Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sound the Alarm

Good Moed! I'm exhausted but elated with how Yom Tov is going so far. Here's a picture of the new Succah decoration from our Succah this year. (It's hard to see because of the stuff on the Succah walls, but it's really pretty and has pink and lilac doves with little bells hanging from the top). 

It's a Jtownunderground family tradition to purchase a new decoration each year for the Succah. I don't really know when that tradition began, but after 30+ years of building the same Succah back home in Queens, my Mom realized that the decorations weren't as durable as the metal frame. So, a few years back, she decided to start the tradition of buying a new decoration each year. Granted, some of the same decorations will always be put up in their Succah. Namely, the glittered egg carton my brother made when he was in Nursery, the apple windchime and the Ushpezin charts we pin to the Succah walls.  

I'm a bit of a minimalist when it comes to decorations, so we have only about a handful hanging up. I think it's nicer to start small and to build up your decoration arsenal, and since these things tend to break in bad weather or if I pack them incorrectly, it's better to see what wehave each year and then go out and buy new ones if needed. We went to the Mall on Erev Chag to see Pidgeon's exhibition and we passed the table with Succah decoration lights. I ALWAYS wanted to hang Christmas lights in the Succah and so it made me want to buy a whole bunch of lights for our Succah. But, I decided to hold off since we are running low on electrical outlets and they have been predicting a rainy Succot season. 

Erev Yom Tov was very busy in the house, I still can't believe I managed to accomplish all that I did from Sunday - Monday. I decided to designate Sunday as my cooking day, and I made lemon garlic chicken (fantastic new recipe that came out really well!), brown rice, string beans and onion stir fry, cauliflower kugel, a brownie tart and carrot kugel muffins. Monday, I had an early morning Dr.'s appointment and then Pidgeon picked me up and we ran all our errands. We went to Pe'er to pick up Challot for our meal, then we went to Malha mall to check out his exhibit and get breakfast to go from Aroma, we stopped off at Falcon so I could get the ingredients for the sweet and sour meatballs, and finally we headed home so I could finish cooking, do some work and clean a bit. I made the sweet and sour meatballs, grilled the steaks for the steak salad and made the topping for the brownie tart. I spent a lot of time on my feet and was wiped out and afraid I wouldn't make the walk back to our apartment after dinner by Pidgeon's Aunt. We decided to drive them before Yom Tov so that I could rest up before dinner.

Succot night was really nice, and their Succah was bursting with capacity! There were 26 people in all, and with 10+ kids running around all night, I could barely concentrate. I'm also experiencing the inability to eat as much as I'm used to. My mother-in-law the Doula said that it's because I'm towards the end of the pregnancy and my uterus is so big that it's not allowing my stomach to expand as it used to. That sounds good, I just hope it will be accompanied by some weight loss before the birth. I was feeling pretty lousy during dinner and I started getting some braxton hicks contractions, so I had Pidgeon pour me a glass of white wine and started to count the minutes. The wine, combine with my exhaustion, really did a number on me so I ended up on the couch just trying to relax. Pidgeon's nieces and nephews were whirling all around me, his cousins stopping by to chat and keep me company while Pidgeon's oldest niece decided to have a heart-to-heart with me about her little brothers. I managed to gather my strength for the walk home and we headed out by 10:00 p.m. Since my friends Jen and Zvi are in town for the Chag, and staying only 2 blocks away from his Aunt's house, we stopped by to say hello. We ended up standing outside, chatting and catching up for almost an hour, when I realized that I had 15 minutes until my shot and a 45 minute walk home. We said our goodbyes and headed home.

At this point, my feet look like loafs of bread baking out of my Rockport sandals and it's painful to take a step. Since most of the walk was downhill though, I was able to get into Baka without much of an incident. But, at the bottom of Reuven street, I was really starting to feel tired. It was a tremendous effort to just put one foot in front of the other, and I had to hold onto Pidgeon for support. Fortunately, I made it inside the house and literally stripped, had Pidgeon take off my sandals, and began icing in no time. I wasn't too late with the shot, which was good, and as soon as it was over we went to bed.

Pidgeon's alarm went off at 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning and I decided to be a good wife and made sure he was awake so he could go to shul. I didn't join him and instead, spent the morning getting ready for our guests. I put everything for the Succah on the dining room table, made the salad, washed the fruit and cut everything up for dessert, and just generally swept and tidied up for our guests. Pidgeon got home from shul about two hours before lunch and helped me set everything else up. By the time Mandy and Ivan got here, Pidgeon was sacked out on the couch and I was reading the September issue of O magazine with my feet up on the coffee table.

Lunch was really, really nice and a lot of fun. Mandy is due in 2 weeks and we had a great time comparing bellies! She has the cutest little outies and my belly button is still ambivalent, with a piece of the bottom trying hard to jut out while the top just remains inside. Pidgeon thinks I'm gonna pop up like a turkey timer but I think this is going to be the extent of my belly button changing. I'm no longer surprised by what's going on with my body, although my former generous love handles are disappearing rather quickly and that's not good for me. If they recede any further, I'm going to have to find another place to do my shot. And, to be honest, injecting myself in my thigh just isn't something I want to do. I'm going to try my best to work with whatever stomach fat I can still find and, hopefully, that will be okay for the next six weeks!

I never thought I would wish for stomach fat in my entire life, my how things change!

Last night, Pidgeon and I spent the evening cleaning up after our meal. I had a ton of washing to do as I used a lot of serving pieces and, since I was so tired from the past two days, we decided to stay in and just watch TV. Pidgeon had to be up early today for work, so we went to bed fairly early.

At 3:00 a.m., I was awoken by a house alarm blaring nearby. I counted the minutes, waiting for someone to close it off, but nothing happened. I made a quick trip to the bathroom and tried to sleep through the noise. I was able to do that until 5:30 a.m., when the alarm woke me one more time. I couldn't figure out if the house alarm was coming from closer to Emek Refaim or behind us closer to Derech Beit Lechem. Either way, it was very disruptive and extremely annoying. I couldn't believe the alarm had been ringing for at least 2 1/2 hours! Well, was I in for a rude awakening! Would you believe that the alarm rang and rang until 10:00 a.m. this morning! I was so pissed since it kept me up for most of the night, and can't even express how thankful I was when silence finally fell onto this stretch of Baka. Now, you'd think I would have just gone back to sleep at that point, but I was so up and agitated that rest was far from the plan.

I got up with Pidgeon, finished washing any leftover dishes in the sink, put away all the dry dishes and serving pieces and then packed his lunch. Since he works only half days during Chol Hamoed, I didn't pack him a big lunch. Especially since there is no Succah at work, I had to make sure that I didn't send him with anything that was a Mezonot. So, he got a quarter of leftover garlic lemon chicken and a big bottle of lemonade crystal light. 

It was pitch black outside when Pidgeon left and the rain was starting to come down in little drops. The sky was super threatening and I was expecting the heavens to open up and really give us a good dousing. Well, the drenching rain held back and we only got a few drops. Fortunately, Pidgeon brought in our Succah table and chairs last night so that it wouldn't get ruined. And, I'm thrilled that the rain swept in because it brought much cooler temperature. When I finally get up and dressed today, I'm looking forward to putting on a long-sleeve t-shirt and maybe a pair of maternity jeans.

Well, Pidgeon should be home soon and I could use a shower. Wishing everyone who is keeping second day of Yom Tov (and therefore, NOT reading this right now) a Chag Sameach and everyone else a Moed Tov from Baka!

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