Category Archives: Family

Grandfather

My dad arrived in Israel on Friday afternoon and my husband went to pick him up from the airport. I hadn’t seen my father in a year and a half. Time passes by so quickly it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t feel like I havent seen him in that long. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel particularly close to my parents. Then again, I only truly miss my husband and daughters when I am away from them…

I like having guests over because it forces my ass to get up and clean. I am usually so overwhelmed and tired when Friday rolls around to do any housework (besides for cooking- because that’s the only day that I do)- In Israel the weekend begins on Friday.

So we cleaned the house- my girls are always so adamant about helping us. I never say no, because I once read somewhere that if you turn down help from your kids when they are young, don’t expect them to want to help you when they get older. Hmm.. truth.

So this was them:

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How cute? Neve saw that her Dad took off his shirt while cleaning so she decided to do the same. I overheard their conversation from the kitchen, “I’m taking my shirt off because you took your shirt off”- part of me expected him to say “No, Daddy can take his shirt off because he is a boy” but he didn’t… and I loved him at that moment for that… he’s never one to define gender roles…

On Saturday, we went to visit my grandfather. There is roughly an 8 year age difference between my maternal grandfather and my father. It’s strange. My parents have a 12 year age difference which is crazy to me.

Neve agreed to be a ham and sit for a picture for me:

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I mean, how beautiful is it to have a photo with your grandfather and great-grandfather? I knew my maternal great-grandfather. He used to wear a knit cap and would put candy in it to pass around to the kids. He had kind eyes.

It’s great seeing my girls interact with my dad- even if it’s only for a few weeks.

 

 

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Can I Pull off Bald?

My girls are reaching an age where they make me want to run away and join a cult. You know, just to get away from them (plus I believe shaving my head will only do my hair wonders).

They are 4.5 now, and the past month or so, I feel as though they are gettting more annoying by the minute. All they do is fight with one another, and bug each other, and hit each other. All I hear is “Mommy, she did X to me”. They just cannot get along. At all. And I don’t know if its because of their age, or if its because they are siblings, or even if its because they are girls and twins. All I do know is that nowhere in any of the parenting books I read was a chapter on how to be the best referee. Seems as though I have turned into one. At all times.

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Don’t let those sweet faces fool you.

I thought it would end when we gave them each their own room last summer, but it didn’t. I decided to sign them up for separate preschool classes come this fall. I want them to miss one another. Plus, their preschool teacher told me that it would do wonders for them. So from 7:30AM-2:00PM during the week, they will be separated and from 2-5pm they will remain in the same after school program.

I pray this does something. I’m just so tired of yelling at them to stop bickering and fighting.

Any words of advice?

Dysfunction Junction

The phone rings and I wait for it to go to voicemail.

I know it’s her because no one else calls my landline.

I know she’ll try calling again in a few minutes, first my landline, then my cell phone, then my landline again, then my husband’s cell phone.

She doesn’t “get” why her only daughter doesn’t want to speak to her.

It’s been almost 2 years since I moved away from the US. 2 years since I felt free. Free of her, free of my father, free of my brother, free of my dysfuntion.

I grew up in a house of cards.

Always waiting for some shit to fall, and then being blamed for it.

For 20 something years I grew up in a house, a miserable house, a house where the only escape is medication. Xanax, Prozac…

Often times, I say to myself that I’m just being a whiny little bitch. I was never abused, always fed and sheltered, had vacations to Disney world and abroad..  Holidays were celebrated, gifts were in abundance and yet… yet I can only remember the feeling of being an outsider in my own home. Always feeling like something was wrong with me,, because I was different, because I chose to speak up- because I refused to accept the dysfunction. I was always taught that it was my fault. It can’t be that 3 people are wrong, while 1 is right.

I guess I was the dysfunctional one then.

So I kept that locked away for years.

In my psyche it went.. hidden under old books and dreams.

But then my husband joined the picture- and finally I had a witness. A witness to it all. He often stares at me in wonder and says that he doesn’t know how I came out so functional in such a household.

