March 25, 2013

How Hidai saved Mother's Day

As things went this month, I was a bit surprised when March 10th arrived and with it Mother's Day. I actually usually like Mother's Day very much. I think mothers deserve a day in which they get acknowledged for everything they do and for the fact that, let's face it, they are taken for granted every other day of the year. So I always make sure people around here knows that it's coming, are working hard on flowers, chocolates, cards and a day that is just for me. Last year Hidai got me a bouquet of candy and so combined it all together :)
But this year I was not in a celebratory mood. With everything that's been going on with Yon and the fact that I felt we were neglecting Ron as a result of it, I was all for cancelling Mother's Day. Bad mums don't deserve to celebrate. They don't deserve to be commemorated. They deserve to not get cards, or flowers, or chocolates. They deserve to do laundry on Mother's Day.
And that was exactly my plan, but for one thing...
Hidai wouldn't let me cancel mother's day, and he wouldn't let me sit around the house moping, and so we found ourselves going out of the house. Shocking, I know. The thing is, it's really tough finding things to do that everyone will love. If we go to something football-related then Ron and Hidai will be ecstatic and Yon will misbehave and I will be half-bored. If we go to anything science related then Ron and Hidai will be in geek heaven, Yon will want to touch everything, and I will be half-bored. If we go to anything animal-related then Yon will be in heaven, and everyone else will be half-bored.. If we go to anything shopping/art/baking related then I will be happy and everyone else will be totally bored and will not really try and hide it. It usually leads to one of two things - not going out, or choosing something the kids will like. But Mother's Day is, as is apparent by its name - my day, and I wanted to do something that I will enjoy (a choice that usually leads to no-one having fun because the kids misbehave and Hidai & I get upset). But this time... This time we had total success!
We chose the O2 Arena, because we wanted to see the mini exhibition that Sky Studios had of Harry Potter (and we thought Ron would love the chance to sit down infront of the camera and read the sports news). I am kinda ashamed to say that we've never been to the O2 before, and we were very impressed with the whole thing. Will definitely come back to see a show there (when Hidai & I are able to agree on the show of course). The good thing in a place like that (in our point of view) is having space for the kids to run around, and after almost an hour on the Tube, they needed some running time, and loved the fact that there were lines of color-changing light-bulbs on the floor that they could run around and jump on. We loved the fact that we don't have to run. After that we went strolling in the "entertainment avenue", which goes around in a circle and is full of places to run and places to eat. When we got to the end of it we found the British Music Experience, which is (surprise, surprise) a museum dedicated to British Music. We debated because Yon is not really good in museums (or anywhere else he can't say "just looking" while touching everything), but what sold us was the movie they have outside that shows the interactiveness of the museum.
I am not really good with the whole description of every minute thing, mostly I think because I find it boring to write, so how can you not find it boring to read? So that is why I am just going to say that if you haven't been there and you like music - go, go, go.
I find it surprising (in a good way) how interactive and child-friendly everything is in London. This museum has a room where you can play different musical instruments and a singing booth where you can sing and record yourself - the kids (including Hidai) played on the drums (while saying Jack Black said no drums...), the piano and of course the guitar (I always forget how musically talented Hidai is), and they both recorded themselves singing Bohemian Rhapsody (and made all the adults in the room smile). There is also a dancing booth, where we were taught how to dance the chicken dance and do some Rock-n-Roll 50's style.
You also see 2 movies, at the start where they explain about the museum and the smart ticket that record everything and let you watch it at home, and at the exit where they do a little "live show" of the British Music classics, and Yon gave a bow to the crowd at the end :). The main part of the museum are rooms devoted to each era of it, where you can learn, listen, and watch everything music and culture related. We were there for around 3 hours, and each and every minute of them was total fun, and I think we already watched ourselves doing the chicken dance about twenty times...
When we finished there we had some lunch at Pizza Express, because the kids love it and we have yet to be in a branch that was not child-friendly. The dessert was a bit of a letdown, but truth be told I am very particular about my chocolate cakes, so it's really hard for me to find one I like, and Pizza Express is not a place to find good chocolate cakes...
Pizza time :)
We continued our day in the place we originally intended to go to - Sky Studios, which turned out to be  20 minutes of fun and laughter - Ron & Hidai got to read the news from a teleprompter to a real camera-man, we all got our picture taken in "real" studios with TV stars (like the Ninja Turtles in my case!), and we got to see the mini Harry Potter exhibition with some really cool things they borrowed from the Warner Brothers Studios, and as a result we decided to celebrate Ron's birthday this year with a trip to the Warner Brothers Studios to see the real "how they made the Harry Potter" thing (it was a HUGE relief as we've been struggling with his birthday celebration for the past 4 months, trying to figure out how to celebrate it with style and with no football).
At the Studio

