September 20, 2012


I'm sitting outside Yon's nursery door while Yon is inside playing, thinking about firsts. It is the first time I'm doing something like this. It is a well known thing in our tiny family - daddy takes to school, mummy takes from school. I can't leave the kids anywhere alone. I cry every time. Hidai doesn't mind, so he is in charge of it. But this time around, here I am, outside the door. Not crying.
Maybe it's a second child thing, maybe it's because Yon is so happy going to nursery it's no problem leaving him there, maybe it's the fact that the nursery made me so angry with their insane two weeks settling in period.
Of course right after I finished that paragraph there was some crying from inside the nursery that sounded exactly like Yon crying out "Daddy, daddy" so I take everything back - I spent the next hour sitting on the edge of the sofa, texting frantically with Hidai and trying to figure out what is going on inside and if my baby needs me...
My baby did not, in fact, need me.
my baby
He had a great time, made friends, played with animals (even did some sharing), drank his milk and went to the toilet by himself. He has adjusted to nursery life brilliantly. So brilliantly that even they are breaking the rules for us and letting me leave the nursery tomorrow for 2 hours.
Thank god, because I don't think I could survive there for another day. Honestly I have a new-found admiration to nursery teachers. I don't know how they can stand all this crying all day. And all the kids. And all the parents.
None of my babies needs me any more it seems (and no. It most definitely does not means that it's time for a new one). Ron is enjoying life at school. He has been at school for 2 full weeks now, and everything seems fine with him. We are a nervous wreck. Seriously, yesterday he had a less then perfect day, which of course meant that by the time I picked him up he was fine, and that Hidai & I debated the whole evening if we should pull him immediately from the school, before deciding it might (just might, mind you) be an overreaction on our side.
So after 2 weeks, I feel I can start answering the question - So how is school?
Ron on the way to school
Well, it depends on who you ask - Ron or us :)
For Ron (less important obviously) it's been brilliant. Out of 20 kids in his class, he has already befriended 13 (thank god he inherited Hidai's friendly genes), started pondering the new girlfriend question, been invited to a tentative sleepover, and of course secured his status as the smartest in the class (he got a sticker on his second day because he impressed the teacher so much on his 2 first days :). So cute). I know it's not appropriate to brag, even (or especially) about the kids, but seriously I am so proud of him. It's not only that he doesn't mind that he is the only Jew or Israeli or redhead in the whole school, it's that he is proud of who he is, where he comes from and everything that goes with it. For example, they might be planning on opening an Arsenal football after school club in the school, but it will be for older kids (years 4-6) and the headteacher said she'll try to get him in if he wants, so I asked him if he will mind being the youngest. He doesn't care. Why would you even think he would?
So yes, he is fine. And I know that for a fact because first of all on Friday he wasn't feeling 100% so I gave him the opportunity to stay at home with me and Yon, and he pondered it, but decided he preferred to go to school (a bit insulting for me and Yon, but still), and second of all because I asked the teacher and he said that it's going fine, and I asked the headteacher and she said it's going fine, and I asked the deputy head and she said it's going fine, so you know, I think it's going fine :).

That's Ron teacher. He is 26. Yes.
Playing in the playground
For Ron that is. For us (the more important part of the equation obviously), it's hell. I am sitting here in front of the computer at 14:58. It is Ron's first day at the after school club, so he will finish school at 16:45. I am terrified. I admit I was considering going down there at 15:30 (end of the regular school day) just to see that everything is fine. That he isn't looking for me. That they treat him nicely. That he likes the club. Of course I cried on the first day. I made Hidai come home from work at 15:30 so I won't have to pick him up alone since I was so petrified from the possibility that he hated the school (he had a magnificent day thank you). I thought about calling him today also.What? 16:45 is almost like 18:45 isn't it? But I am still here, waiting until 16:15 and then I can run to the school to see my baby :). So yes, it's hell. Every single day is hard for us, everything is new, everything is done a little bit different than in Gibraltar, and there is no-one to ask because none of the parents talks to us (except one mum who explained the way of the school - no one will talk to you. They are not nice in this school. I don't know what is wrong with these people. They are all closed in their tiny ethnic groups and no one will talk with someone outside the group. Her words, not mine.), and we feel like outsiders. We still haven't seen evidence that the school will do as they promised and advance Ron with his math, or his football... So I made them chocolate cupcakes, because if you make the teachers and kids chocolate cupcakes it's bound to help. Right?
Right. I made around 35 of them, they were gone within minutes I'm guessing, I got kids the next morning coming over to say thank you (sooooooooo cute), and teachers saying thank you and telling me about cat-fights to get to the last ones :), also it gave Ron a bit of an opening to talk about Jewish New Year, and so we learnt that the Year 2 teacher has a Jewish friend (not boyfriend. Just friend) and she celebrated Rosh Hashana once, and the head-teacher is Jewish (which we knew) so she and other teachers said happy new year.
Life is weird. Yesterday I watched a show, and the daughter went to college and the dad said something along the lines of, there were times I couldn't wait for her to go already, but now that she's actually gone...
I hated August. I had a rough time with the 24/7 of the last three month. September couldn't have come fast enough. But now that it's actually here and they are off having fun at school...
School boys
September - Daughtry 
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September 4, 2012