My therapist once told me that she felt bad for the little girl that I was.. always crying out for normalcy. Much smarter than those around her. Not knowing that it’s not her fault.

I can’t be myself with my mother. She doesn’t like the person that I am. A strong willed woman, something she is not. “I don’t like how vocal you are” she said to me this past December while visiting. But mom, this is who I am.. and if after 30 years you can’t accept who I am then it’s now your problem.

The thing is for so many years, I was taught that I shouldn’t be who I was. A girl should be more gentle, less outspoken, less opinionated. Stop acting like a man, you’ll never get married that way…

My mother used to tell me that I should act more like so and so… never just “be yourself, Maya”

My father was hardly ever around. Always working. But it wasnt about the quantity, it was about the quality.

Once I reached a certain age, it’s like he just didn’t give a shit anymore. Threw me into the ocean without a lifeboat. He did his part, I was 18. But no, no he didn’t.

We never shared anything, it was always surface. Not a hug or a kiss. Not a “I’m proud of you”

But I tell myself he just wasnt raised that way.

I was always seeking approval.

approval that I never received.

I still do- To the point where it takes me over. It envelopes me.

And when I do receive some, I don’t believe it.

Here I am, a 30 year old woman and a mother of two, and I am scared to death that my kids will hate me one day.

I look at my beautiful little family, with the most amazing father I could have chosen for my girls and  I fear that they wont answer my calls because just the sound of the ringer will send them into panic attacks.

I can’t be the only one who still harbors so much hate for their childhood so many years later.

I just can’t be the only one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Land of the Supersize Value Meal

Today is an exciting day.

Today my husband becomes an American Citizen.

I am so so proud.

I didn’t think that his becoming an American Citizen would be something that would touch me, but turns out that it does.

My husband was born and raised in Israel and only moved to New York for me.

We started dating in Israel, and i was the one hopping back and forth between countries for the first 2 years of our relationship.

I realized that I needed to move back to New York to finish up my degree, and he said he would come with me.

The whole move scared the shit out of him.

He was a boy from a farm.

Yes, a boy who may or may not have traveled the world way more than his American girlfriend had (backpacked though India, Thailand, Europe)… but to actually MOVE to another country scared him.

So I held his hand and we made the move together.

At first we lived in my parents house.

It was nice that they allowed my boyfriend (now husband) to move in with them until we found a place.

It took 8 LOOONG months, but we finally found a place that we could call home.

He didn’t have any friends, didn’t know his way around the city (let alone the state).

When you come to the US from other smaller countries, it’s very hard to grasp the SIZE of the place.

It overwhelmed him.

He felt alone and out of sorts.

But after a while, he finally found his footing and began to thrive.

He started adopting American values as his own.

He fell in love with America.

When we decided that we were going to move to Israel, my husband proclaimed that he wanted to apply for his citizenship.

I questioned him and asked him why it was so important to him.

We knew that he would probably have to fly back and forth from Israel for the citizenship interview and swearing-in ceremony.

This was time and MONEY that we did not have.

But he was adamant.

This was important to him.

Not many things are.

So last month, he hopped on a plane to New York for his interview.

He passed with flying colors.

He memorized the ENTIRE quiz book containing questions about our American history.

Then this past Wednesday, he was on a plane back to New York yet again for his swearing-in ceremony.

I packed away a nice shirt and slacks for him to wear.

He was nervous.

Excited.

I mean, after all.. his wife and daughters were citizens… he would finally be one of us.

I think that means the world to him.

So today, I am proud to proclaim that my beautiful husband is now  OFFICIALLY a citizen of the United States

Welcome to the land of the Supersize Value Meals- we are so glad to have you!

*Disclaimer: If my husband knew that I was posting this picture of him he would kill me.. but how could I not? It’s so fitting.*

New Beginnings

I’ve been feeling a bit discombobulated as of late…

everything is just so different.

Of course, that is to be expected when you move to a different country.