I ended the day at home with a hand-made card from Ron and a store-bought one from Hidai, 2 very happy & exhausted kids, and a sense that maybe, just maybe I am not the worst mum ever to grace this earth and my kids do actually appreciate me (somewhat).
Happy Mother's day :)

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March 22, 2013


When I was young, the word spectrum always made me think of rainbows. I love rainbows. But I can't seem to put my finger on the moment that word stopped being about rainbows and colours and started being the scariest word in the English language, and I can't pinpoint the moment in which it started defining our life, it's all about spectrums nowadays it seems. Somewhere along the way to growing up you have to learn the hard truth, there is no black or white anymore, no certainties, and no easy answers. Our life are ruled by spectrums, they are everywhere we look now. It used to be that you could give a simple "yes" or "no" to questions like "are you sick?" or "do you know what's wrong?".
Now we have spectrums, and we might be or might not be on it.
It should have been a lighter post, a happier post, a post that put things in the right perspective. But I was never one to put things in the right perspective and for some reason I don't feel happier. I don't feel relieved. I don't know why, or even what it is I do feel. But I am jumping to the end, so let me explain. As you might remember, on Wednesday we had a meeting with Yon's nursery teacher and the school psychologist, who turned out to be a lovely girl and is actually a speech and behaviour therapist. It was a good talk. Much better than we dared to hope for. The word spectrum was only mentioned at the end, and only because I asked. Basically they talked to us about working with him to be able to verbally express and react to negative situation (instead of crying); saying what he wants / needs; his need for order and routines and the need to be more flexible; the fact that he does not like initiating interactions with other kids on the one hand but will be very happy to play when approached; his love of animals. We talked about his vision problems and explained the possible effect they might have on social interactions like not always seeing clearly facial expressions, and inability to recognise people from afar, and about his need for clear boundaries and structures and his tendency to try and "stretch" those boundaries and about his stubbornness. And about how much of ourselves and of Ron we see in Yon.
We ended the session with a clear plan how to help Yon to overcome this difficulties. We asked for a better explained time-table to help him know what's coming, they added music-therapy and some small group time in which he will need to share and talk more with other kids, we agreed we will all go with clearer boundaries, the "use your words" strategy when he wants something, and with teaching him the right phrases for asking for help and the times to use them.
His teacher also found us an outreach program that helps kids with sensory difficulties (including visual impairment) and they will help us understand better what he sees and how that affects his behaviour (they already told the teacher for example that children with low vision needs routine very much), and how we can help him better.
We will also have him undergo a full assessment that sees him at home, at nursery and tests him at the clinic, and will give us a fuller picture of all the sensory, visionary, behavioural aspects and will answer once and for all the spectrum question. This will happen in about six months (waiting list and the fact that Yon is not really a severe case anyway).
They both said the sentence that Hidai & I found to be in the heart of this whole thing - it's not about adapting the child to the environment. It's about adapting the environment to the child.
I should be happy. Or at least relieved. First of all because we hit the jackpot, we got a nursery that actually sees Yon. We got a nursery teacher that loves him and wants to do everything he can to help him and make life easier for him. We got someone that said that what we are doing for Yon is the right way to deal and that they will do the same. We got all the things we didn't have when we were going through much of the same with Ron. Second of all because the spectrum question has been nagging me for years, first with Ron and then with Yon, and I will get an answer.
But I'm not happy. I'm not really relieved.
Why? Maybe because we still haven't reach Acceptance (in the 5 stages of grief), and maybe because it's hard to admit that you are even grieving at all. Why would you grieve? He is not even really blind. It's not as if we didn't know he had a vision problem. He is a happy, smart, lovely and loved little boy. Why, in the name of God, can't you just leave it alone and go on? Why can't you be relieved? Why do you grieve???
I think we grieve mainly because we lost the Perfect. Yon will never be "Normal" or "Perfect". he will forever be "Special", my child now has a label, he will always have that label, he will always need assistance, he is now on at least one spectrum. I grieve because my fears or suspicions could be correct and he might still be on the Asperger spectrum (and it doesn't really matter if it's the high functioning side of it). We grieve because our lives, all of our lives, will never be the same, and even if we can't reach Acceptance, we still have to move away from Denial, which I find to be the cosiest of them all, it is so much nicer there in Denial-land.
I know it's just because everything is so new - the full diagnosis and the talks about the nursery problems, and with time and progress it will be easier and we will move towards Acceptance. But I also know that these feelings will never totally go away, and that since it's been 4 years since Yon was born and we still watch him all the time, I honestly don't think we could ever stop, we could ever just look at him.

