Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Image via WikipediaHere in Israel, before being a staying at home mum I taught EFL. Yes, I was a teacher. But after Maya was born I gave up teaching because I didn't want my school problems to interfere with my job as a mum. And (mainly)because I hated being a teacher in Israel. The system is a pile of crap, the students are wild etc, etc. Anyhow, I have here and there a few private pupils, which I teach mainly because I don't want to loose my hand at teaching. One never knows...
So I have this one high school student, a very nice girl whose knowledge of English is somewhere near...zero. Nothing. Nada. Ziltch. She has no talent for it, she's also dyslectic, she doesn't really want to study, only to chat and send SMS's. I've been teaching her for an year and a half now and her mother insist that I continue. Yesterday evening I was at their place, preparing to start the lesson. Dialog:
She: What are we going to do today?"
Me: Well, we'll continue to work at your reading comprehension skills and then we'll check blah, blah...
She: But I don't want to (whiney voice) !!!It's booooring....
Me: I know honey, I know...
(Whay I wanted to say instead was: "I am your English teacher! I am here to teach you English! If you wanted an entertainer, why didn't you ask your mother for a clown???")
Me: (patting her hand): I know it is hard for you now, but it'll get better, I promise. Look,me, for example. I took up knitting. And it is very difficult for me, and frustrating and boring, because I don't knit well and I can knit only a scarf at this stage. But if I practice, I'll get better and I'll knit socks and hats and dolls for my daughter, and it'll be fun...
She: (unconvinced and with a smug smile on her face, directed to my incapability to knit):O.K., O.K., but could we do writing instead."
And so "we"ended by writing writing letters, she wrote them in Hebrew and I, for two bloody hours, I translated and explained and exemplified (meanwhile, she kept cheking her mobile phone for SMSs every couple of minutes).
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Image by spoon via FlickrMost of the time I manage to hold on to the bubble of pseudo-reality I created for myself: my books, my home, taking care of my baby. I try not to think about dissapointment, shattered dreams, biterness. I know they are there somewhere, on the side, but I try with all it takes to keep them there, block them, isolate them, ignore them. Negative thoughts don't do me good.On the contrary, they make me sick.
Sometimes, when my defences are low (sick baby, ungrateful son, inexistent husband, rude and stupid people) every particle that holds something negative inside itself, comes barging in. Destroying. Digging. Ripping apart. Tearing down.
Sometimes I try to fight back. Sometimes I just give in. And after I manage to gather my strength around me, like a familiar and well-worn coat, I begin my sisyphean task of rebuilding my stronghold, raising my defences. One brick at a time. Agonizingly slowly. Painfully.
Until next time when reality comes barging in, blowing everything to smithereens...
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Image by [Adam_Baker] via FlickrThis happens to me a lot...As soon as I write/say something about how happy/content I am that Maya is healthy and well...Maya gets sick. It happened again...This morning I saw some tiny blisters on her feet, but I thought she got them because of the sand in her trainers (see one of my previous posts) and socks that are not 100% cotton; her skin is very sensitive. Well, this evening after the shower, when drying her, I saw that she's got more blisters on her feet and also on her palms. I checked her mouth also and surprise! Blisters! So, if I am not mistaken, she's got hand-foot-mouth disease. Strangely enough, no fever. I now that ussually, before the blisters appear the kids have fever. Not that I'm complaining that the poor chick doesn't have it...
