Sunday, January 27, 2008


First of all, this is a lovely blog about the Feiner baby. Keep davening!

I just went in to check on my little princess, and she is sleeping with her tuchas straight in the air again. Deliciousness.

(Sorry, pics won't load, just the video of the girl and one of the orchim's boots)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tales from the Land of Tochter

update: there's apparently a blog now, not clear who it's being maintained by. But hopefully it will be updated regularly. I've heard very little about the baby's condition, mostly that since this is a completely new disorder they are trying different things to fix it - but no one knows what will do the trick. They are apparently asking everyone to daven tonight just after candlelighting for the baby, say tehillim, etc. Last week he showed a small improvement over shabbos, and they hope this week will be the same.

This whole nightmare with the sick baby reminded me of right after she was born in the hospital... The first night she was born I was VERY tired, and, well, frankly, catheterized and my mom was there and so whatever, I slept. The second night in the hospital, she hadn't really eaten much that day, I wanted to go nurse her for the three AM feeding (when you have to shlep to the nursery, they don't let you have the baby in your room in that hospital). So I was good and set my alarm and got up... and SR was just NOT interested in even waking up, much less eating. I tried, a nurse tried to help, nothing nothing nothing. I finally gave up and went back to my room. And I lay there, looking up at the ceiling with its curtain tracks and accoustical tiles and dim light and I was seized by the realization that if anything ever happened to my daughter, it would be the most crippling, tragic thing in the entire world. And I had this moment of pure tfila to Hashem, this surge of pleading to protect my baby, that she should just be healthy.

Baruch Hashem a million times over, so far, she is. May it just continue that way, and may Hashem send a speedy refua shleima to all the sick children in the world (and, is it me, or does it seem like there are an awful lot lately?).

Last night, our daughter really flexed the muscles of her Inner Two Year old, and we had a capital-T Tantrum. Like flailing and screaming, the works, refusing to take our clothes off, then after the briefest bath she's ever had, refusing to put our clothes or diaper back on (including the inevitable puddle, happily landing (mostly) on her towel), including the reckless attempt to climb out of the crib and the total loss of verbal accuity as we screamed and screamed... and eventually just stopped. Oh. No idea what set her off, unless it was accumulated fatigue (she hasn't been sleeping so well - until last night, she only slept through the night once this week, including the memorable Wednesday night wakefulness between 3:15 and 4:30 (of which I only was in her room for 3:15-3:36, and I must admit I slept through some of the quieter moments of the rest). The Hashem sent a malach in the guise of Mrs. L. who came over to return something and held my daughter for about 45 minutes. May Hashem bless her with children who sleep long and hard, amen. Finally, I put her to bed by physically restraining her while she cried, and singing, until she accepted the inevitable and promptly passed out, quite exhausted.

She slept for about 11 hours, which I think will do wonders for restoring her sunny disposition. It did wonders for mine!! Poor thing, her voice is rather hoarse today....

Here she is in her BabyLegs and sweater, missing the jeans we had just taken off. Most delicious. here is how she looked in them last winter:

SR and I made a cake together the other night. SR stirred beautifully, although she emphatically prefered stirring to baking, and batter to finished cake. :)

And here, one of the few publishable pictures (pity) from her brief happy time last night when we let her cavort nekked for a while in the living room. Note the "I'm about to make a puddle on the floor" happy face:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Update: I have no update on the sick baby now, which in its own way is probably a good thing, since had things God forbid deteriorated further, I no doubt would have heard. I encourage you to look at the comments on the previous post for a link to the mother's beautiful words that were videoed last night.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Symptoms of toddlerhood:

Tonight the girl was shampooing her own hair (while I was busy researching the next topic in 'What to Expect the Toddler Years' ironically enough), and managed to get her soapy hands all over her face... No tear shampoo or not, she didn't like it at all, so just kept rubbing her eyes - with her sudsy little hands! In the end I had to hold down both of her hands with great force, while using my other hand to wash her face.

Lately (since the plays? Quite possibly) the girl goes MORE than balistic if I dare to do something exotic like go in another room and close the door behind me, if you know what I mean. Like screaming the kind of way that shreds your vocal cords. And when I open the door - turns off like a light switch. That and for the last 4 nights running she's been waking up calling for me approximately 7 hours after she goes to sleep. Coincidence? I think not. She'll settle back down when she realizes I'm still around (well, most of the time - I have a cast party tomorrow night!).