I want to end this post with a thank you for everyone. For reading my long and sad stories, and especially for reaching out to me in all kind of different ways and letting me (us) know that you are thinking of us. Thank you for thinking of us and for being with us.
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March 17, 2013

All is Yon For a While

"There are a few things we need to discuss" is NOT a sentence you want to hear, no matter the circumstance. Especially not if you just sat down to a parent-teacher meeting in nursery. And yet it was exactly what Yon's teacher told us the Friday before last and caught us off guard and totally unprepared for this kind of conversation. He started listing the things that bother him, things that are actually a range of occurrences - behavioural, physical, and social. Things we knew and didn't think much about, things we were starting to feel a bit concerned about, and things we didn't know existed.
The list he gave included Yon's love of touching things (which we attributed to his vision), his tendency to put things in his mouth, his dislike of loud and sudden noises, not liking it when you touch his head on the one hand and putting things in his hair (like rice) on the other, walking on tip-toes, unwillingness to try new foods and to drink out of a normal cup (he uses a straw), his difficulty recently to move from one activity to the other, his need for routines, his lack of sharing on some occasions, his need for a large personal space, and what might be an inability to recognise some non-verbal social cues.
Put all together you have only one word jumping at you - Problem. Yon has a Problem.
His teacher was, of course, so very nice and gentle (like he always is), and since he knows us and he knows we worry he tried again and again to explain that Yon is a very smart, popular and verbal child, and there is nothing definitive and we can choose to ignore it and it might go away on its own, but we can also just grant him permission to have the school psychologist observe Yon for a day and then converse with us. We said yes, we tried to ask as many questions as we could, we tried to get him to commit to a diagnosis (he wouldn't), we tried to explain away what we could, we tried to find connections to his eyes-situation (it might explain some of the things), and most of all we tried to stay calm and take it all in.
As you could imagine it left us shaken and very troubled. Can it be that there is something wrong and we ignored it?! How could we not see it? How could we not know that there is a problem? How can we be those parents who are blind to everything that is wrong with their kids? I say we but it really means I, because it's my responsibility, I am the mother.
And as it seems, a poor one at that.
What can you do when you get these kind of news? There are a few options, you can try your hand at internet-diagnosis (which undoubtedly will lead to the horrible autism/asperger path), you can check yourself over and over again to see what you missed and how the hell did that happen (which led to the cancellation of Mother's Day because bad mums do not deserve Mother's Day), you can sit down and watch him, and let everything he does be a sign that there is a problem and you (as a horrible parent) ignored it before, you can try and find solace with other people that claim there is nothing wrong with the kid and it's all a result of the times we live in, where people are quick to diagnose everything and everyone. Or you can just go away, mentally, and bury yourself in work, or TV, or books or whatever makes you not be there.
Naturally I did them all. And naturally, none of them helped, because how could they? How can it be better when you are heading straight on into the unknown realm of a Problem? How could it be better when you look at your child and all you can see is the ominous possibility of a Problem?
The psychologist came to do her observation on Thursday, almost a week after we talked to Yon's teacher, and this Wednesday we have a meeting with her to discuss and to see if more observations or steps are needed. Two weeks of the waiting, of watching, of trying to avoid the internet. Two weeks of sleepless nights, and of no answers.
I know if he has something it's not severe (probably) and that he (and we) can deal with it, and that he is a smart, funny, lovely child and nothing can change it.
But I can't. I can't stand the thought that he will have another problem. I can't have him needing to overcome more. Deal with more. I can't have him... Not perfect.
And he is not perfect, he already has to deal with so much, to overcome so much.
As an added bonus we went to the hospital on Thursday to meet the special professor dealing with genetic / retina kind of problems. He was our last link in the diagnosis chain, and the official stamp on it. Yon has Ocular Albinism, which means (in non professional terms) that his eyes are "dancing" (though in Yon's case you will not be able to see that if you are not a doctor), he has a problem with his depth perception (because his brain doesn't use both eyes together to create a perfect 3D vision) and he sees the world out of focus, like a bad Skype conversation if you want, and as a result he can't see very well from afar. On top of that he has a squint, which means we will have to make sure he doesn't develop a lazy-eye (uncommon in kids with Ocular Albinism but still) and he is far-sighted so he can't see up-close very well. His glasses are for the squint and the far-sighted conditions, and for maximising his sight, and so it is very important that he has the right prescription at all times. They can't help with the albinism, because it is a static situation that derive out of unusual development of the eyes. The good news is it won't get worse, the bad news is it won't get better. We knew it was coming, this official stamp, we were preparing ourselves to hearing it, to getting another batch of even worse news, but you are never really prepared are you? No matter how much you tell yourself this is what will happen, hearing the words are like a blow to the heart. Hearing he will definitely have to sit first in class, might need to have enlarged books / papers because he won't be able to read, he will never see more than he can see now, he will never drive, he will always need his glasses, hearing there is no more hope, it settles down on you like a heavy heavy weight that will not go away.
After saying he can't do anything for us, he recommended we check out the Albinism Fellowship website for more materials, taking into account the fact that Yon's case is mild. That is what we did, and we tried, we really tried to take it in the right proportions, to remember at all times that Yon's condition is not very severe and he has only Ocular Albinism and not full Albinism, and still reading it all, and watching this short movie about kids with Albinism in general that talked quite a bit about the sight problems these kids have, just breaks my heart.

