Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mer Low See Rah!

Monday was Erev- chag. It was a ridiculously long day. We went out to the grocery store to pick up some last-minute random things. The store wasn't nearly as crowded as I had anticipated - which was kind of a pleasant surprise. Buzz took a long very-late nap so we were hoping he'd stay up for at least part of the Seder (he only made it to ha-lachma or thereabouts before breaking down sobbing that he wanted to go to sleep. So Z put him to bed for the night.) He wore his snazzy birthday shirt under his white button-down and we left the button down open so that everybody could see his cool swag.
The Seder was a lot of fun. It was the family (minus The Freddies), Devorah, Uncle Abe, and Timmy's friend Yoshi (who brought his dog, Mush - short for mushroom I was informed...) it was quite the party. The Crazy Lady made awesome chicken soup and a huge amount of fricassee with mashed potatoes on the side for the meal. It was amazing - even after sitting on the plata for quite a while.
The morning after everybody was woozy and super-tired. We enjoyed a light refreshing dairy lunch. Then we hung out and relaxed. Eventually it was late enough to go to the park. It was pretty crowded but Phil joined us, and Buzz had a blast running across bridges, going through tunnels, and sliding down crazy tall slides for an hour. When we got back to the house it was dinner time - we had an out of this world bbq - fresh off the grill. As soon as chag was over we ran home to get Buzz into bed. It was 8:30pm and he was out for the night. It was fantastic!
This morning we had trouble agreeing on a course of action for the day. We opted out of the beach because the weather-man said that the day would turn out cloudy and cool. So I baked some pesach rolls and cooked up a batch of crepes for blintzes. Then we wasted a few hours while Buzz napped earlier and longer then he has on any day in MONTHS. By 3pm we managed to get out of the house - only to find that the day was hot and bright - darn you weatherman.

We spent an hour at the mall. Buzz didn't want to play on the soft-play-area. So we walked up and down the whole mall a bunch of times. We stopped to play on all of the rides. Then we made our way to The FamBily House where we crashed a tv watching party. We ended up sticking around for dinner. Then we dashed to get Buzz to bed because he was crashing.
Tomorrow is another day - moadim l'simcha!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Casually Vacant

