Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"You May Think That I'm a Dreamer, But I'm Not."

I know. I promised. I said I would write more often. I lied. I said it fully intending to do so, in my defense, but every time I get on the computer, I see the shortcut to my blog and I quickly look away. Pretend I didn't just see it. It's not like I'm not getting enough computer time, either. I get plenty! And I have internet on my phone so theoretically, I could do that too. But I just don't. And for that, dear blog of mine, I apologize. I'll get you a cute teddy bear that says 'You're my #1 blog!' or something to show you my true devotion. I just can't do the daily posting. Honestly, my life just isn't exciting enough for that! Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I miss you and then want to write. It's a harsh reality that must be faced.

**Brushing off my knees as I get up from my apologetic seat on the floor**

Sigh. Now that that's over with, on to more exciting things! Slowly, slowly, our apartment is getting unpacked, furniture is being found and set up, things are in an organizational state of mind! Except our bedroom. Which seems to be the 'Let's put it there for now' place. Hate that! Good thing I can close the door and ignore the room all day! Benny's new toy box came today, he and I had fun organizing his room. He has a blue storage bench from Target, filled with books. A big, red pop-up hamper holds all his stuffed animals. Manly ones, obviously. The toy storage bins we got him in New York (when we lived there) are still full of whoozits and whatsits. The new blue and red toy box is holding most everything else, except for a few random things that are stored around the room. Next task is decorating the room. I have wall decals that match his linens but I have to see how they will affect the paint, this is a rental after all! I have his aleph bais chart and his ABC painting (great thrift shop find, btw) that need to go up. We need to find a place for his 'Benny' train that is befitting of the awesomeness it describes! All in due time, I say. All in due time.

The living room/everything room is slowly pulling together as well. When we first got out here we went and bought a small, cheapo TV stand at Walmart, 'just for now'. Weeks later, I have found a much nicer and bigger one on Craigslist and, alas, our temporary one has been sold. I do love Craigslist! We have some bookshelves, will need to get more still. Everything seems to have chosen it's corner and it's starting to feel like home! Benny has his bathroom, we have ours. It's so great to not have to worry about going into the shower half asleep only to be RUDELY awakened by one of his toys. Always the most painful ones, mind you! His toys stay in his zip code, he knows that!

If you have been keeping up with me, we are still working on Benny going to sleep on his own. Thankfully, it is s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-l-y moving along! Naptimes and bedtime both, he eventually falls asleep on his own. We have a lot of false toilet emergencies, "Mommy, I got a booboo! I crying!!", pleas for someone to join him, having to go in there and sternly place him back in his bed, he plays for a while, and ends up sleeping at some point. Sometimes, he screams the whole time through until exhaustion kicks in. Those times are a lot of fun. Our neighbors pretty much love us. I can feel it in my bones. Tonight, I knew he wasn't asleep yet because Shuky sneezed in the kitchen and Benny yelled, "BLESS YOU TATTY!!"

By the way, as we've been unpacking, I have yet to find my diet and exercise routine. My head hangs shamefully low as I confess to this. I have not walked my nightly 4(ish) miles since a few weeks before moving. My middle section is yelling it to the world! My diet got left behind somewhere as well. Moving isn't easy you know! It took a lot to commit to that diet when I did. I know what I was getting into now and am in no rush to rejoin that lifestyle! Denial is so much easier! ROUND IS A SHAPE, PEOPLE!!!

We found a sitter, a girl Shuky is in school with. Had our first date night here in Ames. Pulled on one of my sheitels for the first time since the move. Even put on some eyeliner, although I did have to dig around to find it! (We've been kind of low-key since getting here.) Luckily, without our knowledge, Tuesday is $5 Day at the theater! Hooray! Saw 'Date Night for Schmucks', laughed alot, enjoyed ourselves. Came home to find out Benny never realized we were gone. That is the essence of a good babysitter, in my book. Worry-free time on the town! Could a mother ask for more?

I'm still waiting for the boxes to disappear before giving the virtual tour of our apartment. It will happen. It has to. Eventually we will need the things in those boxes! I just hope it comes about before we are packing to move to the next place!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Raining Science!

Last night I went online and bought an annual family pass to the Science Center and the Blank Park Zoo. They had a combo deal to buy both together for an awesome price, so we did!

Shuky also started his orientation - of sorts - last night, continuing on to today and tomorrow. He will join tomorrow night as soon as Shabbos ends. Anyway, knowing that he would be gone all day and I needed some stuff from Macabee Deli, I decided to make a trip to Des Moines with Benny. I wanted to do the zoo but the rain persuaded me otherwise. We decided to check out the Science Center. Needless to say, Benny LOVED it!!

There were so many great hands-on exhibits. A great toddler area. Assembly tables. Benny and I built a paper rocket, launched it, watched it fly. Tweaked it. Watched it fly further. 40 feet, if you were wondering. That's how far it flew! Each time I tried moving Benny on to the next area, I had to drag him away from the current one. Luckily, I was not the only mother doing that. I would take that as a good sign! Kids love the place, it's so much fun! There's an IMAX too. We didn't make it in there today. Maybe some other time. :)

Alright, I have to get Shabbos ready, clean up shop, get some laundry finished up.

Have a good Shabbos people!

PS I had this whole post nicely typed and our internet decided to have a glitch while I was posting it. Hope I got everything back up!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Toilet Woes & Bedtime Sorrows

Potty training is going dismally slow.
Bedtime is absolutely painful.

I can understand the toilet issues he's having, he's just barely two. But night-time should be much smoother at this point! There are many things I can try to blame this on, but we all know the 'If and Then' games lead nowhere. Facts are facts. Benny does not go to sleep on his own. Sometimes he really fights it and it takes him anywhere from an hour to two. Sometimes he just goes to sleep nicely, with one of us in his bed. Not often, not the nicely part anyway. One of us always has to be in bed with him, putting him to sleep. Tonight, I actually tried bribing him to go to sleep on his own. Put a nice new train next to his bed (out of his reach but within sight) and told him he would get to have it in the morning if he went to sleep by himself. At first he was very excited. Once he realized I intended to leave the room he said, "Umm, no thank you Mommy!" So I put him to sleep and his prize went back in the prize box.

Speaking of prize box, the longer it takes to get him potty trained, the more that box is going to keep costing. I'm not complaining, necessarily, just stating facts again. For #1, he gets a little treat, usually stickers that go into a fun sticker book he has. Sometimes little chocolates. #2, though, now that is a whole other story! This prize box is full of different Thomas trains (Benny got the Take-Along set from his Bobbe last summer), and a nice variety of Hotwheels and Matchbox cars. The good news is, we usually find the trains for cheaper at stores like TJ Maxx. The cars usually come in variety packs so we get those.

Anyway, just venting, I guess. Things will go the way they are supposed to, I'm not too worried. In general, he's a great kid and we have so much to be thankful for!

And right now I will go enjoy my treat I got earlier - I rented The Last Song. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What a Week!

Even though there has been A LOT going on since my last post, I haven't been feeling too great so let's catch up to now!

When I last left off, I mentioned we had serious flooding. I didn't put up any pictures for you or give you a real idea of what happened here. My internet is acting up so I can't post pictures now either but if you're a Facebook friend, go check out my August album! To put it mildly, it was utter insanity! Highways were completely submerged. Cars had about an inch showing, above the water that is. Stores were flooded, both Walmart and Target are still closed if I'm not mistaken. The Walmart we usually go to actually had employees who had to be rescued by boat to get them out! The entire city of Ames was under a 'boil your water' order. That was lifted just yesterday. Thankfully, we live in an area that did not have too much damage, nothing for us personally! Our little corner of Ames was actually completely dry by the following morning! Now, the night of the storm, the parking lot next to ours was completely flooded, there were some college guys swimming in it. Literally.

