Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Too many pills today

Used to be a time I'd pop an advil for any ache and pain. It hurts? Here, have a pill.
I'm still somewhat good with the aftercare, although lazy at times.
I do admit that preventative care is not really my forte. Hence, the bottles of prenatals still sitting in our medicine basket. I think one of them is from when I was pregnant with Eden.

After getting what I thought might be swine flu in the November while nursing a 2 month old and traveling, and realizing that I just hated swallowing monster pills, I decided that I would find some good gelcap multi-vitamins, as well as vitamin Cs, and take them. Regularly.

Well except for last week when I was too busy changing diapers, taking temperatures, cooking for holidays, and switching Disney movies. Somehow working did not really come into play much. Also taking vitamins.

Which is of course how I got to a stomach ache this morning. Here are the pills I ended up taking - all before deciding my breakfast tasted like cardboard:
  • 2 antibiotics for a lovely dose of tonsillitis
  • 2 ibuprofen for said tonsillitis's accompanying headache
  • 2 multi-vitamins in sweet tasting gelcaps
  • 2 vitamin Cs, also in clearish white gelcaps that look like something illegal
  • 1 probiotic, because i don't want to get sick from the antibiotics
  • 1 weird feeling analgesic throat lozenge, just to get my mouth working right
Add all that in, a drive in traffic, then a descent to the 4th floor underground in the parking garage, and I got to work just wanting to go back home.

I'm planning on losing about 5 lbs on this round of infection. In Israel, we don't really have "April showers bring May flowers" - rather more of an indecisive weather god with a streak of kindness. Why else would we be having this weird "I'm cold! I'm hot! I'm really cold! Wow it's hot!" that gets us sick enough just in time to fit into our pre-pregnancy summer clothes?

Eden went to bed early with a sniffly nose too. Have to say, she's a bit young for our weather god's target audience.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Feeling Old

On Friday, Ben and I were sitting in the park with Yemima and our new landlord, signing a contract. (Well, really my parent's new landlord. Theoretically. Techincally - ours.)
The grass was pretty, and yummy, according to Yemima, and some old men played shesh besh next to us.
Some small talk ensued, along the lines of, "Adorable baby! She must be a handful." "Thanks! She's wonderful." "And are you her mother or her grandmother?"

??!! WHAT ??!!

"Her mother." *Smile*

How young do the grandmothers come in your family? Or rather, where do the grandmothers you know get their skin cream?

Suddenly I felt tired and really wanted an afternoon nap.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Morning Over Coffee

Last night, after a long (but relaxing, enjoyable, and admittedly, not that tiring) Shabbat, and cooking tonight's dinner for us and another family with a new baby, I noticed that the dishwasher had finished.

Me to Ben: If I were a really good person, I'd unload the dishwasher and reload it with all the rest of the dirty dishes from cooking.
Am I a really good person?

Ben to Me: No, babe, you aren't a really good person.

So there you have it, folks. How wonderful to be able to rely on my mediocrity.

On other topics, Eden's makeup advice can be inspired. She somehow dug up a pot of green glittery shadow at the back of my makeup drawer (what was she doing in my makeup drawer?!) and begged me to wear it. This is the 2nd week in a row, so I decided to agree, even though I thought it was a bit garish. Turns out that just a little bit of it looks terrific. She was so so happy to have a pretty Mommy. Note to self: Art classes for her next year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blogging Forward

So I realized that I don't really know where this blog is going. I don't have any sort of direction for it, and feel limited by lots of different things.
Some being:
  • I don't want to blog about my kids. Meaning, I don't really want to quote all the cute things they say, what they are up to (aside from the basics - Yemima crawls all over the house now.), and how I feel about it. Some day, Eden and Yemima will be better at internet searches than I will be, and will find all these things. As will all their friends, potential boyfriends, possibly employers - who knows?
  • I don't want to complain. Vent - yes, but complain and constantly complain - no. That cannot be healthy, and I don't want to do it.
  • I also don't want to continuously tell everyone how wonderful my life is. I have a severely jealous streak in me, and I know that I wouldn't want to read that about someone else. So I'll save the stories about what a wonderful family and life I have and how lucky we feel, and how much we feel that God has blessed our lives in countless ways for a more private place. (Ok I just had to get some of that out...)
  • I refuse to write about work, other than a few words here and there. It's a major part of my life, and I enjoy it, and that's all I'm going to say about it. I think that any more is unprofessional.
  • I also refuse to talk a lot about family. I have too many family members as readers to risk that. If I did, I might end up with no traffic at all.
  • I also refuse to talk about religion. While I have some interesting thoughts (I think), the above goes the same. If I did, I might end up with no traffic at all.
  • Sometimes I have big and great ideas (or more often, Ben has big and great ideas, and I say - Ben! You should blog about that! and he says - No, you should blog about that!). But I also don't want this blog to be about our great ideas. I mean, even if I do think that we are great and wonderful parents and have some great and wonderful parenting schemes, ideas about religion, balancing work and family, etc, I don't need to go on and on about it.
So basically, according to this blog, I don't have a terrible life, but neither do I have a wonderful one. I have family and and children and work, and sometimes think about things, but don't speak about any of them here. I'm super completely and totally average (those are my favorite adjectives. aren't they wonderful?). Wow, how depressing.

I just bought and read Sleep is for the Weak: The best of the mommybloggers. I have not laughed so hard in a really really really long time. (Thanks, Aunt Joan for the gift certificate!) But also, I never have the time to read all these things online and so I realized something new - I'm totally un-unique. Usually this would be a good thing - I realize that I am not alone in my perception of children. There are people out there who provide less nutritious food for their children than I do. And people who have the same post-baby aches and pains that no one tells you about beforehand and no one mentions afterwards that I do too! So, while it's comforting, I also realize that I have nothing new to say.

Monday, March 29, 2010

And.... Erev Pesach in My House

I suppose I didn't want to leave the blog with such a cynical feeling going into the holiday.
Just a few hours before the holiday begins, Ben and and Yemima are napping, Eden is "resting" in her room - singing hagaddah and Dudu Pesach songs quietly, and I am watching the Pesach rolls bake.

Not making seder definitely takes a load off. Tomorrow's salmon is marinating quietly in the fridge, ready to be baked tomorrow morning, and salad can be done tomorrow morning also.

Looking forward to a week of vacation - for both me and Ben! - ahead. Yummy food, new beginnings.

