Zev Newsletter

September 1998

September started with a family trip to Hurricane Harbor, the local water park. We went mid-week, and Marc took the day off (since he'd been in Hawaii the week before, and hadn't got to spend much time with his boys.) Marc's father joined us, as did cousins Jordan and Mitchell. It was a perfect day -- great temperature, not very crowded. So it shouldn't surprise you that at 3 p.m. we started to hear thunder and see lightening! They chased everyone out of the water, and a half-hour later, when it started to rain, they closed the park. Everyone got free return tickets; however, they were only good in 1998. Since Hurricane harbor was only going to be open on two more weekdays and three more weekends, (and Jackie wasn't crazy about coming again on a weekend) we were very limited on when we could use our free passes.

We decided to come back on Friday. Marc had to work, so we invited one of Jonathan 's friends to join us. It was a little cooler than it had been on Wednesday, so the park was even emptier. Jonathan went on rides over and over again without waiting at all. Even Benjamin got to on a ride (several times!) We left when the park closed, and decided to go out to dinner with Jonathan 's friend Joshua and his parents. On the way back to the cars, Jonathan asked if Joshua could ride with us to the restaurant. "Sure, why not?" When Jackie got to the car with the three boys, she discovered she had made a huge error in judgement. Rather than rent a locker, she had put her keys, her driver's license, and her money in a small pouch, which she had carried with her on the rides. Of course, the pouch had gotten wet, and now the car alarm remote was ruined. She could unlock the car with the key, and the alarm stopped sounding after a while, but she couldn't start the car.

Jackie knew there is a kill switch for the alarm (exactly for situations like this!) but she didn't know where to find it. A Good Samaritan tried to help, but he couldn't find it either. We eventually flagged down security, who said they would send out a mechanic and left. Now a new dilemma arose. Joshua needed to use the bathroom. Should Jackie take him, which most assuredly meant missing the mechanic? Did she have any other choice? Fortunately she was saved when her Good Samaritan located the kill switch, and she was able to start the car. Jackie then drove to the drop off area, parked (ignoring the "no parking" signs) and took the boys to the bathroom. Walking back to the car, she wondered what Joshua's parents were thinking! It had been about 45 minutes since we parted, enough time to go to the restaurant and back several times. As Jackie pulled up to the first light, she glanced to her left, and whom should she see, but Joshua's dad. He had left his wife at the restaurant and driven back to see if he could find us. What an adventure! Jackie was just thankful that it ended well.

In September, Jonathan started Kindergarten at Beckford Ave. Elementary, our local public school. Marc took the day off of work to be there. On the first day of class, we had to be at school at 7:45 a.m. to find out what class Jonathan would be in. As it turned out, he'd been assigned to the afternoon class (there's two morning classes and one afternoon class at his school). So now he goes to school from 11:20 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. We really like both his teacher and the morning class teacher, who assists in Jonathan 's class for an hour and a half each day. Since Jackie can't really help out in the classroom is a problem (because Benjamin is not welcome), Jackie volunteered to be room parent.

Kindergarten has been no big deal for Jonathan , but Jackie was having a tough time adjusting. She was used to dropping him off at preschool around 8:30 or 9:00 (or earlier or later or whatever) and picking him up around 3:00 - give or take half an hour. Now she found that she had to start his lunch at exactly 10:30 a.m. so that it would be ready at 10:45 so that he would have enough time to eat it by 11:12 a.m. when they had to leave to get him there by 11:20. Then she had to come home and put Benjamin right down for a nap so that he would be done with his nap when she left at 2:32 to go pick up Jonathan . The strict time constraints were driving her crazy. Plus, she felt bound to the house. It's hard to go to the store when you know you have to be home by exactly 10:30 to make lunch. If she went to the store after dropping off Jonathan , then Benjamin doesn't get a decent nap and is cranky all afternoon. And it gets worse. Even with putting Benjamin down as soon as she gets back from dropping Jonathan off, he's sleeping all the way up until the time to pick up Jonathan . This means that at 2:45 p.m., Benjamin hasn't eaten since 10:45 a.m. and is hungry. He really needs to be taken home and fed. Jonathan , who also ate at 10:45, but at least has had a snack since then, is also usually hungry. So doing things in the afternoon is problematic too. Jackie was also unhappy that she now has no one-on-one time with Benjamin at all anymore. So after the first week, we enrolled Jonathan in the morning YMCA program at Beckford three days a week. This doesn't solve the afternoon problem, but at least Jackie gets a break from the morning time crunch and some one-on-one time with Benjamin three days a week.

Soccer games also started this month. In August, Jonathan had had practices, but no games. Now he has both. Turns out that his team is fantastic! We tend to play most of the game on the other team's side of the field. The coach likes to start out each half with the two best players and Jonathan on offense, so Jonathan gets lots of time on the attack. He loves to play and has a really good time.

Jackie went to her 20 year High School Reunion, with the normal amount of mixed feelings and trepidation. (Marc stayed home with the boys.) To her pleasant surprise, she had a GREAT time. Most of the people that had shared her classes were there. Interestingly, her friends that were not in her classes did NOT come. Everyone was really friendly, even those who hadn't been all that nice in high school. Jackie had told Marc that if she wasn't going to be home by 11p.m., she would call. When she glanced at her watch (at what she thought was about 9:30p.m.) it was 11:20 already. Oops! Time flies…

Benjamin nal/FamilyPics/photos/bgz9809.jpg">Benjamin had his 18-month checkup this month. He checked in at 33 1/2 inches and 26 lbs. 6 oz, which are 80th and 60th percentiles respectively. At this age, Jonathan had already started to flatten out, and was at the 65th and 50th percentiles. Developmentally, Benjamin 's right on track, except for language, which is within normal limits. He's only got a couple of real words, but the language precursors (babbling, talking to himself, pointing and saying a syllable, etc.) are definitely there. We keep hearing about kids who didn't talk at all until 2 and then started with complete sentences, and we hope that this will apply to Benjamin . One unusual characteristic of Benjamin 's is that he has really strong clothing preferences. Sometimes it's cute, sometimes it's annoying, usually depending on whether we want to go out or not. Like the time he wanted to wear a jacket. On his feet. He's also discovered tantrums. Jonathan didn't start the "terrible twos" until two and a half. Benjamin has started at 18 months. I guess we just got caught by the law of averages.

For Rosh Hashana, Jackie went to children's services with Jonathan and Grandma and Grandpa while Marc stayed home with Benjamin . Unfortunately, they weren't so much services FOR children, as services BY children. Oh well, Jonathan was happy with the toys they gave out afterwards.

Marc went to D.C. for two days and was supposed to return on Erev Yom Kippur. But then his flight was cancelled because of Hurricane Georges (by then a tropical depression). Marc's original flight was routed through Atlanta, which was experiencing tornadoes and such. The new flight was routed through Cincinnati. Of course once Marc got to Cincinnati, the flight to LA was cancelled. He was finally able to get on a flight to San Diego. Because half of the flight was now going to LA, they sent the plane to LA first. Too bad for the folks going to San Diego. Their flight arrived at least two hours late. Still, even after all that, Marc made it home in time to give the boys lunch; much to Jackie 's relief, since she was fasting. Marc also made a delicious new recipe for "break the fast" at Marc's mom's house. If you'd like to try it, you can get it off the web at http://www.isx.com/~mzev/personal/GoodFood/PotatoAndLox.html.

That's all for now. Have a great 5759!

Jackie , Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin