually don't eat bread during the week. i have been trying very hard to lose some of this enormous bloat. i think this week i've tried to do a mock weight watchers' number. i ate what i wanted but kept the amounts smaller.

i am waiting for sahar to wake up. that's right, sahar is with me. his other grandma is coming over soon with his two uncles to have a pool party. yesterday, i hosted the aunts. it's amazing to see how wild religios girls are. they thrashed about the pool and assaulted one other. the water went spilling all over the place. i actually, filled up the pool before they arrived. what a waste!

i was hoping that they would bring sahar over with them. i understood, once they were here, that it was an afternoon off for them. gal's sister brought her little 3 month old boy baby. i spent the entire afternoon, sitting by his stroller and talking to him. i was like a paid babysitter without the pay. i don't usually do well with infants and newborns. i get hopelessly depressed when they cry. little orel was particularly, sweet and sociable yesterday. i mostly conversed in english. he seemed to get my drift. his mom looked a bit worried, though.

i didn't feel like joining them in the pool so i sat in the shade. one of the girls was hungry, so i raided gal's freezer and made some potato berakas and preve hotdogs. i brought out drinks, fruit, crackers and bissli. my fridge was empty. i cut up a little salad, too. i wanted to offer them spaghetti but they left before i got the chance to cook. everyone got a really long and hot shower and it must have been nice to not wait on line as usual.

i didn't trek down to canaan to see sahar. i've gone a day or two without seeing him. i was feeling content actually, when my son zvi called. he sensed the disappointment in my voice and they decided to have sahar brought over for the night.
i really didn't think that it was a good idea. he finally arrived at 9:00 p.m. he was nearly asleep. he was finally in my arms when the other grandma needed to hug him goodbye. he then thought that he was going with that grandma. he entered the house and wanted to watch videos. he almost fell asleep but was really too restless to settle down.

i finally got him settled down on the t.v couch and he nearly passed out but woke up crying. he called out for safta and i told him that i was there. he wanted safta miriam and he told me so. it was 1100 p.m. and he wanted to go back to his other grandma. i was going to ring her up and tell her to pick him up. i was really upset by the whole predicament. i don't get it. on sunday he was attached at the hip. on wednesday, he hardly knows me. what gives!

i was blamed for putting sahar to sleep with videos. this woman puts him to sleep in her bed every day and that is perfectly, acceptable. i feel like i've finally been shoved out of sahar's life. i'm the elderly lady upstairs who sometimes babysits for him. miriam is his grandma. i give him corn and bologna and she makes him couscous with meat and veggies. i don't use hair conditioner or baby gel. i don't dress him up at all.

oh bye the way, sahar was taken back to his other safta'a house right after the pool party this evening. afterall, i did have him overnight. why should i expect to have him tonight too. i have already become obsolete in his life. oh happy me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Toddler Wars day 2

it's 10 p.m. in the holy city of zefat and i'm thoroughly exhausted. i went to sleep last night at around 5:00 a.m. that's two nights in a row that i've been unable to sleep.

i had a very long pep rally type discussion with my big sis in california. she says that i should get a life and that i should reclaim my power. that's a good one! who's got a life at our age. i know that sounds very bleak. i'm in a funk, remember?

the only good thing about the current situation is that i've lost my appetite, finally. i don't think that i'll shed any poundage unless i start to walk again. i actually read that you tend to gain more weight if you aren't sleeping well. it has something to do with how the body breaks up fat while we sleep.

i finally got out of bed at around 4:00 p.m. i didn't even shower. i decided to walk to town. i decided to visit a friend, too. my sister told me to get out of the house, so i did. i caught a ride to town on the next corner. it was too hot to walk, anyway. i figured that i could always walk home.

i left the house without my purse. i figured that i could always borrow the bus fare home. i had some money stashed away for a cab if i decided to get one, too. i ended up stopping off at gal's parents. i wanted to see sahar. i wanted to see if he missed me or not. when he saw me he was non plus. he then came running over for a hug. he wasn't clinging to me today. although, every time i tried to say goodbye to him, he would cry. so i hung around the family and walked down to town with them. it took forever. time was simply, dragging.