Wishing all my (less than 10?) readers an enjoyable, restful, and insightful holiday of spring and freedom.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pesach in my house

Many Orthodox Jews are extra stringent about getting rid of all chametz over pesach. Has something to do with karet as punishment - being cut off from the community. Always very scary, out there on your own.
This usually involves a great deal of heartache and raw skin on your hands, use of great gobs of cleaning solution and scrub brushes.
Me, you know I like a good efficiency. And I don't like heartache or raw skin.
Here's how we do it in the Gold household, circa 2010:
Rule #1: Have a baby that year, which enables you to say things like, "I just can't do that. I'm just not up for doing X,Y,Z - I didn't sleep well last night."
Rule #2: Catch a bad cold the week before Pesach. Usually helps with #1.
Rule #3: Have one spouse take on a major project at work, clocking 50-60 hours a week, for the two weeks before Pesach. Always helps with rules #1 and #2. Better that it's the spouse who usually does the oven and fridge, enabling #4.
Rule #4: Have the cleaning lady do the oven and fridge. Best NIS 150 ever spent.
Rule #5: Don't clean where there's no food. Like Yemima's room. She doesn't crawl that well and can't reach the cookies on her own. Nuff said. Quick peek - oh no chametz? Great. Check.
Rule #6: Spring cleaning waits until retirement, when it can last the entire spring. Oh well.
Rule #7: Close off the freezer. Who needs a freezer over Pesach? I'm not cooking ahead, can get plenty of fresh meats, and since I'll be home all week, leftovers won't last very long. So, no need to scrub at the frozen chametz in the freezer.
Rule #8: Who needs lots of things over Pesach? It's only a week!!! We make do with lots of fresh fruits and vegies, lots of matza meal and eggs, cheese and yummy matzah cookies.
Rule #9: Eat kitniot. Higher taxes for living in the Jewish state have to be worth something. It's not my problem that my great-grandparents were born in Europe. I chose differently.
Rule #10: We really mean it when we declare any chametz still in our possession worthless and null, as the dust of the earth.

Off to look for ways to make the seder fun for my five year old. She doesn't know the mah nishtana yet, and clearly, I'm not pushing her (If I'm not pushing myself, how can I push her?). Let's see if she can complete a Pesach bingo card!

PS. Ben just read this with me and says that I'm a great lister. Hah! He doesn't know the least of it.
Sorry - make that enumerator. See what I get for marrying an editor? And Ashkenazi to boot! Well, at least one of those we can do something about...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

31 reasons you shouldn't feel mom guilt

Sarah sent me this link.
My favorite:

18 Tossing their artwork. After you've saved the truly superior thumb pots and the especially sentimental glitter collages, you will still have a heap of crafts the size of Mount Etna. Fill up a big black Hefty bag after they're asleep, pour yourself some wine, and then watch Hoarders. You'll feel better instantly.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Travel Meme






I love getting tagged.

Thanks, Dr. Savta.

I'm not one so big on "bests" and "worsts" - I mean it's all relative, right? So i modified this a bit (also why I didn't use my friend's new meme site. But you should).

I'm not tagging anyone. But feel free to take it!

Rules: Fill in the following questions & tag 5 friends (try friends who travel a lot).

  • A really great trip…
    Our senior trip to - I think hiking in N Carolina? Gosh I don't remember. I'm also not sure how many people who were there actually read this blog.... Anyone remember the nudists in Asheville? Not sure if I'm remembering that right either...
    Also our stint up in the Italian Dolomites.
  • A really awful trip…
    When Ben and I thought to go out for dinner on Yom Hashoah, just because it was the one night we could both get away. Right...nothings open.
  • Important things lost on a trip…
    I left my coat in the airport in Rome. However, Ben got his wallet stolen on the subway.
  • Important things I forgot to take on a trip…
    I also can't think of anything! Maybe something like my glasses.
  • Thing I miss most when I’m away…
    My bed, kitchen, bathroom.
  • Thing I miss least when I’m away…
    The mess.
  • Favorite travel partner…
    Ben
  • Place I hope to travel to someday…
    You know, I have no real interest in any particular place. Give me quiet, serenity, privacy. Perhaps a swing in back. Cool air. Yummy food (that I don't need to prepare). Maybe some snow and a fireplace. Interesting town. Books.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Executive Decisions

I'm going to wake up tomorrow and regret this.
I cut Yemima's bangs tonight.
This is how I feel.

"I'll spare you the suspense: I did a terrible job."

It was one of those really really rash decisions, made in the time after shabbat when Ben hasn't gotten home from shul yet, Eden's complaining of a tummy ache (hint, too many shabbat snacks, not enough vegies), Yemima's tired enough to go to bed and there isn't enough hot water yet to run a bath for her and stave off the inevitable.
I just got sick of brushing it out of her eyes again. So I plunked her down in the high chair, got Eden to hold her hands and SNIP. Done. Then straight to bed. I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning what it really looks like.

My other executive decision: To put Yemima to bed without a bath. Her hair has gotten long enough that it doesn't get knotted up from a day of sleeping on it. I daresay it's longer than mine!

Some other news, just to keep y'all in the loop:
Eden received a bike from her Grandma Lila and Grandpa Irv for her fifth birthday. 2 wheels, training wheels, helmet and all. Boy oh boy is she excited. Now watch me be a great mommy and schedule time to take her out with it.
Yemima's eating all manner of solids. Vegies, fruits, etc. Seems to prefer to to formula actually, which means that we'll be following up with some proteins soon - beans, chicken, etc. We might wait on the eggs and dairy, just to be safe.
I'm going to bet that Yemima will be crawling by Pesach. This morning when I went to get her when she woke up, she was on her hands and knees all ready to go. And on the floor in the living room - that girl moves. Little Toys of Eden's: Watch Out. Also, she did not pull herself up, but was able to keep herself up standing against the bath tub tonight. (Please don't tell me it's bad for her hips and knees to let her do that. If you are going to tell me that, you may as well keep your comments to yourself, it'll only annoy me and I'll lump you together with tipat chalav nurses.)
We are celebrating the retainment of our sanity after 6 months of this by going out to dinner tomorrow night. (Also some nice things about Ben's job. Ptu Ptu Ptu.) Whew. I'm excited and nervous - are we actually going to leave our 6 month old with a teenager? What if she cries? I mean the baby, not the teenager. I sincerely hope Yemima doesn't drive her nuts. Actually, I sincerely home she doesn't see her and Yemima sleeps perfectly well. I'm looking forward to spending lots of money on good food. That's not to say anything about Ben's birthday (coming up) and our 7th anniversary (coming up a little later).

Hmmm nice things to think about.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Never a dull moment

I took Yemima to tipat chalav today for a checkup and a couple of shots. Big news - Yemima is tall! She's btwn the 60th and 75th centile for height, and smack center 50th for weight. Hooray! No wonder she's growing out of the clothes Eden wore at her age.
Otherwise also, she's doing great. She's ahead in some ways, trying to sit up. The nurse told me that we should start giving her tastes of our own food - salted, spiced, everything. Just to stay away from milk, honey, and instant soup mix. (!!!). It's interesting, how is it that they are so far away from what you generally hear/read about giving babies solids. She's not even 6 months old, and they want me to give her tastes of chicken? And what about staying away from peanut butter (not even for allergy reasons, but isn't it a choking hazard this young?), wheat, egg whites, etc? It's as if they've never heard of allergies.
I'm confused as to whether it's because they just disagree with the rest of the world, or are just completely out of touch with the generally accepted medical opinions. My inclination is to the latter. Especially after seeing the nurse's face when she saw Yemima try to sit up, lifting her head and shoulders and almost all her back. It was as if she'd never seen a baby do that before. Call that experienced much?

