So I'm going to step away from the Jerusalem details for a moment and just talk about my family. I feel so grateful for them - more than ever. I'm serious when I say that I can't think of anything that makes me happier than seeing Tom wrestle around with the kids in the evenings. I missed seeing them wrestle while we were away from each other for two months. Now it's back, and I can't wipe the smile off my face.
TOM is amazing. As soon as I got here, he immediately treated me like a princess and hasn't stopped since. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's kind of nice to have his neat freak-ness back (even though I can't always find everything). He is quite the cleaner. I think I've only done the dishes once or twice since I've been here! And this is random, but he is fit as a fiddle...I'm telling you, I don't know how the heck he pushes the stroller, with BOTH kids in it, up all the hills here, through the bumpy stone sidewalks of the Old City, up and down all the curbs, etc. The walk itself is a workout for me, but he does it pushing probably close to 80 extra pounds. And most of all, it's nice to have my best friend back. He's such a good friend...I don't even know how else to put it.
JONI is a fireball these days. She can be the cutest darn thing you've ever seen one moment, and then she makes you want to pull your hair out the next. Her favorite things are:
- singing! She sings at the top of her lungs, ALL THE TIME. Anywhere from the Little Mermaid songs, to made up tunes of her own repeating the words, "I am wonderful" or made up gibberish that she's trying to make sound like Hebrew or Arabic.
- going to the Western Wall. Now anytime we go to the Old City, she asks to go to "the wall". She loves to walk up to it, put her hands on it, and just today she "said a prayer in her head" while there. Then we walk backwards away from it, which is quite exciting to her.
- pita and hummus. She never touched the stuff in the states, but here she has taken a liking to it, which is great because it's cheap and easy. Neither of the kids are as picky as they used to be because we don't have much of a selection here. They pretty much eat what we give them, because they know if they don't, they starve.
- laughing. That girl has been a laugher since she was tiny - we're talking 4 or 5 months old. Sometimes she just likes to laugh, for no reason in particular.
- princesses. Her bedroom has two 4-foot Belle princesses on the walls, a shelf at the head of her bed with all her princess figurines lined up, and a barbie/princess bedspread that Tom bought her in the Old City just before we got there. Oh, and a princess fan (it was just a cheapy old thing we got, but I put a round princess sticker in the middle, and VOILA!).
- her little bro. She gets mad as heck when I put him down for naps, and as soon as she hears him start to wake up, she begs to run in and play with him.
- cats. There are wild kitties EVERYWHERE here, and they're quite disgusting because they live off garbage, but they make her life complete. She watches for them at every turn, and screams out every time she sees them (about every 10 seconds or so).
- books. Without her gazillion toys from home, she is suddenly quite taken with the books I brought for her (thanks to Omi I had tons to pick from). I brought quite a few, considering how little space we had in our luggage and I am glad I did. She LOVES to read books more than ever before.
JACKSON is my adorable, blue-eyed little stud. He makes me smile at least 100 times a day. He's taking his sweet little time learning to walk, but I like that he's not growing up too fast. His favorite word right now is, "bump!" While we walk around everywhere, Tom or I yell "bump!" anytime we go up or down a curb with the stroller so Joni knows to brace herself. We used to joke that it would become Jackson's favorite word, and it has. It's very cute.
He also loves to play with anything with wheels....cars, trains, whatever. He loves balls, balloons, and...
FOOD. Oh, this kid can eat. This morning we think he ate about 4-5 scrambled eggs. For dinner he had an entire pb&j sandwich, a yogurt, a hot dog, and some milk. I hope we strike it rich before he hits puberty, or he's going to eat us out of house and home (reminds me, today Tom said something to the effect that Jackson's going to put us in the poor house, then said, "Oh wait, we pretty much already are." Okay, maybe you had to be there...it was funny.)
Although there are the obvious downsides, it has been so nice to downsize all of our stuff, not have a TV, start walking everywhere, and be in a new place. It has allowed us to (okay, maybe forced us to) turn to each other and learn to do everything differently. Everything feels like a big, fun, exciting adventure, and I love that. But most of all, I love that I'm doing it all with the fam.