I'm a survivor

Hi everyone, miss me? :)
I was feeling under the weather for the last couple of weeks, with a few different things that all amounts to the same thing - I wasn't here writing, I wasn't at the gym exercising, I wasn't at my computer working, I wasn't with the kids...
I was, however, feeling sorry for myself.
So I did what any sane person would do. I wallowed.
It wasn't fun. Well, it wasn't fun for everyone else.
So while I was busy wallowing, we still had some time to try and do other things to take my mind off of it and so other people in this family will have some fun also.
We decided to tour Upper St. which is kind of our new Main St. It has almost everything you can want, including around 6 Starbucks, which is a necessity with the Chocolate Brownie crazed children around, restaurants that we never eat in, bakeries that we almost never buy at, and clothes stores that explain our reluctance to frequent all those lovely restaurants :).
There is also an Oasis store. Oasis is one of my favourite shops in the UK (despite their outrageous pricing system), and after a long search I recently bought a new bag there. It is a very long and hard search process (don't even get me started about how long it took me to find a watch), so I was extremely happy with the bag I found. First of all it's red. Second of all, it has so much space inside, with a lot of different compartments, but without appearing too big. And I got it on a 15% off. BUT after a week or so, while we were in Starbucks, it broke (okay so it was just a little thing - one of the metal things holding the straps popped out). So I went back into the store all unhappy and the most amazing thing happened - they exchanged my bag, they didn't want a receipt, they didn't care when or where I bought it, they even gave me a new receipt for the new one. I was so amazed and dazed I think I stared at the saleswoman open mouthed... My new bag is holding just fine, and now more than ever I totally recommend Oasis.
my bag! (and me of course)

We also toured Westfield mall, since the weather was under the weather :), and it was the first place in 2 months that we heard Hebrew in (well, except for our place). Other than that, not a lot to say - it is big. No. It is huge. And it has everything you can want in a place like that. Except maybe a soul (but why would you look for a soul in a mall?). I don't know when I got so used to the English (and Gibraltarian) way of  shopping streets instead of shopping malls, but now I find it really hard to be in one... And in the end, it took us around 40 minutes and 2 tubes, to be able to go into the Disney Store (Yons favourite store), the Build a Bear store, the Lego store, a book store, and another toy store (and of course a Starbucks and a Boots). All in all, not an experience I am waiting to repeat (at least until it rains again).
After that we stayed at home.
Well, we stayed home because we were having Uri & Ev over for coffee, cake and football, and before they came over we just had to reorganize the house. Don't get me wrong, the house is great, the complex is great, but it is tiny. So so tiny. And it's not that we went from 3 bedrooms to 2, because all the kids things fit perfectly inside their room, it's the living area and the fact that I just never understand how works the mind of an architect. And that of British people in general. Don't they cook? bake? live inside a house? It might be a London thing. Or it might be a young people thing. Anyway we spent Sunday morning trying to find a space to fit another cupboard in the living area (later decided to be a sideboard, which is a completely new term I learned this past few days) since I wanted to start baking again (more on that later) and discovered what I chose to ignore when we unpacked. Baking supplies take up space. Which we don't have. Also since the fridge is the size of a small ice-cream box (seriously, it's around the size fridge we had when it was just the 2 of us and we were living on take away), we needed to find a place for an extra freezer (ideally I would replace the whole thing with a decent size fridge, but I can't first because there is no room, and second because it's not mine ant I have a feeling the landlord won't like it very much). Thank god Uri & Ev brought cookies from Gail's, a very good bakery I also discovered 2 days before while trying to find Israeli / Jewish food outside the Jewish areas. The bakery isn't really Jewish, but they do have rude service people, Challa and very good chocolate cookies (and apparently an award winning carrot cake). We felt right at home, and ate half the Challa on the bus.
The last week of August finally arrived and with it Late Summer Holiday, our first London Holiday, which we celebrated with not going to the Notting Hill Festival. Hidai did take the kids to Clissold Park, which he prefers because it has a petting area and a very good size playing area for Yon, and I don't like much because it's further away from home (did someone said lazy?) they ran into Aunty Jo's family (without the Aunty Jo part), and had a great morning including petting animals, playing in the sand and getting wet in the inevitable rain shower.

