Zev Family Newsletter: May 1999

May started, as it does every year, with Jonathan's birthday. This year Jonathan's birthday fell on a Saturday, so his party was on his birthday itself. It was a SuperHero party, and Spiderman himself put in an appearance. He delighted the children with a parachute, balloon animals, magic tricks, face painting and a piñata. At one point in his life, Jonathan would not come within 10 feet of face paint, but now he happily let Spiderman cover his face with a Spiderman mask. The cake was decorated with the Superman logo done all in Jelly Bellies.

The following weekend was Mother's Day, and Marc hosted his annual Mother's Day brunch. This year the food theme was peasant Italian food. He made a torta, antipasto appetizers and a raspberry crème tart. The food was amazing, as always.

Jonathan got to see the second play in our series, "The Emperor's New Clothes." He was disappointed last play that Jackie wouldn't buy the cast picture. So this time, Jackie suggested that he bring his own money so that he could buy the picture if he wanted. He brought the money, but decided that he didn't want to buy the picture after all. When he was spending his own money, then having the picture wasn't so important.

Jonathan got a clean bill of health on his 6-year checkup. He does this throat-clearing thing, so Jackie asked the doctor to prescribe a nasal inhaler that had been effective in the past. The doctor said that the throat clearing was just a bad habit and that we should just ignore it and not give Jonathan any attention when he did it. Jackie insisted on trying the medication, and less than a week later, the throat clearing was gone. We've learned that the doctor does not always know best! Jonathan also had a Dentist appointment and got a clean bill of health here too. (Look mom! No cavities!)

We went for a family hike at Stoney Point and found that Benjamin did not want to walk nearly as much as we had expected. So Marc and Jackie traded off carrying him. Now, hiking at Stoney Point involves going UP as much as it involves going FORWARD, so carrying Benjamin turned a little hike into quite a workout. Jackie’s legs were definitely sore the next day! It was a lot of fun though.

Marc had a business trip to Austin, TX for a conference. He left on Monday, and on Tuesday, Benjamin had a fever of 102.3. He was under the weather for 5 days, each day getting a little better. Just so that Jackie couldn't give Marc a hard time for being in Austin while his son was sick, Marc got sick too. Nothing like being sick while on a business trip. At least he wasn't presenting!

The week Marc was in Austin was Jonathan's last week of spring soccer. Finally Jonathan started playing more aggressively (more like he plays in practice), and even kicked his only spring season goal in the last game of the season! Marc was very disappointed he missed it.

Of course, Marc was enduring his own excitement. Marc and his co-workers skipped out on the end of the last seminar so they could make their plane. Marc was happy to leave because he was not feeling well. Along with normal flu symptoms Marc was also experiencing some stomach distress. Because of the stomach problems Marc had forced himself to eat a reasonable bland lunch and to eat a lot because food in his stomach was a good thing and with the plane flights back he didn't know what his next meal would be. By the time the ISXers left for the airport it took almost all of Marc concentration not to just curl-up somewhere and sleep.

Arriving at the airport Marc was "thrilled" to learn that their plane was as far away from the entrance as it could be. The plane was scheduled to leave at 6:50 and at 6:30 when they were not letting anyone on the plane Marc commented "So, much for an on-time departure" - Marc had no idea! At this point we will skip some of the more frustrating portions and just give you the highlights. After getting on the plane (late of course) the passengers were informed that although the weather was nice in Austin, there were thunderstorms around Dallas (where they would have to change planes) so the plane couldn't take off. After a couple of false starts - getting as far as taxiing down the tarmac before turning around and going back to the gate the plane finally took-off around 10pm 3 hours late. Upon arriving in Dallas Marc learned that all the flights to LA on all airlines had already left, but there was a flight to Ontario airport (about 60 miles east of LA) Marc took that flight. Instead of arriving in LA at 10pm Marc arrived in Ontario at midnight and then was driven to LAX arriving there at 1 am. Since lunch, Marc had nothing to eat except a package of pretzels. He was not happy, his stomach was not happy and fever had come back. Marc finally arrived home at 2am. Crawled into bed and, after letting Jackie know he was home, went to sleep. - Until about 6:30 when Jonathan came bounding into bed with a resounding "Daddy's Home!" Then Benjamin came in with some books for Daddy to read and amazingly, Marc felt much better.

The month ended with Memorial Day, and this year we Marched with AAUW in the Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade. It was a perfect day, and the boys had a blast! Now that we were on flat ground (as opposed to Stoney Point), Benjamin was more amenable to walking, and the stroller was empty for about a two-thirds of the two-mile walk.

Benjamin is talking up a storm. Not that we can understand him! He is starting to say "Jonathan" instead of "weh-weh" and now he calls our housekeeper, Rossibel "Suzibel."

The closest he’s come to "Benjamin" is "Ben-Beh" – usually he refers to himself as "You!"

Jonathan, being six, doesn’t change so much month to month, but at his school’s Open House, he brought home a dramatic indication of how much he has changed since September. In September, all the kids had written a sentence or two about themselves. Then in May they did it again. The difference between the two pages was a striking reminder of how much difference a year of school makes.

‘Til next month!

Jackie, Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin