Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Swelling with Pride

We have this nasty cold and cough circulating in our apartment. We have meds up the wazoo being distributed, humidifiers running, tissue boxes in every possible corner.

Last night, Bella was clearly having a hard time sleeping because of it so first thing this morning I took her to get checked out. Turns out she has croup. Nothing we can't get through.

The doctor visit itself was interesting. When she was done with Bella, I asked if she thought I should wait to get Benny's flu shot, let all the yuckiness disappear maybe. She told me that there were already flu cases in Iowa and that, since we go with the injection which is dead, we should go ahead and do it now.

The following was Benny's discussion about this decision:
Benny says, "No thank you. I don't like shots."
Doctor: "Well buddy, this one is going to help you so you don't get sick and feel yucky!"
Benny: "But I don't want a shot!!"
Doctor: "You know, there are some pretty cool Halloween stickers out front you can pick after your shot!"
Benny: "I don't celebrate Halloween."
Doctor: "That's true. There are some really nice pumpkin stickers in honor of the fall out there. I love the fall!"
Benny: "Non-Jews celebrate Halloween, but we're Jewish so we don't!"
Doctor: "I know, everyone has their own beliefs and religions! I bet you have some really amazing holidays you do get to celebrate!"
Benny: "Well, I really like Purim!!"
Doctor: "There, see, that sounds like a cool holiday!"
Benny: "I mean, I have a buzz lightyear costume, and a fireman costume, and a construction man, and a super hero, and a iron man. Those are all my costumes for Purim. Well, I really have a lot more but those are my favorites!"
Doctor: "I'm going to go tell Lois (the nurse) to come in with the shot now Benny"
Benny: "I'm going to let Bella have the shot."
Doctor: "Bella actually already got her flu shot. She was here a few weeks ago and we gave her one then!"
Benny: "But this is HER appointment! She needs to get the shot!"

The doctor walks out of the room and Benny dives under the nearest chair. "I'm going to hide here Mommy, I really don't want the shot." I bent down and reminded him I was the one asking for it so telling me where he was hiding wouldn't really help.

After he got the shot, which he REALLY was not happy about, the nurse apologized to him, saying it was for his good health and such.

He stopped at the sticker stand, reminding Bella not to pick a Halloween one. He managed to finagle an Angry Birds sticker, we are not big fans of the game for kids (although Shuky and I love playing it!) and he knows that, but he worked those tear filled eyes and got one.

In the car, he let me know how upset he was at me that he wasn't supposed to get a shot and how much his arm was hurting. "But she apologized so that made me feel a little bit better. But YOU made me get a shot!!"

And now, both kids are snoozing in their car seats and I'm sitting in the car writing this. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Back in the Saddle!

Well, folks, I've finally gotten back on the proverbial saddle. Today, I began training at my new job!! It's a temporary job - a little under three months - and very much part time. Three hours a day or so. But I am actually quite happy that's all for now. After four years of pretty much doing whatever, aside from my year teaching for a couple hours a day, this is the perfect way to work my way back into the system.

And, might I mention, the job is in my apartment building. Our manager is about to go on maternity leave so I will take over for her until she's ready to come back! This is right up my alley, I've had years of experience working in property management. My hours will be while Benny is in school and my neighbor will be watching Bella, so she will be really close by!

Mind you, when I had her babysit last week for an appointment I had, Bella couldn't say bye fast enough!

I'm so excited to be working again!!!

While I'm extremely grateful to finally have a job again, I'm a little bummed that it started right before all the holiday seasons are about to land on our doorstep. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. And that's what I'm gonna do!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Non-Denominational. Ish.

After Benny's third birthday, we realized how much he needed to be in school and researched the local preschools in Ames. We ultimately decided on the school he's in for a few reasons:
A. It is a non-denominational program.
B. It is through Iowa State University, so the calendars are more or less the same for Shuky and Benny.
C. Because it's a university school, there are a lot of families in similar situations to us, one or both parents being students.
D. It is way more affordable than any other school in Ames.

Last year, we had a great year, with only a few small hiccups in terms of Judaism. They did a baking project as a class, without thinking how that would affect Benny. They forgot to give us notice (I probably would have kept him home that day) and called us a few minutes before starting the project to make sure it wasn't a problem. It was. Three year old kids don't bake without licking their fingers. I'm 26 and I don't bake without licking my fingers. So Shuky skipped a class and ran to sit with Benny to make sure he had one on one attention to keep his fingers out of his mouth. And, after all that, he didn't get to eat it with everyone.

