Friday, December 26, 2008

Addendum to radar post

So when I was feeding the baby this morning at 5:45, I hear Sarah Rochel come out of her room (MommyRadar works best when I'm conscious, you see). By the time I finish at 6:05 or so, I find her sitting on the couch, lovingly holding her new umbrella. I take her back to bed, no problem, sing her a quick song, she goes back to sleep.

In the (real) morning, we ask her why she went to sleep on the couch.

"Because I was SO tired, and so I went to sleep on the couch like Abba!"


Oh dear.

That's pretty darn funny.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jam in the MommyRadar

The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be... when it comes to my eldest, anyway.

For example, a few mornings ago I notice that it's time for Yoav to get up. So I nudge him to wake up, and he says he's getting up. I hear him get up. And then, eyes closed, I ask him, "Yoav, why is your pillow still snoring?" Apparently Sarah Rochel came in in the middle of the night, and I did not hear her. Crazy. (I also asked Yoav why he didn't tell her to go back to her bed. He said he tried to, but apparently the thought didn't make it all the way from his brain to his mouth. Tired very much he's been, yes.)

Another case in point: last night around 2, I hear Sarah Rochel calling for Mommy, so naturally I wake up Yoav and send him in there. (At nights, we're still a man-to-man defense.) He goes in, settles her back down, comes back to bed...

When he gets up at a quarter-to-you've-got-to-be-kidding to give his early morning shiur, he walks into the living room and hears... snoring. Sroch is curled up, sleeping on the couch.

Now, to her credit, when we asked her about it today, she did say "I went on the couch and not in your bed!" As in, gosh, wasn't she being thoughtful? No explanation of why she felt the need to leave HER room, though. But again, I didn't hear her go! Before Shlama-llama was born, that was unheard of!* And now it's been several times. Look, Baruch Hashem I HAVE heard her many many times as well, that is, when she's in real distress (and Mom, that climbing and falling 4 AM incident when you were here that I didn't hear... a fluke, undoubtedly!). It's just her harmless meanderings I've missed. Like, when she climbs into Yoav's bed - alright. When she climbed into MY bed, I DID notice... but only when she was actually next to me, taka. Used to be I'd have heard her before she opened her door.

Anyway, the point is... Shoot, there's no point. But it was something to write about. :)

Bli ayin hara, Shulamis has been sleeping be-yooo-tifully. Shhh!

*I only noticed this heinous pun on the reread. I am disappointed in myself for not having written it intentionally. Sigh... another sign of my slipping mental acuity.

And now, pictures.

Shulamis and Abba, taking a nap on the couch. Despite the pacifier's location, it was the girl who spat it out, not her father.

Showing off her baby blues in the tubby. As 'dark' as we think this kid is (next to Sroch) you can see how pale she is next to her father's hand there.

Sarah Rochel looks really pretty, like really lovely in a 'kerchief' as she calls them, no? Reminds me of one of my favorite backhanded compliments when I was single - "Wow, you're going to look so nice when you can cover your hair!"

The picture doesn't capture it properly, but I was just so struck by the differences in their lengths!
Finally, FINALLY a picture of all four of us! This was after multiple takes after candlelighting tonight. I enjoy especially how Shulamis already has the 'I can't believe they're taking ANOTHER picture' look about her.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bonus - couple pictures

Look, it's ALMOST a smile! More like a smirk. Yeah, she's our kid alright.

I just went back and spent some twenty minutes or so reading posts of mine from May 2006, when Sarah Rochel was about the same age as Shulamis is now. Bli ayin hara, sleep (well, nighttime sleep) isn't nearly as big an issue as it was then... and pooping is more regular too. But did I adjust to fatigue and chaos, or is the Shlam just a different kid?

Little bit of column A, little bit of column B!


Your Chanuka gift - videos!

Happy Chanuka! We all lit tonight, although Shulamis DID cry when we tried to put the candle into her cute little fist, but we prefer to think of that cry as her attempt at making the bracha. Sarah Rochel lit fairly well, and Abba did an excellent job as always. Yay! Note how in the picture we have Saba and Savta watching us, live!, lighting. Cool, huh? Love it!

In my exquisite persona of perfect wife and mother, I then ushered my husband and children (hee hee!) out of the house to look at other lights in windows, while I hurriedly and spontaneously whipped together some sweet potato - green squash latkes (since we had no actual potatoes in the house). Baruch Hashem, they came out lovely and Sarah Rochel even ate a couple because frankly, they were more attractive to her than bathtime.

Sroch is feeling somewhat better. She had no fever this morning, so I sent her to gan (with the ganenet's approval). She's still waking up from coughing or from her little nose being crusted over, poor thing ("Mommy! MOMMY!! Need washcloth with water!"). We've got the humidifier in with her tonight, although she's still woken up once...

Anyway, here are some videos, some a bit old but better late than never!

