Monday, November 9, 2015

Becoming 30

Some birthdays are a big deal. Milestones. Have a real wow factor.

At 16, you can drive. At 18, you can vote and buy your first pack of cigarettes, legally. At 21, you can get your first drink, again legally. 30 is supposed to be the next big one.

I have found that my milestone birthdays are generally not on the standard timeline.

At 17, I got my license and moved away from home. Got my first real job, my first car, eventually my first apartment! That was a big year for me!

My 20th birthday was definitely my most eventful and memorable party. If you were there, you know why! **insert winky face here**

Tonight is my Hebrew birthday. Thursday is my English birthday. I'm turning 30.

I know this is supposed to be one of those big ones but I'm just not feeling it. I know I've had a lot happen in the past 30 years. And I mean a lot.

And maybe my parents find this to be a big milestone. Seeing me go from a tiny little, picky eating, big ant hating, not so at-one-with-nature type of pipsqueak, to being a woman with two kids, a mom, a friend, whatever, blah blah blah.

I just can't accept that this birthday needs to be treated any differently than the last! Has making it to 30 warranted all the hooplah that generally comes along with it? Why is it more amazing than making it to 29 or 31?? 25 is a more exciting number to me, that's a quarter of a century!!

I don't know. I'm not looking for validation or anything. I'm thrilled with where I am in life, with who I've become to both myself and those around me, I'm thrilled with the kids I've raised with an amazing husband and father.

I just don't feel like making a big party when last year I had no inclination of doing so and probably won't give it a second thought next year! I don't need big gifts. If there's something I want, I work towards getting it, regardless of the time of year.

I wouldn't say no to birthday checks obviously. I'm not a saint, just someone turning 30!!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Own Rock Star

I'm officially working full time. While I started the job right before all the holidays, I started with the request for slightly less hours. I knew I wouldn't be able to be functioning at 6:30 a.m. and still make it through the holidays! Now, I'm here at 6:30 each morning and can hear Shuky and the kids enjoying their mornings together. To help things go more smoothly, at night I'm making lunches and setting out breakfast. Before I collapse into bed, there are bowls, spoons, cups, napkins, a small bottle of water near each place, and big cereal containers sitting on the table. The kids just have to pour the cereal of their choice into their bowls, get the milk from the fridge, and pour it nicely. So far so good. No big spills. No big fights. They love the feeling of being big enough to handle these daunting tasks! It gives Shuky a little extra time to get ready for his day while I plug away downstairs.

We've also started a little carpool, so a few days a week they get picked up and a few days a week we bring friends home from school. It's been working out very nicely and the kids love getting the chance to ride to school with friends!!

So this past weekend, a friend of ours got married in New York and Shuky surprised him by coming in for the wedding.

Which, through process of elimination, meant I was home with the kids. Which also means that whatever can go wrong, most definitely will.

For the last few weeks, since Shabbos has been starting earlier, Shuky has been taking the car on Fridays and just picking the kids up on his way home from work. Every Friday afternoon, the elementary school (K-8) has an assembly where they talk about the week, sing some Shabbos songs, announce the Project SHAlom winners (something akin to child of the week) and just an all around festive twenty minutes that Benny absolutely loves! Well, Shuky has been trying to get to school a couple minutes early so he could grab Bella and take her to the assembly to enjoy it as well. So, I thought I'd try doing the same thing for her!

As I walk into her classroom, I find out I've just missed her and she's in the office getting checked out because, what do you know, she's swallowed a rock somehow on the playground. She's crying hysterically. No problems breathing, no vomiting, just scratched her throat. I helped her calm down and tried to get an understanding of how my 4.5 year old, a fairly mature 4.5 year old at that, came to have a rock ingested. If I pieced the story together properly, it seems she had the rock up against her lips (sensory thing I guess) and when a loud announcement came over the PA system, asking the Project SHAlom winners to 'come on down', she got shocked and inhaled too quickly. And swallowed the rock. No one was 100% certain about the size of the rock but there were some guesses.

I have a sibling that swallowed something as an infant and there's a whole crazy story that goes along with it. This is not something we take chances with. We (myself and a crying Bella) pulled Benny out of the assembly and went straight to the ER.

They didn't hear anything obstructive in her breathing, her lungs sounded fine. An X-Ray was ordered..

They took a chest X-Ray and there was a little fluffy spot in her lungs. The radiologist was honest, he said it was more than likely just a vessel but without knowing where the rock was, he wanted more info. Leave no stone unturned, if you will. See what I did there? Gotta find the humor in these situations!

Anyway, they took a stomach X-Ray and there, in her tiny little intestines, sat the rock. Waiting for it's turn down the poop chute.

Which was a huge relief because, had it not shown up, the radiologist was going to push her through to the ENT department to start digging around.

On a side note, I feel like Benny deserves his degree for completing medical school based on the amount of questions he asked during those couple hours. Which, at the moment, is a cute part of the story. During our hospital time, it was a little less cute.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Perks of Being a Geeky Kid in Seattle

Just to clarify, I find there to be a huge difference between being dorky and being geeky. On, they agree with me!