Last Monday was jam-packed. I finally did that blood-work and when the results came back I definitely felt like I'd failed quite miserably - let's just say if there was ever somebody all-around deficient - it'd be me. Shame it's not medal-worthy - I could really use a pick-me-up. After spending almost an hour waiting for the nurse to get around to taking my blood - I decided to run other errands that I'd been putting off. There was a parking spot at the top of cardiac hill, so I decided to pick up the checkbook that I'd ordered a couple of months earlier - that took almost an hour. Then I dropped off the recycling at the 'kiosk' and was lucky to have gotten my stuff in - the place was full from floor to ceiling - it was crazy. When I got home we piled back into the car and went out to IKEA. What's not to love about a cheap but tasty lunch out and of course Ikea 'stuff'. We got cups and a frying pan. We also picked up the 'tent' for Buzz's bed and thankfully the 'customer service' people were able to replace the missing/damaged pieces. When we got home we unpacked the car then spent the rest of the day assembling Buzz's bed and reorganizing his bedroom. He seems to love it so that's all good.
Tuesday was actually super-productive. We kicked off by scrubbing the stovetop and ovens cleaner than they have been since we first got the oven. The windows were completely spotless. It was crazy intense labor and my hand was cramped for two days after. While I was busy dealing with the oven, Z took some initiative and cleaned out the fridge and freezer. All the sticky gunk is officially gone! Yay! When I was finished with the cleaning I turned to 'straightening' as I successfully emptied one entire kitchen pantry and tetris-fit all of the contents into the second pantry. It took some maneuvering but I was successful. Z cleared the table and cleaned the floor. When we were done we went out to the mall and treated ourselves to some dinner at Cafe Greg. Back at home Z put Buzz to bed while I folded 4 loads of laundry and switched over the first part of huge kitchen. The cabinets were ready it was just a matter of putting everything into them.
Early Wednesday morning Z went out to the Shafir office to deal with house-plan related stuff. Turns out they don't like the way we allocated space in the house and have therefore not given us the permit. Now Z has to figure out how to cut a heck of a lot of space off of the plan and resubmit or he has to redesign the whole project. Either way, we are not getting anywhere and I am not happy - to say the least. The stupid people make it impossible to build a beautiful house - they insist that it needs to be a stupidly and poorly designed Israeli brick. At this point I have almost zero interest in actually ever living there - the idiocy is just killing me.
I spent my morning washing the last of the dishes, and scrubbing out the microwave. I also did some loads of laundry. When Z got back we went out to the grocery store. Osher Ad was a mob scene. It took us an hour and a half to get in, through, and out - and we barely needed anything. Just vegetables and some dairy stuff. Ridiculous. We dropped the groceries off at home then we kidnapped a vaccuum from The FamBily House. While the ovens were kashering we cleaned all three couches and all of the rugs. I also washed all 400 ball-pit balls and did a wash of stuffed animals. We also cleaned some hard-to-reach corners. Then we returned the vaccuum and kidnapped Frank on our way to the spice store. 
Thursday was also busy. We finally finished organizing the kitchen. I cooked up a big pot of tomato vegetable soup. We went over to The FamBily house and used their convenient power hook-ups and parking spot to vaccuum/clean out the car, stroller, and car seat. When that was done we snuck back home and Z collected the pile of things to kasher. He went out with everything and came back with everything. Very impressive. Now we officially have 'real' silverware to eat with for the week (you know, instead of plastic.)
Also Debs had a baby boy - so that's an exciting mazal tov to 'shout out'!
Friday morning showed up and it was time to figure out what we were going to eat for shabbos. We had that leftover vegetable soup so I decided to repurpose it. We made 1/4kg into tiny meatballs, browned them in our new frying pan, then put them into the soup - they made it even more delicious! We also roasted a whole chicken on a bed of onions, sweet and white potatoes. For lunch we invited ourselves over to The FamBily house - we brought a nice amount of two-toned potato gratin with us - it actually turned out quite deliciously.
I blanched and peeled 2 cups of almonds - then turned them into 3liters of deliciously creamy almond milk. I may have gotten Buzz hooked on chocolate milk.
We didn't spend all day in the kitchen though. We actually spent the whole morning out of the house. Z got me a special and exciting Pesach present - a food processor and hand mixer! Then we went to the mall to let Buzz get out some of his energy.
We were pretty relaxed when candle-lighting time arrived. Z went out to shul. Buzz stayed up for dinner then went to sleep without too much fuss.
Shabbos morning we walked over to The FamBily house on the early side. Lunch was delicious and fun and after a few hours we decided to make the most of the nice weather and we walked back home - Phil came with us and hung out until a little before the end of the day. Buzz was zonked even though he took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon and he went to sleep right after havdala.
Now it's morning again and there's nothing much to do besides for taping up littler 'chametz' signs on the kitchen cabinets that we're 'selling'. We're trying to find something fun to do today because tomorrow is a nice long day too. It's not too sunny and hot out so maybe we'll just have a picnic out at the park - that could be fun. I'm going to go suggest it to the guys.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Word Train is out of gas...

I'm a week behind on posting. Last Monday I wrote a heck of a lot of lists. We started straightening up the house. Then we crashed at The FamBily House for dinner with a couple of Franks friends. We ended up bbq-ing.  
On Tuesday Phil and I went out to Malcha mall - we took the train - it was fun! When we got back to The Sun House a lot of shopping went on as we started buying pesach kitchen stuff. We even stopped by S&S's house to have a look through their Pesach stuff - so many memories!!! Wednesday was fun - we baked some cinnamon buns for breakfast. Thursday we started organizing the guest room and ended up visiting the new jumbo park before crashing The FamBily House for dinner.
On Friday we cleaned Buzz's room and the Master bedroom for Pesach. Cooking went quickly and there was even time to primp - yay pretty nails! Avi&Ayala joined us for dinner - which was a lot of fun. We went over to The FamBily House for lunch because The Freddies were in town. We played Settlers, went to the huge park, ran around a lot, and noshed more than we should have.
Today was busy - for Z anyway. We got the guest room completely organized. We even consolidated and emptied more moving boxes. Lots of dishes were washed, all the new stuff got toiveled, the recycling went out to the car, random boxes got put down in the machsan... Things got organized!
And - if you couldn't tell - it was Buzz's 2nd English Birthday! He wore his birthday shirt, we took lots of pictures, we baked brownies then mixed up frosting, prepped BBQ stuff for dinner...
Then we made our way over to The FamBily House. Z, Frank, Buzz, and Avi grilled the deliciousness that was our dinner. Wings, shnitzel, hotdogs and sliders. I also made slider and hotdog buns. Dinner was amazing. A&A joined us for the festivities. Then came the cake. Buzz was REALLY excited.
He loved his tiny cake! (So did I!) A three-layered brownie confection covered with rich fudgy frosting and sprinkles! Then it was present time! The FamBily got Buzz an awesome birthday present - his very own tiny kitchen! He was exhausted by the time we got home - but he insisted on setting it up in his bedroom before going to sleep for the night.
Tomorrow there's lots more to do! Things on my list keep getting checked off but somehow it isn't getting any shorter. I'd better get some shut-eye and recharge for the day to come.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peleg Brama Saga