I just have all these crazy conflicting emotions. and it is all starting to bubble to the surface.

I feel like I dont have anything to post about when in fact, I have SO MUCH to.

It’s like I dont know where my starting point is.

So let’s find some direction…

***

Both of my parents are in Israel as we speak. They leave tomorrow night. My mom has been here for 2 months now, my father for 3 weeks.

The girls and I tagged along with my dad to Tel Aviv and I asked him if he would mind taking me to  the house where he grew up.

I hadn’t been there in years.

My dad grew up in a tiny house with 2 bedrooms.

for 11 people.

2 parents, 9 kids.

And one of those bedrooms was a living room.

It’s crazy to think about that.

My dad’s mother passed a year before I was born from a heart attack, and my grandfather passed when I was 16. He was 90.

My grandfather remarried after my grandmother passed.

She was about 20 years his junior so she took care of him until his final days.

Sarin still lives in the house that my grandfather built. And now she too is 90.

My dad loved showing the girls around his old stomping grounds.

I loved being able to see it as well.

So as I said earlier, my parents have been here for some time.

Today they came to say goodbye to the girls.

It was so hard for the girls, and especially for my parents.

 

 

 

All new beginnings are hard… even for the smallest of people.

Just when I started sleeping again.

*Hi*

So I have decided to share with the internetz (because I will need your good vibes).

I am currently starting my second round of IVF this week.

This time, it will be a frozen cycle.

The whole concept of a frozen cycle freaks me the hell out.

To think that all of the blasts (multi celled organisms that form a baby) were created at the same time and some stored away for future use, while 2 others were chosen to come into this world- FREAKS.ME.THE.HELL.OUT.

AHEM.

So technically, does that mean that they are all the same age- you know, my girls and these frozen babies?

I have 6 blasts in the freezer.

Not MY freezer (imagine if it were in my freezer, next to the frozen bagels and mac and cheese from 1989?)some state-of- the- art/ high-tech sub-zero something or other in my fertility clinic.

When I called the clinic to talk to them about coming in, I made it VERY CLEAR that I would only be having 1 placed.

As much as I would LOVE to have a million children (ok, 4) I know that:

a) My body is too weak to carry twins to full term- see archives Oct/ Nov 2007

b) I am not mentally prepared to have another set of twins.

c) Me have no $$ for 4 children. Not now anyway.

Now the rational side of me says “Don’t do it. You have no money! You are moving to Israel because you can’t afford to pay for everything.” To that I say…”OK, Maybe… BUT”…

 I am lucky to work for a company that PAYS for fertility treatments. I have 6 frozen in storage which makes the process so much easier (mentally and physically).

We are also moving to a place where we wont have to worry about rent for a long time. I am NOT getting any younger (turning 29 this year- what kind of age is 29 ??Not here nor there) and these are 25-year-old eggs- so I best get on it now.

I kind of feel like it’s now or never.

I know it’s not going to be all rainbows and sunshine. To think that I may have 3 under 3 kind of scares me. Now imagine those 3 running around a farm- IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS!? HAZARDS everywhere-” look out for that peach orchard, oh no a plow!!” with one tired mommy, while daddy works to get a degree (which poor guy has taken him FOREVER). Plus- we will have SEVERAL sets of hands to help. We have one big amazing  extended family.

We have always wanted a big family with many children.

I can’t look back and say to myself “I could have had that 3rd child, but it wasn’t the right time”

I have learnt in my life that there is no such thing as THE RIGHT TIME.

It is always the wrong time.

But I will make it the right time.

You never regret what you did. You always regret what you didn’t do.

I grew up with an older brother. It was just us 2, and I always felt like something was missing. My brother and I aren’t very close..I always wanted more from him.. something I only learnt later.. that he wasn’t capable of giving.

I always dreamt of a sister, or a sibling who too would roll their eyes at my parents shenanigans. Someone from my own gene pool who would understand me.

