Thursday, December 24, 2009


This is underneath a Hashmonaim (Maccabi) era house, in what was a massive water cistern but later became storage / residence. Cool square pillars and wow, just really neat. Sroch as always was even cuter before we began the filming...

Lighting with Cheryl...

General merriment (thanks to Talya for filming, as well as for washing dishes, babysitting, cleaning, etc - we couldn't live without her!):

(they mamish just uploaded, so may not work yet)

Ketchup: it was always my favorite

So much to catch up on. I blame Facebook (patooey! There, I admitted it!) for keeping me from blogging; when I feel the need to capital-s Share, I do a blurb there, rather than a proper post here.


So here's a recap of, gosh, a lot of stuff.

(and I should be working now. Shhh....)

Chanuka was truly lovely, largely because Yoav got off of work every day at 3 PM. Oh, wow, I can SO get used to that. Every day I had rehearsals from 9 to 2 PM, so it wasn't so productive work-wise (sigh) but it was good clean fun! We really enjoyed spending so much family time, and we even had time to have a bunch of seminary girls over one night (for brownies and cookies and sufganiot), a bunch of yeshiva boys over another (for chili and hotdogs and guacamole and sufganiot), to go out to felafel (and sufganiot) another night - it was really, really nice.

The play! Rehearsals are proceeding, first show is on Monday (!), and it's really going to be great, thank God. More stuff about that the next time I post, or go on Facebook now. (Man, gotta dump Facebook...)

Srochelbean continues to be wonderful. Example:

When looking at a picture of the immodest Ariel the Mermaid (careful, link shows her in her animated decadence)(who we have discussed previously is not 'tzanua' (modest), Sarah Rochel said, "She's not tzanua because she doesn't have a kookoo" (ponytail). Um, yes, well, indeed, amongst other things...

She's a total and utter delight, that child - when she's well rested. When she's not, she's a total and utter delightful kvetchpot.

We went ahead and switched her into a booster seat, being sure to pretty flowers attached to its otherwise boring brown fabric first. She's very happy with it, and now Llama is forward facing in the purplecarseat (all one word).

Llamaloo is growing so fast. Words include "beh" for book, "bye bye" for "I noticed someone has opened the door or is trying to put my coat on."

We have caught her standing a few times, but she still won't do it on purpose. No rush. She's just 14 months old now (which is when Sroch started walking but we are NOT comparing!) so there's plenty of time. She's sleeping well these days... um, ish. She sleeps very well except for the hour or so she's awake in her crib about half the nights, when she cries very little, but would like very much for someone to sit with her. Working on that one. It may be teething; #7 came in a couple weeks ago. But why is she only teething from 3 to 4 AM?

Taka, in terms of sleeping, it's been a strange week. The kids have been going to bed on time, but each have been waking up once in the night either for an hour of intermittent talking and kvetching (Llama) or to go to the bathroom (Sroch, and 9/10 times in the actual bathroom - this week we had one "ackident"). But then they've both been waking up at 8 AM! I mean, hurray and all, but it's been a big rush in the mornings, less work getting done, etc, etc (because why would I wake up before they do?) (I know, I know... use the alarm clock... sigh).

We went on a tiyul Friday the last day of Chanuka, when Sroch had no gan, to Beit Govrin. It was so, SO fantastic - everyone liked it (well, Sroch didn't want to go into the darker caves "because they are dark and that's scary for me" - the flashlight we gave her helped). Loads of fun, and we didn't see a quarter of it; we'll go back again, IY"H.

And that's about it for the moment! Videos I'll load later, IY"H, now for pictures:

Llama lighting her menorah (with a little help).

Cheryl came over one night to play. Sroch insisted on lighting with her help (instead of Abba's) that night.
With the guests we played Chanuka Bananagrams - all words had to somehow relate to Chanuka. We got creative... (and spelled some things wrong, oops).
Sroch with her new floor puzzle and the new Sesame Street toys she set up to watch her (thanks for the new toys Saba and Savta!).
Lighting on first night (before shabbos, hence the fanciness).
Llamoosh is very yummy in her winter hat.
Sroch's solo puzzle skills are improving dramatically.
Doesn't Llama look old here, playing with a friend and everything?! (Srochel was under the blanket.)
Shulamis almost exclusively wants to self feed now. Messy, but effective. Sarah Rochel, on the other hand, I still have to chase around the room spooning into her mouth.

Yummy sisters.