We're still working on sleeping through the night. Seeing as she still downs 1-2 full bottles every night, crying it out isn't going to work for us. Nuff said. We do have our evenings though, which is a lot and I am very grateful for them.

Eden's hebrew birthday crept up on us. It's this Sunday! And I totally forgot to call her teacher and plan a gan party for her, and now her two best friends had theirs together and she's been very sad about it ever since. So now we are racing to put something together for her - or even two somethings, one for gan friends and one for neighborhood friends/our friends. And then in another month or more we're going to celebrate the English date. Very confusing. I mean it is a milestone birthday (five!!! my baby is five years old!!!), but does that mean that it has to last a full month? It seems that it does.

One big thing I do want to do for her is get the cake of her dreams. Ever since our trip to Disney back in November, she's had a bit of thing for princesses, and she wants ALL of them on her cake. This one I'm going to order - no Dunkin Heinz for us this year. It'll be BIG, PINK, and CHOCOLATE. Some of her favorite things. Her friends will be very jealous. This is a good thing, seeing as she is currently painfully jealous of her friend's party at the local gymboree/child-size nuthouse, where the kids have too much fun to hear eachother.

It's never a dull moment at our house. It doesn't seem as if we've had one week where one of us isn't sick, one of us isn't totally stressed from work, Eden doesn't have a party or an event, or SOMETHING. Blogging falls by the wayside, as I knew it would, but I miss it, I do. Really I miss having something interesting to say. Well, maybe that's missing having done something interesting with my day. Isn't my day interesting? Isn't it? Isn't it? Why am I desperate for it to be interesting? I should be happy when it's lame and calm and I have nothing to write about.

Confession of the day: I sent Yemima to gan today without her bottle by mistake. Bad, bad, bad parent.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't think I can diet and exercise when not sleeping at night

It seems to me that weight loss and an infant in the house must be mutually exclusive.
I've decided to put the following measures in place in an effort to lose the pregnancy pounds:

No sugar in coffee any more (and no fake sugar either...nasty stuff!)
No snacking on fatty things. Fruit OK.
Balanced meals with lots of vegies

Also, in an unprecedented decision of desperation, I've decided to exercise. When though? Evenings I am just too tired, and there are house things to get done and a husband to read with. Afternoons is my kid time. Mornings and day time I work. So really the best time is to get up at 5 on the dot every day and go for a 20 minute walk. I could do that.

But I find myself sabotaged. I'm just too tired. We are trying to get Yemima to eat more during the day, but she can still finish 1-2 bottles at night. Also lately we've all been sick and she wakes up. A lot. Part of having a baby, I know. But I find that when we don't sleep well, we get sick. And that is not the time to be getting up extra early and go walking in the cold. And the less I sleep, the more sugar I need, just to get me through the day.

I've never been a good dieter, nor an exerciser at all - good or not. I don't think I'd even care that much. But I've found that my last couple months of pregnancy really did a job on me, and my knees and ankles have taken a big hit. I'm achey and creaky, and I'm not serving myself or my family best this way, and I know that the best solution really is to just lose the pounds and keep them off.

Ho hum.

I stayed home this morning while Ben went shopping so that I could clean and we could have a more relaxing Friday afternoon. So I'd better hop to it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why I Don't Use Our Public Library

I used to. When I was on maternity leave, I paid for a maximum membership at our public library - 2 books per person in the family. I was reading about 1 book every 3 days, and 8 books took me on average about the full month that I had the books.

My last set of books was due on Sunday, and I didn't get around to returning them before I went back to working full time. One of the main reasons is the idiotic opening hours. I went yesterday and then again today - and it still wasn't open at the time that I went!

Why is it that I have to check the opening times every time I go somewhere? Why can't things be open, like from 8-7 or something normal like that? Or at least be open for the same time every day?

I had intended on going on Sunday after work with the girls. Sunday was running late and I forgot all about it. But I had checked the times, and knew that it opened again at 4 PM.

So Monday, 4 PM, and I'm at the library with all 8 books. No go, on Monday's it's not open until 5. I DID look at the times when I was there, but somehow I forgot what they were.

Eden went to a friend's today, and I took Yemima to the library at 5. And messed up again. Tuesdays, they aren't open in the afternoon at all! But see it was misleading because there was an event at the library that people were going to. So I followed them. And the door downstairs, with the elevator was locked. So I trudged up ALL the stairs (you Modiiners know how many there are) with the Snap'n'Go. And Yemima bundled up in her coat which she doesn't like so much getting cranky. And nobody asked if I needed help! I think that is the FIRST time I've been with her on steps and no one asked if they could help. Usually I say I'm ok, it's kind of silly to have someone help you on 2 or 3 steps. But this time I really did need it! And the regular Israeli brotherhood failed me.

In the end, someone unlocked the door for me (special!!) and put my books on the desk to be returned tomorrow. Hope they do. I'm going to be lazy about calling about it to follow up.

So this is a bit of a rant - you could say it's my fault, because I didn't check the times. But see for yourselves.

Sunday: 4-7
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 9-2, 5-8
Tues: 8-12
Fri: 8-12

Who can remember that?

What demographic are they aiming for? Ladies Who Lunch and can be there for the mornings? Because it's certainly not for working parents, who are working in the mornings and would like to be home with their kids during dinner time. Certainly not THIS working mom who would like a couple of quiet minutes at the library before picking up her kids. And certainly not school age kids, who are in school in the morning, and who should ALSO (IM not so humble O) be home with their family at dinner time. I mean, school gets out here at 1:20 so that they don't have to provide lunches. What better place to go then to the library? Ooops, but it's closed. I think I'll hang out in the street for a few hours, go smash some bottles in the park. Later on, I'll go when it's opened and if I'm not too wasted already.

I'm not done yet. I made a slight suggestion to the librarian who kindly took my books that there should be a drop box outside so that people could return books when the library was closed. She said that they couldn't because it would get burnt. That's right, burnt. Apparently, the kids who I guess are not hanging out at the library because it's closed are burning things around the library instead, including drop boxes for the library's books. (Ok, I'll admit that possibly the kids who are burning things are not the same kids who'd be spending their afternoons reading through the reference section.) But it seems to me that there are some ways around this. First, by arresting arsonists. I mean, that's legit, isn't it? Also, put the dropbox slightly inside, similar to ATM machines at banks. Or just cut a hole in a window and put the box totally inside the building. Or something! But we can't have a drop box because the kids will burn it???

Also, it seems to me that this is not a library problem, but a city problem, and a police problem. I think that the library shouldn't be cowed by some stupid hooligans. We should protect our city, and protect our rights to read!

This would be an issue for the famous Modiin Listserv, but as I'm not about to start lobbying at city hall about it, I don't think there is much point in posting there. But this is good fodder for blogging. I'm sure you all are happy to have a break from reading about breastfeeding. Because, you know, soon we'll be starting on poop.

It's not like I'm not familiar with the Israeli library system and all it's faults and it's few good points. I am - I studied Library Science for 3 years. (I could swear the librarians here were in my classes....if only I had let them copy my notes!) I know these things. I know they have no funding and have to seriously pick and choose. Once upon a time, I wanted to make it better. Give people the gift of information. Seems to me it might be a lost cause, it's each man for himself around here. I'll stick with the books I can buy and borrow from good friends and family. Whose opening hours are a little more friendly.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last post...

