Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Pesach Cleaning" Ricki's Room

[For those of you who are unfamiliar with "Pesach Cleaning", it is a THOROUGH cleaning of one's house before Passover, with the intention of ridding the house of any crumbs of leaven.]
Yesterday I cleaned Ricki's room for Passover. The biggest problem in doing her room is her bed, which is wedged between the wall and my computer. Moving her bed so as to reach the crumbs beneath it is very difficult, involving moving the computer table first, etc., etc....
In the middle, I called Ricki to help me. As we extracted TONS of stuff from uner her bed (she has a tendency to throw EVERYTHING there), she let out a big sigh. I humbly suggested (as I often have in the past) that she stop using the floor as a waste-basket.
So later that evening I went to check where she had placed her books after reading them. For once, they were NOT behind her bed....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Eyeglasses (Again)

About a month (or more) ago, Ricki lost her eyeglasses within days of their purchase. I thus decided to NOT give her the spare pair, but let her experience long-term what it is like without them. It hardly phased her, amazingly.
Finally the day before yesterday I got the spare pair out, and she wears them constantly at home, but refuses (so far) to wear them to school. I think I need to call in Sherlock Holmes (or at least her teacher). But first I am waiting a few days to see if I can detect any hints as to why she doesn’t want to wear them at school, or to see if she will change her mind.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Earring

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but six weeks ago, in celebration of having lost 50 kilos, I got my ears pierced. Having patiently waited what I heard was enough time, and having seen my ears heal totally, I decided yesterday to finally put in a nicer pair than the original set.
Well, after I removed one earing, and saw that the “better” earring was no going in so easily, I realized that I better stick with the first pair. This meant, of course, needing to reinsert the first earing. And THAT wasn’t happening either.
My older daughter was away, so I went to my neighbor, but she had no luck. She was obviously afraid of hurting me, or of causing bleeding.
Next I tried my husband. I would insert from the front (which was no problem, the problem was exiting from the back….). and I asked him to stand behind me and tell me whether to aim higher/lower. This ploy was also unsuccessful.
Fearfull that the hole would close, and I would need to start the process all over from scratch, I asked Ricki to put the earing in. She was my last hope. She tried, asking if it hurt. I said “No”, so she continued…. And SUCCEEDED! Unburdened by unnecessary fears, she just kept trying until after a few moments, she managed.
Now I can see that new earrings for Passover in 3 weeks are out; it looks like I will have to wait until the Shavuous holiday in about 10 weeks…….

Friday, March 25, 2011

Terror Attacks / Missiles

This week my married DD was at the hospital for an appointment, and called me anxiously that she heard about the blast, and to check about her brothers in Jerusalem. She is always a bit hysterical whenever there is a bombing. Once several years ago there was a big attack on Purim, and she happened to be in the hospital that day, "watching" Ricki for a few hours so my husband could pop home. What a mistake! Ricki had fallen asleep and she went to take a walk. By mistake she saw the first ambulances arriving unloading the wounded, and thus understands only too well just how horrible these attacks are. I didn't call (no news is good news....), especially as my sons rarely use the buses (one usually uses a bike, the other one walks...). [One of them WAS once just by a bomb attack, but it was the one attack where no one was hurt. Since it was near his study hall, he called me to tell me he was safe, moments before his sister called me telling me to check about him.]
In Israel just about everyone has a friend or a relative of a friend who was killed or seriously injured in an attack. We are a small country, and we feel the losses accordingly.
[BTW, if anyone reading here wants to compare between the bombing and the Palestinian civilians who were killed just before, there is a big difference. The Palestinians where killed by accident. No one in Israel celebrated their deaths.]
Now with the rain of missiles falling on Israel, I fear that war is close. With two sons in the army, “color me” one unhappy mother….