it wasn't as scorchingly hot in town as yesterday, but it wasn't cool, either. being without money in town was a big mistake. sahar wanted ices. yesterday i bought him a drink and ices. i had sold some jewelry to get enough money to cover my checks this month. i felt large. i had a wad of bills in my pocket. today i tried to teach sahar how to panhandle. i was half joking and half serious, i'm afraid to admit. i broke off from the group to visit a friend. she wasn't home so i rejoined the hot and miserable group next to the bank.

his sephardi grandma bought him a deluxe potty. i guess with her daughter away in eilat for the week, she plans to toilet train her less than two year old grandson. i didn't sign on for this. i would never impose my values on the topic. but rememder, i'm just the paternal granny. i think this is really wrong. but since i'm not included in any of the plans, i remain silent. i'm finally over my hurt. if that's okay with my daughter-in-law to let her mother potty train her son, well, so be it. i'm out of the loop. once more.

getting a life never sounded so swell. i really have to get back to my fighting weight. i got to have new clothes. i got to have some work. i got to get back to yoga. i got to get back to walking every day. i got to get back to being a red head. i got to get back to acting. i got to get some teeth.

i got to get my power back! even if i never had any, i got to restablish myself as a menstch. i got to clean up all the pish, poop and doggie vomit all around the house. i have to pay my water bill, my real estate tax bill, and my electric bill. i have to cancel my appointment with the homeopath next week. i need that money to pay a bill. i need to take better care of me. i need to eat something right now. i need to get a camera so i can skype my family in india. i need to go to unemployment.

i decided not to buy my grandson sandals. let his other grandma deal with it. or let his mother drive herself crazy. i know that whatever i buy will be wrong. so i left my cash at home. i intended to walk home because my entire body is stiff. i ended up being driven home by gal's mom. her sister needed to pick up shoes from downstairs, anyway.

i decided not to be angry or vindictive with the kids. i will not throw them out, afterall. i cannot guarentee that i will still be available 24/7 anymore. i'm trying to rethink the laundry, too. we shall see, won't we.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Toddler Wars

it is nearly 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just shlepped back from town in the heat with my grandson. i was only home for about 5 minutes when his other grandmother came by and literally scooped him out of my arms and into her car. i am really steaming.

the kids went off to eilat this morning for about 5 days. i was really looking forward to spending the night alone with sahar. i had asked the other grandma how she wanted to split up the days. i was willing to keep him here at night, sleeping in his own room. now that's a chiddush! my plan was rejected. i feel very resentful.

i want to call up my son and give him a mouth full of venom. that won't solve anything. he will only side with his wife. that's how it should be anyway. i guess my daughter-in-law doesn't really trust me with sahar. she wants him with her mother. she packed up a bag of all his summer clothes this morning and left me without hardly anything. she also didn't leave me a stroller. i am so hurt i could cry.

i didn't sleep a wink last night because i was so nervous about them leaving. i assumed that they had already left sahar with the clan. i didn't hear him make a peep last night. i finally fell off to sleep at around 6:00 a.m. at 7:00 a.m. zvi came upstairs with sahar and asked me to watch him. they had overslept. the inlaws were driving them to acco to catch a train to ben gurian airport. they were flying from tel aviv to eilat.

sahar seemed more tired than i was today. he is simply over stimulated at gal's family. here, he gets quality time with just me. it's quiet except for the dogs. maybe gal didn't want sahar to sleep with me and the dogs. i don't know anything because she doesn't communicate anything with me. zvi simply, stays out of the line of fire.

i am so upset that i keep fantasizing about kicking them out from the downstairs apartment. what am i the maid? good enough to wash their clothes and watch the kid for a while but not good enough to have a real relationship with my own grandson. i am the scapegoat, too. i am being blamed for getting sahar out of his crib routine and getting him used to watching videos to fall asleep. i never showed him videos without asking first. why am i validating myself, anyway??