From the zoo on sukkos (sorry, I got busy and had a baby right after!). Compare to the video one year prior.

This is a video of that gan project I posted a picture of before, which I still find painfully adorable. Please note the working well mechanism!

Shlama-llama practicing smiling. Sorta.

And another one that Yoav took tonight. She's getting there!

I really do plan to post a couple comparison shots of Baby Sroch and Baby Shlam. I just dug out the old files, so hopefully soon...

Happy Chanuka!!


Videos to come! Really!

We are so behind in videos, it's shameful. Will try to tend to that this week.

We had a lovely restorative shabbos at Mama Nechy's, especially because Sarah Rochel has been running a fever since the wee hours of the AM on Friday. Thank God she's really fine, just been feverish and sniffley. Considering that ALL of her friends have been sick at one point or another in the last couple weeks, I'm actually surprised she hadn't gotten sick before. We did a strep test which I suspect will come back negative Sunday, and I hope she won't have any fever tonight and therefore will be able to go to gan tomorrow. See, I have actual anxiety about her missing gan; what if they learn something she needs to know? She'll never get the color 'puce' down if they miss the day they teach it, you know?

Sarah Rochel eating the latest batch of muffins.

Ain't she cute, my little muffin?

Resting up against Mommy's feet as I lay on my back, kind of a mommy-infant exercise thing.

Sroch helping Shlam with her tummy time.

On Friday, Sarah Rochel (home sick from gan) helped me by washing the mirpeset. We need MORE water, Mommy! MORE!

I wish she'd learn to smile already. She does lots of pre-smiley behavior. But once we can smile, perhaps she'll have fewer pensive shots, like this one. What IS she thinking?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another opening, another show...

...another bedtime!

So when Sroch goes to sleep at 7 (yay, she needed it! She was awake for THREE HOURS (albeit in her bed) last night from bedtime until she was actually unconscious!), and Shlam is getting tired at 7:45, even takes a five minute nap... do I encourage a nap, or try to put her to bed fully, notwithstanding the fact her bedtime has been 9:30ish for the last couple weeks?

Finding out now.

I'm off to abuse the pacifier...

The problem is, I'm working on TWO children's bedtimes... and those two children need totally different things and have different abilities. But I keep ascribing Shlam's not sleeping to 'stalling,' when that's only appropriate to Sroch. And so on.

PARENTING! It messes with your mind!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Projection, extrapolation, and other -tions - Part II

So I went back in there, and she actually nursed a bit (yay!) and went back into her bassinet all drowsy and (ha!) well fed, and I think she's down now.

Another thing I know, I know better is to not compare the Sroch and the Shlam - but it's so automatic. Ditto to place them into roles. As in, "Sarah Rochel is my bad eater - Shulamis is my good one," (well, until today!) because the younger is doing much better on the weight gain front than Sroch did at the same age. And Sarah Rochel did eat well today, having like 6 multi-grain big crackers (the Patit ones - yay for more flavors getting a better hechsure!) and then a big bowl of split pea soup and hot dogs for dinner.

A squawk from Shulama-llama. I go to shh-shh-shh again.

I'm back. Another thing - comparing myself, or ourselves. As in, I never did that with Sarah Rochel, or I always did that with Sarah Rochel, or Yoav used to do that with Sarah Rochel and he doesn't do it with Shulamis, not fair, not fair, living in van down by the river, etc, etc.

And I KNOW better!! I do! I can quote you chapter and verse in "Siblings Without Rivalry," I remember distinctly from my own childhood (hi Micah) that just because two children are from the same parents they do NOT need the same things... But why, why if I am so enlightened do the thoughts even creep into my (currently meager) brain activity??? I need that mental energy for making dinner!!

Okay, okay. End of rant. I think. Thank you for listening.

In other news, I just switched to Google Chrome, their web browser, so you would think blogging would be easier, Blogger being owned by Google and all. Yet so far the Blogger shortcuts aren't working. Hmm. Will see.


Projection, extrapolation, and other -tions - Part I

It's very hard. I had forgotten how very hard it is. Before they're verbal, before they are in control of their limbs, before they can even smile, I had forgotten the emotional impact the actions (and lack thereof) these little babies make can wreak on your soul.

Especially when you're fatigued, and (naturally) motherly anxious.

Today Shulamis didn't nurse well. Not at all. Sporadic feedings, very brief, lots of her just hanging out with a blank look on her face like, "you want me to do what, exactly? What is my motivation here?"

And because they aren't verbal, aren't smiling, all you see is them not being happy to see you, to be near you. Their flailing little arms are pushing you away - clearly, they don't like you - your milk - your company - nothing.