We spent last Tuesday trying to organize the house a little bit. It was pretty much a disaster area after all those guests and the craziness of sheva brachot. They'd been fun events but the apartment looked worse than - well, let's just say it looked bad.
On Wednesday we decided to shirk all sense of responsibility and we drove out to Modiin in the mid-morning. The Crazy Lady and I indulged in mani/pedis - we felt that we'd earned them after the amazing party success. Z and Buzz had a blast - they enjoyed brunch at Cafe Greg while we were pampering ourselves. Our last stop was at the second-hand bookstore in the parking-lot where we picked up a whole bunch of reading material for us gals for Pesach.
Back in The Sun House we weren't ready to head home just yet. We swung by BIG Fashion and decided to grab some lunch at Rimon. We saw Sara and some other people. Yo'Abba came out and met us at the restaurant. The Crazy Lady and I each enjoyed our favorite 'Italian Salad - no croutons' and Buzz was quite pleased with the mountains of feta cheese, cucumbers, and french fries that we piled on his plate.

After finishing up we played at the soft-play-area for a while, then when Buzz got bored we 'stole' some empty boxes from the trash pile at the back of the mall (ok, fine, Phil was hard at work unpacking the Gap's new stock - so she kindly allowed us to take a few boxes for Spring/Pesach packing/organizing.)
Thursday was its usual self. We kicked off with a french-fry breakfast - I've noticed that Buzz 'dips' every single fry into imaginary ketchup on the plate before eating it - but won't actually eat ketchup - he just lieks the 'dipping' action. After eating Z 'forced' me to sit and organize three of the cabinets in the kitchen - we organized them so well that I barely recognize them. We even tackled the ubiquitous 'plastic containers' collection.
In an attempt to prep for Shabbos I decided to turn some rice into kugel. I poured the ingredients into a bowl. Buzz whisked it all up, then we poured it into a pan and popped it into the oven. Buzz was super-energized so we went out to The FamBily House. We crashed dinner and Fuzz ran Buzz ragged. When we got home the kid happily changed into pjs and collapsed into bed. It was awesome.
I woke up early Friday morning. And when I say 'early' it's tough to gauge what that means since we switched the clocks at 2am. Still, the sun was shining and people outside were moving around - so I guess it was a somewhat acceptable hour of the morning. I decided to begin with an attempt at organizing the disaster that was my bedroom.