I don't think I can explain the feeling of knowing that your child has a Problem, that he is Special. I can't explain how heart breaking it is to sit with him in these tests and see clearly objects that he just can't see, to see him try and fail to see time after time, to have him undergo more and more tests with the same result, to feel the weight of the finality. To know that there is no hope.
I blame myself. It might be stupid, but these are our genes that are causing this, all of this. We are the reason that he starts life at a disadvantage, that he will have to fight more, overcome more, be Special. Our fault that he might have this new Problem also. We are the ones that are supposed to give our kids the best start to life, the best options and opportunities. We are supposed to protect our kids from all bad things.
We failed him.

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March 4, 2013

Worrying is an Olympic sport

I don't know if you've already noticed this, but I am a worrier. I worry all the time, about everything and everyone. I worry about the little things, I worry about the big things, I worry about the known and I worry about the unknown.I worry about the kids, their health issues (Yon's eyes, Ron's teeth and now his atopic skin), their academic issues (which of course exist only in my mind), their happiness, their future, their popularity, their connection to Israel, Judaism and our traditions, etc;I worry about Hidai (even though he is fine, and I am not saying that just because he made me), his health, his job, his carrer, his happiness, etc.; I worry about my parents getting old; I worry about our future, not being able to get where we want to be, about not having money, about there being a disaster, that we will get a letter saying that we are not entitled to live here after all; I worry about me, my health, my hands, becoming boring, that no one will read my next post, that I will gain back all the weight I lost; I worry about the situation in Israel, I worry about the UK, I worry about the pound, I worry about our loans, I worry about our savings, I worry about how to fit everything into the budget, I worry about having to entertain, I worry about...
I worry. It's what I do. Actually it's a very good answer to the what do you do all day question, what do you mean? I worry. Everyone knows that, hell, even Yon's teacher knows that. If worrying was an Olympic sport I'm sure I'd be in the running for a medal.
The thing is, I live quite fine with the endless cycle of worries that goes on inside my head. Usually. I am so used to it by now, I don't think I would know what to do if I didn't have to worry anymore. I can't honestly say that my worries came along with the kids, I had them long before, but I can definitely say that they multiplied by hundreds when we just started to think about having kids, and that on top of the worries I also got that overwhelming sense of responsibility only parents have - the responsibility for that tiny tiny thing that is totally dependant on you.
I am responsible for my kids, for my life, for my choices, for the prices everyone around me pay for those choices, for our financial situation, for the career decisions Hidai and I take together, for Yon's bad genes, for the well-being of this family, for ... For everything it seems. I live quite contently with that also.
Who in the crowd said high high high internal locus of control? Yes. That's me.
But the one thing I don't live well with is uncertainty. I learned over the years to accept that not everything is in my control, that responsibility does not equal blame, and that, well - shit happens. Over the last few years I also learned to let go of the 5 years plan, to never commit to a house or a country or whatever. And in some ways that became my certainty, the fact that this will not be our last home, or city or job. But still, unexpected uncertainties take an emotional toll on me. One I was surprised to find is still very high.
Sometimes, when taken together, it is all just too much, sometimes you just want to return it all to the store and say - hey, that's not what I thought I was buying, sometimes you find yourself sitting in front of the computer reading what other people wrote about and being, well, envious. Hey, I want to be able to write about things like the weather, or the trip to wherever or the new spring fashion I just bought, sometimes I want to be able to lift the burden of worry and responsibility and uncertainty and live like there is no one else out there but me.
So I embarked on an all-me all-fun weekend, and then Yon was half sick all weekend (actually got sent home on Friday with an I-don't-know-what's-wrong-with-him from his teacher), Ron had homework to do that needed help, Yon had to had his hair cut (an ordeal that usually comprise of half an hour of screaming and crying), and as it happens you can't really shut the door and pretend to not be home for a whole weekend. There is nowhere to run.