Right now she's in her bassinet in the guest room, not quite crying but making little complainy noises. She's tired. She's post-bath, post me attempting to get her to nurse for more than four minutes (yes, I clocked it), and all her naps today have been motion-sleep; that is, when she was being held or rocked or whatever. Up until now she's been a champ about going to sleep in her beddy-bye alone... but now she's kvetching. I was just holding her, swaddled up, rocking on my feet, and she was quiet and content. I put her cheek to mine - and she cries.

And I know, I know that it doesn't mean she doesn't love me, that not nursing just means she's not hungry... I know, I know. I've done this before, right? Right?

So why does it get me every time?

I'm going back in there.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A little Chanuka preview

Sarah Rochel made a little paper-bag puppet of a Maccabee, complete with long peyos and a little siddur and shield (with a magen dovid, of course - note that 'magen' is a shield itself).

Every now and then, Sarah Rochel says, "Antiochus is coming!" And she grabs her Maccabee and says:

"Go away Antiochus!"

"I'm going to paatch Antiochus!" (paatch - yiddish for smack)

"Antiochus, I'm very not happy with you!"

(I especially enjoyed the last one. Think she's heard that phrase before?)

"Sarah Rochel, is Antiochus gone now?"

"Yah. He's gone."

"Oh, THANK you Sarah Rochel!"


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Full moon

Walking home today, Sarah Rochel sees the (practically) full moon in the not-yet-sunset sky.

"Look, the moon!"

"Yes, I see the moon!"

"Yeah, and we will go up in an airplane and break it!"


Shulama-llama, red pajama

I remember recalling to Yoav that maternity leave (albeit paid leave) is very expensive for us, because I have all this time to go... shopping!!

I had a gift certificate for Shilav, el snooty baby store. I wanted a new play-on-the-floor-with-dangling-toys type baby thing (the one we had with Sarah Rochel was very plain, and who knows HOW brilliant the Sroch would be if she had had a more dynamic one? Why, she'd be doing calculus by now, instead of merely pre-algebra!). So I went and got one, name brand and all, for a mere 320 NIS (thoughtfully covered by the gift certificate - thanks to my office!). The scarier thing? I looked it up on Amazon - and it cost more! Tiny Love is American, and the stuff is made in China of course, but much of it is actually developed here in Israel.

Note that in the picture Sarah Rochel is not attacking Shulamis, just playing with her. No, really! Sroch actually assembled the toy with me, bless her.

What else? Oh yeah -

Well, I had to buy her red pajamas!! Shlama-llama even pooped all over them this morning (and I mean, poop through onesie, pajamas, sheet and needing to be scrubbed off mattress and leaving a stain on the plastic mattress kinda poop. Hey, it had been a week since we pooped - we had a lot to, er, do!).

Since I bought them at that emporium of quality, Bazaar Strauss, they are "Leader" brand and so have a big embroidered 'LD' on the front (it's under her hand in the picture). So clearly they stand for 'Llama Druyan' or, in case of please-God passing them down to another kiddo one day (assuming I survive the two I have), 'Little Druyan.'

Gosh, what else have I been buying?

-Food, sure.

-Gas got cheaper (back under 5 shekel a liter, yay!).

-A ten shekel recorder (as in 'cheapo flute substitute,' not 'immature iPod') which Sarah Rochel already earned with her 'Sleep All Night' sticker chart (still 4 more stickers to go to earn her much-coveted umbrella - as in, "Buy me an umbrella before the rain comes. I want a BLUE one, like Abba's!" (item: Abba's is black. Sarah Rochel knows it's black, but still wants 'a blue one like Abba's.' And you wonder why I am going insane?)).

-A new baby bottle for Shulamis, since I by now am SO sick of Avent bottles leaking - we got a Nuk one, since Shlam only takes Nuk pacifiers, when she takes one at all. So I leave her alone with Yoav for two hours during her Must Nurse Every 45 Minutes Hours (TM), and I'm curious to see if she'll even take a bottle at all... and the kid slept the whole time. Harumph.

-Slippers for Sarah Rochel - NOT 'cwocs' which she'd been asking for. Now I was good, and resisted the "little pig" slippers at the mall for 80 NIS ("little pig" is a translation of Pooh's sidekick 'Piglet' according to my Happenings saleslady). Sroch is perfectly happy with her 19.90 NIS slippers from Bazaar Strauss, so much so that this morning I got to hear twelve billion times "But I WANT to wear them to gan! But I really, REALLY want to!"

But don't worry. I've been helping to support my family by writing a bit and more importantly, taking Important Online Surveys for huge amounts like, oh, $2 sometimes, answering intelligent questions such as do I think my Toyota Corolla is more 'optimistic' or 'stylish', obviously related to follow up questions such as "do I buy luxury brands to show others what I've accomplished" and "do I feel couples that live together as if they were married should be given the rights of married people." And could I recognize a Ford Focus on the street if I saw one. You see the obvious connections, no?

And to that, Shulamis Rivka says - ooh.

An aw...