In the columbaria on tiyul.... (note Llama posing for the camera, and Srochel hurting her eyes staring into her flashlight).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sarah Rochel on parade

Cheetos in Israel now produces a most excellent dolphin shaped cheesy snack (which of course, is non-dairy). Here is Sarah Rochel dancing with the same, with a sorta transcription beneath:

Dolphin swimming in the water, okay, okay and now chomp, now you can't see... You can't see what? The head. Why? Cause... listen! And then, cause somebody ate the head... Who ate it? Me! And then I ate another piece, and who was it who ate the other one... Who ate the rest of that dolphin? And now I don't have a dolphin... (etc, etc, quick shot of Llama posing for the camera, then...) Mazal tov, la la la la la, mazal tov, la la la la la. You're singing the birthday song (they had been practicing birthdays in gan, in advance of the first set of them last week) to the dolphin? Yeah! The dolphin, la la la la la, the dolphin, la la la la la.

Then we discussed fashion.

There's no way I can transcribe the next video. It started as Sarah Rochel singing one of the Ani Maamin (note: article not checked for heretical content!) with all kinds of other Hebrew things and camp songs ("we want mashiach!") mixed up therein, and then turned into a general discussion of the coming of mashiach and the rebuilding of the beis hamikdash, oh, and Shulamis's's face when she's posing for the camera. My favorite part is how the beis hamikdash is going to be rebuilt in the middle of the kotel and the koisel. :)

Oh - and turns out I have atypical pneumonia in one lung! Who knew? Well, I did, cause I've been coughing for two weeks. Oh. On antibiotics, feeling pretty good, thank God!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Llama and the nail brush

This from a few days ago, the 24 hours when she had 5 teeth and not 6. I was quite hoarse then. Wait, I still am...

She found the nail brush and was brushing her hair with it, so I got the camera. So she stopped. Sigh.

Srochel video coming tomorrow, IY"H.

Friday, December 04, 2009

For posterity - bedtime

Thanks to the cousin Beans for reminding me I wanted to do my own bedtime routine blogging.

Srochel's routine is fairly unchanged for some time - bath, pajamas, teeth, books, bed. Basically, since OOL (Onset Of Llama), her bath is shared, teeth are almost never in the bathroom but wherever we chase her around the house (kinda like feeding her, hmm. This means so much for working on spitting and rinsing), and books are often with her on the couch in the living room, and she looks at them first alone while I nurse and put the baby to bed. She doesn't get sung to nearly as much anymore, probably because I don't want to wake the baby who often falls asleep first. She also doesn't ask for songs as much anymore. :(

Llama's is also fairly unchanged since she was born - bath, pajamas, teeth - sorta (although number 6 emerged today), rarely a book, nursing with the same two songs every weekday (on shabbos and holidays seasonal songs are added), then into the cribby.

Sometimes they get books together, when they both stand in the crib and I stand in front of them, reading librarian-style. But Shulamis at 13 months doesn't have nearly the patience for books that Sroch at that age did. Llama is still more interested in bending them over backwards and possibly tasting them than listening to them.

Shulamis gets sung 'Hamalach' and then a version of 'Down in the Valley' which I remade the lyrics for. (Aside - there are lots of other songs I want to remake the lyrics for to lullabize them, like the "Storybook Love" song from the 'Princess Bride' soundtrack.... but I just don't find the time...) I didn't know the real lyrics, so I looked them up online, and frankly they're quite miserable (lots of versions abound, I think I found one that alluded to being in jail because he murdered his lost love, something like that) so this is what I made up:

Down in the valley, valley so low (X4)
Hang your head over, let the wind blow (X2)
The sun has gone, dear, the sun has gone
The sun has gone, dear, the day is done
It's time for sleep now, to sleep you must go (X2)
The moon is high, love, the moon is high
In the night sky, love, the moon is high
It's time for sleep now, to sleep you must go (X2)
Roses love sunshine, violets love dew
Heaven and earth they know I love you
Know I love you, dear, know I love you
Heaven and earth they know I love you
Down in the valley, valley so low
Down in the valley, valley so low

Which reminds me, all you womenfolks out there please check out my excellent friend Tamar Rudy's new lullaby CD called "Laylabyes" (get it? 'Night' in Hebrew is 'laila'). It's only for women (and kids, natch), and it's totally wonderful and not just because I wrote the lyrics for one of the songs. Makes a great Chanuka gift! And I am just about able to not cry every single time I hear it, thank you very much.

Here's a couple pictures of Miss Toothy, not that you can see more than the 4. But she really does now have six, four on top and two on the bottom. The top ones are all big and broad, and the bottom ones are tiny little spikes, it's adorable. And when she gets cold after the bath they do chatter adorably.