Having a 'house-guest' hog the guest room for a month meant that nothing really got hung up in the closet or put where it belonged. Instead, everything ended up piled on the coffee table in my bedroom. I decided to remedy the situation. I weeded through everything and pulled out a stack of clothes that I hadn't worn in about five years. I figure it's probably time to toss them.
Just as I completed my task I noticed a notification on my iPad. (Background: On Tuesday somebody had posted a really awesome looking IKEA bed-frame on a swap/sell group that I belong to. It was a kids bed, solid wood, and in excellent condition. Best part - she was selling it for just 100nis because she wanted it out of her house and didn't have instructions for how to assemble it. I tried so hard to 'win' it but somebody managed to post before me - so I had 'lost' the race.) However - the person who had 'won' the bed hadn't shown up to collect it - so the original poster offered it again on a 'first-come-first-served' basis. I immediately called the poster and told her that we were on our way to collect it. Then The Crazy Lady, Frank, and Z RAN to RBS to pick it up. It's an awesome bed - convertible (can either be high or low - with a canopy or as a loft), assembly instructions are online, and any pieces that are missing we can just replace at Ikea. I am SO excited to put it together for Buzz. Best part? It's a 950nis bed and we got it for just 100nis. That's pretty good second-hand-hunting if I do say so myself.
Phil came over for a 'spa'-session. I indulged too. Then when she left we realized that since it was after 2 we should probably make some food for the weekend. We threw together a stew with the last chunk of #8 meat that we had in the freezer. Lunch came together quickly - pasta salad for Buzz and a two-tone potato gratin for us. I even found some cookies in the freezer for dessert.
By the time candle-lighting rolled around I was really regretting my decision not to go spend all day at the beach. The weather had been perfect and we hadn't really done anything all day. Dinner was delicious and the kid conked out at a reasonable hour. Completely exhausted for some inexplicable reason I also fell asleep at a little after 9pm.
Saturday morning was a lazy morning to say the least. Even Buzz 'slept in' all the way until 7:40 (mind you, two days earlier that would've been 6:40...) After a somewhat late lunch we packed up and found our shoes before heading over to The FamBily House. We hung out there until Shabbos was over. We played rummikub and ate lots of cookies and all the usual stuff. Z had driven Phil home Friday then walked back to our place, so on Motzash the car was waiting for us. We dropped Phil off for a Saturday night shift then headed home. Buzz conked out in the car, since he hadn't napped all day and was exhausted. We managed to get him inside and changed him into pjs without waking him up. It was great!
This morning we had our fries, and played for a while. Eventually Buzz got bored so we went out to the mall where we did a walk through with a quick detour to the play-area - we were in and out in under an hour and didn't spent an agura. Back at home we found some lunch then eventually Buzz got restless again. We shoe-d up and went out to the park at the top of the hill. Buzz was in a 'park-mood' so he actually played for a while. (Lately he hasn't wanted to go down the slides or actually play - but I guess the weather just got him in the mood.) He was very sad when we didn't head to The FamBily House after the park - but with the promise of visiting Oscar tomorrow made, he agreed to come home.

I've been typing this post for over an hour - which is kind of mind-boggling - but be that as it may - I've got to make some dinner and then get Buzz to bed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Larry is a nice person!

Whooooowee! What a crazy few days!
Shabbos was great! Z's whole game crew came for lunch and we had an awesome bagel brunch with two kinds of quiche, sweet salad, and lemonade. It was a blast. Buzz was SUPER friendly and excited to see everybody.
Sunday was craaaaay busy as we did the second-to-last minute prep for Sheva brachot. Then we drove up to Jeru for Avi & Ayala's wedding at the Ticho House in the center of town. It was absolutely beautiful. We saw a whole bunch of friends and the food was beyond amazing.
This morning I was up and about by 7am getting things prepped for the party. I baked 80-something kasha Knishes,  wrapped 90-something mini hotdogs in phyllo dough, baked 4 loaves of 'no knead' bread, cooked up 3.5 cups of fluffy fluffy rice, and packed up the party favor baggies. It was crazy!
We left home a bit later than expected but with enough time to pick up a couple of bags of ice.
The party went swimmingly! Everybody mingled, the food was delicious (we even made exactly the right amount of almost everything), and the tiny dessert spoons were a HUGE hit with the under 10 crowd. It's always nice when three families get together for the first time and really get along well.
My head is still spinning with all of the flurry of activity. Hopefully things will quiet down a bit for a week or so.
It's time to start cleaning for Pesach. This should be fun.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kill a Man Jaro!

As is our habit - though we had 'big plans' for Monday - we spent the day at home, doing nothing. Relatively depressing to be honest. Well, I did manage to write 7 lists - things 'to do', things 'to clean', shopping list for pesach, shopping list for shabbos, schedule of what to cook/bake when this week, and some others. Or course I left the schedule open for Monday because in my naive idiocy I actually believed that we would find something exciting to do. What a waste of a day.

Z washed dishes which was the biggest miracle of the day - but that was about it.
Ayala arrived in the middle of huge afternoon. She had been hanging out at her new apt and warned to work on homework but doesn't have wifi set up yet. She offered to watch Buzz while Z and I went out for a romantic dinner - but that didn't work out - because at the last minute she realized that she needed something important from the mall then we ended up crashing at The FamBily House for shabbos leftovers instead. Cheaper but definitely not as 'relaxing' as I would've liked.