Benny could be considered geeky. Braniac for sure. Oodles of knowledge, a great desire to share it with everyone. At all times. Yes, that's Benny. He definitely has 'excessive enthusiasm' for all things in life!

A friend sent us an email in the end of August, he knows some of the big guys at Geekwire and he saw that they were looking for geeky kids to interview for their big conference. He felt that Benny would be a perfect fit. We agreed and were more than happy to be introduced! 

I sent them this video that Benny asked me to record during our summer visit to California:

They sent me back a time and place to bring him in.

He really enjoyed being interviewed and we've been patiently waiting for the videos to be posted to see if Benny made the cut. When Benny found out that he was used in the videos, he immediately turned to Bella and excitedly announced, "Bella!!!! I'm on the INTERNET!!!!!" 

They've started posting videos so I wanted to share the links. I love his responses, they are so him. (He answers a question in each of these videos.)

If more videos surface, I will try to share them!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Breathing Fresher Air

There have been so many changes for us and so much blank space here.

We are in Seattle now, for almost ten months already (!!!!!), and we love it. Like, absolutely love it, with a capital L. It's been great having a house with a little space to stretch out instead of our apartment. Not just space to stretch out but space to share and host and play and work. And the yard, oh the yard! And the lack of neighborly noises through the walls, along with the neighborly smells. It's just an incomparable lifestyle!

Our kids' school has beyond exceeded our expectations and every day they come home happy and the teachers send us nice notes about how much they love the kids. The emotions are hard to explain and I'm generally not an overly emotional person, but there have been so many times where I find myself lightly tearing up when I think about the drastic change in schooling for these two little humans. There is a sense of family and belonging from the very first second when you walk into the school building and each and every staff member embodies that in the way they treat the kids and parents! Let's put it this way, if I was a tattoo type of person, I'd be ready to make my love known in a permanent way on my arm.

Being a part of a community has been an interesting adjustment for us, in a very good way. Benny turned two right before we started at Iowa State. For the years we were there, every holiday we celebrated and every time we wanted a normal shabbat experience, it involved travel. Sometimes it was as little as a 40 minute drive, sometimes it was as much as a five hour drive! But travel was needed so travel we did. Now, we can see the shul from our front lawn and get to watch a majority of the community walking to shul each week. It's a different world for us here. We have a Succah for the first time since Benny was one. For Bella, this is actually the first Succah she's not a guest in! We made decorations, which I laminated and hung up quickly, and the kids love looking at each adorable drawing they have hanging out there, knowing they will be up next year as well and hopefully with more additions!

I may sound repetitive but there's not really a better way to convey the drastic change in lifestyle we have experienced since graduation! As a family, we are just in a better place, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. That's the moral of the story here.

On another note, I took our first few months here (the second half of the kids' school year) as a slight sabbatical before looking for work. It was a long trek making it through school, whether or not I was the one actually sitting in classes. I needed time to breathe and figure out who Chani Meyer is when I'm not the entire women's section of the community, when it's not me and the kids alone for nights on end. I was able to get some manicures and girls' nights and quiet time all to myself. It was bliss and so what the doctor would have prescribed if I would have asked!

The summer was a different story. For some reason, I felt like I could take on the world with my little ones in tow. I said to hell with the camp that we couldn't really afford anyway and told myself we would utilize the millions of memberships we have around town. What I learned was that as much as they really do love each other, my kids just couldn't handle being the main source of entertainment for each other. No need to go in to detail about me retreating into my shell and just going into survival mode. Let's just say when school started back up at the end of August, we were there BRIGHT AND EARLY on that first day!

I think a huge milestone for us during back to school season was the fact that we didn't have to pick up and move back to the midwest. We had our summer here (in whatever capacity our summer played out) and just smoothly transitioned back into the school year without much ado. It was amazing, but it definitely threw the kids a little. Those kinks have since worked themselves out, thankfully!

Now, back to my regularly programmed self of having the kids in school and the husband at work, I made some changes in the 'Me' chapter.

I'm working again, still in training officially so getting a slow start but within the next week or two, that will be full time. Which is huge. Like, haven't worked full time since having Benny in July of 2008 huge. Like, wow I really need cleaning help now huge. But I'm loving it!

I also am now sporting a darker hair color, which was not 100% by choice (thanks to a hair stylist appointment gone wrong, with follow ups gone even wronger). But I'm actually loving it and can't imagine going back to my lighter brown!

And the biggest gift to myself, something I've dreamed of for years, was making an appointment for a Lasik consultation. There was an appointment for later that week or the end of December. I jumped in, holding my breath and squeezing my eyes shut, and **poof** it's been three weeks and I HAVE 20/20 VISION!!!!!!!!! If you knew me growing up, you probably have absolutely no memories of me before my glasses wearing began. If you met me in my teenage years, you mostly saw me in contacts but may have occasionally gotten a glimpse of the good old coke bottles on my face. If you met me since having Bella, you've probably only seen me in glasses. If you met me in the last three weeks, I'm standing taller (as tall as one can at 5'1"), smiling bigger, and sporting my glasses-free face, framed with darker hair. It's a total Chani makeover and I freaking love it!!!

And with that massive dose of rambling, I'm off to get some more laundry done. I missed this blog and have been waiting for a good time to blow a revival breathe it's way!