Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just a Headache

December 27. One month ago. One month of headaches.
I stepped off the train and walked to my car. I quickly saw the front left of the car was hit. Hard.
I am grateful that the perpetrator was a school bus. Grateful because it meant there was a police report of the incident. Ungrateful because the damage was that much greater.
Insurance. Adjuster. Police records. Claim number. Damage. Body shop. Car Rental. Carpool.
All of these words explain what I went through this past month. 
Thankfully today I am closing the file. I have processed the claim, repaired the vehicle, returned the rental undamaged, fared well during the period without my car, requested reimbursements. 
I got my beautifully freshly painted van back.
I had to pay $0.75 for the official copy of the police report which states that the bus driver is completely liable for all damages. "Driver of vehicle 2 misjudged the distance between vehicle 1 and vehicle 2."
I paid $135 for the car rental. This includes tax on the rental and $50 for one extra day because I could not pick up my vehicle within the 3 hour window they gave and instead left it there over the weekend.
I had to call the insurance company back to get them to reimburse the $50.
I had to process a personal claim to get reimbursed from the bus driver's insurance for the tax I paid, which is an out of pocket expense.
Phone calls. Emails. Files. Credit cards. Messages. Money. Time.

By now you understand the headache this was. But it was JUST THAT. Thank G-d no one was in the car at the time of the accident. I am grateful that I was able to handle the details and not have to worry about personal injury or disability. Damages. They are all relative.

I am proud to say that I did not get stressed about this. I had the presence of mind to see it in perspective right from the start. My car is just a tool (a convenient tool), a thing. We are all safe. Let this be the worst form of suffering that G-d metes out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Musical Rooms: Bedtime Bonus

One of the features we loved about our house when we purchased it was an additional room, "the bonus room." This room is not level with the upstairs and the other bedrooms. However, if you go down four steps from the main hallway you will enter this room. In addition, it is not a legal bedroom because it does not have a closet. What results is, for all intents and purposes, a fourth bedroom upstairs (the 5th is on the main floor).
We have had several opportunities to use this room. During the day, we have another child share the babysitter at my home. He sleeps in a pack n play in the bonus room. And at night, when my stubborn baby would not sleep through the night, we would use this room as her bedroom. That way, she would not wake up any of the other kids during the night. More recently, however, we have been having trouble with the two older girls going to sleep at the same time. They would disturb one other at bedtime. This one would be playing with the shades. The other one would be giggling instead of trying to fall asleep. We tried to stagger their bedtimes, but the second one to go in would simply wake up the first.
Last week, I decided the solution was to play Musical Rooms. Siri would sleep in her crib in the same room with Kayla. The oldest, Arielle, would have the bonus room to herself for a trial period. I was hoping that if she needed to read with the light on for a little longer, she would not disturb anyone. Furthermore, she would not wake Kayla when she went into the room.
So far, we have avoided many fights at bedtime. We have also avoided having either girl come in and out, in and out with various complaints about how the other one was keeping her up.
All of the kids, including Tzvi who has his own room, have been going to sleep fairly smoothly.
I am truly grateful that we bought a four bedroom house with a bonus room. It certainly feels like a bonus!

Please share any experiences that you have had with sibling rivalry at bedtime. What have you done to solve it?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My 2012

2012 was a fun year. Here's my best summary. I:
Gave birth to an amazing baby girl. Named her after my grandmother who I loved so much and still miss dearly. Nicknamed her Siri after the iPhone.
Watched all my kids grow and mature. Battled with the three year old. Toilet trained.
Established a solid night time and homework routine for my older girls.
Ran a $3 million charity fundraising gala. Worked a lot. Learned a lot. Gained a lot.
Began learning with my niece. Love the relationship we are building. Need to stay on schedule.
Lost a few pounds. Still going.
Went to a few tweetups and made many friends via social media.
Bought and returned too many pairs of shoes to count.
Got my own domain name. Thanks Jeremy!
Got a new babysitter and worked through the ups and downs.
Continued in my "War on Clutter." Convinced Jeremy to hire a cleaning lady to help.
Drove carpool every morning. Twice.
Threw 4 birthday parties for my adorable kids and hosted many guests.
Cooked a ton. Took a million photos of the foods I cooked.
Tweeted and Facebooked too much.
Nursed for 8 months and pumped too many ounces to calculate.
Built many structures out of Clics. What a great toy!
Read "Biscuit," "Pinkalicious," "Go, Dog Go," and more favorites hundreds of times.
Sent a gazillion emails. Yes, I counted.
Became an Amazon Prime member and enjoyed it.
Learned to polish my own nails.
Tried parsnip purée for the first time.
Guest posted on a friend's blog for the first time.
Gave and got advice. Lots of it.
Spent too much money in the Target $1 section. Bribed my kids that many times.
Reorganized the entire basement and toy room twice. Kids destroyed them both in 5 seconds flat.
Worked hard. Played hard.
Ate the taster's menu in February at Mike's Bistro and I'm still talking about it. What an awesome birthday!
Had 6 weeks off from work for maternity leave and savored my time.
Snuggled, cuddled, and giggled with my kids at bedtime. Threatened and disciplined at times.
Gave thousands of kisses to each child. And then some.
Ate lots of chocolate.
Tried to go to sleep early, but to no avail. Clearly.
Traveled to Cape Cod in April and went camping with my family in July. Priceless.
Got to hang with my siblings from Israel when they visited in the summer. Met my nephew for the first time. He is precious.
Bought a new and amazing camera. Never printed the pictures. But I will!
Got good reports at parent-teacher conferences. And the kids got solid report cards.
Celebrated many birthdays and births with friends and family.
Got to spend Shabbos and holidays with my family, which made every week and month more meaningful.
Met new neighbors and friends. Cherished old relationships.
Lived for a week without power in the aftermath of Sandy. Thanked G-d that everyone was safe and sound and together. We lit many candles and went to bed early.
Bought meaningful presents for others. Put much thought into what they might want.
Summarized my year in a blog post.
Shared it with the world because I...
Enjoyed every moment of 2012.
Come again!