Sarah Rochel got a doctor's kit. She's VERY serious about it. (It's a wheeling little hard plastic kit, and she wants to take her 'suitcase' EVERYWHERE.)

(with stethoscope) "Zayde, Zayde, give me your heart."

He answers - "You already have it!"

(PS - I blogged this ages ago, it just never published. Sorry for the delay!)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

End of first solo (well, duo) week: report!

(Post subtitle: In which we will see many pictures of Shulamis sleeping, because when she's awake, I don't have time to take pictures!)

My parents left a week ago today, meaning it's been two adults, two kiddos alone together for a whole week.

Aaannd... We're all still talking to each other! Well, to the limits of our individual capabilities.

Both babies are sleeping now, so of course, rather than wash dishes or clean up or, dare I say it, sleep (!), I'm blogging.

Item One: Sarah Rochel did finally play out a tiny bit of agression towards Shulamis, but it happened as follows. It musta been around bedtime, the source of our latest struggles. I was on the couch (nursing? Yeah, I think I must have been) and Sroch falls or something. I move the baby over, tell her to come cuddle and get a hug or whatever. There really was room, too. But...
"I want the baby to go away."
(WPO coming) "Oh. I hear you. That must be very hard."
She comes towards us, and I think gives me the old quick palm down motion, i.e. 'hits' me. "Sarah Rochel, I know you're upset, but you may NOT hit Mommy." (Mind you, this was less than a week ago, but I'm having trouble remembering details. Wait, maybe this was before the grandparents all left - shoot, I don't remember...) She cries, eventually climbs on the couch next to us, and starts kicking at me. "I don't like the baby." Kick. I catch her foot - hard - and say "You may NOT kick the baby!" She kicks towards the baby's head, I tell her no and tell her to go to her room... and she goes! Wow! Like I'm an actual parent or something! So she's crying in her room, I finish nursing, put the baby down, wait a bit, and go in. She and I have a conversation, wherein I say...
"Sarah Rochel, did you get mad?"
"Were you mad at the baby?"
"Were you mad at Mommy?"

And by the next morning, we were again sweetness and light towards our little sister. We still light up when she's around. So a continued bli ayin hara that she will continue to not loathe the Intruder.

Bedtime has become more of an issue, as have many things, because of one phrase that has entered into her rep-a-twa: But I like/want it. I REALLY like/want it. AAAAAHHHH!! It makes me want to scrape metal on chalkboards! It makes me want to abuse kittens!

Now, I adore (both) my daughters, and I am totally enamored with my eldest daughter's verbal skills (those of my youngest daughter still leave something to be desired, although Yoav says she said "all done" when she finished nursing earlier). But this phrase comes up CONSTANTLY. As in...

(at bedtime) I want a bawkle milk. (No, you can't have a bawkle at bedtime) But I WANT it. I REALLY want it.

(also at bedtime) But I like to be awake. I REALLY like it! (also repeated at 3, 4, 5 in the morning)

But I LIKE to stay in the park. But I LIKE to ride my tricycle to the doctor. But I LIKE to eat candy for breakfast. I may go mad.

Look, I'm her mother, so the poor thing can't pull the classic, "But my Mommy lets!" which is good, since I'd also go insane. But but but... !!!!

The problem is there's no rationalizing with her. For example, during the bedtime-bawkle incident a few nights ago* ("but I LIKE bawkle milks! I REALLY like bawkle milks!"), it didn't matter how many times I said we never have bawkles at bedtime** or just a plain, flat out "NO," she just kept saying, "But I LIKE..." We eventually got through that one. But we've been mastering the Art of the Stall ever since, including, "My stomach hurts" (because it will get us a piece of bread - but not when I know she ate dinner, so sorry kiddo). Tonight she tried the stomach-stall, the "I like to be awake"-stall - and then went into the bawkle-cry, and I found myself sitting there saying (echoes of my childhood!), "I said no, and I we are not having this discussion any further."

And then I - dimly - remembered: the kid is TWO. Which is why she immediately said, "But I LIKE it..."


In the end I left the room, she cried to sleep, we move on.

Fortunately, Shulamis doesn't think I'm abusing her, so hey, 50/50 right?

The other night Shulamis started crying for the first time all day - right at bath/bedtime. Oh, woe was me. Yoav was teaching, and I Did. Not. Know. What. To. Do. In the end, the baby cried a bit, I wore her in the sling until she fell asleep, I didn't wash Sroch's hair because I couldn't bed over the tub... and we all survived. But it was daunting. There will be times when one has to suffer while the other is tended to - there have already been small incidences of those - it's just up to me to make the judgement calls. Ha ha ha! No pressure!

(The next night Shulamis napped from dinner time through reading books time. I thanked her profusely.)

Shulamis was weighed and measured and shot this week - she's almost 4.3 kilo (about 9 1/2 pounds), 50th percentile (!!!), 25th percentile for height, 50th percentile for head circumfrence (you know I was worried about that one) and she was SO insulted when she got her Hep-B shot, it was rather cute. Baruch Hashem!