So, tomorow, is doctor for her, doctor for me. As I don't have anybody to help me, I have to take her to my GP and then I'll go to her ped. Her doctor works only mornings on Thursdays and then only on Sunday and I really don't like to take Maya to another pediatrician. I am not very thrilled to have to spend time with Maya in GP's offices and pharmacies, but I'll be prepared, with crayons and coloring books and mango juice (her favourite) and...even chocolate, if I have to. When she gets bored she's a nuissance. A morning at the doctor's! What a fun way to begin your day! I am not complaining though...it could be worse...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Cover of Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3)Today I had an appointment at my GP's office. I don't like him, it is always crowded there, lots of people trying to sneak in without appointments and he doesn't have the patience to listen to my complaints, to any complaints...Once, for example, I went to see him because I had herpes Zoster (for the 3rd time) and he hurried to prescribe me the medicine I am alergic to...I had to tell him that, even though he had my medical file in front of him. But why bother to look? Anyway, as I said, today I went to see him, but..bad luck, the computers weren't functioning! Some major crash in the net somewhere and a room full of pacients and nothing to do. Nothing. Nada. Without the computer there is no doctor, no patients files, no prescriptions, no test results, nothing...And I remembered the Universe created by the author Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels series, one of my favorite series ever) where sometimes when "magic strikes" nothing runs, no electricity, no cars, nothing. And I waited for a while in the doctor's waiting room for the magic to kick in after the crash, but...nothing happened. So I made an appointment for Thursday and I went home.
Image by Here's Kate via FlickrMy house is such a mess! Filled to the brim with junk, books, Maya's one million and one toys and games, clothes, plants and ...stuff. I keep telling to myself that I have to somehow clean this mess, declutter, throw out the stuff we don't need/use. But I am looking and things and thinking that somebody made them and the earth gave the materials from which the things were created...and I just don't have the heart to throw them. Here in Israel there are no garrage/yard sales, besides, I live in a block of flats. What I could do is to try and sell them on Wednesday, in the market , there is a section were people bring their stuff to sell it but I don't know, too complicated. Any ideas?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Image by ~ Phil Moore via FlickrUntil my fellow book-lover Simcha from http://blog.42scifi-fantasy.com/ pointed out for me, I thought all book giveaways in the blogosphere are for US or Canada residents. It seems I was mistaken, and here is the proof to it: Princess Bookie has a book giveaway opened for everybody! Check it out here :http://www.princessbookie.com/2009/11/sneak-peak-mystery-contest.html
Of course I entered the contest! Wish me luck and see you there...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Image via WikipediaI had planned a totally different blog post for today, one strictly about the books I am reading, but I've changed my mind at the last moment.
I am going to write about my days and some Christmas thoughts, instead...
Here, in Israel, the week starts on Sunday. It felt awkward in the beginning, but I've got used to it, finally. In the end, it is about the feeling, and not the exact name of the day. Here, Sunday for me has the feel of back-at-home Monday and I've built on this feeling, instead of thinking I have to work on Sunday (I am talking, of course, about the days when I had a paid job and I worked 5 days a week; today I am working 7 days I week for free).Well, today was a beautiful late autumn day, sunny but crisp and after I took Maya to the kindergarten I went to the library for my monthly pick of books. They have a very selection of English books, but I always manage to find something nice.
I also bought myself a new pair of trainers, as yesterday the sole of one of my old trainer came off almost completely.
Then I cleaned the house and spent some time on the internet looking for ideas for Christmas decorations. It feels odd to celebrate Christmas here, in Israel, and oddly enough, I've managed to do it for for 10 years now. I don't know why, but I always have the feeling I am doing something forbidden, illegal, like the Comunist Party in Romania after the WWII. Here, in Israel, Christmas is celebrated by a small number of people, mainly Christian Arabs, foreign workers and members of foreign embassies and such. And myself and Maya's godparents. It is easier a bit now, as I can find Christmas decorations, Christmas trees or lights at Russian stores. But no carols, Christmas specials on the TV or the smell of stuffed cabbage. And this is what I miss the most. The Christmas atmosphere, the carols, our family around the Christmas tree, food, presents. I had years when I succumbed to the darkest pits of depression just by thinking about Christmas. I am used to it know, but not ready to give up. And this year I want to really make it special. Maya is older now and she knows about Santa, Christmas and presents. Of course, we'll light up Hanukka candles also, because we celebrate Hanuka also and I really think now that I am a lucky person because I am open-minded and intelligent and can see above all limitations. Oh, and the best part of being here during Christmas is that I don't have to mind the Christmas rush, I can shop leisurely for presents...