Her Highness will only consent to sit in her high chair about half the time - the rest of the time she MUST eat on a capital-C Chair at the capital-T Table. And most of the time we don't come to grief as a result of spilage thereof. Most of the time.

Her musicality is delightful, in that she remembers songs (and hand motions!) in Hebrew and English both, and she will sing to herself (adorable!) and request songs too (usually adorable, unless you've heard it / sung it 86 times that day). I happen to think she's especially cute when she asks me to "sing binken nod," which means she wants the Winken, Blinken and Nod lullabye. Sometimes she asks for me to sing it when she's in the tub. Very strange.

I finally registered her for gan next year, making the difficult choice to put her with kids within a small range of her age, versus a gan with kids her age and up to about 7 months older. The gannenet is HIGHLY recommended, and lives in the next building over, so it doesn't get much more convenient. It's also fairly ludicrous to be making this decision now, when it won't affect my daughter until September! But this is how the game is played!

Last shabbos the girl actually asked for the first time to sit on the potty. Humoring her, we went into the bathroom and were about to disrobe, when she changed her mind. Alright, no problem. Mind you, she's been walking into bathrooms and picking up her skirt for months now (and sometimes when she's hiding in the bathroom and we call her out, she comes out adjusting her clothing), but this was the first sign of interest (although we discuss (okay, I discuss) all the time that one day she'll be a big girl and use the potty). We will of course keep our loyal readers informed of these exciting developments (and yes, it's almost the conclusion of Year Two of this blog, and it's STILL all about poop!).

(As I write this blog, on another screen I'm looking at cloth training pants. Hmm, maybe a tad premature... Although I think I will invest in an all-in-one cloth diaper, because while we've been good for a while now, one tummy upset can give the girl a bad diaper rash for a couple days, and a cloth diaper for overnight would be a great help.)

Off to sleep, since I must be ready for my 4:30 AM date with my daughter.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pray. Now.

Tinok ben Aviva bas Chana.

I didn't blog about it before, because frankly, I didn't want to upset the pregnant readers among us (you know who you are). But I had to share this...

Long story short, a good friend who has been waiting for 12 (!) years just had her first child, which is a tremendous miracle in and of itself... and hours later the child becomes terribly ill, multiple organ failure, swelling of the brain, some strange metabolic disorder - they don't even know what's wrong.

He was born last Tuesday night, almost a week ago.

Tonight in Jerusalem, there was a big tfila gathering... So Aviva WAS there, speaking before 600 people a few days after birth.

She said that she was just so happy that Hashem made her part of this nation, that while she keeps saying "my baby" and "our baby," that this baby really belongs to all of klal yisroel. All of klal yisroel davened for him to be born for 12 years, and they are all davening now. And the kochos that this child has already brought within all of us in his short life so far are just amazing. She said I'm so happy to be part of klal yisroel because I know that Hashem is holding me, he's taking care of me, with all the billions of people in the world that I could have been, I'm so glad he made me a yid, that I'm part of this group of people.

She said that she sings to her baby all the time, and that she always wondered why Hashem gave her this beautiful voice, and now she knows - so she can sing to her baby. One of the frum nurses heard her singing 'Tov Lehodos LaHashem' to the baby, and asked - how can you? And Aviva just answered that all of this comes from Hashem.

She's mamish a stunning tower of strength, she was throughout her 12 years of waiting and she continues to be.

She said that she was sitting with the top doctor, this big professor, and he was saying this condition is so rare he's never heard of it, that there's mamish no medical precedent, never been a documented case of this.. and she answered, "Isn't that humbling?"

She's amazing. Her husband is amazing. Keep those tfilos coming. It's tu bishvat now - it's a time of planting, sowing seeds - and watering them with tears. Hazorim bedima, brina yiktzaru, plant with tears you will reap with joy, and that is the hope for this child.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

After Oz

We survived, all of us. Last night concluded the 8th show (5 in the last three days!) and we're exhausted but happy. Well, okay, last night the girl was exhausted and NOT happy - she seemed to have noticed that she had only seen me first thing in the morning for three days - but today we had lots of time together and she seems to have forgiven me, although she did insist on falling asleep in my arms (aw).