PS- If there is a war, THIS is why....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

“No, Mom, It’s a Doll”

I did a half-start early this morning when I went to hang some laundry out on the clotheslines at the front of the house. Graciously, it took but a split-second to realize that the body hanging from my neighbor’s roof was a mannequin- a hanging of the biblical (book of Ester) arch-villain, Haman.
Purim (which will be Sunday) is the day that Jews celebrate the triumph over those who would destroy us. And while we do not seek to harm others, when we are faced with a choice between national suicide or fighting our enemies, our choice is clear.
The international press always has a field day with Israel, but I am proud that my sons are in the Israeli army. I am proud of my son who came home exhausted this week after playing a side role in the search for the murders of the Fogel family. Show me any other army in the world that drops leaflets warning non-combatants to leave before attack. Show me any other nation that shows the sympathy towards the civilian population as the Israeli forces. (See HERE for just an everyday example….)
You will NEVER see in Israel “celebrations” as those the Palestinians made when hearing of the murder of the Fogel family. But we will fight for our right to exist, and celebrate the downfall those who are truly evil and actively trying to kill us.
By the way, I mentioned to Ricki that our neighbors had “hanged Haman”, so she cautiously glanced out the window. Her comment: “No Mom, it’s just a doll…..”

Wishing Everyone a Happy Purim

Here it is almost Purim (wishing you a HEALTHY one!) and (so far I have been exceptionally good and not even TOUCHED any chocolate...). I prepared today "salsa) salad for mishloach manot.
Meanwhile, I have started cleaning for Passover. It is keeping me busy, and unfortunately the extra time has been taken from my aerobic walking. I am getting about 5 thousand steps in daily (a lot for "at home" days, but nothing compared to my aerobic walking days). I don't mind that much, as I realize that it is temporary, and I DO need to sleep!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Medication- Sometimes You Need It

Long time readers of this blog know that Ricki has always had a very independent and sassy personality. But up until about a year ago (or less?) we were able to use positive behavior modification with her pretty successfully. Yes, she kept us on our toes, but she realized that there are rules and cooperated when it was in her best interests to do so.
Than she slowly started slipping into a “mode” where parental authority did not exist, and she began using violence at a pretty high rate. I tried revamping my behavior plans, but to little avail. Finally several weeks ago I had to admit that all the good educational methods in the world were NOT helping, and she was completely out of control.
A child (or young adult for that matter) who is out of control is not pleasant to be around. And I realized very quickly that all of Ricki’s tremendous accomplishments in her studies over the years will be of no avail to her if people can’t stand to be around her, and are afraid of her.
Finally, about two weeks ago we started a psychiatric medicine with her, in a small dose. Almost immediately I noticed that her belligerency was MUCH lower. She even started making positive comments, offered to help here and there…
In short, my daughter has resurfaced from the terrible black cloud she was living in.

You need to know. Sometimes medication is necessary for the child’s own good……(Although FIRST there are many many other things to try….)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ricki’s “New Wardrobe”

Ricki has discovered a new source of fashionable clothing: my “special-events” clothing located on the side of her closet.
She knows that the clothing is mine, evidenced by the fact that she hides them when taking them. But she continues to attempt to take them. Today I moved the clothing to my husband’s closet (there being no room in mine).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

“Terrorist” Attack?!!???

CNN has reported the murder of the young family in Itamar settlement as a “terrorist” attack. Excuse me, but WHY are there quotation marks? Is the killing of five people (three of them children, and one of those an infant), sleeping in their beds anything other than murder and terror?
Yes, they lived in the territories. But for that they deserve a death penalty?!??
Shame on CNN. (As IF I expected any better from them…..)

Summer Clothing

I am BUSY (busy, busy) slowly cleaning up the house (“Pesach cleaning”) prior to the Passover holiday due in about 5 weeks. For those who are not familiar with this, it is a cleaning WELL BEYOND your standard “spring cleaning”. But I am always thankful that I have the ability to clean my house, and that my house DOES get this once-a-year-thorough-going-over.
Last week one of my self-appointed tasks was to check out my summer clothing supply. When the hot weather arrives I may be too close to Passover to deal with it.
I am happy to report that much of some ancient clothing which I had in my closet (from YEARS ago) which was too small for me last summer is now too big. But I have some stuff my daughter gave me, and can hopefully hold out on purchasing most of my summer stuff until the start-of-the-season-prices go down. (I am also hoping to sew some stuff…..)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The No- Calorie “Cake”