The next day we took Sarah Rochel for an ostensible check-up (because we were mimicking her new Berenstain Bears doctor book) because we all needed our flu shots. The doc did kindly weigh her and listened to her chest and back and poked her belly, and Sarah Rochel really enjoyed it. By the weigh (har har - sleep deprived humor!), she's 12.6 kilo (almost 28 pounds) and has also moved up in her percentile, somewhere around 40th percentile (as you may recall from earlier blog days, this has been an issue in the past). So she may not eat anything, but clearly the junk she gets on shabbos is enough to sustain her. Anyway, then we all went and got our shots and Sarah Rochel was SO brave. She watched me get mine, then got hers and didn't even cry - a little moaning, quickly stilled by prompt oral insertion of chocolate. (She had shnorred a piece of chocolate off another mother in the clinic who had brought a whole bar to divide amongst her 5 kids getting flu shots - clever mother.) Then Abba got his shot too - also didn't cry, but only Sarah Rochel got stickers. Harumph!

Let's see, anything else? I made muffins today, into which I dumped anything remotely healthful I could find - whole wheat flour, brown sugar, oats, banana, apple sauce, quinoa cereal with raisins, wheat germ. They were REALLY good, and not only did Sarah Rochel eat actual multiple bites, but she presented her half-eaten one to Morah Shoshana in the park as a gift. That's love!

And lastly, I'd like to point out that at the moment, there are three strollers in my living room: One car seat carrier, one old big stroller full of groceries, and our new Joovy Caboose. There's also a bouncy seat and a play mat, as well as our more conventional grown-up furniture. We are SO outnumbered! Clearly, it's time to move... as if!

Pictures are below the footnotes. Good shabbos ya'll!

*interestingly enough, in the middle of this tantrum, she switched from 'I want a bawkle milk!' to 'I want Savta.' When I explained that alas, Savta was back in America, she switched right back to the bawkle-cry. Think my daughter noticed all her grandparents left and she's stuck with the boring parents? Methinks yes!

**okay, with two not-really-counting-as-exceptions a couple weeks ago, when she melted down around dinnertime, and I let her have a bawkle and piece of bread in her room before putting her to sleep. Yes Mom, she remembered. Argh!

Please excuse the complete lack of sequencing in these pictures. I'm posting so many I feel like saying, "Agustus! Save some for latar!":

Okay, so this is way too many pictures to individually caption. We have pics from our trip to the zoo (the ones on the train), various pictures of Shulama-Llama sleeping (note that she enjoys sleeping on her stomach... in the car seat (this only works when I am putting her down already asleep)), Sroch working her ADORABLE gan project from a couple weeks ago (she made a working well and a camel and learned about Rivka giving Eliezer's camels water - I'm so proud!), Sarah Rochel in the little play house at the well-baby clinic down the block which we stopped at because of their handy nursing room :), some Sroch/Shlam togetherness time, Sarah Rochel looking like a go-go dancer, Shulamis studying her black and white picture book - and I think that's it!

Monday, December 01, 2008

3:25-4:27 AM

3:25: I hear Sarah Rochel opening her door. Cue husband to wake up and attend to her.
3:27: Tell husband Sarah Rochel is in the hallway, not in our room (husband is quite groggy).
3:28: Husband goes into Sarah Rochel's room with her.
3:44: Shulamis wakes up, politely asks to be fed.
3:56: I am feeding the baby in the guest room (where she's been sleeping in her car seat the last few nights, resulting in more sleep for me AND her), I hear Yoav leaving Sarah Rochel's room, I hear Sarah Rochel protesting, I hear Yoav close the door.
3:59: I hear Sarah Rochel opening her door (sigh). Yoav is already asleep again (and who can blame him?). I telepathically send him messages that his eldest is walking the halls again (well, we actually only have ONE hall, but close enough) - no dice. Shulamis is still munching away.
4:04: Sarah Rochel finally finds us in the other room. "Mommy, I need help with something." Shhh! "Sarah Rochel, go wait in your bed, I will be there in a minute." She scurries off.
4:06: Put down baby, who I think has burped enough. Go to Sarah Rochel. "I need help with my sleep." Sigh.
"Okay, close your eyes, and I'm going to count."
"I can't close my eyes."
"Because I need to look at the light." (note: my mother noticed this phenomenon, that Sroch likes to stare at her special light (which we leave on, but closed 97%) while falling asleep. Fine!)
I then count to 100. I then count to 100 again. Then twice to 10. Then finally exit the room, since I've been hearing the distinct, "hey, you need to burp me some more" noises down the hall.
4:10: Burp baby. Baby wants to eat more. Feed baby.
4:15: I hear Sarah Rochel opening her door. She's no fool - she doesn't come find me this time, but goes and sits down on the floor in the living room.
4:18: Finish feeding baby. Put her down.
4:19: Sneak up on errant toddler in living room, surprising her. Walk her back to bed. "But my sleep isn't working." Tough, kiddo. Stay in bed.
"Sing 1-2-3 song." (also known as 'Count Ten' from an old Sesame Street record I had as a kid)
"Okay, I will sing it once but then you NEED to stay in bed."
I sing. Well, I whisper loudly in cadence. There is nothing so loud as a singing voice at 4 in the morning.
4:23: Exit Sarah Rochel's room. Return to baby, who is still fidgeting. Does she want to eat? Nope. But her eyes are open. Pick her up, fidget fidget, burp her, fidget, fidget - burp - relax, totally unconscious. Okay! Put her down.
4:27: Commence blogging, since I'm not bothering to get back into bed until I know they are both sleeping...
4:47: I hear Sarah Rochel turning her door knob but, wisely, not opening her door. BOOGER! Leave computer, go to Sarah Rochel, order her back to bed. "But I like to wake up. I really like to!" Sorry, Squirt.
"You need to stay in your bed now.
"YES. It's time to sleep
"Stay with me for one minute."
"I will stay for ONE minute, but no more getting out of bed."

