Sunday, December 26, 2010

random this and that

This morning Channah felt the baby move for the first time.  She was so excited it was awesome.


So my (relatively) trusty laptop/tablet computer has been slowly but surely dying of old age.   First the fan went so I put it up on blocks so air could circulate through its lungs more freely.  Then the power cord went so I bought a new one and plugged it in to life support.  The optical  drive started to go- but lots of geriatrics need help with optics right?  Then the video card started to go, so I reset it often and pulled the battery on a regular basis because that seemed to help with  the symptoms.  I knew then that it was too far gone to treat the cause.  This week, the Hard drive started to wheeze.  I had actually planned on putting it onto a respirator- making boot disks and running on an external drive.

But with the dawning of the sun came the realization that it had so many diseased parts it really was more humane to euthenize it. And so, last night in one last puff of glory there was a huge thud as I tripped over the power cord and unplugged it one last time.  It had a long and productive life for its species- rarely has a laptop in captivity been known to thrive for so long under such hostile conditions.  (It was fed and watered regularly).

And thus through the natural cycles of life, a new lappy came into our home.  It is tiny as a newborn babe- actually smaller than most at only 9 inches and 3 lbs.  It has 250 gigs worth of storage space, and 2 gigs of memory.  It even runs good old windows xp in English, and has a warentee and service centres relatively local.  I also got an external dvd lightscribe (LG 20x) and a cooling pad (lets see how long this one makes it) for just under 1400 shekel (about $380 US).  

If anyone local is looking to get a new lappy of their own I *HIGHLY* recommend Ivory Computers (google for them.  They are huge and have branches in about 15 different cities).  I found them through and got personal recommendations from a few different geeks that I know.  


Last night we decided to go with the old standard of Chinese for Christmas.  I made the best, low carby lemon chicken EVER.  Recipe will be on the other blog in in the next little while.

My little girl is growing up

(Picture above from our celebration dinner at cafe cafe tonight)

This week was a huge milestone for us as parents- our first parent-teacher conferences.  I went on my own as Jason figured it would be easier if I did not need to translate every 2nd word and someone needed to stay with Channah anyway.

So, having absolutely no idea what to expect, I went.

The first thing to know is that schools here are a little different to what I am used to.  In a nutshell, you can go through the entire year with almost no feedback from teachers as to how your kid is doing. I was told not to worry, that if there was ever a problem someone would be in touch, but as a North American olah I found the whole thing a little worrisome.  I was also told that I could call the teacher at home if I was concerned about anything but a) that felt really intrusive to me for anything not particularly major and b) while my Hebrew is pretty good face to face, I have a lot of trouble understanding natives over the phone.

I got the chance to meet with 2 of her teachers.  First I saw her Torah teacher (I guess what I would have called her Hebrew teacher before I moved only here Hebrew is covered as part of general studies).  She told me that Channah is a pleasure to have in the class.  She is neat and polite and always works hard to get her work done.  I asked my one real question- "Do you think she understand everything you are saying in class?"  The teacher gave me a bit of strange look and said "She answers questions and can do the work so I certainly think so- why would you think she didn't?"  When I answered that we are fairly recent olim and I was a little concerned about her Hebrew level compared to the rest of the class the teacher started to laugh.  She did not believe me that Channah was not born here.  Clearly from speaking to  me she knew *I* was an olah, but she had just assumed that Channah had been born here and went through all her early schooling here.

Definitely made my heart sing and told me we came just when we should have.  After just over 2 years my kids accent and vocabulary are good enough to fool the natives!

From there I went across the room to meet with her "mechanechet" (I what I still refer to as her "English" teacher  even though she does not actually start learning English at school until next year.  This is going to get confusing somewhere a long the line).

I got handed her "report card" and was incredibly amazing to see perfect scores and amazing comments right through.  Seriously, I am betting this has got to be the best report card ever seen to a Mechanic or Swirsky descendant EVER (I would include Gasner's as well but my mom insists her's were that good).  I know I sure as heck never brough home anything resembling this thing!

In any case her mechanechet also told me how sweet she was and what a pleasure she is to teach.  She told me her reading was coming along wonderfully, as was her writing (which I knew because we read at home and I now find little love notes everywhere on a fairly regular basis).  She is a little math whiz and gets upset if she needs to use her fingers to figure out an answer.  She plays nicely with the other kids and is one ofthe first ones to volunteer to help out for anyone who needs it.

So say my heart was soaring is the understatement of the millennium.

Tonight we took her out to celebrate.  We had planned to go to Aroma for hot chocolate, but when we got there it was  packed.  Since we were all sort of hungry we decided to go for dinner to cafe cafe instead.  Channah was beaming as she ate her ravioli (her favorite food *ever) and enjoyed her milkshake.  Jason and I were just as happy to be watching her and out with her celebrating something so special.

A few more months until we have twice as many special moments in our lives and I know I can't wait.