So this is the new "blogger" template. I didn't choose it because I love airplanes -- it was the only one that didn't look patently stupid. Perhaps if I have more time, I'll play with it.
So, one year has passed. You are right, I have one more child -- a boy. That makes four.
I haven't re-read my blog in over a year, but I see my last post was about my weight, so I'll pick up there. I achieved my weight goal and dropped to 215 lbs. I stayed there for a while by simply eating small portions, drinking lots of water, and walking a minimum of 10,000 steps each day. That sounds difficult to do, but with a bit of commitment, it's very doable.
Shavuous just passed, and with all the holidays and the eating out (I'll explain why in a sec), I've gained a few pounds (now 220 lbs., soon to revert back to 215 lbs.). I've been eating a lot of pizza during the week and challah during the weekends, no doubt a heart attack waiting to happen.
So... one year later... I no longer live in an apartment -- we've purchased a house in Brooklyn (still in Crown Heights, just a bit south of what used to be called "safe" territory). There has been a lot going on, but I've managed to keep my head on straight, and I've focused on being a father, a husband (in no particular order), and a Jew.
My law firm has been more successful than I could have asked for. For privacy reasons, let's just say that I found a niche, and I've been working on it as hard as I could. I am no longer working in a closet -- I have actually rented office space around 15 minutes away from our home, and while I don't have the name of our firm on the door, I have hired an assistant and have been keeping quite busy.
Now with four kids who are growing up, we are paying more tuition than I ever imagined. But, I give to the school freely because 1) my kids benefit, and 2) in Gemara (I don't have the cite handy), it teaches that a man gets a beracha (blessing) for parnossa (money), and on top of that blessing is the parnossa that is given to him for his children's education. The gemara doesn't specifically discuss girl's education, but whatever -- I now have three kids in private school, with our fourth at home with my wife.
My wife now has help as in a maid -- she comes in every day at 7:30am, and works until 12:30pm (5 hours each day). She cleans the house, helps my wife with the kitchen, dresses the kids, and takes care of the laundry. I leave to the office each day around the same time the maid arrives and as far as I'm concerned, since I'm paying for it all, I tell myself that it is as if I'm contributing to my wife's stressful morning by paying for the help.
Next, marriage issues. Nothing really has changed over the years. We have now been married close to six years -- can you believe it?? Now while things are sometimes good and other times they're a wreck, we still have maintained our family structure as parents, and when we can, as husband and wife. We get along well, but now years later, the intimacy issues that have been preventing us from being as close as we could be are still there. For this reason, we decided that we were going to go see a marriage counselor.
The counselor appears to be focusing on our intimacy issues, specifically getting us to express ourselves and communicate better. She is [finally] bothered that after all these years, we are still like two roommates who are raising a family together rather than lovers, and quite frankly, this is what bothers me as well. I'll write more about this momentarily in another blog post.
Lastly, I am still as religious as I was the last time I wrote, but no doubt there are areas which have improved (e.g., my Torah learning), and areas which have remained just as weak as ever (e.g., davening, showing up to minyanim, etc.). All I could say in the religious realm is that I ashame myself, and I am an embarrassment to those who call themselves religious. There is no excuse or other way to put it -- I know what I need to do, and I have no interest in doing what I need to do, and yet, I expect things to get better.