I stay. It's now 4:52, the title I made for this blog entry is already obsolete, I have already mentally composed the sticker chart I'll be making for my eldest daughter to see if we can't work on these night wakenings (prize for 5 stickers will be a toy, I think, and prize for 10 stickers will be the umbrella she's incessantly asking me to get - "Buy me umbrella, because I need it, because it's raining." She's also still telling me to "Buy me Cwocs," but I'm holding off on that one, if for no other reason than to overcome peer pressure, and why does a two-and-a-half year old have flipping peer pressure!? But I digress...).

4:54: I just hope I'll be able to sleep well despite listening for the littlest noise of my daughter's (well, technically daughters') door knob.

4:55: Who's going to come sing to me?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The last coupla weeks

Saba and Savta left a week ago almost, and my parents left tonight. :( That's it - we've been soloing as Parents of Two for almost two full hours now... and they are both in their respective crib-like devices, hopefully to remain there for some time. So I have a moment to recap some of the happenings of the past couple weeks.

As an aside - Shulamis (current nickname of choice: Shulama-llama, thanks to the influence of the Llama-Llama books) turned 4 weeks old today. BOY (girl?) was this a speedy 4 weeks!!

Food: I love love love love my neighborhood and friends, because for about two solid weeks, shabbos included, other people made us all dinner. I had no concept of how much the relief of the burden of What's For Dinner would make a difference, but suffice to say it was really, really amazing. Even though I had family here the whole time, and so SOMEONE else would have undoubtedly been the one microwaving the parve shnitzel or whatever... the fact that no one else had to think about it either made a huge difference. Somehow we ended up on going to the grocery store almost every day anyway though... but that's because of item two...

I have no brain. None. Zippo, zilch. Much worse than PregnancyBrain. Much worse than post-Sarah-Rochel's-birth. No brain. Okay, I think it's getting better a little, but sake's alive, has it been patchy. Which is why I'm glad I have an...

Itzbeen - the anti-spreadsheet. As you may recall (and may search the archives of the blog for, if you like), with Sarah Rochel I kept compulsive spreadsheets of her activities, sleeping, eating, whatever... in half hour increments. Thanks to Cousin Jennifer, this time I got an Itzbeen, so I can compulsively tell you it's been two hours and twelve minutes since the baby ate (although it's much more likely to have only been an hour, so WHY is she hungry again, when I have read eight skabillion books on not feeding too often and not mistaking all cries for hunger cries, etc, etc?). Ah, the joys of information! Not that it does me much good, but I have the illusion of being in control.

Fun stuff: Sarah Rochel got lots of outings with various grandparents, to the zoo (on the train!) and all over Yerushalaim and to big parks and little parks and so on. Lots of new toys, a new tricycle, new books, new clothes...

Oops, and a new baby sister who just woke up. Hmm. No wonder my early blog posts were very brief! More later... I hope...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"My Baby Shlamisrivka"

A couple months ago we sat down Sarah Rochel to tell her that soon she was going to have a new baby brother or sister, thank you Hashem. My ever precocious, verbal child just smiled... okay, and then she asked if she could also go into Mommy's belly, and we explained that she had already 'been there - done that,' and in showing her pictures of me pregnant with her she lost interest in the baby and was more interested in herself.

Perfectly appropriate for her age.

When we went to the hospital, we left her here sleeping, and some girls came over to watch her (shoot - I still didn't pay the sitter! I had a baby and I have NO BRAIN! But I digress...). She woke up in the morning "and my orchim were there!" (we always call the shabbos seminary girl guests "orchim" and these high-school girls looked just the same). We called her and told her that she's now a big sister, and has a little baby sister, Shulamis Rivka. The babysitter told me she did a lot of nodding and grinning at the phone.