This may be my last post for a while. I'm looking through the window of next week, and I see a lot of laundry, dishes, picking up, driving, burping, cooking, working, happying, and sadding (spending happy and sad time with family). Some eating. Not a lot of time sleeping. Hopefully some time measuring formula. Probably not so much blogging.

I've found that, contrary to what the lactation consultant I spoke with a few weeks ago, I don't have a milk supply problem. If anything, I have an overabundance that is causing a fore milk/hind milk imbalance. However, after working for a week and a half - at only part time! - I do indeed have an energy supply problem. I find myself falling apart at about 9 PM. Never mind that it's just too early - it means I don't have the energy to deal with late and middle of the night feeding and caring for Yemima. Which I also need to do. Something has got to give. Most likely it's going to be nursing, or at least pumping.

Which means that Yemima needs to drink formula. She was doing pretty well with the milk, until she broke out in a rash covering almost her entire body. Once the rash went away, we tried it again, only to be met with an entire evening of poop. I'm not kidding. I had dreams of poop on the walls (at least I think they were dreams!). She was up all night, and we decided after that, that the milk was not such a good idea.

We have to see about the soy. Rather, this may take time, but she WILL take it. She MUST because I am not doing this pumping thing for much longer. But she doesn't like it, and grimaced every time I tried to give it to her. Ben did have some luck, but she'll have to do better before I can stop pumping.

It is nice being back at work. I do feel that it's time to move up and on. Get back into real life. Find a routine that works for the long term. Yemima's doing well at daycare, and I feel quite comfortable with her caretakers there. It's also nice to see all my friends and friends' kids at pickup ;) - park dates in the spring time anyone?

hmmm...

This being my last post for a little bit, I could write a lot more. Like how we're wavering about Eden's gan next year. (Are we really ready for Israeli Modern Orthodoxy in all it's institutionalism? Not so sure....)

But the house is waiting to be cleaned up. Time is ticking away. And I only have 8.5 hours until morning.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Journey Ends Here

The breastfeeding journey that is.

It hit me today. My knees ached. My elbows ached. My feet ached. It felt like I was pregnant again, except that I was holding my baby on my lap instead of inside me. I'm just plain tired.

The past few days have gone by in a rush. Nights run into mornings, run into days, run into evenings, run into nights.

Last Thursday, Yemima broke out in a big rash all over her body. I took her to the doctor, who gave her an antihistamine and suggested we start looking for things that she was allergic to. First off, we stopped giving her formula, thinking that the milk was a good first choice. After a few days the rash cleared up and we tried it again. No new rash, we thought we were home free. Then last night happened. Poop after poop after poop. Serious amounts of spit up in her crib, in her clothes, in her hair. All night long. Nursing non-stop. Morning came, and we decided no more milk formula - clearly it is not good for her.

I started writing this post last Friday....clearly I was not in a state to finish it.
Read on to the next post.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Working Part Time is Tiring

I was late to work today. 2 days on the job, and man, just not cutting it.

(I am kidding here. I'm lucky to have a very flexible and understanding office. I've got to worry about something though, don't I? What fun is life otherwise?)

Despite the big meeting Ben and I had last week about "How Life is Going to Work", we are still kind of working out the chinks. Like nightime feedings. See, we didn't expect Yemima to go from 8 PM to 2 AM without eating. She woke at 2, and we suddenly didn't have a plan. Was this the "first feeding" that Ben was supposed to take? What do we do if there is only one feeding? Do we have to discuss the pros and cons right now? And when will she wake up next - will I be able to pump at 5?

In case you missed it, sleeping 6 hours straight is what I consider "sleeping through the night". Even if its from 8-2, instead of, say, 11-5. I wonder if she'll do it again.

We are kind of playing it by ear. I did wake and pump at 5 (12 oz, baby!!), but then she woke at 6 and I fed her then. I spent 40 minutes this morning on milk production. Kind of cow-ish. So I left about a 1/2 late and ran into traffic, and cows don't usually get stuck in traffic...as far as I know. Cows also don't often want to be sitting at their desk by 7 AM. But then, technical writers aren't often blogging at 3:40 PM.

....Where am I going with this? I'm not really sure....

Working part time is kind of funny. It's a weird feeling to leave the office because I want to. Not because I must get home in time. Not because I need to do errands afterwards, and before I pick the kids up. And weird to not have to stay longer because I've got stuff to do. It can wait until tomorrow. I'm flexible. I'm not stressed. Although, yes, I am tired. Funny that.

For all those wondering, we've all had a decent first few days. Yemima did seem a bit shell shocked when I went to pick her up yesterday, but then she had just woken up. And I didn't want to have to put her down all afternoon. I missed my baby.

I still do. I think I'll go get her now instead of sitting here thinking about her.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Everybody wants to get on the bandwagon

A little while back, I posted about Babble, a new online parenting magazine that I liked. A lot of their authors seem to say things I agree with, and sometimes I feel vindicated in my decisions to not childproof (much..we do plan to pick up small toys once Yemima becomes mobile), not to worry too much about what Eden eats and doesn't eat, and a bunch else.

Recently babble offered a survey questioning what people wanted more of. Expert advice about babies and childrearing? Facts about child development?

Do we really need another babycenter? There are so many websites centered around parenting. I liked this one because it was different. I don't need another place to tell me how my breastmilk needs to be stored, and how long its good for. I don't need another site with a growth chart (often the same growth chart), or telling me that at 3 months and 2 weeks, my baby should have mastered the mini-push up, and should start to laugh soon. I have tipat chalav for all that.

So now, babble has launched the Connected by Kids facebook application. Basically, you enter information about your kids - their ages, genders, likes, activities, and you can either upload photos or link to photos on facebook. Additionally, you can access babble groups here, make Connected by Kids friends (I guess you are connected to your other friends via your and their kids?), and upload photos.

Basically, do just the same things you can do on facebook. Its a facebook within facebook! Ugh, there must be a term for this very common type of social media redundancy. I love forms and surveys and telling information about myself, but even I have had enough.

I want some more original content from babble. Like the most fun kids pajamas. Or whether exersaucers are really worth something. Some kid friendly cheap recipes. Something simple like that.

The very last minutes

Today is the last real day of my maternity leave. (Friday's don't count since I don't work then anyway). Yemima is home, being on vacation from gan for Chanukah. Eden is with Ben's mom and Sarah and Hila at the zoo in Jerusalem. I did promise that I'd clean up and make a really awesome dinner, but somehow I can't stop eating.

For the past two days Yemima's been in gan (!!!!) and I've been using the time to do all sorts of errands that one has time for on maternity leave, but does not get to for months when working. There still will be some left over, and I'll do them next week (I'm only working part time until the end of the month).