Note that we're eating a peanut butter sandwich in our pajamas. When she wakes up in the morning (and alas, sometimes when she wakes up at night, although thank God that's improving since her cold is all but gone (but then again, she got a ton of vaccinations today, so...)) she nurses, and then she is READY FOR FOOD RIGHT NOW THANK YOU. A peanut butter sandwich usually does the trick.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


...tooth #5 reared it's head (um, actually it's tail, technically, or maybe it is the head but since it's upside down - oh, whatever!) today!

Think that's what's been bothering her? Gosh I hope so, because I would forever feel guilty weaning during flu season...


7:00 PM - Llama to bed, and sleep
7:30 PM - Sroch to bed (with babysitter), and sleep
9:30 PM - babysitter hears cry, finds Sroch on the floor (fell out of bed?). Puts her back in her bed. Later hypothesizes to me at 10 PM that Sroch was en route to bathroom and fell, and her bed may be wet. Nonsense, say I - if her bed was wet, Sroch would have awoken.
10:00 PM - Llamafreak (TM) begins. Babysitter holds her, fervently wishing for...
10:10 PM - Mommy arrives, takes Llama, nurses Llama. Llama back to bed.
11:05 PM - Llamafreak (TM) restarts. Mommy enters room, shushes, and checks on Sroch, who...
11:06 PM - Sroch is awakened by Mommy attempted to remove soaking wet bedding. Off to bathroom, change pajamas, change underwear, change sheets
11:10 PM - Sroch complains about choice of sheets. Mommy has little patience.
11:15 PM - Sroch back in bed, Llamafreak (TM) continues. Mommy manages to calm her down by holding her and singing (usually Llamas ONLY let Mommies calm them down when there is nursing involved).
11:20 PM - Llama asleep in arms.
11:22 PM - Llama back in crib.
11:25 PM - Llamafreak (TM) resumes.
11:30 PM - Mommy brings Llama a dose of ibuprofen, since she has no fever, she's not stuffed up at all, but clearly SOMETHING is bothering her (phantom teeth?) so we will medicate.
11:40 PM - Llamafreak (TM) winding down, alas Llama is alone in her room at this point, because otherwise we were gonna have Mommyfreak (patent pending) and this would be bad for all parties.
11:45 PM - Llama quiet, presumably asleep.
Many (snort) blissful hours pass.
5:00 AM - Sroch comes crying into our room. The problem? "I want a new room. I don't want to sleep in MY room. I want a PINK room!" I take her to the bathroom, we make plans for her to call her friend Pesha in the morning to discuss pink bedrooms. She is about to bug out at mention of going back to bed, I fear for Llamafreak - the Revenge (TM), so I wake up Yoav to take her back to bed (sorry honey).
5:30 AM - Llama wakes up. Naturally. I go in, Sroch has thoughtfully already come to the door to tell us she's up. I tell Sroch to go get in my (germ-ridden, sigh) bed, I nurse baby.
5:50 AM - Llama back in bed, Sroch (appears to be) asleep in my bed. I try to sleep for about three minutes in the guest room, realize futility, come into living room to work. Well, I'll just blog first...
6:00 AM - commence blogging
6:05 AM - Sroch pads out to tell me it IS morning. I send her to the couch to rest some more, because it's not morning yet. She tells me she wants to sleep on the couch, she can even cover herself. Great. She now interrupts me typing literally every twenty seconds. And I think I hear Llama moaning in her room.


Good thing they're cute.

Llama has a cold and indeterminate teething. We took her to the doc on Thursday, and again yesterday - just a cold. Sroch is going through a spate of bedwetting, which if it continues we'll test for a UTI I guess.

I am feeling much better from my cold, even if I sound like an octogenarian smoker, and I mean one who's been smoking thistles dipped in tar and rolled in asbestos for 80 years.

IY"H within a week or so we'll be back to our regularly scheduled sleeping. Something to daven for!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On my way to bed...

I'm sick, Llama's not-quite-totally-well, but Sroch is bli ayin hara fine and was in fine form this evening.

She burped, and said "bless you to me!"

I smiled and said, Sarah Rochel, where did you learn that from, who says that?

"Nobody, I taught it to myself."

Sarah Rochel, you delight me! That means you make me happy.

"Bless you to me! Bless you to me! BLESS YOU TO ME!"

And bless her indeed, and bless us all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Winter is finally here, and by 'winter' I mean 'when it gets coldish at night and in the morning it will be much warmer outside than in my apartment.'