She goes to gan, and her friend's mom who had taken her says to the ganenet, "Sarah Rochel has something SO exciting to tell you!" and the ganenet says, "What IS it?" and Sarah Rochel says... "I saw an airplane yesterday!"

Again, perfectly appropriate for her age (and pretty darn funny).

When I came home from the hospital, when we were ready for her I went to pick up Sroch from the neighbor. She was totally unphased by my two day absence, which was simultaneously a relief (whew!) and depressing (harumph!). No, seriously, I was thrilled that she was so secure in her relationship with us and that we had warned her what was coming enough and she had actually gotten it that when the event happened she understood and was cool. So I come in to get her, and she's just like, "Hi Mommy." She was in the middle of a bath with her friend, so we get her out, and I take her home... and there in a car seat on the floor is Shulamis Rivka!

BIG grin on Sroch. "It's my baby?" Yes, it's your baby, your little sister. "Hello baby!"

And, bli ayin hara, it's just been that easy so far. Sroch loves loves LOVES to hold the baby (and does so well), loves to kiss her and stroke her hair ("Look, I not pushing her head, just stroking it"), loves to see if "my baby waked up!" and is totally helpful with critical parenting decisions, such as...

"My baby doesn't eat pizza yet. She's little. I eat pizza. When she is big, she eats pizza."

"Mommy, Mommy, the baby's crying. I think she wants to nurse. Mommy! She needs to nurse!"

"The baby wants to sit on my tricycle. She LIKES to sit on my tricycle!"

"I want to hold the baby." She's sleeping now, Sarah Rochel. "I hold her sleeping. She likes me to hold her. I hold her by myself."

Only twice now have I gotten anything resembling a territorial or, dare I say it, jealous comment. Once she asked me to stop nursing the baby so I could pick her up, and once for me to move the baby so she could sit on my lap. Now, I do not discount the TREMENDOUS advantage I still have in having both of my daughters' (hee hee - notice the location of the apostrophe! Thank you Hashem!) grandmothers here... having two kids is no sweat when you have more than one mother... and I know there may very well be all kinds of pebbles, rocks, boulders and icebergs (icebergs?) littering the path of Sibling Relations ahead.

But much like right now Shulamis sleeps beautifully, and I know that THAT will undoubtedly change eventually... I'm just enjoying the gracious gift I have now of peace between them.

Two nights ago I was putting Sarah Rochel to bed, and Shulamis was having a "I haven't eaten in DAYS" sudden cry. So I told Sroch to wait in bed, and I went to get the baby from my mother. "She may as well get used to the new normal," said I, boldly. I was worried of course, that Sroch would be upset at an intruder into our Private Time. But what was her reaction? "My baby came!" and she planted many kisses upon her head before she lay down to sleep.

Thank you Hashem!!

Now, life for my eldest daughter has NOT been totally rosy... she's a bit unsettled due to so much disruption of schedule and parties and visitors and such. She hasn't been napping, hasn't been eating well, has had her share of serious meltdowns, especially in the evenings. But the fact that none of her upset has been directed towards the baby is tremendous, and I am utterly thankful to God for that.

"Say cheese, baby!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

More pictures, few words

We're making a kiddush this shabbos, we have parents and in-laws in town (yay!), there was a local election this week... you can see why I've been too busy to blog.

Oh. Oh, and apparently I had a baby two weeks ago today. OH.

From the hospital.

"Look, Mom! I can turn my head like this!"

"Hands. We eat hands. Hands good."

After our bath tonight, all warm and clean and mellow. Delicious. Of course, since then (and it's a couple hours now) we've been wanting to eat every 45 minutes. Which is why I'm blogging with one hand. :)

And what of Sarah Rochel??? Dearest readers, we didn't forget about her. A full report on her and Shulamis is forthcoming, never fear.

And now, for the official invitation to our kiddush:


בלב מלא שמחה, נפעם מהתרגשות, ופשוט מתפוצץ מרגשי תודה לקב"ה על כל הטובות וחסדים אשר גמלנו
– ובפרט להולדת ביתנו שולמית רבקה שתחי' –
הננו מתכבדים להזמין את כל קרובינו, ידידינו, מכרינו, שכיננו (וכל מי ששכחנו) לקידושא רבא, בשבת פרשת וירא, לאחר התפילה, באולם שמחות "חסדי ד' – נגילה ונשמחה בם" בחניה. נשמח לראותכם !!

יואב דרויאן ורעייתו

With a heart full of joy, bursting with emotion and totally exploding with gratitude to the Ribono Shel Olam for all the kindness that he has shown us
- specifically for the birth of our daughter Shulamis Rivka שתחי' -
we take great pleasure in inviting all our friends, acquaintances, neighbors (and anyone else we forgot) to a Gala Kiddush this Shabbos, parshas Vayera, after davening, at the Grand Simcha Hall “Chasdei Hashem – Yippee Skippee Yahooey” located in our parking lot.