After dinner we taste-tested a whole bunch of liqueurs - some better than others...

Ayala came back to our house to do some more homework. Sarah Leah was home from work. Ayala ended up crashing on the couch overnight.
Tuesday got off to an (early) but productive start. I baked a full batch of challah - I got 4 nice sized loaves and 17 rolls out of the batch. Then I experimented and baked a batch of checkerboard shortbread cookies for the goody-bags for the sheva brachot.

We did a big grocery shopping at Osher Ad - which worked out alright - but we're already low in vegetables again (now that Buzz and our guests are all like bunny rabbits in that they love the healthy stuff.)
Ayala washed a lot of dishes, but I made so many more dirty that it didn't really even make a dent in the situation. I washed two loads of laundry and made Z sweep the floor but even didn't help the feeling that the house was disgusting. 

Dinner worked out well - I pulled split pea soup out of the freezer along with a package of hotdogs. There were even hot dog buns in there. Sarah Leah went out to a wedding so there was just enough for everyone who was home.
This morning I attempted to bake chocolate and vanilla swirl cookies but the dough was more crumbly than I'd anticipated. I ended up making two-tone matchstick cookies instead. (If I weren't so sleep deprived I probably would have done cute stripes squares so that they would fit better with the checkerboard cookies, oh well.

Z cut up four chickens (three for Sheva brachot and one for shabbos) - well, actually that's what he's working on now.

Dinner tonight will be: honey soy glazed chicken wings, roasted cauliflower, and something green (maybe)

I can't believe that tomorrow is Thursday again. There's SO much to do and my anxiety-meter is preparing to shoot sky-high. I really need a break - even if just to get my eyebrows shaped. On man - come to think of it... I really DO need to do that too.

Add it to the list.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Geometric Exploring Presents...

Last Friday was kind of surreal. I didn't have much cooking to do - which is how I'd planned it - so I had the whole day to devote to baking hamentashen. Z went out and bought some bagels (yup, 'take-out' for Shabbos brunch) and I pulled everything for dinner out of the freezer.
Friday night was quiet and enjoyable. Buzz actually went to sleep at a semi-decent hour so I got to read and go to sleep on the early side too. We all got a good night's sleep then in the morning we enjoyed our brunch.
After eating we were bored (this happens a lot now) so we got ourselves together and walked over to The FamBily House. In a surprising turn of events, Buzz actually walked himself most oft the way across town - the 20 minute walk took half an hour, but that's really not bad considering he's got short legs (compared to us anyway).
The Parentals had four guys from Mayanot over for Shabbos. They were a funny group - we heard how one of them decided to start keeping shabbos (a previous worker at GAP, he 'made a deal' with The Big Guy Upstairs asking for a day off when the Yamim Noraim fell on Shabbos - his payment, that he'd keep Shabbos from then. Well, he got the vacation day - and he's kept Shabbos ever since.) and how another had found himself wearing tzitzit on a regular basis (after he bought them on sale, and decided to save them for 'special religious occasions' - but found himself wearing them full-time after a whole lot of frat-house partying with his bros.)
Motzei Shabbos there was Megillah reading and much raiding of the costume-box. Frank explored his more feminine side, while Phil debated whether she could fit into the role (read: robe) of High Priest. We packed mishlochei manot and had a whole lot of fun.
Purim morning had us running around doing drop-offs. We visited The Wolicki's - the karaoke party was in full swing by noon. We saw a whole bunch of pals and neighbors. Then we went home, gathered up our stuff, and drove out to The Freddies in Petach Tiqwa.
Freddie had prepared an amazing feast. Everybody had a great time. Many funny things were said but I can't remember any of them now! Buzz had a blast and so did we. Eventually it was time to head back home. We kidnapped Phil and Frank. Once we got home Buzz conked out pretty quickly. We watched Frozen and shared 'a' bottle of wine. It was highly amusing and a very enjoyable end to the day. Then they walked home in the weirdly warm night air.
Today Phil isn't working - so we're trying to find something fun to do.

There's a lot to get done this week - Sheva Brachot are coming up in one week from today - but before that, Shabbos Brunch for a dozen people. Yikes!!!