Yesterday afternoon I was working on Pesach-cleaning* the storage-porch off the side of the boy’s room. Suddenly I had a BIG urge for a piece of cake.
Now, that caused me to pause. I usually have no trouble staying away from cake during the week, although sometimes I (over)-indulge on cake on Friday night or shabbas. I suddenly questioned myself: Why was I getting this craving?
I quickly realized, that I was not really hungry, but wanted a “break” from the cleaning work, and sitting down with some cake was an easy way to accomplish this. So I sat down with a glass of tea instead! And then I realized that I was REALLY tired. So I went and took an hours nap, and awoke craving-free. My nap was a “calorie-free cake”……

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Give While You Can

Recently I gave a blood donation. (Well, in truth, it was plasma, which the blood bank prefers. Since I have AB type blood, my plasma has no antibodies to A or B, and is the “universal donor plasma”, while my blood can only go to those with AB type.) I was happy to note that I can donate up to age 65.
Than, last week, someone mentioned in my ceramics class that they were testing for bone marrow donations in the local mal. I have always wanted to join the potential donors list, and have never had an opportunity to do so. So after class, I ran over to the mal, and offered to be tested.
“Age 18-55?” the lady queried.
Abashed, I felt my heart sink. “I’m afraid not,” I mumbled.
“Well, thanks for trying” she added.

Why did I never make the time before this to GO FIND OUT where I could be tested?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good news if true

Here is good news if true.

In Contrast to The Knitted Vest

Well, I think that what I have to relate tonight is a lovely offset to Thursday’s post about cutting the knitted vest.
Ricki and I had a lovely shabbas. On Friday she overheard “Y” saying “later” when I asked him to take down the trash. Ricki , on her own initiative, came and did the job herself. She also helped her usual amount before each meal.
Then tonight, again, on her own, she:
-swept the floors
-cleaned the windows in the living room
-wiped off the chairs
-completely cleared the table

Oh, and this morning, she took a LONG walk with me (it is a two-hour walk for me normally, it took us 3 hours today, going at a slower pace).
Is anyone surprised that my exhausted daughter fell asleep the second her head hit the pillow at 9PM?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ricki’s Tall Tales

Ricki wants to be just like everyone else, especially like all of her friends. And why not? Have you ever seen a teen NOT like that?
But Ricki is NOT like all of her friends, many who (1) have different afternoon activities than her and /or (2) have larger extended families.
And if she can’t beat them, so she joins them… at least in her imagination.
You see, if Ricki’s best friend has a swimming class in the afternoon, Ricki will insist that she does, too, and will even take her swimsuit (or, GULP, MINE) to school.
And if a classmate in celebrating the engagement of a cousin, or brother, Ricki will also make up a story about how there is a wedding in the family, or that she is is visiting her sister for shabbas, etc. The question I always wonder at is “How much of this rubbish does her teacher and friends believe?”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Knitted Vest—Do I Dare Tell?

Today’s story is one I have been hesitant to write and pass on. I envision all those nice new mothers of cute little babies who have Down syndrome reading this, and having their hair stand on end. [But then, probably they will tell themselves “MY kid will never act like that, I will educate him properly.” I have thought similarly in years gone by…..]
So what happened?
I knitted a lovely vest for my grandson. His mother (my daughter) left it on our deep freezer, and a few days later I discovered it, cut across the top by scissors. I was “floored”, and could not figure out why Ricki had done this. The same day she cut a blouse of hers as well.
To put it mildly, I was furious. Ricki got a large and extended punishment. And I carefully removed all the ribbing from the neck and armholes, and unraveled the cut part. I have since reknitted the top of the front, and am working at replacing the ribbing. But I need to hurry; winter is ending soon…..
Color me abashed, angry, and frustrated. Ricki is already getting help for her aggressive behavior; I hope it will turn effective quickly.

The Wrinkled Hands

I suddenly noticed that my hands are wrinkled. VERY wrinkled .Simply the truth hits that I am seeing the effect of my weight loss, the less glamorous side.
But as I have often said, I would rather look old (due to excess skin) and FEEL YOUNG than LOOK young and feel old.