The occasional booger attack notwithstanding, thank God we're all well. Well, I think we are. Something has been causing Llama to wake up a lot at night lately, but whether it's 13-month-old separation anxiety, teething, sniffles or God-forbid something ewwy like worms, we don't know.

So, we're mostly well, but no complaints.

Last shabbos it rained a little bit (YAY!) and as soon as it did, Sarah Rochel left the shabbos table and walked to the bookshelf:

"I need to get my siddur so I can say todah to Hashem for the rain."

I love love love love love the Israeli attitude towards rain, which is the Jewish attitude, which is that rain = only good = God. Having grown up in a land of much rain myself (forecast for Houston for 10 months a year - afternoon thundershowers), my very soul thirsts for it (to say nothing of my skin), but here it's such a tangible, direct-from-God gift. And we certainly need more of it (and not just because the new excess water tax added 120 shekel to my last bill).

Shulamis is now a capital-p Person. She talks very deliberately, if not always understandably (or almost ever, actually, but we're getting there). She's learning things every day, which sounds so trite but it's true. Like she picks up hats and knows to put them on her head, my head. She knows 'nose' and 'teeth.' She gets a sippy cup in bed now. She colors with the Magnadoodle (well, she tries). She says 'um' for food and 'up' for up (sometimes) and 'poop' (sometimes) and her bye-byes are much more regular and focused.

She has stood a couple of times but it seems it was accidental, since she looked very surprised - and then dropped to her diaper clad landing pad. She is seriously thinking about using her walker for actual forward motion, but isn't quite convinced yet. Her four teeth are almost all the way in (and that's quite enough teeth for now, thank you!) (ow).

And of course, she's old enough to bother Sarah Rochel, as she was doing by her mere presence when I took this picture:

She who was bothering:

She only 'bothers' her when she's directly taking her toy / crayon OR when she's in the middle of the room when Sroch and friends are making a 'show' - "No she can't be the baby / kinderlach because we already have someone being the baby / kinderlach and Immmmaaaa she's BOTHERING me!" Such exciting milestones!

Speaking of milestones, Sroch's big parent-teacher evening was on Sunday last... at the same time as a dress rehearsal for me. Frowny face. I went for ten minutes, long enough to collect the art projects Sroch made for me (place mat for my theoretical morning coffee, coffee-cup shaped pad of paper for writing her mitzvah notes, etc), to make the art project I had to leave for her and of course the lollipop they provided to leave in her drawer. It was also long enough to hear her teachers gush about her wonderfulness and how she brightens up the classroom, and long enough for one of the mothers I don't know to say, "Oh YOU'RE Sarah Rochel's mother - we hear so much about her!"

Nachas, nachas, poo poo poo.

They also prepared a little questionnaire for each child, so we could read the answers. Did you know Sroch's favorite thing Mommy does is waking her up? And she wishes I would buy her a 'sun game' (when questioned later, she was all "right, a sun I can play with." Oh). She's scared of lions, laughs when tickled, cries when hit, and loves her Abba. Aww...

This blog post was just interrupted by...
-Srochel wetting her bed for the third time in a week (we are NOT amused. Must stop letting her drink so much at night)
-Llama stopping to moan in her sleep and properly waking up. Yoav's surmise was it was her stuffed nose (which isn't so stuffed at all), so we get the humidifier going. She also felt a tiny bit warm to me, so we changed her diaper, pulled out the flashlight and did a worm check (blech) - B"H, no indications - and since we haven't the foggiest what's bothering her...
-A milestone for me: I have administered medicine to my child in a non-oral preparation. Aren't you proud of me?

Yoav is in there with her now, because Llamas do NOT like to be held by Mommies who aren't nursing them. Sroch is already back asleep after her sheet, blanket, underwear and pajama change (and trip to the toilet).

Lastly, I have just deleted some 1000 pictures from the camera, so once again I am flush with memory and hope to get you some good videos soon.

Here is Sroch doing some work in her 'get ready for Kindergarten' workbook - isn't that good drawing? In all sincerity, I am thinking of getting her a smidgen of OT for her fine motor stuff, as most of her peers color and cut better than she, and hey, it's free.

And here we are washing our socks and dress out in the sink, after we came home from school having colored on our own clothing. Thank you God for sending me ganenets who use washable markers.

And you should see her hair when it's wet - it is LONG!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Last week Llama was sitting in my lap as we got undressed for the bath. Then, suddenly, my lap was very warm, and very wet. I was so, SO surprised I gasped rather loudly (I think I thought I was suddenly bitten by the slobbering warm blooded bathroom snake or something) and I totally scared Shulamis. Sroch and I tried to reassure her, something challenging to do while simultaneously impressing on her that I wouldn't like this to happen again in the future.