 We also ended up with a Jewish New Year celebration with Uri & Ev and Aunty Jo & family. I am so excited. I know, it doesn't go with my oh-so-cool image, but I really hate sitting alone in the holidays. When you live in Israel it's kind of tradition and expected of you to either have a big family holiday meal, or be abroad. But since the kids don't really care about any holiday except Christmas, and are not very good at eating celebratory dinners, we usually found ourselves sitting at the table alone while a "holiday songs cd" is playing in the background. Fun as that sounds ( I know, i know, you all wish you were in my shoes right now), after last year's Rosh H'ashana Debacle (also known as Jewish New Year disaster) I swore that never again will that happen, and true to that we had had such a lovely time with all our holidays up until now with friends and family, and even the kids enjoyed themselves and showed some intrest. So I was really worried that in the move to London, together with losing so many other things, we will also lose our holidays again. I honestly don't know how we will fit 6 adults and 4 kids into the house, but I am so happy that everyone's coming, even though it won't be a proper holiday dinner, it will center around sweet food (for a sweet year) and the menu (for now) is - 3 kind of cookies (2 honey ones, 1 chocolate), 2 cakes, sweet pasta pie, sweet Challa, bureks and mini-pancakes. Hopefully it's enough food, and I already started perfecting all my receipts...
This week, after surviving the hardest August EVER, we decided to treat the kids. They deserve it. So instead of going to the Islington end of summer boat fair (original plan) we took them to buy some new underpants and socks. I take full responsibility for all that happened from here on. I decided on Primark. Even though I don't like Primark. And it's always too full of people and not so good clothes. But we just moved to a new country, so we have no more money. And so Primark seemed like a good option. And even worse, I decided to not go to Oxford st., but to a closer one. The Primark in Hackney. It's about 20 minutes drive (or 45 on the slowest bus ever) from here, and it is... I have no other words to describe it other than... different... We will not be going back there any time soon. It wasn't even the Primark itself, though it did have a very small selection of boys clothes, it was the vibe of the neighbourhood. I know it's definitely not the worst neighbourhood in London, but it made feel a bit unsure of myself and out of place. I guess we are not ready for hard-core London yet. Next time I have the urge to buy cheap underpants, I'm going to Oxford st. with all the tourists.
We did go to an Ice Cream Festival this weekend, which was amazing. We've never been to King-Cross area, so we got a bit lost on the way, but it was totally worth it. They had plenty of ice cream trucks, with organic ice cream, sheep milk ice cream and also, you know, good ice cream :), an ice cream ice sculpture, some fake cows, how to make ice cream thing, and for us the 2 best things - a small petting area with cows, sheep and goats, and a cow milking station, where you got to pretend milk a pretend cow. All my boys took turns, Yon found it funny, Ron found it wet, and Hidai found it very nostalgic. We also ate ice cream from Gelatorino, which was so good that even Yon ate (he is not a big fan). We chose that particular ice cream stand because it had a long queue, and it is a known fact that a) it you see a queue you have to join in, and b) the longer the queue the better the quality. Ron took one glance at the guy's card and immediately knew that Russel St. is near the Transport Museum, after all, we've gone past it like 3 weeks before. How can you NOT know that?!
milking a cow
Petting a goat
And eating the ice cream
So that is it. Today is the 4th of September. It is Ron's last day of Summer, and to celebrate we took everyone to the dentist. I don't get dentists. They are the only kind of doctors that you go to feeling just fine and go out of feeling like the worst person alive with rotten teeth that are about to fall off any minute now. It's a miracle you got to this point in life with all your teeth. Ah and also, they all have different reasons and diagnostics to everything. The doctor in Gib told me - only use Sensodyne (really sensitive teeth here). The doctor here says - Colgate. The doctor in Gib blamed my sensitivity on my Coke habit (it was called for. You know it was. Drinking Diet Coke for the sense of humourless among us), this one, on grinding my teeth. Anyway NOT a fun visit, but at least it's done and the kids are fine.
I survived another summer.
I am crazy with worry about tomorrow.
I can't wait to be after. After Ron settles in. After Yon goes to nursery. After they have friends. After.
I don't want tomorrow to arrive. I can't bear the thought of my baby going to a new school, without knowing anyone. I almost cried today when he said he's a bit nervous.
I am, as usual in these situations, a train wreck.

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