Thursday, May 29, 2008
Stretch Marks and Cheesecake
I've been thinking a lot about cheesecakes these days. With Shavuot just around the corner, there is a lot of cheesecake baking I want to do! Pidgeon and I are on different diets these days, and so I think I'll be baking him a 5% fat cheesecake and an apple pie for myself. I also decided that, since we're going out for Shavuot dinner, I'd like to host Shavuot lunch in the apartment. We're still thinking about the invite list, but chances are we'll keep it pretty mellow. The menu will be dairy and I'll probably fry up some tuna croquettes and make some sort of fun pasta dish. I like entertaining, and since we can't afford to entertain all the time, this could be fun for both of us!
These past few days have been pretty uneventful. Some days I have a ton of energy and so I tackle cleaning up the apartment with tremendous gusto. Other days, I can barely push myself out of bed. My sleeping has been really difficult too, I'm still not getting a full night's sleep and this morning we were awoken by the screams of tiny children who were starting their Yom Yerushalayim celebrations a few days early. I told Pidgeon that I was "feeling violent towards the community center in our neighborhood" since they started playing Zionistic music on the microphone at 8:15 a.m. And, since I didn't really get to sleep before 3:30 a.m., that was a bit too early for me. But then I heard the kids laughing and clapping and having fun and it made me all weepy thinking that P"G our baby could be a part of that one day.
Pregnancy hormones people, it's a powerful thing.
I've been stressed beyond stressed these past few days too. Money issues is a terrible problem to have, and I honestly don't know how people living in Israel make ends meet. Food prices are just ridiculously expensive, coupled with gas costs (thank g-d we only have one car!), cable, electric, water and the misc. expense that crops up unexpectedly and you have to be making at least 6,000 shekel a month to just make it. And that's before I factor in baby costs like furniture, strollers, diapers, food, clothing, etc. So, I've been nervous about money with the baby coming. Since Pidgeon and I are still both students - me, at least until I hand in my thesis in October and Pidgeon until March 2009 when he presents his final project - we're starting to feel the pinch.
Our parents have been very, very helpful but still, we're both in our 30's and asking for handouts are extremely difficult (we do have egos). I also am used to being financially independent, as I got a job when I was 20, moved out of the house before my 21st birthday, and have been paying most of my bills myself for a decade already (my parents always "helped" but it was here and there, for a new pair of shoes or some makeup, not rent or food bills). Pidgeon is in the same boat. We're just two people who decided, in our early 30's, to make career changes. Now, I still plan to do PR, but I'm getting my Masters in Creative Writing so I have other options. Do I think that, in Israel, I'll be able to get a teaching job in Creative Writing? Absolutely not. I've been seeding the market and checking out the competition and a writer/marketing expert/blogger/PR exec in this Country is a dime a dozen! Talk about oversaturating the market! I definitely have to figure out what else I can do so that I can become attractive to prospective employers when I'm ready to get a job in this Country.
Again, I don't know how Israeli's live in this Country. I'm not even talking about lavish lifestyles, just every day bill payment. Anyone out there want to enlighten me? I'd love a seasoned Olah/Oleh's opinion on the topic! How can people afford to raise children here?
So, we went to Shaarei Tzedek this week to tour the maternity ward. It was very overwhelming for me and I did freak out a bit at one point when I saw a woman in the delivery area looking like she was in some serious pain. The nurses though were extremely nice when we asked to see into the nursery area. I was happy to see increased security, and even happier to know that Mother's can go into the nursery whenever they want to take the baby to their rooms. We decided to register at the hospital for the birth, and the registration process was really easy. The woman at admissions was extremely kind, and when she told us that the government was going to give us money for the baby, we were both so surprised. I never knew the Country gives you monetary compensation for having children. I wonder how much we'll be getting? Either way, it's money that will help us keep our baby P"G in clean diapers!
Well, I'm off to work on one of my thesis stories. I'm writing my Cousin Neil story, and it's looking like it should be a good one!
Yom Tov from Baka!