Halloween time last year, they took the kids on a 'Costume Parade' - they took them to a nearby business building to go trick or treating. That's like celebrating the holiday in our book, so we just kept Benny home that day. Did something nice with him. What can you do.

Around Valentine's Day, they had friendship week. Had the kids make cards for each other and give out cute little goody bagies to all their friends. Again, that's like celebrating the holiday in our book. I took the kids on vacation for that week. Not directly because of that week, but I was planning to visit family in California so it worked out to make that the week.

We know it's not a Jewish school so we don't expect it to be completely accommodating. But I do expect to not have to keep my child home for a day because 'the kids just love trick or treating' (true story, a teacher said that to me last year as an explanation).

This year, Benny is in a different class and I feel the teacher is definitely more educated about Judaism. And more flexible. The specific program Benny is signed up through does not offer school on Wednesday, so the teacher told me she would plan any baking or other problematic lessons for those days. The class had a trip to see a play about Clifford the Big Red Dog. At pickup time that day, she came over to me and quietly told me in the beginning of the play, Christmas was brought up as Clifford was a present to Emily Elizabeth for the holiday. She wanted me to be aware in case Benny came home questioning.

Next week is Halloween week and I was so excited because Halloween falls out on a Wednesday this year, Benny wouldn't have to miss school! Turns out they are doing the 'costume parade' on Tuesday. Ok, I'll keep him home Tuesday. No big deal. Maybe I'll be able to go to the first day of Torah Tots in Des Moines, which we usually miss. I just got next week's schedule for his classes and it turns out each day is another version of dress up day. They chose to make the week all about dress up and imagination. While they are really cute things - crazy hat/hair day, fancy dress up day with a fashion show, crazy dress up day, pajama day and movie watching - had they been any other time of the year, I would have been thrilled! Benny loved pajama day last year!! But, revolving around Halloween, which Benny is already having a hard enough time with, seeing it all around him, there's no way we can send him for those days. I am going to see what kind of movies they plan on showing and maybe, MAYBE, send him for that.

Benny understands that, as Jews, we don't celebrate Halloween. He tells that to everyone he can. He still has a million questions about it. And it just wouldn't be fair to him to confuse him like that. He is smart but he's only four, his brain needs some more time to be able to take it all in.

In other news, it's freezing cold today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Home James!!

When all is said and done, this past month of holidays was actually quite pleasant!

Quick breakdown:

Rosh Hashana was spent in Iowa City, this is a tradition we've had for the past few years now. We always walk away smiling!

Yom Kippur was supposed to be in Postville, I was sick so I told Shuky to go bunk in our Rabbi's house in Des Moines and I stayed home with the kids. While not the most conventional set-up, it was actually much easier than I thought. The kids played and kept themselves busy, I just didn't stress about the mess and didn't have to get dressed at all. Aside from the thirsty-scratchy-dry-throat feelings, the fast flew by!

Succos. The first days were spent in Des Moines, at the Rabbi's house. Had a great time, we always love being their guests! Great food, awesome company, easy to deal with the kids as it's all done in the same location. Couldn't ask for a better deal.
For the second days, we had multiple plans, one after the other falling through. We ended up in Kansas City, at the house of the couple that directed Benny's camp this summer. First of all, as a family, they are awesome people. As hosts, they are awesome people. As company, they are awesome people. As the people cooking, they are awesome people. I know I'm sending mixed signals here but we kind of liked them. And we had such a great time at TLC! Benny had a blast, he was super excited to be seeing all his friends from the summer. He loved the dancing and singing. We are so happy that all our other plans fell through!! While we didn't get to see everyone we wanted to see (we never made it to BIAV) it was really nice to see those we did!!

Between all the different holidays, Bella seems to have totally come out of her shell. She is talking SO much more and is a lot more outgoing when it comes to interacting with other people. Don't get me wrong, she was no wallflower before. She was just shy. She is still shy, but a whole lot less!

I'm happy to be back home and staying put for a while (although we will probably go away for shabbos here and there), we have no real travel plans for the foreseeable future and I am just fine with that! My kids are definitely happy to be getting back into their regular routine, as am I.

Love these two!!!

Hope everyone out there had good experiences as well! See you around!