i feel like crying. i can't believe that i have no rights. i have been having awful nightmarish fantasies of going to court to fight for custodial rights over the other family. it should never have to get to that place, please,G-d!!!!

this just isn't right. i am the paternal grandma. the kids live in my house. i have only one child. i have only one grandchild. i am totally alone tonight. why wasn't i given the chance to snuggle with my grandson tonight??? i am really mad at gal. i want so badly to tell her off. that's a luxury. i have to keep it cool all the time if i want access to my grandson. something has to give. i can't go on like this anymore.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Party Hearty

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i've been in bed all day. i had a great time at my birthday bash yesterday. i bought some very inexpensive italian sparkling wine and it did the trick for me. it went right to my head. i needed it.

it was a bit rough going during the day. i didn't sleep the night before and finally passed at about 4:00 a.m. drinking coffee at mildnite is insane. anyway, i stayed in bed until 11:00 a.m. and didn't start to cook until 12:00 p.m. it wasn't so easy being so tired. i usually would have had it done on friday.

i mixed up the soy milk with a little apple cider vinegar to create a non dairy like buttermilk. i needed it for two of the recipes. i used it to make a corn bread that was non dairy and gluten free. i always make it with either, rye or whole wheat flour. it came out a bit dry so i covered it while it was still hot with foil. i also drizzled a bit of honey onto it.

i ended up not baking another cake. i served the left over chocolate birthday cake from my surprise party and the banana date cake from shabbat. i did make up a batch of gluten free peanut butter cookies. i had wanted to make some tahina cookies too, but i definately, ran out of steam. it was a very hot day and i was feeling cooked.

i made a large pot of chile and i actually didn't veer from the recipe, except for the type of beans that i used. it wasn't too hot. it was spicy and rather tastey. i threw a bunch of fresh corn into the largest pot i owned. i made a quick and tangy sauce for the cocktail franks, and i made a small meatloaf. i went downstairs to clean up the yard and lug down chairs.

i came back upstairs and smelled something burning. the top of the meat loaf was burnt to a crisp. i ran to the freezer to grab another package of chop meat but i realized that there wasn't really enough time to defrost it. i simply, sliced off the top and gave it to the dogs. i reshaped the meatloaf, covered it with a little ketchup, and baked it for a little while longer. voila! fresh meatloaf.

i was really tired but i kept running around the downstairs, setting up. i made a bunch of toasted pita chips but they were virtually untouched. i finely shredded some lettuce and brought down a store bobottle of dressing. i was actually, too tired to squeeze any more lemons and make my own vinegrette. i had already made 2 liters each of lemonade, ice coffee and ice tea. the ice coffee was as usual, well received. this time, i served it with rich's non dairy coffee creamer because i had set the table with my fleishig dishes.

i actually, used real glasses, bowls and silverware. i did have the suppplementary disposable dishes, too. i still haven't finished cleaning up yet. i still haven't finished cleaning up from shabbat, either. i set up the electric hot plate outside and created a strictly buffet style meal.

at the last minute, i made up some brown rice and carrots and onions for my vegetarian friend. i really had little patience to potchka at that point. i didn't have any creativity left in me. the apple pie icecream, that i had so labored to make, was totally over looked. the cornbread was a great hit and so was the left over banana cake. so much for fancy desserts.

at 4:00 p.m. it was still too sunny to sit outside but by 5:00 p.m. it had cooled down. the air was delicious. it was so lovely downstairs. everyone i invited, came.
we were a cozy dozen and there were 4 dogs. my friend decided to leave her 2 dogs behind.

paco, the newest guy dog, didn't shut up. he was only quiet when held in the arms of someone. it was most annoying. someone brought a really nice bottle of wine and it was well received. we started singing 4th of july songs and all kinds of american anthems. it was a lot of fun. it winded down at about 9:00 p.m.