Things I did not do while on leave:
Home renovations, like hanging curtains, framing pictures, or painting.
A lot of cooking for the freezer.
Any sort of craft project.
Travel. I mean small time travel, visiting friends I wouldn't otherwise see. This doesn't include our big trip to the US.
Regular coffee dates with friends, even my co-workers also on maternity leave.
Mommy and Me groups.
Walking or any other exercise.

Things I did do:
Weekly baking.
Lots of regular life maintenance errands, at a calmer pace.
Nursing. I consider this an accomplishment that I worked for, even if "working" includes resting and relaxing, and lazing about on the couch with my baby, which I really do think helps. I don't know what its going to be like when I go back to work, but I'm currently able to pump ~10 oz (300 cc) in a single 15-20 min pumping session. That is nothing to laugh at and I consider it a blessing as well. Hopefully I'll be able to feed Yemima during daycare with just 2 pumps a day, before and after work.
Sitting.
Worrying, ruminating. Too much self-analysis. (In this respect, going back to work is going to be much healthier for me!!)
Making lists that later got thrown away.
Taking pictures.
Getting a quick falafel or omelet sandwich instead of going home for lunch.
Laundry. I cannot imagine how I'm going to keep up with the laundry when I go back. I feel like I do a load almost every day!
Reading. Avg about a book every 3 days or so.
Of course I worry. Yemima hasn't slept well at gan yet (for that matter, she doesn't often sleep well at home, so...), but I'm sure she will. She seems to be comfortable with the teachers, as am I. It's a start, and I'm sure it will get much much better.

The rest of life is about to get very complicated. Ben and I had an executive meeting the other night, lasting for over 2 hours, about How Life is Going to Work. We went through the evening schedule. We went through the morning schedule. What Yemima needs at gan, and which of us is responsible for what parts. What time everyone needs to be up by and what time we need to be asleep by. Strategized about giving a formula dream-feed in the hopes that it will push Yemima's sleep through the night (so far it just gives her mondo-poops in the morning, and she still wakes at 2).

I need a written plan like this to keep my anxiety at bay. I need to know that it will work. We did a couple of dry runs of the morning routine and modified it slightly to make it better. The evening seems to be working all right and I'm starting to believe that Ben and I have our evenings back, even if I don't yet have my nights.

What I worry about when there is nothing left to worry about: What am I going to wear on Sunday morning, my first day back? What makes me look as if I've lost ALL the baby-weight, is comfortable to pump in, warm enough/cool enough? Something that says, this woman has it ALL under control, is cool and collected, and excited to jump in. Maybe then I'll convince myself too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baking, Bethami Style

I've never been a great baker. Cooking, I can do. Throwing together a bunch of vegies in a pot or a wok - manageable. But something that requires science and specific measurements? Not so good at it.
Nevertheless, I've somehow been able to make a few good cakes in my time, despite my dislike of exact ingredients. (Never bread though. Bread from my kitchen could be used as cinder blocks).
I bought some rhubarb yesterday, on sale for 5 shekels. Hooray for rhubarb! And it's time I baked a cake. (I've been baking cookies regularly since I've been on maternity leave, they are great snacks. That's going to end pronto I think.) Trusty Google returned an impossible recipe:

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup nut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon your favorite cake spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup diced rhubarb
2/3 cup mollasses
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup milk
1Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup fruit
1/3 cup nuts

Out of 16 ingredients, I have only 10. Who ever heard of brown rice flour? Almond flour? Do you stock coconut oil in your pantry regularly? Sea salt? We have fake Israeli maple syrup, but I'd really prefer the real thing....same with vanilla. It's just so much better that way.

So I'll try it. Replacing all the flour with plain bleached white. Sea salt will become regular table salt. Maple syrup and vanilla will be the cheap fake Israeli stuff. Apple cider vinegar will be regular vinegar and coconut oil will be canola. I do happen to have strawberries and some crushed pecans, although I'm not sure that's what they mean.

Ironically enough, the google ads at the bottom of the page of course advertise: "1 Tip of a Flat Belly :Cut down 3 lbs of your belly every week by using this 1 weird tip." Ha Ha.

Maybe I'll post a picture of this wonder after it's done.

Suggestions for a little birthday celebration for a mommy of 2 who can't really leave her baby and is starting to feel her maternity leave closing in on her?

Edit: I just noticed that there is no sugar in this??

Another edit: The author of the recipe notified me that posting it here violates intellectual property rights, and I think I also offended her sense of healthy eating. So I've modified the recipe and for the record, am NOT quoting it. I also removed the link. And I agree with Sarah, it sounds terrible anyway. I made this one instead, using shortening and water instead of butter and milk. And I added strawberries. It was divine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy 3 Month Birthday, Yemima!!

I love you, my cuddly, loveable, little piglet-munchkin.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Doesn't Have to be All or Nothing

I called a lactation consultant yesterday to get tips on how to make it work, commuting, pumping enough for 9-10 hours. The woman was really sweet, but all that I had feared: pretty much all or nothing.

Her points were:
Your milk supply may indeed run low if you are:
1) On hormonal birth control
2) Not sleeping with your baby
3) Looking for a schedule
4) Looking to sleep through the night
5) Working full time, possibly stressed.

Well, well, well. Not so optimistic, hey?

My alternatives are taking a larger chance on getting pregnant again, continuing to take unpaid leave, and continuing to make do with a third person in our bedroom waking me in the middle of the night. Makes for a woman who is tired, pregnant and sick again, who cannot get any alone time with her husband. Ah yes, and they are also having a hard time making ends meet. As my sister said, objectively these are actually choices. Kind of grim I think, though. When can I get back to being normal?

See I kind of thought it was a good thing for Yemima to eat more, less often. This woman seemed to think not. Because the more full a baby is, the deeper they sleep, and for longer (isn't that a good thing?), and that puts them at a risk for SIDS, especially if they aren't even sleeping in the same room as you are!

Eden started sleeping through the night somewhere around 5 months I think, in her own room, and somehow I never really seriously worried about her breathing. Yes, she slept on her back, without blankets, and we had an audio monitor to hear her cry. But an actual SIDS risk? We didn't worry, and thank God she's still here.

The suggestions that she had for me to ensure that I would keep my supply up were to take fenugreek pills (check), and to pump at work whenever I got the chance, and not necessarily on a schedule, since work might indeed get in the way. I can hear that.

I got better advice from this online group that I joined, which suggested that her caregiver offer no more than 4 oz per feeding. Because a bottle takes so much quicker to finish, she doesn't realize that she is full, and just keeps eating, and will then take less from me later on, which will lower my milk supply and I won't be able to pump. Ah, now a strategy! (Although if she is going to eat so much at night that I won't get to sleep...well at some point sleep may become a priority.)

One nice thing about this lactation consultant though: I was totally expecting to make an appointment with her to discuss my questions and get her advice, and pay her for her time. Instead, she spent around 20 minutes on the phone with me for free! How nice! Perfectly long enough for me to decide her advice wasn't really along my lines anyway.

Yemima turns 3 months old on Monday. She plays, bats at mobiles, holds little toys and puts them in her mouth, puts her fingers in her mouth and takes her own ponytail out of her hair. She also talks up a storm and loves, loves, loves, loves it when people talk to her.

