Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zeli's Finally Walking

Here is a video of Azriel's first steps! Yes, at almost one and a half, he is finally starting to walk. And yes, we think it's just about the most adorable thing in the world. And, of course, he's pretty darn proud of himself as well.


On a funny side note, we realized recently that Eliav, who is over three, didn't seem to know Zeli's real name. We asked him what Zeli's name was last week, and the conversation went like this:

Me: Eliav, what's Zeli's real name?
Eliav: Zeli!
Me: Yes, that's what we call him, but what is his REAL name?
Eliav: (Looking at me like I was insane) Zeli!
Josh: Right, but Eliav - your name is Eliav. We call you Lavi as a nickname, but your real name is Eliav. So, what's Zeli's real name?
Eliav: Zeli!

And on and on. We tried to teach him that Zeli's real name is Azriel, but since we call him that about...let's see....never! it's not a surprise that Eliav isn't catching on.

Ok - I just couldn't's another video of Zeli walking.


Thank you for humoring me, those of you who are still watching these videos and finishing the blog. I'm assuming your last name is Sussman, Weinhouse or Handell (aka Grandparents). : ) If anyone else is still here - thanks for humoring a proud mommy. Every once in awhile, it's time to simply enjoy the milestones of a little one!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Amazing Work in Haiti

I hope this video is getting international attention. When Israel does it right - we REALLY do it right. This is an amazing video of the work that we are doing in Haiti right now. Check it out and spread the word. We can certainly use ALL of the positive press we can muster in a world that is so-often against us.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goodbye Papa

On Saturday night last week, my uncle called. He wanted to know, through his tears, if I wanted to say goodbye to Papa. As he explained it, it looked like Papa wasn’t going to last too much longer, and Don was getting on the phone with the family members who couldn’t be nearby.

What do you say to your dying Papa?

What words can convey how much I loved him? How important he was to me and how thankful I was to know him for my 38 years?

Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy conversation. But Don put the phone to Papa’s ear and I thanked him for being my Papa. For the millions of ice cream trips when I was a little girl, for the countless hours swimming in their pool, for the Rummy Cube lessons and the division tutorials, for coming to all of my school events and for always, always being there.

Don said that Papa opened his eyes when I spoke. I’m certainly hoping that he heard me. And then, a few hours later, he was gone.

I’m incredibly grateful for those few minutes on the phone. But, I know, in the end, they didn’t make the difference. The difference was made long before that conversation – each time that I told him I loved him, and that he told me the same in response.

I grew up one block away from my Nana and Papa, and we were raised in their house as much as we were in our own. Their warm embraces and cheerful smiles were always ready to greet us on a Tuesday afternoon or a Sunday morning, whenever we came over to play.

And in those hours and days and years, I learned so much from my Papa Jerry. Here is some of what I learned:

I learned valor and strength from his army service and from his two Purple Hearts.

I learned will power from when he stopped smoking cigars cold turkey.

I learned about loving unconditionally and passionately from his interactions with his family.

I learned that it’s all right to cry from his constant outpouring of happy, and sad, tears.

I learned from him that sometimes your children will achieve the dreams you had set out for yourself.

I learned from Papa that your own dreams don’t always comes true as you intended, but you do the best with what you have.

I learned from Papa that you might live far from your original home, but that you can still stay connected to those you love far away, and relish in their company when they are near.

I learned about learning to laugh and love again from Papa, watching him pick up after Nana died.

I learned endurance and adaptability from Papa, watching him outlive two wives and a dear companion.

I learned from my Papa that grandchildren are simply the best thing that ever was.

These are but a few of the many lessons that Papa taught me. Now, it’s my job to carry them through in my own life and to convey them to my children. And that, in the end, is where Papa’s legacy, and his “mantle” will continue into eternity.

I love you Papa.

And I will miss you, always.

Monday, January 04, 2010

An Amazing Medical Day

It's only fair when I have an incident like the dermatologist/rheumatologist one (see two blogs ago) that I counter that experience with a great medical experience. I'm still in awe of what happened today. Would the care work in a similar way in America? Would it work this way if I tried it on another day here? Who knows - but it sure was awesome today!

I have had a stomach ache for a few days that didn't feel normal and I decided to stop being lazy and go to the doctor. So, I got an 8 am appointment today. I was 10 minutes early when I arrived (a miracle in and of itself considering how many little people I get out of the house each morning!) and he saw me five minutes early. He ruled out appendicitis (sigh of relief) and decided he wanted to do blood work and a few other tests and an ultrasound. As he was saying all of this and making the paperwork, I was thinking - how the heck am I going to fit this in to my work schedule and my life!

So, I left his office and went right over to where the blood work is done. 20 minutes later, I was done with all of the lab work and blood work. Then, I went to schedule the ultrasound - and she said that she had an appointment for today! Today!

I was at work on time this morning, and scheduled to be out briefly for the ultrasound this afternoon. I left work at 1:15, arrived at the office at 1:25 and was seen within two seconds. Ten minutes later, I was back on my way to work with a clean bill of health.

I'm in awe of how smoothly the process went today. Any one of those appointments could have made me wait an hour - and I could have had to wait a month to be seen. Instead, in the course of one day, I had everything done with ZERO wait time!

Hats off to the Israeli medical system today! And, of course, to a clean bill of health which we certainly should never take for granted.