I remember one year at Christmas we wanted to find a church and go to a Christmas mass, but because the main Christian churches are in or around Jerusalem and we live in Ashdod, we had to go to Jaffo. We knew that in Jaffo there is a Romanian church, but what we didn't know back then was that the church was Greek Orthodox and they celebrate Christmas according to the old tradition, so the church was closed. We found then a Catholic one where we heard the Christmas mass in Polish and then in Spanish or Portugese, I don't remember (one church, many communities) and I recall that they had a beautiful Nativity display in the church. I didn't understand a word they were saying, but the feeling was good and I am sure God understood us all. And this is the feeling I am going to build on this year...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Image by MilitaryHealth via FlickrI don't win the lottery, I don't inherit large amounts money from overseas aunts and uncles but, boy, when it comes to bad luck, I'm the winner!
Yesterday I went to have Maya innoculated against the flu (the "regular one, not the swine flu) and I said to myself, why not, so I asked for a vaccine as well. I am not a big fan of immunizations, but with all the hysteria around viruses and Maya being sick almost all the time...
Everything went fine until this morning, when I wake up with a throbbing arm and a big round sweeling where they gave me the shot. Of course I went to the nurses' room at the medical center and they told me, smiling over my head as you do with idiotic kids:"This is a known reaction to the vaccine. Put a cold compress and you'll be fine". Fine, my stars...I saw this with Maya, one year ago, when she had a very painful swelling from a vaccine and in the end the doctor gave her antibiotics to prevent an infection.
So I'm at home now, with a cold compress (not) - how am I suppose to clean and cook and so on? - and I'm thinking to myself, ain't I the lucky gal? And who knows, with my luck, I might as well get sick, vaccine or not. That what happened to some friends of ours, they got sick three weeks after they had their immunizations.Hello, Murphy!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Image via WikipediaI don't know what's with me, but I'm all teary this days. Maybe it is some hormones playing havoc in my body, maybe I'm pre-menopausal or something, the fact is I cry all the time. And the tears are triggered by, well, almost everything.
For example, at the gym, when on the treadmill, I watch TV. They have this cool TV screens attached to the machine and I usually watch Matha Stewart or Dr. Phil's shows. Well, yesterday I was watching Dr. Phil and walking with tears in my eyes. How pathetic is that? No matter what book I read, I cry. I read Jim Butcher, I cry. I started reading in paralel Maria Acosta's "Happy Hour at Casa Dracula" and I cried - and the book is a funny one, for crying out loud!
I take my B- complex and my Omega-3, and I try to be positive and Zen about life, even when it bothers me, so what's with all this crying?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Image by Denis Collette...!!! via FlickrI am a staying at home mother, for God's sake! And I have only one small kid! Still, mornings are crazy here. Keep in mind that I lay out Maya's clothes for the kindergarten in the evening, as well as mine, if I go to the gym. Otherwise, I just throw something on before I leave the house. I wake up at 7 o'clock to prepare Maya's breakfast and my coffee, I know, I am lazy, and Maya usually wakes up at 7.30. Today I had to literally drag her from the PC, as she wanted to play. Then , everything is a blurr, as I have to convince her to eat, dress her, comb her hair, help her brush her teeth, convince her not to go out with the bicycle, give her vitamins, "argue" with her over the trainers she wants to wear and so on. I tend do forget things, like Maya's kindergarten bag, for example, so I have to exit and enter the apartment a number of times before we really - really are on our way out.
But thank God everything changes after we leave the house, as we have to walk through a park in order to arrive at the kindergarten. And we always take our time...we look for leaves and listen to birds chirruping and Maya chases crows. It is amazing what a bit of nature can do to the human soul. I am always different before and after the park. I even hum a song on my way to the place of torture - the gym...
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Image by shell belle via FlickrWell, not me, obviously! I am talking, of course, of my aquintance, the Supermommy knows-it - all that always manages to wind me up...I just hate this type. And combine it with a blissfull ignorance, stupidity and inculture, and you have Mrs. M, a fellow Romanian that is living here in Israel.