And in a week and a half, we start with her daycare, just a couple hours a day at first. And in 2.5 weeks, I go into the office.

!!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

One big, sincere thanks.

Jews don't have a Thanksgiving. It's not a religious holiday, and fruma fruma yidden don't do it. Here in Israel, us ex-pats are jokey about it, pretending that we are still true-blue Americans, sometimes compromising on a "Shabbos Thanksgiving", since no one can make it out after work. Deep down, I know that American has become my heritage, and not exactly my identification.

Still, us Golds, we do make it out after work, and celebrate properly with family (it's a lucky thing the next day is Friday, and we can sleep late.) Somehow, it seems important.

Jews who pray daily offer up their own thanks all the time. Even Jews who don't pray daily (like me) are often generally thankful. We look around us every now and then and see so much wonder in our lives. And yet, as any daily davenner knows, it's difficult to continue saying Thank You every day (or 3x a day!) and have it continue to have real meaning and significance. The Jewish traditions and calendar assume that we can take responsibility for our own thanks, and while there are holidays that thank God for specific miracles (Pesach, Chanukah, Purim, Shavuot), and holidays that remind us of awe, humility, etc, there is no day for general thanks. (Comment if I missed one!)

So I'm glad we still do this.

This year, as every year, I'm thankful for family. For our new daughter, Yemima, and our wonderful big girl, Eden. For my wonderful husband, Ben. For my grandparents, and the fact that they are able to enjoy my kids. For my in-laws who are always there for us, right around the corner. For my parents, who are also right around the corner, in a different kind of a way. For friends that have become family, and for family who have more recently become friends.

Also, I'm thankful that Greenpoint Israel is still kicking, and that they seem to keep finding a way to reinvent Ben's job successfully. And that I'm on maternity leave and don't have to think about my own job security this month.

I look around me and decide that I don't believe in evil eyes, and tempt-able devils. We're happy and we're healthy; there can be no greater blessing, and for that I am thankful. I don't need to say it every day, once in a while is good enough, and today's a good day to do it.

Happy Hag HaHodaya, everyone.

P.S. I'm also thankful for Yemima sleeping right now. Wonder if she will tonight when I drive with her and Eden on my own from Modiin to Mevaseret in rush hour traffic? I will NOT pull over on Rt 1, no matter how loud she screams.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Swinging Back - Routine Needed

My own inability to make decisions never ceases to amaze me. It's very annoying of me.

Yesterday morning I was ready to pump in the car while driving in order to keep us from having to buy formula. I don't know why. I just don't want to. It's not even that I'm particularly enjoying nursing Yemima, I just don't want to have to buy formula. It stinks of defeat.
But last night, it hit me. What Yemima needs is good solid feeds, her own, dark room at night, and a bedtime routine. And all these point to formula.
I wanted to do some dry runs for Yemima being away from me, eating from a bottle, being cared for by someone else. I also wanted to get an idea of how much she eats in a sitting, so I know how much I need to pump for her. So I left her with Ben's mom for the morning, with a bag full of pumped milk - about 150 cc (~5 oz). Internet sources say that babies her age usually eat between 3-4 oz, so I figured there'd be some left over. But she gulped it all down! In one sitting, not even stopping to burp! She never has that good a feed when I'm nursing her.
So then I didn't know if that was enough for her, or if she wanted more. I didn't know if that's how much she usually takes, or if it was a huge meal for her. I had no clue as to when she would next be hungry, or how long she would sleep for. In short, the whole day was off. And although she was pretty happy for most of the rest of the day, she didn't sleep or eat well until late at night! Ahhhh!
So I decided this: Yemima just eats better out of a bottle. The bottle doesn't move or try to update it's facebook status while feeding her. Neither does it talk on the phone or put braid a squirming four year old's hair. So I don't blame Yemima. And it seems to me that she could really consolidate her meals if they were all out of bottles. Maybe even so much that she'd sleep at night! In which case, she could have her own room. Consolidated feedings would also allow us to give her a better schedule, and a normal bedtime routine. (Although I don't know about when. She often drifts off to sleep at around 7, which means her bedtime routine would need to start at about 6:30, including bath. We are usually still eating supper at that point....I can see things will need to change.)
If I could exclusively pump and give it to her in bottles, that might be an option. But I think I would need to be pumping all day.
Which brings me to my second thought. The more I think about pumping during work hours, the more I hate it. It's just another thing to stress me out. I seem to have a somewhat stressful job and commute already. We know some super people who are able to raise multiple kids, hold a full time job, and get a degree all at the same time - in different cities! I'm not that super person. Really really not. We need our down time in the evenings, we need our calm family time. We need our sleep. And I think about how I got sick last week in the US - I tend to overexert myself. Plan too much for myself. Commit myself to too much. And it's not very good for my health.

So it kills me, but I think I'm going to slowly give her formula during the day (!!!!) once I go back to work full time. And then I was thinking of just nursing her at night. And probably what I'll do is something in the middle, nursing once or twice a day, possibly pumping once if I can. Not so bad...

Still, I can't believe that this is the conclusion I've come to. I guess in an ideal world I wouldn't work, and I could nurse her for longer? Ahem, not so ideal. Take a longer maternity leave? Um, also not. Some parts of life just suck, I guess. Most of the rest of it is pretty good, so I'll take what I can get. Formula does have many perks, it just runs against my instinct I guess.

It sounds backwards but I think I'm looking forward to going back to work so we just settle in to this decision already.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Building Up the Freezer Stash

