The Light at the End of the Tunnel

So last week I met up with a friend visiting this country and we spent the better part of the early afternoon wandering that holiest of tourist destinations, Jerusalem.

While wandering and gossiping and catching up and eating food, she mentioned quite nonchalantly that she reads my blog (woohoo!). Which segued quite naturally to my most recent post about changing jobs and restarting and blah blah. I started to tell her about the new job when we were distracted by a budding photographer (no, for real), which naturally segued into some other topic and the next thing we knew it was time to part ways.

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It’s Time for a Fresh Start

Happy New Year! (she said on January 23rd)

So, it’s a new year. Filled with all the requisite promises and hopes for goodwill towards man, reaching goals, and money. Or sex. Whatever floats your boat.

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With an auld acquaintance that I forgot, whatever the hell that means…

I am delighted to know how you spent your New Year’s Eve-slash-Day. (no, really – post in the comments!) Mine was spent sleeping. Because I’m old, and a parent, although the two are not usually mutually exclusive.

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Good News, Everyone!

You're saying it in his voice, aren't you?

You’re saying it in his voice, aren’t you?

Despite the name of my blog, this Restless Mama has been quite busy lately.

But since our return from Budapest, for the first time in a very long while, I actually had nothing to do. I have been enjoying myself immensely these past few days, primarily binge-watching the most recent season of “The Big Bang Theory” and the last season (sob!) of “Mad Men”.

However, as the title of the post perhaps suggests, I’m about to be slightly less restless. *drumroll for effect*

I can haz job!

Yay.

Yay.

There will be more details once I actually start working, which is next week. But it is part time, close to home, and utilizes essentially every skill I have managed to acquire until now. Good news, indeed.

So I am off to tell the employment office to suck it.

And once I settle into my new routine, I will keep up with the blogging. So, I’ll see you in a few days. 🙂

(I mean, I still owe you guys the post of our day-trip to Nyiradony…which is taking longer to put into words than I initially thought. But I am working on it!)

International Woman of….something

The Restless Mama family is going to Budapest!

Our dear friends J&E are getting hitched, and they graciously invited us so we naturally graciously accepted.
Hungary is one of the many countries we want to visit anyway, so this is the perfect opportunity to cross it off our list.

I cannot guarantee posts while abroad, but who knows? Maybe there will be some restless moments (ha, yeah right).

At the very least there will be lots of pictures when we get back.

Crazygonuts Family Fun Times!

Also known as LAK’s wedding week extravaganza.

The family has returned to their places of origin, the happily married couple is currently on a trip that may-or-may-not resemble a honeymoon (I mean, they are currently not in the country, but they are in Seattle, so…..), and the mountain of laundry is now merely a molehill.

In short, we now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

*insert sound here*

*insert sound here*

Excepting, of course, the two presentations I need to present this week. And the requisite term papers that go along with those presentations (even though they aren’t due for a few months). And our international trip next week, which requires only some preparation. And job hunting because, well, consistency.

But still. *Deep, contented sigh*

Pa is fond of saying really corny dad things, and his catchphrase is “When’s the last time this whole family was together?” And truth be told, it had been a while. About 2 years, to be exact – since Other Brother’s wedding.

Although we have multiple email and whatsapp chains, because my family gets together like this we tend to get on each others’ nerves really quickly and really often. It’s almost like we regress in age and space, back to before the in-laws and offspring and BA degrees (of which we all have). It provides us a second chance at the childhood we experienced together, because for us those jokes really don’t ever get old. There is nothing like taking a joke out of storage for the first time in 7 years, and realizing it’s still hysterically punny.

We also get the chance to make new jokes and memories, without any pretense. Our collective memories revolve around moments like this, which make them more potent. All those Friday night dinners we had together as a family are a huge blur – but the last two weekends will be remembered for a while (and not just because they are freshest).

But, it also provides us the opportunity to talk with each other about the things that really matter. The technological threads are there for the usual day-to-day mundanities, so when we are all physically in the same place we can get right down to business.

So although it was crazy, and stressful, and absolutely hellishly nuts – it was nice to have the whole family together again for the first time since the last time.

*pause* Yeah.

*pause* Yeah.

OH, here are a smattering of pictures. Because of course. Enjoy.

Yup, totally normal.

Yup, totally normal.

Nooshkin and DaNiece meet!

Nooshkin and DaNiece meet!

Fun times at the beach

Fun times at the beach

Three men and a baby!

Three men and a baby!

Nooshkin and DaNiece

Nooshkin and DaNiece

Hubby and the Other Brother

Hubby and the Other Brother

LAK was surprised by her bestest friends.

LAK was surprised by her bestest friends.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Pretty girls

Pretty girls

The Restless Mama family

The Restless Mama family

The Third Play Date

Hot on the heels of the second one, no less.

There is one girl in school that is consistently the last or second-to-last kid to get picked up at the end of the day. She alternates with nooshkin for those positions.

Naturally, the girls have become serious frenemies. Like, to the point of one day they play really nicely together, and the next day they have bite marks on their respective hands because they couldn’t share.
It’s great, this parenting thing.