Let's see, what else has happened since then? Our washing machine in the apartment was having issues and being that this is the month that EVERYONE moves in, the maintenance list is a mile long (the office's words, not mine!) so today, after a week, our machine was fixed! Now I have oodles and oodles of laundry to do and absolutely no desire to do it! But alas, I must. And the battle of Chani vs. the laundry piles has begun.

Shabbos we stayed home. Read alot, relaxed alot, sat on the porch with Benny alot. Didn't actually leave the apartment. It was amazing!

Yesterday we went to the Iowa State Fair. Had an amazing time! Parked in someone's backyard for three dollars, thanks Caleb, instead of an official lot for ten! Spent almost the entire day there and way too much money! But we all had so much fun! They had toddler bumper boats, basically a large above ground swimming pool with a bunch of staff members standing around in it, helping the kids out. Benny went by himself. Twice. Would have moved into the boat if they would have let him. I'm talking kicking and screaming upon removal. I'm pretty sure he liked it.

There was this cool discover center type of program, teaches the concept of where things come from, in a food sort of way. Not where you and I come from, people. Sheesh! Basically, you start out with an apron and a wooden basket. You plant some seeds and go to the other side of the garden to pick what you planted. You harvest eggs from the chicken coop. You make diesel fuel out of soybeans so you can drive your tractor. There were more rooms to go through but Benny more or less freaked out when we pulled him off the tractor so our journey ended there. We went to the farmers' market area, sold all the things we had collected and were supposed to get some money to go spend in a cute little grocery store they really had there but again, we finished too soon, just returned the stuff and went on our merry way.

To the petting zoo, obviously. What's a Meyer outing without some animals to feed! Not that any of the animals were eating anymore, by the time we got there! It was about five at that point and these animals must have been completely stuffed. People were literally putting food up to the goats faces and the goats were just like, "Meh. Get a life dude. You should have come this morning!" But animals are animals and Benny was happy. Which is all that matters!

The fair is here until the 22nd, strongly considering going back! Twas an experience to remember!!

And now we are getting all our last minute fun in until Shuky starts school on Monday. As soon as B-Man gets up from his nap, we are going to light it up like it's dynamite!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Benny - The Unedited Version

He is amazing. I can't get enough of him. Honestly! The things he says and does, I cry from laughing! Every person that walks past him gets a, "Hi, how are you?" No matter where we are, who it is. We sit out on the deck all the time. Of course, everyone in the parking lot gets a personal greeting as well!

He sings every song from Kivi & Tuki at the top of his lungs, word for word, irregardless of where we are. It's usually in the middle of stores. I love it. He's also obsessed with Elmo's World, as is every other kid under five on the planet.

Today, we were out there have some Play-Dough fun - on the good advice of some persuasive Weberman/Feeley women - and someone sneezed in the far end of the parking lot. Benny looks around and yells out, "BLESS YOU!!!" and continues making his giraffe. He loves the Play-Dough set he has. I was hoping to get some color recognition covered with it. Surprisingly, he isn't very good with colors. Every time we talked about brown, he refused to say it any other way than 'brownie', he is truly my child!! ;)
**BTW, if you're crafty at all, there's a great recipe for home made Play-Dough on FreidaFroo, a great mom-blog that I follow religiously. Enjoy!**

Tonight, while putting him to sleep, I turned to him and said, "Do you want to show Mommy that you're such a big boy?"
To which he responded, "YES!!!"
"Ok," I said. "Mommy will leave the room and Benny will go to sleep all by himself!"
He thought about this for a minute. "No thank you Mommy."

PS We switched to Sprint today, each got the Samsung Moment. Very excited to have a great new phone that **GASP** has reception in our apartment! Due to the mega floods in Ames, we had to go to the store in Ankeny, about 19 miles away, took about half an hour to get there because of highways being flooded out and non-drivable!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Let's Just Go With Untitled.

Shabbos was nice, we spent it at the Jacobson's house in Des Moines. Hung out with the Feeleys of course, and all the Webermans. Twas a lot of fun!!