as i was saying goodnight to the last of the crowd, a large truck pulled up and i received a huge plant and balloons form the kids. i persevered for the next few hours to bring in all the dishes and silverware and put away the tables and chairs. i gave up at around 12:00 a.m.

at 1:00 a.m. i heard sahar crying and finally went downstairs to get him. his parents were dead to the world. gal had been to the beach with her sister and zvi had played soccer. i put sahar on the t.v. sofa with the dogs and he crawled onto my body. he slept on top of me the entire night. he moved and switched sides the entire time. i have never seen such wiggling and squiggling. he finally woke up at 7:00 a.m.

i took him downstairs to reunite him with his parents but they were still fast asleep. i made him a bottle and stayed with him until 8:00 a.m. i then came upstairs and passed out.

i can't believe that i was so showered with gifts and emails this year. it really made turning 60, okay.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Turning 60

it's 10:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. shabbat is over and i turned 60. i guess that is quite a milestone.

i had a bit of trouble yesterday. i got up around 8:00 a.m. when sahar came up to join me. i quickly made him a bottle and got ready to start the day. i fully intended to start my shabbat preparations as well as bake cookies and cakes and corn bread for my big 4th of july weekend/rosh chodesh tamuz 60th birthday bash tomorrow afternoon.

i went outside with sahar and the three dogs to wave goodbye to his parents. i grabbed the semi folded stroller and somehow got my ring finger caught. i have never felt that much pain in my life. i somehow managed to get my finger out and it was a bloodied mess. i had cut right through the middle part of the nail. i was beside myself. i ran back into the house to pour arnica oil all over the top of my finger. it was really throbbing. i was very upset.

i had wanted to go into the pool but i didn't dare with my finger. i was afraid to get it wet. i then found a sterile gauze pad and soaked it with arnica and wrapped it around the nail and taped it around the finger with masking tape. the slightest touch made me scream. eventually, i felt no pain.

i was emotionally drained and physically weakened. i drank some coffee and let sahar run around the garden for a while. i somehow, regained my composure and got him back into his stroller and took him to the grocery store. i bought a challah, some veggies and eggs and a couple of bottles of cheap italian fizzy wine.

when i got back, i put the sprinklers on and let sahar run around in the water, while i did about three batches of laundry. don't ask why. i hung up the heavy towels and fleece training suits outside on the lines. i got sahar back inside and into the bathtub. he was overtired and i thought that a bath would relax him so he would take a nap. he was less wild but sat up on the couch watching the 'baby luli' channel.

gal came home early from the store and took sahar downstairs. i got into action and started making the shabbat meals. i couldn't bend my ring finger that well or put much pressure on it. i found it hard to peel the vegetables. i left the skins on the potatoes. i found it hard to wash the veggies, too. i was still afraid of getting my finger wet. i threw the potatoes and eggs in the pot together for the saturday lunch. i usually cook them separately.

i opted for oven baked chicken and potatoes. i managed to get the excess fat off the chickens and threw some prepared grill and barbecue spices on the top. the kids loved it. i also made a potted fish with carrots, potatoes, red peppers and tomatoes. i didn't have any fresh cilantro so i used a bit of dried coriander, thyme and rosemary. zvi thought that it wasn't the usual recipe. he was right.

i made some tahina, and baked eggplant salad with tahina. no one touched it. i cut up the lettuce and soaked it. i had bought a watermelon but i couldn't handle cutting it up. gal did it for me. some time during the day, the refrigerator shelf was collapsing from the weight of the watermelon. somehow, i managed to fix it.

i made a 4th of july no bake pie which was a total waste of my ingredients and time. i poured a very expensive bag of frozen blueberries into an expensive graham cookie pie shell and covered it with hot strawberry jello. i then whipped up a package of french vanilla pudding with real milk, which was a real mistake. i should have used non dairy milk so i could have served it for my party tomoorow. no one reallly liked it and it's just sitting in the fridge. it would have made a real culinary statement tomorrow. oh well!