My husband was so against the idea of having another one now.. but with some convincing from me and my aunts (while in Ireland-I will write about Ireland soon!)… he lifted his arms up in a way that indicated “Do what you want” – I love when he agrees with me (I just think he is too tired to argue with me- I can put up quite the fight).

I know that by putting 1 blast in, I am considerably lowering my chances of becoming pregnant… but again, I CANNOT  have twins again. There are some women who are built for that… I with no shame say: I am not one of those ladies.

So.

I go in to the clinic this Thursday with my husband.

We will meet with my doctor. The doctor who  made it possible for me to be a mother.

I will try not to bear hug him.

Then we will meet with my nurse to discuss meds/ dosage/ etc.

This is a process that will take about 4- 6 weeks.

I am nervous, scared, tired.

I’ve already started pre- natal vitamins.

To go through this again is stressful.

I truly hope this leads to another family member.

I miss that new baby smell.

But if it doesnt, well… I will still be  thankful.

After All… have you seen these little ladies?

So It’s Actually Happening.

My husband and I had thrown out the idea of moving to different places this past year. First it was after our trip to L.A last January when we absolutely fell in love with California. That was scratched when we realized that L.A was just as expensive as New York.

Then it was Atlanta, where we could totally make a go of it on one income.That was scratched as well when we realized that we would have no safety net.

But this time it’s different.

We are really moving to Israel.

I’ve been feeling so conflicted about it.

When we took the girls to Israel when they were 6 months old to meet their family, we kind of mentally assessed the living/lifestyle there. We liked it. It was different this time around because now we had a family. It was such a wonderful place to raise a family. We were engulfed by so much love it was overwhelming. It really feels nice when you receive love when you didnt know just how much it was missing.

So for my girls, I know it is the right move.

My husband also looked into a school which is known to be the “Harvard of Israel” and will work VERY HARD to get accepted into that school. It is not easy to get accepted there, but once in – he can pretty much have any position he applies for. Just knowing that he might  have a chance in that school is lifting his spirits.

His brother called him last night and tried to convince him to stay in America. Says that it would be a waste to lose all the credits he’s acquired so far. You know what I think? I think his brother is a douche who only thinks about himself. He knows damn well that we don’t have much of a choice. His brother is also the kind of guy that ONLY thinks of himself (even before his wife and children) so I know that by us moving back home, he is worried that we will somehow take his share of things (land, etc).

 He can suck it.

 Oh, and by the way- did I mention I am moving to a farm?

Yes folks- that’s right.

“Farm Living is the life for me….”- singing that in a za za gabor voice

This should be interesting.

Me and my high heels.

I don’t like dirt and my girls will be COVERED in it.

But at least I will know that they are having fun.

I can always hose them down outside.

I broke the news to my OVERLY DRAMATIC mother who happen to take the news surprisingly well. She knows its the best thing for us right now. It felt so out of left field to hear that from her.

On Thursday, we have an appointment with the Israeli Embassy.

I guess we will be much smarter then.

***

This weekend was spent cleaning out our closets (no small feat since we are hoarders) and it was NOT PRETTY. We threw out soooooooooo much unneccessary crap. We needed to throw a lot of things out because we are hauling our crap over via shipping container, and the more stuff you have – the pricier it is!

Box taken from apt building's basement- don't judge.

It feels therapeutic to let go of stuff.

Things I threw out:

  • Autographed Pictures of” Actors” who were on the soap Passions.
  • A poster board that I stole from props when I was an extra on Mad About You. What- I never told you about that?
  • My headshots from 1998 when I tried (and failed) to be an actress.
  • A painting that I made when I was 16 that was ALL BLACK with a tiny person huddled in the fetal position on the ground. Teen Angst much?
  • SCRAPBOOKS. so many scrapbooks.
  • Poems from the teen years. I will totally scan them one day. I promise. One the lines may or may not be “At Night I cry into my pillow so tight”

I could go on.

But I wont because I love you all too much.

😉

What kind of random stuff have you found cleaning out your house?