I'm exhausted but I just wanted to say, I really really love it here. It's peaceful. It's inviting. It's a great town. This apartment kicks our NY "apartment's" butt. I'm actually excited that as of now I will not be working this year. Me and B. Looking up numbers for local loonie bins, just in case...

Excited to go to Ari's birthday party tomorrow. My eyes are closing but I must find out how my book ends!!

PS When the brain stops functioning, fun post titles hide from me!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


You'll have to excuse my absence over the last few days. It's been a busy week, getting unpacked, settled in, exploring our new neighborhood.

We found an adorable public wading pool, love the fact that two exits away (meaning two miles away) are all the stores - Target, Walmart, Kmart, Sam's Club, Starbucks, HyVee, etc - we could ever need, changed our address on our licenses, became members of the Ames Public Library - by far the greatest public library on the face of the earth!

Benny has really settled in nicely. He loves our deck, almost demands to eat his food out there on a daily basis. When we get to the second floor, he knows which door is ours.

We've been trying very hard to get unpacked in an organized manner so we don't have to backtrack. Let it take a little longer to get through the boxes but at least after all is done, we'll be able to find everything! :)

Eating delicious food, getting over a cold, enjoying life.

Come visit!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We're Here Because We're Here!

I really don't have the brainpower or willpower to write much at this moment. Just a quick hello. We made it. Not easily, at first, but we are here none the less! And I. LOVE. OUR. APARTMENT.

Quick breakdown of the day. Ok, breakdown is a bad word to use. We were running a little behind schedule, maybe 30 minutes or so. Everything was loaded up, went to say goodbye to my father. It was exactly 11. We wanted to be out by 10:30 at the latest. Pulled out of my father's driveway in my Blazer, ready to meet the truck. Got two properties away when we hear a loud BOOOOOM!! Smoke started pouring out of the front of the car like it was going out of style! I pulled over quickly, Zalmy grabbed Benny (he was on the same side as the car seat), I grabbed my wallet and phone, and we RAN from the car! There was some sort of fluid gushing out from the engine area.

I called Shuky, "I'm not joking around, the car just sort of blew up."

"Chani, that's not really funny. Are you kidding???"

"Nope. Totally serious." (I had been joking about this happening all morning)

Basically, my dad totally saved the day. He came with his truck, helped us transfer everything from Old Smokey to his reliable steed, called AAA and told us to get on the road. We'll figure out how to switch cars once mine is fixed!

So we were off. Extremely uneventful drive after that, thank God. Registered with the management company, got our keys, opened up our apartment. It was love at first site. It's adorable! I have a great little patio. Washer/Dryer combo is right in the kitchen, no more upstairs/downstairs lugging of clothing. The master bath is what really stole my heart, though. Private, door from our room, walk-in closet included in bathroom. I'm home.

Benny LOVES his room!!! Went straight to his window to say hi to everyone down below. Then made a beeline for his toys, which are now ALL over the room. Fortunately for him, he didn't need to worry about the mess as he is sleeping in my room. Unfortunately for Uncle Zalmy, he does as he is. In exchange for him having to deal with the mess, he gets one of our dressers in his room until he leaves.

By the way, everyone here is so happy and friendly! Our truck was blocking someone's car so instead of complaining and making us move it, he got out of the car with his son and helped to unpack the truck into a parking space. Everything that was still inside. And then refused the money we offered. The son is our downstairs neighbor, I told him to come up anytime he needs help with something! Then, after they left, the guys continued bringing things upstairs. Some other guys (upstairs neighbors this time) threw pieces of furniture on their backs, not exaggerating, and brought the stuff right into our apartment! Also refused the money. I made them a bunch of hot dogs and brought it up to them. They were super happy. We are all best friends for life now!

Ok, so I said I wasn't going to write a lot and here I go, rambling to no end.

Quick wrap-up. We are about 1/3 unpacked. Everything left is nicely organized. We can enjoy the apartment and unpack slowly. We already went touring a bit, made a WalMart run to get some necessities. Benny is asleep. Shuky and Zalmy are getting the TV stand set up so we can veg. I am happy.

Meet you on the patio in the morning for coffee!! :)