Now that we are back from the US, settled in (sorta), feeling better (more or less, some of us more, some of us less), and are starting to get back into routine, I've got to start getting ready to go back to work.
Still a ways off, but mostly I'm starting to think about what Yemima will eat when I'm gone. See, I'm on unpaved territory here.
I don't have a frame of reference really, since it pretty much didn't work at all with Eden. Or rather, it technically did work, but she screamed. And I went nuts. Ok, so I guess that's not really called working. So I don't know where to start.
When I was pregnant, I didn't want to invest that much in nursing supplies because I didn't know how it was going to work. Now that its working pretty well, I did get a bunch of clothes to nurse in and some freezer storage bags. But I still don't know how it's going to work when I'm back at work. Will I have the stamina to keep it going? Probably, the more I invest in conveniences like a hands-free pumping system, a cigarette adapter plug for the pump, more accessories, more storage containers, the more likely I'll keep it going longer. But until I know that I'm willing to go all the way, it seems like a bit of a waste to invest all that in it.
I've been doing a lot of reading. And have found some interesting things. (Funny, reading no longer really means reading books. Although I'm sure that there are no shortage of books on the topic, I've read none. But I've really just been surfing the internet while nursing. And signed up for a Yahoo group.)
As always, my limits are not where I thought they would be. When Eden was little, there was no question: We were NEVER. EVER. EVER. BRINGING HER INTO OUR BED. Also, she was out of our room by 6 weeks, and never back in it except when we were away. And we never broke that. Even if it meant Eden sleeping on a quilt on the floor next to us when we were away, never our bed. Yemima has been in and out of my bed countless times - when she nursed non-stop in the middle of the night (Eden never did that), when the timer for the heater was set wrong on Shabbat and she was cold, when we were in the US and the crib provided by the hotel was not exactly convenient. And I'd do it again, with no qualms. I don't want to make a habit of it, I am not a proponent of a family bed, and much as I like a baby doll to cuddle with, I'd just as soon have my own space (it's not her I want to be cuddling with). And I think I sleep better when she's not there. But I read this one article about making sure to get enough sleep when you go back to work, and the difficulties involved in this (I can only imagine!!) especially while trying to give your baby breast milk only. And one solution to this is keeping your baby close at night. I had thought that we'd be getting ready to move Yemima into her own room right about now, and here I am thinking we'll rent a small crib to keep in our room for another few months until she really sleeps through the night so that I can sleep better. What a switch!
- Interesting factoid: Wheras formula fed babies need more and more formula as they grow older, breastfed babies ages 1 month to 6 months eat on avg about the same amount the whole way through. Cause: the breast milk just gets better. So if I need to pump about 15o cc per feed now for her, chances are I'll probably still need to pump about the same in a few months. Nice to know that I don't have to worry about trying to get double!
I used to be pretty relaxed about nursing Yemima - if it worked, great, if it didn't, oh well. Benefits to both sides. So far, it's been pretty easy, but I don't know what I'll do when it get's tough. (When the going gets tough, the tough get pumping? I like that bumper sticker) But here's something: It's quite likely that I had some sort of flu when we were in the US, probably swine. And I nursed Yemima straight through. Now thank God, it doesn't seem like any other of my loved ones caught it from me - Ben was sick before we left, and Eden has a bad cold, but no fevers all around. Yet if I wasn't nursing Yemima, and she, being only 2 months old has an immune system that is still pretty weak - I don't want to think about the possibilities of her having caught the flu from me. A fever that high in a little baby, in a foreign country (any country where you don't have a local doctor, health insurance, and don't understand how to get health care is foreign in my mommy-book) - I really don't want to think about it. My breastfeeding her may have prevented a real disaster.
Not to say that breastfed babies don't get sick. Point in case - she's got her first cold and is snoring right next to me. But I'm pretty sure its documented somewhere that it does help. And as a working mom, with a limited amount of sick days, it's something to think about. I think that the freezer stash of breast milk just got slightly more important to me.

New record talent: Blogging in bed, Yemima on my left side. My right hand is holding her right hand to soothe her to sleep, my left is somehow under my right, typing this blog. Wow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You know you are back home when...

The Israeli stewardess says to your 4 year old daughter, as she's riding off the plane on her Trunki, "Ok now, take your mommy's hand and start walking already." Mommy was already holding a little squirming baby, diaper bag and blanket, and was looking through gate-checked strollers, and everybody else seemed to be charmed by the Trunki. But of course, we may be holding up the line a little bit, so it's time to get terse with the pre-schooler.

And the wheels on the baggage cart don't roll straight.

Ah its good to be home. How jealous I was when we left my parents at JFK, and they only had to get their car and drive for an hour and a half. Whereas we had to check in, fly for another 10 hours, and get a cab home.

Things I like about the US:
- Family: There is not enough I can say about this. The time that I and my family spend with my grandparents and extended family is as precious as can be. Pictures to come (once I get them from other people, since we misplaced our camera about halfway through the trip, and only found it again the night before we left), but Eden and her second cousin Kaity got along just wonderfully. And she loved playing with Great-Grandpa all day, and spending the day at Disney with Bubbe (with Cinderella dress, shoes, tiara, ponytails, jewelry, and best of all - pixie dust!!) I don't think I could have given my Grandma a better 80'th birthday present than time with my girls.
- Cheaper shopping: No doubt about that. Nice generics - something Israel needs to do better on. Teva does all right on medicines, we need to move into everything else. Like Walgreen's brand wipes that come out only one at a time and have a little clicky-cloesy thing so that none get wasted.
- And more availability, like these awesome tasting elderberry chewable vitamins that work great on colds. And taste yummy yummy yummy!!
(Ben's sitting next to me in his new cargos and hoodie sweatshirt, and he looks pretty yummy too. :))
- Eden's face as we rose above the clouds, and her comment: We're in the sky! We're with God! It's a tie between that and her face during the Disney parade.

Reason's I'm happy to be home:
- (Edited to add this): Kafeh Hafuch! Everytime I just wanted a cup of coffee, it was too hot and too watery. Not tasty and filling and warm and cozy at all. From the coffee on the plane to Starbucks, to the hotel, to wherever. Israeli's make coffee better, hands down.
- We had too much stuff to keep track of and lost too many things too many times.
- Kosher food. I will never take for granted the ability to stop and get something kosher to eat in just about any city in this country. Or in between cities. Something relatively healthy and tasty, often a pita, humus, falafel, and Israeli salad. Perfect. Of course it helps that we aren't picky about kashrut certificates, the local rabbinate is perfectly fine for us.
- Just.Space.to.Breathe. This doesn't have to do with Israel per se, just with being home. And I think it trumps all else. Hello couch. Hello kitchen. Hello porch. Hello even creaky mattresses in bed. Hello home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Breathe, Man, Breathe

Whew. I'm breathing. May have forgotten once or twice since the weekend. Traveling, visiting, driving, Disney, changing diapers, nursing, carrying, calming, finally we have an early evening. Both kids asleep, some good fat novels to read, and time to reflect.

My first impressions of the US: I don't know why any Orthodox Jew would ever live anywhere but Israel. The energy spent on vacation just figuring out what and where to EAT, I need a vacation just from that on it's own. When I go on vacation, I want to just pack some diapers and wipes and GO, knowing that I can pick up a falafel on the way. Love Israel for that.