So on Sunday, I was schmoozing with other mother about these girls and their crazy relationship. Turns out, other mother and I have very similar parenting views, key among them that we understand how much energy our daughters’ have and they need an expressive outlet for it. Guess who’s going to start jazz dance after Passover?

Anyway, as we were talking and occasionally keeping eyes on our kids, nooshkin and the other girl were playing quite happily in the park. As it gets later and later we wrap up the conversation and tell the girls it’s time to go home. They both come running up to us, their words tripping over each other, just like their feet: “can we play together at my house today? please please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

(yes, it really was that drawn out. Also, I really need to come up with some better pseudonyms for all these other kids and mothers)

Other mother and I looked at each other and said “Sure, but not today. Later this week would be better.”
Nooshkin immediately turned to her friend and said “What day is better for you? Tomorrow or Friday?”

After some hemming and hawing, it turned out that Wednesday was the best day for the play date.

The whole week, nooshkin would ask me “I’m going to play today?” and I would have to respond “No, today isn’t Wednesday.”
This conversation was on loop for three days, multiple times each day.

Finally, Wednesday dawned. Nooshkin could not contain herself; but, she knew that she needed to be on her best behavior from minute 1 so she could go play with her friend.
And god bless her, she was.

Per her request, I went to school to meet up with other mother and escort the girls to her house. Everything went super smoothly, and other mother and I exchanged details. I walked home by myself and marveled at how much both the nooshkin and I had grown since the first play date. I do think I’m beginning to get the hang of this.

Well, sort of. I still kept my shoes on, but at least I wasn’t constantly looking at my phone.

The Hubby came home to find me cooking dinner in a quiet, clean house, and was definitely surprised when I said that nooshkin was still on her play date. Five minutes later I received the first whatsapp of the evening – “We’re on our way to you, nooshkin was great!”

At this point, I have no doubt that there will be many more play dates, at home and abroad. I finally think I can handle them (and without an entire bottle of wine too).

oh, happy days!

oh, happy days!

Not Giving Up, or Music: A History

A while back, I posted very briefly about school. Now for some depth.

I’m currently studying for a Master’s Degree in the Interdisciplinary Program in the Fine Arts Faculty at Tel Aviv University (that’s a mouthful).
I have a BA degree in Musicology from Bar Ilan University, which I received about five years ago.

I always wanted to go back to school, and for sure get a Master’s degree; perhaps also a Ph.D. – we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, in about 10 years.

Education and Music have always been very important to me, as I started both at the same time. Education was mandatory, but music was apparently my own doing. The apocryphal story is that I was watching a PBS special on musical prodigies, and excitedly pointed to the tv screen and said “Mommy, I want to do that”

Apparently, some kid was playing piano at that moment. And that’s how that started.

For ten years, I devoted an hour each day to practicing piano, and another hour each week for lessons. Not to mention various recitals, performances, and competitions. Piano took a backseat in high school, mostly because I didn’t have any time, but partially because I wanted to do other things. Like Yearbook, and Public Speaking, and Acting. And, you know, sleep.

Yeah - pretty self explanatory.

Yeah – this may have actually happened.

But music was always super important to me. It was constantly on in the background, much to the annoyance of LAK who shared a room with me.
I mostly listened to whatever was on the radio, and made really horrible mix tapes of what I managed to record from said radio (hey, this was the late 90s and early 00s after all). When I came to Israel and met Hubby (and several other people) I was introduced to the wonderful world of Pandora and Jango. My love for Heavy Metal, Punk, Pop-Punk, and Rock music also flourished.

About this time, I found myself in the practice rooms of the Music Department, reminding myself that I was pretty good at the piano. I had won a few competitions in my youth, and I think the medals are in a box in the basement of my parents’ house (if, you know, the repeated flooding hasn’t rusted them over yet).

So I applied, auditioned, and was accepted to the Music Program at Bar Ilan University.

Music was everywhere. It permeated my soul, took up residence in my mind, and refused to let go of my very being.

And then I graduated. And got pregnant. And became a full-time SAHM. And then I went back to work full time while keeping the full time parenting gig going. Music, unfortunately, took a back seat in another country. I would fondly and wistfully look back at the time I had spent devoting myself to that craft – and I missed it. Horribly.

I told myself I would get back into it, that I would practice. But things always came up. My musical tastes continued to grow, and although I would hum along to almost every song I ever heard, it wasn’t the same as before.

Now I’m here. My piano skills have rusted over completely, and I forgot almost 3/4 of what I learned all those years ago.
But that first day back in school, back in a musical environment, I couldn’t pay attention to anything that the professor said. I was just enjoying the moment of being back in such familiar territory. I felt actual joy seeping through me, to the point that my co-workers knew without asking that I was so indescribably happy to be back.

I am slowly and steadily welcoming music back into my life, and it’s riding shotgun. This time, I don’t intend to give it up.

Currently Grooving On: “Bulletproof”, by La Roux
(I fully intend to include this section with all future posts, and I’ll try to have the song not be school-related) (but no promises)