Yoav and Miriam Druyan

Friday, November 07, 2008

Shulamis Rivka: the birth story

Well, this is the modified birth story, anyway, meaning I'll try to omit some of the more colorful, that is, graphic bits, but this is essentially how labor went.

We had asked Shulamis Rivka to PLEASE just wait until my mother flew in, and then she could be born any time she liked...

I'm 39 weeks + 5 days.
I picked up my mom at the airport at 4 PM.
At 9:15 PM my water broke. Atta girl!

So, get our stuff together, write a card for Sroch to read when she wakes up, call the babysitter, la la la, and off to the hospital. Baruch Hashem, the (big) girl was already sleeping for the night (and indeed, she slept through the night), so some teenaged girls came to spend the night, and we could leave relaxed-ish (like we even drove our car, rather than take an ambulance). On the way the contractions started.

So - get to Shaarei Zedek, contractions are irritating but tolerable. I'm at 3 cm, 80% - not too bad for someone who was induced from 0 at two weeks overdue last time! So I'm in kabalah, I ask for fluids because I know I need a bag before I can get an epidural, and I'm gonna want an epidural!

They say I need to wait... either I need to progress more, or they're just busy.. I don't recall.

Another hour goes by, contractions getting more intense, MUCH more intense, I'm exhausted, my poor mother is having to rub my back hardhardhard constantly (my contraction pains are all in my lower back, and all I want is the dumb bag of fluids so I can get ready for an epidural.

They check me again. Still at 3 cm. Despair, despair! They won't move me to a room until I'm at 4... I explain last time, I didn't progress past 3 until I had the epidural... but they were busy (a woman actually came in and delivered in the kabala while I was there, so they really were busy), my husband is being great and advocating for me but nothing is happening.

Another hour passes. Apparently they came to give me fluids at one point, but it was a two minute break when I was actually asleep and they didn't want to wake me. I tried to stand up (I had been laying on my side all this time), to move things along (since I know laying down isn't an effective position), but I immediately have to lay down again, as I felt faint when standing. I just didn't have the strength.

That brief moment of standing seems to have done something though. The contractions are bad. Badder. Really bad. Sometimes there's a break of a few minutes, sometimes they just run into each other on and on...

The hardest part was it being late at night and my perception that I wasn't getting anywhere, that I was just in non-productive pain. So I'm in pain and exhausted and feeling futile, which is a depressing combination.

I'm hollering to the nurses for fluids, because darn it, if I don't get fluids I don't get an epidural and then I will be in pain FOREVER (you see the logical connection). They holler back they're coming, they're coming. I holler that I'm dying. They holler back I'm not dying, I'm just in labor, it's easy to confuse the two. :) Oh, good, so we all still have a sense of humor, but owwwww!

And then... I tell my mother I feel the need to push, or rather, I feel that my body is starting to push and I can't stop it! She (remember, my mom is the BEST all around, but incidentally she's also a labor and delivery nurse!) says if I need to push, maybe I'm ready to push. And what do I say?

"But I read online that if you push too early you can rupture something, and it's still too early!"

My mother begs to differ, says that maybe it's NOT too early, but remember, I'm tired, depressed and in pain, so cannot be rationalized with. (No comments about how I CAN be rationalized with the rest of the time, please.)

And then, gentle readers, I was indeed pushing. The kabala staff finally decides to move me into a delivery room.

Wheeling into the room, a dozen midwives in the hallways are calling, "Don't push yet!"

We get into the room. I move onto the bed. Mom at my side. The midwives start putting on their gowns, etc, and I say, "I need to push!" and they say, "Don't push!" and I say... "BABY!"

And indeed, there she was, on the bed. :)

As you may expect, THAT got their attention!

So I went from 3 to delivery within one hour. Now, had I KNOWN all that really, really hard stuff was the last phase and transition and the pushing was REAL... it would have changed everything. The pain would have been okay, because I would have known it was productive. I would have LOVED pushing, not have been totally scared of it (because I thought I was damaging something). So that is unfortunate. I'm over it, thank God... but it was challenging.

Shulamis Rivka was 3.4 kilo, a good healthy size. She was crying from the start, a good healthy sign. And boy, does she look like Sarah Rochel. I shall be posting comparison shots shortly. She was a bit yellow, which resulted in some mild concern and a blood test a couple days ago, but it's going away now nicely. And as previously mentioned, unlike her big sister's infancy, we got some nice poop going on. Not a lot, not like those 10-dirty-diapers-a-day babies, but nice, healthy amount.

Baruch Hashem! Baruch Hashem! Baruch Hashem!

Have a few more pictures, and I'll try to post more next week. I am (slowly) coming out of my just-had-a-baby fog.