The show was really fantastic, and all you (women) out there should really go out and buy a copy, bearing in mind that I have it on excellent authority that I was MUCH better in every single performance but the one they filmed. I certainly did have a wonderful time doing it.

Anyway, here's one picture from the show, and one particularly delicious video of the girl. Now I'm going to sleep the sleep of the wiz.

(watch carefully, and note how she still likes the camera just because she gets to see the baby on the little screen after we take pictures)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fashion show

It got COLD lately, and the girl has so many clothes (thank you grandmothers!) that frankly I can't keep up with them all. So we've been going through a lot of new stuff lately. Note our cute mittens (left over from last year) and our trendy drop waisted plaid jumper (even though the drop waist falls well below our diaper... well, it'll fit next winter too! Especially at the rate she eats!).

We also randomly had a bit of a fever on shabbos, which didn't affect us in any way except that once her Motrin kicked in, she ate a ton, and she woke up just after 6 AM despite going to bed at ten the night before. So sort of a mixed blessing. I'm exhausted. I think the fever was just teething - she hasn't had any since 7 this morning.

When food is too hot, she'll spit it out and say, "too hot!" When food is too crunchy, or sharp, or not edible in her book, she'll spit it out and say, "too hot!."

I'm so tired it hurts.

Because it's winter and we all, alas, work, the girl doesn't get much outdoor time during sunlight, which is to say, she doesn't get much outdoor time at all. So when we pulled out the big stroller to empty groceries out of the car on Thursday night, she was so "my stroller! my stroller!" and wouldn't rest until she got in it, that darn it, at 8 PM we went to the park. Sure it was freezing AND there was only a teeeeny bit of drizzle and the park was deserted (well, obviously) but I think it made her truly happy. So it's sort of a BMA/GMA thing.

Tonight we were playing Pictionary with the shabbos guests, and she spent some time on our laps coloring, and ate some in her high chair, and then spent about thirty minutes sitting on the floor reading her books (aside: she was reading one aloud but alas, finished it before I got out the camera to video). And then she didn't cry, didn't kvetch, but just up and said, "bye bye" and "coat." And we got her coat on and she just stood by the door, "bye bye." My daughter, not yet two, was trying to run away because no one was playing with her! (I did then take her on a short outing in the stairwell - it was COLD! - and then in classic BMA fashion I brought her back inside and bribed her with an 'artic' (popsicle) to let us finish the game).

Must make her lunch and sleep now...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Your daily shot of cuteness

(note that those are stickers on our noses, not strange random blobs on the lens. And it's a poor picture of my recently recut sheytle, which is a trendier style than anything I've ever worn before, and in which I have decided I Look My Age, if such a thing can be possible for someone like me who graduated from high school about three hours ago)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

insert witty title alluding to penance for long blog drought

After all, this is a blog about my daughter, in essence. And since last week, I essentially didn't see my daughter, it left me low on the blog fodder, you know? But I will try to assemble a veritable flange, meringue and bosquatch of bloggable tidbits for you.

No, none of those words made sense, but I enjoyed typing them. That's right, we're still a little tired from the shows.

In terms of the shows themselves, me-wise. They were great. It's a gorgeous show, all technicolor (as it were) and full of florescent green costumes and talking trees and of course, me. Well, it's hardly full of me - despite the show being named after my character, I have a relatively small part - but it's a lot of fun. I was actually really pleased with my performance, both my singing and my lines... until the third show, when my voice walked out of the theater somewhere around intermission. The resulting gravelishness of my voice didn't harm my image as a gruff old wannabe wizard, but it did cause me to lose some notes in my song, and thus to be rattled enough to give a less than perfect subsequent performance. I was still wonderful, I am assured, but my closest friends there said, "we felt so sorry for you." Ouch. Don't worry, that lovely night was the one they filmed for the DVD they sell, so all you (women) out there will get to reply my phlegmy singing again and again. Tempting, I know.

We have five (!) shows not this week but next - three night shows and two matinees, all in three days. You know the saying, "don't quit your day job?" I almost have to! But I won't, and they won't fire me (I think) and we will survive. I wish I could do stuff like this all the time! Except, of course for...