And yet, the 6 lane highways do tend to make up for it.

~~~~~~

Spent the day at Disney world. After being disappointed to find out that the characters no longer wander around the park as much as they did when I went over 15 years ago. Instead, you actually need to wait in line just to shake hands with Mickey. And neither he nor Minnie are home. But the day improved as it went on - rides, and a princess dress, and a parade all helped immensely.

Tomorrow we hit the shops. Well, Ben and I - considering that the next time we'll be back may be.... ? As of yet, unknown. Eden gets to spend the day with Saba and Savta, at mini-golf ("what about Mickey golf?" she says) , or a petting zoo.

Pictures going up as much as possible at www.dropshots.com/benvbat

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Child models

Some people I know have entered their children in the Gap Child Casting Call. You can vote for them and the best one wins. (Or the one with the most digital friends..., really I think it's like an online prom queen)

I don't think I would ever do this. It would be pretty cool to have my child the next face of Gap Kids, but do I really want to expose her to this? Really?

I don't think so.

Parents who do this - do you not expect your child to win, or would you really be happy if he/she did?

My friends children are beautiful. But I'm not sure I'd want them to win either. Good luck though.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A New Phase in Motherhood

Letting my infant cry only because I'm doing something else right now is surprisingly easy.

Realizing this hurts.

Confession: Tonight, I let Yemima cry when:
  • I pulled Eden's many small ponytails out of her hair and washed it, and then rubbed Eden dry and gave her a big cuddle.
  • Made Eden a grilled cheese for supper so that she wouldn't scream from tiredness as well as hunger on the way home from dance lessons.
  • All the way to Eden's dance lessons, and home again. Thank God she slept during the lessons themselves. Though she looked VERY VERY angry the entire time she slept. Probably at me.
All these times, I just went about what I was doing as I normally would. Trying my utmost not to get my nerves frayed. That would just have a) gotten Eden crying, b) probably gotten myself burnt c) could have gotten me into an car accident

I wonder what it does to a 4 year old when she realizes - consciously or not - that Mommy is willing to let Baby scream in frustration for minutes on end for her sake. Does it tell her that torture is OK? Does it teach her that it is OK to profit from someone else's pain?

And what does it do to Baby, to be often put aside for Big Sister? Of course, Big Sister is often put aside for Baby also, but Baby does NOT KNOW that. Big Sister does know, and understands pretty well. Will she remember these and think that she matters less?

Ha. She won't remember. But she MIGHT very well read this blog at some point. Horrors!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What do you do with rotting pomegranates?

And other questions.

I've had so many blog posts ready in my mind. Usually they sprout at an unbelievably inconvenient time, and then I forget about them. I had a great mommy guilt post going a few weeks ago. It had something to do with Eden. And Yemima. Ah yes, the time I took them to the mall at 6:30 completely unprepared for what was going to happen. To them and me - utter collapse.

Well, thats all water under the bridge. I did it again yesterday with relatively little screaming, on both their parts. Spent WAY too much on supper (NIS 21 for a teeny salad!!), and Eden did go to sleep crying, but it's all relative.

Fact is, I'm most often online when nursing or getting Yemima to sleep. Which I usually do with one free hand. So I can sort of type, as in small-time emails and chatting. Or Google searches, surfing. But typing out a whole blog post is still a bit much for me.

Some thoughts:

Is it a purer form of Mommy Guilt if the mommy in question isn't working? Meaning, its total mommy guilt, guilt coming from mommy tasks ONLY.

And how about guilt felt for enjoying my maternity leave? The long, lazy days of feed, surf, read, eat, do some laundry and sweep, meet a friend for coffee. Event of the week is the doctor. I cook dinner at 3 PM, just to get it done with. Yes, it is me getting up every 2 hrs at night, but it isn't as if my days require great genius. On the other hand, Ben seems to be incredibly stressed at work. Makes me feel guilty for asking him to take the baby when her evening colic sparks up. Or for not getting more done around the house. Or for making HIM do things around the house. When he works at home, I can see the comparison brazenly clear: Ben, typing furiously, on the phone all the time, comes down for coffee looking shocked and tired. Me, lazing on the couch again with a baby sleeping on my lap, reading. It does seem to indicate a lack of significant brain activity.
Does the pain of pregnancy and childbirth REALLY balance that all out?

(You are banned from this blog if you suggest I should put her down when she's sleeping. Yes I KNOW I'm fostering a bad habit. And what will happen when I need to go back to work. Yadda Yadda. She'll scream. Also I figure nothing really matters since we are going to the states in a few weeks and everything she's ever learned will be thrown off then, and she'll have to learn them all over again. I won't publish comments that seem to indicate anything else.)

Which brings me to the pomegranates. I know I could use rotting fruit in a cake or compote, but what do you do with rotting pomegranates? Ben is eating them very slowly, but there are 2 left. I'd be happy for a recipe, no matter how complicated it is. Hey, I've got the time, right? No stress.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My mind is NOT turning to mush

Or so I tell myself.

I realized today that I've become a somewhat spacey conversationalist. Not to say that I've always been fascinating, but I can do better than this. And yes, you can make all sorts of excuses for me, like that I only sleep for an hour out of every two at night (ok I'm exaggerating a little bit), the real truth is that I blame it on the baby.

For all it's benefits of breastfeeding, such as increased immune system for the baby, weight loss for the mom (really? let me know when that one takes effect), easy to pack and go, cheaper, it's a myth that it does not chain mothers a bit. Not just to their babies, but to the couch.

1) It's easier to nurse on the couch that at the dining room table.

2) If there is anyone at the table who you'd prefer not to flash - at least while they are eating - it's much easier to go to the couch.

3) Yemima knows when she is not my main focus, and she doesn't like it. She eats much better when she knows that she's the center of my attention - and that I'm not involved in something else, like a conversation.

4) I would not want to eat under a hot blanket, I don't blame Yemima for not wanting to either.

So if I'm lucky, and Yemima sleeps during dinner, then I can be an adult and talk about interesting things. If she's awake and just chillin' - also OK, although there is always a part of my brain that is switched off from normal life to listen for her cues. And if she's awake but crying then forget about talking, I can't think straight.

If she's hungry - the couch. And you just can't participate in what's going on at the table very well from the couch. You can try, but it's a tad forced. Sad, sad fact.

And sometimes there's the awake, but not hungry, not crying, but not totally cool either. That's when I'm trying to stick a pacifier in her mouth every so often, talk to her, make eye contact, perhaps change a diaper. And that's also where the spacey conversation comes in. Because I'll be talking or listening and then I'll just fade out. My brain goes to Yemima. Sitting on the couch nursing I can usually at least listen in.

And if someone said something really interesting, I've lost it. It's a little silly to ask them to repeat it, since it happens so often. ("What? Can you repeat that? Sorry? Wait, say that again? What was that you had said 2 minutes ago that I was really interested in hearing but didn't?") And if its a conversation turner - something for getting the rest of it, then I'm gone, and I start saying things like, "Really? Wow. So interesting. Ah. Right. Got it."

I don't think I'm really such an airhead....ok just a bit of one. But if you hear me start to sound like that, you might offer to take the baby.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A calm relaxing morning

Offsetting a tiring night....or rather morning. Yemima was up between 3 and 4 this morning, gassy, poopy, hungry. In reality I suppose, it could be worse.

Changing the clocks last night gave us a longer leisurely morning. Not much to do today anyway. Am currently listening to my older daughter, still in her PJs, color and use stickers with my mother over her breakfast, while my younger daughter sleeps in her swing. I'm still in my PJs too.

Finally posted all the photos we have of Yemima and Eden to www.dropshots.com/benvbat - and linked it on facebook so that everyone knows about them. I really am kind of sick of posting photos to both places - and do certainly prefer dropshots, at least from the point of view of the person loading them. Mainly because you can load photos and videos at once, with a desktop widget - don't need to be on facebook at all! You can still add comments, just they aren't facebookized....and no tagging. Oh well - we pay for the storage at dropshots anyway, giving us practically unlimited storage, so I may as well.

If you are looking for thoughts on Yom Kippur, my mind draws a blank. All I can say is that I wish everyone a fruitful and successful new year, a fresh new start, and an strong inscription in the book of life, love, and personal fulfillment. Atonement....I just want to move forward and am finding it difficult to focus on the past. The year kind of sped by for me, I'm not really sure what happened. Let's move on to the new year and be better, do well. I'll try again to be the best me I can.