It seemed like an apt finish for the post didn't it? everything's dark and hopeless. But it turnes out life is a strange thing, because we actually had a lovely weekend.
I read one whole book;
Ron and I baked a birthday cake for grandma, who is in Israel, and we lit candles and celebrated together. And we had chocolate cake to eat;
we are baking our traditional birthday cake - chocolate heart shaped cake
I taught Ron to play Black-Jack and he loved it;
I was the dealer
We watched The Hobbit DVD, which we enjoyed tremendously and which reinforced our decision to one day go to New Zealand on a Lord Of The Rings tour;
Hidai & Ron went to watch the Arsenal match at the stadium, and even though Arsenal lost, they still got to play, eat, meet people and enjoy the experience;
After we scored our 1 goal... He did not look like this coming home :(
Ron's homework were about finding a country that you can sell to people and make them want to visit, so we chose Italy, which I adore, and really, is an obvious choice - who doesn't want to visit Italy? the food, the art, the language, everything really. Ron and I sat together for 2 hours learning about Italy, watching all our photo albums from Italy, and discussing art, history and the Italian language;
We ate all the chocolate, ice-cream, cookies, pizza (Arsenal lost...), chips (it's Saturday traditional food) and whatnot we wanted;
Pizza as comfort food
Hidai had 7 new people join his Facebook group, so he could moan about Arsenal with new people, and I had to endure only 20 minutes of it this whole weekend!;
My new mixer arrived;
The kids slept until 9am on Sunday, and so did we;
I am now at stage 154 on Candy Crush Saga and had regained Ron's respect;
And we started this week with sunshine and also an hour of some lovely "us" time and coffee.

All this reminded me about the saying we had put up on our bedroom wall in Gib in the middle of all the mess last year, and is still true to our life, especially in days like these (yes I know I am putting up too many motivational saying here, I promise I will stop. Someday) - Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
I don't think we've reached dancing yet, but I thing we've passed walking...

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March 1, 2013

February Happy List

I want fun. I need fun.
The truth is that I've been feeling a little down for the past week or so. I've been in this - life is hard, there is no light at the end of the tunnel no matter what you do - kind of mood. As always there are good reasons for this feeling, and as always I know this too shall pass, but I find I am sick and tired of everything being so tough all the time. I hate this feeling that life is a battle field. Like I told Hidai this morning in a fit of desperation - it's just not fun.
And so, after staring at my computer for an hour (or two) and still being stuck at level 147 in Candy Crush Saga (very addictive), I discovered the sad sad truth - playing video games gets you nowhere in life. Also true for staring at Facebook. Just saying.
I decided that what I really need is a pick-me-up, so I designed a plan for an "all me - all fun weekend" which is divided into four parts:
Part one (this part) compile February Happy list, because I found a saying I liked that goes something like - not every day can be good, but you can always find good in every day.
Part two, comfort food, which will include actual food (a shocker I know), 2 tubes of Ben & Jerry's, a cake (the moment my new mixer will arrive today - don't get excited, the old one broke down) and all the chocolate I can eat (which is a lot. A lot).
Part three, at least three Romance novels, which is one of my two preferred literary genres - Romance and spy novels.  I know I'm shallow, but what's wrong with a little Happy-ever-After (or some blood-shed for that matter)?
Part four, The Hobbit DVD tonight because I am also a Tolkin fan (okay, a geek at heart. Don't judge me, so is Hidai). Oh, and popcorn.
Since I already dug into the Ben & Jerry's so maybe I should have added sport-doing to my list. Some people claim sport can help with the mood. I do not share this point of view though, and that is why even though we will be exercising this weekend it is not part of the pick-me-up plan
(all dependent of course on me not catching Yon's flu...)