We were invited to her daughter's birthday on Friday evening, but because Maya's bedtime is 7 o'clock we didn't go. We went on Saturday, instead. I just wanted to give the girl her present and return home. I don't like to go there, especially with Maya, as Mrs. M's living room is beige and white. White leather sofa, beige carpet, you know what I mean. Last time we were there Maya droped some crumbs on the carpet and I thought I'd die of shame.
O.K., so gave the girl her present and she put it aside and continued with whatever she was doing. I asked nicely :"Aren't you going to open your present?" and she was like, O.K., well and after she opened it Mrs. M came over and said :"What, books? Again?" Wha...??? I stood there, like and idiot, and wanted the ground to open up and swallow me...I felt so...I cannot even describe the feeling...What did she expected me to buy for a 7 years old? Jewelry? Perfume? What??? I bought her a beautiful edition of "Winnie the Pooh" and another book with stories (and they didn't come in cheap, believe me). And you know what? The little brat didn't even say "Thank you".
I was furious when I returned home, and if you ask me, I even didn't know why. We also had a conversation about vitamins and stuff and Mrs. M's verdict was "They are all bulshit", she also said that Maya is too thin and that she cannot wait to clean her house and what a beautiful party they had on Friday.
I know I live in a world where a book doesn't have the same value it had when I was a kid, in a world where the kids are brought to the kindergarten in huge 4x4's and you are judged according to your flat screen TV and mobile phone. Well, I am not ready to surrender MY VALUES. I will continue to buy my daughter books and encourage her to read them, and I'll let her drop whatever she wants on the living room's carpet and play with her toys whenever she wants and let her to have fun and when time comes, clean the mess together.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Image via WikipediaIn the morning, the sound of a quick rain outside made me open the windows wide, to let the fresh smell in. What I received in return for my grandiose gesture was the smell of fried onions, probably my neighbours breakfast.
Nothing poetic here, I'm afraid. So it is down to Earth for me on this one...
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Image by Kaustav Bhattacharya via FlickrYou know me...no one optimistic bone in my body...so after my yesterday's post about Maya's sand filled shoes, today, surprise! She comes home from the kindergarten with a HUGE bump on her forehead. I thought I'll faint! She told me the same story the teacher's helper said, that she and another boy just run into each other and "kaboom", they slammed their foreheads like two rams...
Of course I broke in a sweat over the story but my baby, all israeliness from her beautiful blond curles to her toes kept telling me "Lo nora, Ima", that roughly translates "Don't worry, mommy"/"No harm done", it is an Israeli expression really. Just in case, I kept an eye on her all afternoon, but apart from running around like she always does...fingers crossed she's be fine.
And myself? Well, I tried to be a good girl and I have gone to the gym a couple of times this week. Tomorow I have the meeting with my dietitician (they tricked me into this one) and I haven't lost a gram the last two weeks. Who had time for diets when Maya was so sick? And this evening, my husband in an attempt to make me feel better bought me a huge thali -a vegetarian indian meal, absolutely delicious and worth about one million calories. So I just hope not to discover tomorow that I actually put on weight! Who cares...the food was good and Maya is asleep in her bed and tomorow I'll worry about such petty things as losing weight...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Image by Dead Air via FlickrI am mad at myself...not exactly mad, I think dissapointed would be a better word. I mean, look at me! What exactly did I achieve in the last years, since I came to live in Israel? Nothing much, I am telling you. Tried this and that, tried to teach and after four years I quit because it was eating me alive. I worked do hard to get my degree, to finish my studies at the University. I was a single mother and had to work to sustain my family and I had to study and it was damn hard but I did it in the end. And now? All that effort for nothing? I am a staying at home mother with no prospects for the future. I mean, you don't need a University diploma to rise a child!
Oh God, I am so sick and tired of being myself! I cannot do anything right, I don't even know how to cook a decent meal, I spend way to much money (that I don't even earn), my house is a mess, I am a mess. I used to be a fighter, I used to be smart and funny and wore really short skirts and had great legs and had lots of fun working as a journalist and raising my son. And now? I can wear only one pair of jeans because the other clothes don't fit me any more, I don't know when was the last time I had my eyebrows plucked or my legs waxed, I cry to much, I eat too much junk food and I forgot how to laugh at a good joke.