Tochterbean. Thank God for Saba and Savta, who so wonderfully saved these and so many other days. They've taken her all over and she was totally happy with them (and only missed me a leeetle bit) and only one night when I came home at midnight was Yoav in her room with her. That was fairly exceptional - she was willing to go in the cribby, just wanted Yoav to sit next to her in the chair. He fell asleep - she fell asleep - and he only woke up when I pounded on the door and called his phone and the house phone about thirty times, since my brain was left behind at the theater, along with my wallet and keys.

She seems to have forgiven me for being in the play. I left the sign up with the dates of the next shows where she can see it, but I'm not sure she noticed...

Sarah Rochel innovations of the last week or two:

1) If you start the ABC's, she will often fill in the next letter with a reasonable degree of phonetic accuracy. For example, ABCDE is followed by "S" and WXY is followed by "V". She can recognize both the letter A and the letter alef - when she wants to.

2) We've officially colored on a non-paper surface, namely the shower curtain liner. Well, that's probably as benign as I can expect. And of course, she's probably colored on the metapelet's walls - I wouldn't know.

3) Back to phonetics, her sibilants aren't always consistent. So she's in the backseat telling me about how her diaper is dirty and we're going to change her diaper and use cream and so on, and then she says "sit." And says it several times, louder and louder. Except, gentle reader, she often says an 'sh' instead of an 's.' And I'm thinking, I know I haven't been monitoring her so closely for a few days, but who would have taught her such a thing?? And it's very strange hearing this angelic little wonderful voice cursing up a storm - until she says 'couch' and I say, YES SR, we're going to SIT on the COUCH when we get home. Whew.

4) Today driving home, she wanted to see a bus, as in "more bus," quickly followed by "two buses." Fortunately in this land of mass transit and tourists, there were lots of buses to be seen. But when a minibus passed by, I pointed it out to her and told her a minibus was a little bus. And she volunteered, "baby bus." Is that impressive extrapolation or what?? She has the cutest brain synapses!

5) bli ayin hara

6) her sense of humor is being fleshed out. She's more and more cognisant of silly things, besides often labeling something as funny. And when she runs into the bathroom and shuts the door behind her (as she's done for months), she now wraps herself in the shower curtain and stands still. This is reminiscent of her hiding this evening, avoiding her bath, laying under the table and dreaming. (Well, under the table and mocking sleep and or munching on the small piece of Cranium Clay that escaped there, darn it. She didn't swallow!)

7) She has almost no patience left for the high chair. Most of the time it's "no high chair, chair, chair!" that is, she wants to sit (kneel / stand) in a real chair. She'll climb up on her own, and yes, she'll fall plenty, but she don't care.

8) big phrase of the moment: "don't like it." As in today's car wash, which she had been looking forward to immensely until we were in the tunnel - "don't like it, don't like it!" even though I was holding her hand from the front seat. Or the sun every morning in the car as it dares to shine on her - "no sun! no sun! don't like it!". Or the nina (read: clementine) she ate today... (munch munch, eject piece from mouth), "don't like it (replace piece, munch munch, remove), don't like it (replace piece, swallow, reach for new one) don't like it." Tochs, I do not think that means what you think it means. And yet, she does say "like it" when she's pleased with something. Hmmm...

9) she learned to take her shoes off herself, and does. Frequently. She also thoughtfully grew, yesterday I think, so now her shoes are getting too small and Savta gets to buy her new ones before she leaves the day after tomorrow. Whew! Close call!

10) Wiggles overkill, as she asks to watch certain You Tube videos by name (most common: Hot Potato (she does the 'hot potato' hand motion as well), and "Rock Bear" (Rock-a-bye Your Bear, for which she does several hand motions as well)). All this in addition to asking for 'Toot Toot.' I need to just buy the MUSIC cds and tell her no more videos, and that's it!

But but but... I'm so proud of her lingual skills in asking to watch them, I want to reward them!

11) If you glare at her right, she says "peas" (otherwise known as, "I asked for something and didn't get it, which means you're waiting for me to say "please"").

She's just delicious, she knows everything, hears everything, has a very cute bottom and belly, and I just love her to pieces.

Here she is playing dress up a little...

And here she is posing with the "orchim" from this week, whom she gravitates to like Bamba.