So these are the things that made me smile this month...
On the first week of February
Ron went bird watching with his class in the park and enjoyed nature (a first) and also I caught a glimpse of them going back to school when I was going to pick up Yon, and he was so cute;
we started a weekend exercise regiem (Pilates and running), well that part did not make me smile (unless you consider my facial spasms as smiles) but the results and the being able to eat with no guilt, that made me smile;
we went to see Ron's math lesson in school, where both Hidai & I became devoted followers of his teacher;
we spent some time down memory-lane and looked at all the kids' baby pictures;
the kids enjoyed playing "babies" and demanded we (Hidai) hold them and cuddle them like babies;
Arsenal won, which made my boys smile, and kept the dinner table conversation on the weekend civil and happy;
Hidai got an email from LinkedIn saying he has one of the top 1% most viewed profiles for 2012 and was busy working hard on his new (and only) hobby - his  Facebook  football group;
Yon learnt to play Uno (Taki) and is actively playing the WII (without cheating, or bossing Ron around);
I got a blog-related question from a reader and wrote the new Kids and Moving page;
we ate pizza :)
Looking at Ron's baby photos
On the second week of February
I went to Goldern Green to fill the house with Israeli food and with Purim accessorises which Yon was very happy to test-drive;
Ron's best friend came to visit, and also Uri & Ev;
we still exercised;
Arsenal won again;
Ron had a France show-and-tell in school in which he was less nervous;
we had Shrove Tuesday - also known as an excuse to eat pancake for dinner day, and how can you not smile about that?
Ron handed in his Israel presentation and got top marks for it, which made us all very happy because he worked really hard on it, and was very excited and nervous about presenting it to the class;
we had some light snow;
we had Valentine's day with pizza, ice-cream, wine and a card;
and we found a baby snail on the way home.
Baby snail
On the third week of February,
Ron had an Ice-Cream Party at school because they had 100% attendance;
we had lovely sunshine which Yon & I enjoyed very much;
we continued with our weekend exercise regiem;
we survived the kids half-term with a time-table that worked like magic;
I played checkers with Ron and won! which was really very surprising, and so I managed to save face and keep my all-knowing facade;
we went to the dentist and got good news for Ron who was so happy to have "a grown-up tooth in a child's mouth" but a bit worried about our dentist's instruction to eat chocolate only once a week (we explained when we got home that the instruction s quite rigid and not what is going to happen in our house - we formally have once a day);
the last of my 2012 albums is ready to print, a point that makes me smile just because it was starting to be a little hell coping with all the photos mess;
Ron drew me an I love you card,
Yon got in the habit of playing "going to sleep", a game in which he and I, well, go to sleep. Usually on the floor, but he does bring his blanket and pillows and his animals of course; apart from the 5 minute power naps I get out of it, I also get a very cuddly child who just begs for hugs and kisses;
The dreaded checkers board - next up is poker and black jack :)
On the last week of February,
we celebrated Purim with all the trimmings - costumes, music, games, food, photos. It was the kids idea and they loved it, and made me so happy;
I found the perfect recipe for the Purim cookies. I loved it, the kids loved it, Hidai loved it and Hidai's team at work loved it;
Ron and Hidai went to the Arsenal match, and had some snow, hot chocolate and a win (thank god);
Hidai had 2 school governors meetings and is now very informed school-wise and has great connections with the head-teacher;
we were very good and finished the month with a budgetary plus (according to plan);
we had a full month of exercise and are now shrinking our way nicely (and also we eat so much junk apparently);
we ate Purim food, Burekas, semolina pudding, and Hidai brought me Reese's Cups and plenty of M&M's because I was feeling down and he knows me so well :)
Hidai & Ron on their way to the match
This is it, I love making these Happy lists because they make me focus on all the little things that happened this month, all the good things, and reminds me that actually even though it did not look like it this morning, I did have plenty of opportunities to smile on February.
Yes there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and now that my new mixer has arrived I can bake a cake that does not require a mixer :)

I will leave you with two things, first is my Instagram, if you like my photo obsession and want to see more - orli_hidai
and second, because I found it while making sure I am writing the phrase pick-me-up correctly, and Hidai said I should keep it somewhere for later use (and because you know the truth, I am a sucker for motivational quotes) - “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” (Michael Jordan)

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