And the sad thing is: I don't know how to change things, I don't know what to do, where to start...I tried so many times and I failed, so I gave up trying. Yes, I am ashamed of the person I become. How pathetic is that? On a second thought, I think I'll start knitting again. Who knows what could come out of such an adventurous enterprise...
Image by obo-bobolina via FlickrThis morning I went to the clinic to have some blood tests done. There were loads of people in the waiting room (what's new?) so I had to wait for a while. I didn't mind, that way I had the time to put my thoughts in order and to organize my day. Finally, when I got in, the assistant/nurse or whatever this person that takes blood is called "welcomed" me with such a sore face that I looked for the lemon.... Nevermind. A rough night, a sick baby, money problems. After she finished, extracting what it seemed like many litres of blood, I got up (a bit dizzy) said thank you, good bye and have a nice day and got out. She looked at me like I was some creature from the outer space...and...that was it...not a word, some gesture of acknowledging my existence.I know everybody has problems (wanna see my list?). But a smile didn't hurt anybody. A smile, a nice word, especially when you work in health care, for God's sake. Sometimes a smile can make such a difference to a sick person...
Well, I think that sometimes I want to much from people...I'll just drink my coffee and keep my mouth shut..
Monday, November 9, 2009
Image via WikipediaSometimes I laught (well, not as much as I would like, but still)
and sometimes I cry...
sometimes I am the wounded seagull on the hot roof top waiting for a cool wind.
sometimes I love
and sometimes I hate (well, I know it is not a positive feeling, but hey, I'm only human).
sometimes I am so alone I can count the number of my heartbeats
sometimes I am free
and sometimes I look throught the bars of my own helplessness
and sometimes I am whatever I want to be
a wild animal
a soothing rain
a sword vibrating
and sometimes I am so afraid
my body is cold and I curl inward to help the breathing
but as long as I maintain the equilibrium
I am the gatekeeper.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thank you Mesina!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Image by Brainsugar via FlickrEverybody writes these days...I have a "few" blogs that I'm following and I simply cannot read fast enough as the folks keep posting and posting. Oh my, and I just sit and do nothing...well, almost nothing, as Maya is still sick and I am not feeling better myself. My mind is blank, no interesting ideas, no witty words. People are blogging, writing novels, reading towers of books, doing the NaNoWroMo (National Writing Month), writing book reviews...and I just sit here, hoping that Maya will fell better, so I'll be able to pick up my life where I left it and...
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Image by law_keven via FlickrOutside is raining like the end of the world is near, or maybe the flood. Maya and I are looking out the window, and she is trying to catch the big rain drops in her small fist. The wind blows directly into our faces. The fragrance of freshness hits my nostrils. I kiss my baby's cheek that smells like chocolate and mischief.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Image by Raveesh Vyas via FlickrMy post on Saturday evening ended with the anticipation that I was going to enjoy reading...I did enjoy reading...3 pages, actually, because Maya had a very bad coughing fit and I spent Saturday to Sunday night holding her, walking through the house with her in my arms (when she's sick and in bad shape, she likes to be hold and walked), thinking about my poor pelvic floor...
On Sunday morning I took her to the doctor and since then, I have been a full time mommy and nurse, again. She has to have inhalations three times a day, I have to give her syrup twice a day, put ear - drops in her ears, eyes drops in her eyes (I am not kidding, she's got an ear infection AND conjunctivitis and bronchitis), feed her, play with her, try to cook and clean the house...so I am really glad I enjoyed my quiet moments while I could. The bad weather forces us to stay indoors, so it is pretty difficult for us, as Maya, even sick as she is, has lots of energy that needs to be "exhausted". In the evening, for example, she asked for some dance music and she danced like crazy for 15 minutes. I regret I didn't record her. Forgot, too tired...
So, although I had all kinds of great ideas for posts, I am so drained that I am not able to think much, so I'll just go and watch some bad TV and wait to recover...