i then made up a batch of flourless chocolate/almond cupcakes for the non gluten guests. they rose real high and then fell real low. they looked like something the dogs made. are we having fun yet? i also threw together a half dozen jumbo rye blueberry muffins and they also looked like drek. i froze some strawberry yogurt into popsicle trays for sahar. he didn't get the concept nor did he eat them. i had a couple. they were rather tasty.

i baked a whole wheat banana date loaf cake, which was a success. i think i'll freeze the rest for when my friends from efrat come to vist in a couple of weeks. i bought tons of fresh corn but ended up using a can of sweet corn for shabbat. i couldn't handle shucking the corn. i made some thin french cut string beans but ruined it by pouring on a really bad israeli teriyaki sauce. it was unedible.

i managed, somehow, to grate a couple of beets and a carrot. there was no way of my cutting them into small cubes. i might of added some cumin so zvi, the bloodhound, didn't eat them. i think that the cumin actually, was added to the eggplant salad that no one ate. but who's keeping score, anyway. i also fried up a few slices of niles perch for the grandson but he didn't eat any. i ate them for lunch.

i made a few phone calls to my closest girl pals. i spoke with my soul sister in new york. our birthdays are one day apart on rosh chodesh. i also spoke with my friend in efrat, whose birthday is on tuesday. unfortunately, she can't come up for the birthday party. and lastly, i spoke with my partner in crime friend, who's hebrew birthday is next week. we are sharing the tamuz birthday bash together. i wanted to invite another pal who is also a tamuz baby, but she is working at the candle factory store until late.

i threw some water onto the high chair to clean it and the next think i knew, i was breaking my fall with my right hand. i landed quite hard on my left knee. i struggled to get up and just started crying. i was in a lot of pain. i was beginning to doubt that i would make it to my 60th year in one piece. i was getting paranoid. i then threw tons of sudsy water on the floor to further tempt fate and i was sliding all over the place. it was nearly candlelighting time and i was still struggling to get all of the water out of the house. sahar was walking all over the place saying 'wet'.

as i sit here blogging, i am reminded that the laundry is still hanging outside. do i get up or not? i hear a lot of noise outside. gal is due back with sahar. the kids went over there for third meal and came back without him. i felt like going for a walk too, but i didn't feel like getting dressed. my finger still hurt. i sat back down and started reading psalms. i ate some chicken and finished the tahina and half a can of corn. i lost the urge to walk. i picked up my newspaper and started reading various articles.

i just went outside to check up on the noise and the entire clan was outside sans the father and married sister. i really didn't expect any visitors at 11:00 p.m. the house was a mess. i took the liberty of not cleaning up after shabbat. what a mistake that was. i was not the hostest with the mostest tonight. gal's mom made a cake and the kids ordered pizza. before you knew it, it was midnight and thay all left. i went downstairs and brought in the laundry. now it's 1:00 a.m.

i have half of her mom's cake left over if i don't feel like baking tomorrow. i'm a wreck but i do have my menu planned. i'm making flourless corn bread, chile con carne, meatloaf with barbecue sauce, corn on the cob, stringbeans and almonds, brown rice pilaf, and a tossed green salad. now that i finally know what i want to make, i'm not so sure that i will have the energy to do everything. i have eggplant and chumus left over. and of course, the beet and carrot salad. i can always make a cucumber salad, too.

the watermelon is already cut and i made apple pie icecream sometime, yesterday. i bought a fancy and expensive can of pie filling from the states. it was waful! very slimy and tasteless. i added a ton of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. i blended it all together. the egg whites didn't exactly beat up. we shall see if it is a success, won't we. i was planning on making a gingerbread cake, and flourless peanut butter and tahina cookies . all i need is the strength. maybe i'll get by with the left over banana and chocolate cakes and the very flat flourless chocolate cupcakes.

good night! shavua tov! chodesh tov! may you all get what you need and really want.