Last night, I hear crying from the kids' room. I think it's Llama scrounging for her pacifier, but after a minute or two I notice it's just not. It's Sarah Rochel, sitting up in her bed. Bad dream? Dunno. She was wide eyed but not conscious enough to tell me anything. She wasn't calming either, so I took her into my room and tucked her into Yoav's bed. Crying, crying. I take her onto my lap sitting on the bed... And suddenly the warm sweetness that is a 3 year old in fuzzy footie pajamas became a warm wet sweetness.

Harumph! Fortunately, I stood up fast enough that Yoav's bed stayed dry. So we both stood there dripping for a few moments (at least she woke up enough to stop crying!) then everyone got a change of clothes. She went right back to sleep too.

... There are things about infants I miss.

This ain't one of them.

(Neither is Llama's little 11:30 PM-2 AM sleep for two minutes, up for twenty minutes cycling last night, for that matter... yawn... In the end, Sarah Rochel slept in Yoav's bed, I slept in my bed, Yoav slept in the recliner with Llama, until Sroch woke me at 4:30 to ask to go to her bed (!), at which point she climbed on top of Yoav in the chair, who woke a little later, put both unconscious kids in their beds and finally got to bed at 5.)


Monday, November 16, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quarter-sick day

Yesterday as you know, Llama was sporting a 104+ fever in the early AM (!!), but by noontime was fever free and happy. And thank God, it stayed that way, and she even went back to the metapelet today! It's such a gift how children heal quickly. She's still a bit unsettled - like she just woke up to nurse for about 45 seconds before falling back asleep - but okay, thank God!

And as for me... Well, the strep test came back negative (harumph!) but upon consult with the doc I am remaining on the antibiotics somewhat since we don't know what was making me ill but since I've started to improve, it may have been some bacterial infection somewhere. So on the penicillin I stay. This morning I was no longer feverish (thank you God!) but was still weak and sore of throat. By afternoon most of the weakness was gone (thank you God again!) and by now (nighttime) my energy is fine, my throat is horribly sore (along with attending neck pain and even some pain radiating to my ear) but is not as bad as it was... so thank God, we're on the mend!

Did I mention thank God?

And so here is our scene at dinner tonight.

I served lasagne (that I had taken outa the freezer - please, let's not overstate my recovery here):

One piece for Srochel. One piece for me. One partial piece of the inside softer pieces for Llama.

Srochel ate half her piece.

Llama ate three-quarters of my piece.

Llama and I then split her piece, Sroch's leftovers, and my remaining shreds. :)

Note that Sarah Rochel has already lost sufficient interest in eating that she's coloring.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update on we the ill

After Llama's impressive 104 temperature earlier today, we dosed her around 9 AM with Acamol (instead of Motrin), her fever went down... and bli ayin hara, it's been gone ever since. I did give her another dose around 3 PM prophylactically, but thank God - she was doing much better. Yay!

Good thing too, since her strep test came back negative.

I crawled off to the doctor this morning, and she took a look at my throat and says she thinks it IS strep - yay, strep is TREATABLE - and so while my culture results won't be ready until tomorrow, I'm on antibiotics already. Didn't stop the evil shivers and tremors this afternoon, though, which only abated when I popped acetaminophen a mere two hours after taking ibuprofen.

So - it's acetaminophen for the win! Yay!

Thanks to God and the two seminary girls who came over today, made dinner, picked up Sroch, bathed the kids, washed dishes, etc, etc.

Sroch is unsettled but was really quite good until bedtime, when from her bed she started shouting NO, NO, NO! really loudly. So I had to stay in their room singing until she fell asleep, which only took a half hour or so. :) (And then wide-awake-'hey-I'm-not-feeling-yucky-so-I-have-energy!' Llama had to cry for a couple minutes on her own, sorry kid!)

So I grimace as I swallow, and bid thee all goodnight! IY"H tomorrow we'll all be doing much, much better.

Log - end of day 1, beginning of day 2

Mommy 3:00 PM - 2 acetaminophen
Llama 5:00 PM - consume chocolate chip cookie, fully one half of food consumed today
Llama 5:45 PM - feeling warm again, fight syringe of Motrin
Llama 6:00 PM - fall asleep on Mommy without nursing
Mommy 6:10 PM - is it getting colder in here?
Mommy 6:15 PM - is it snowing in here? Take temperature: 101 Fahrenheit.
Mommy 6:20 PM - retire to couch, there to shiver and tremble until husband arrives home (with Sroch who got dinner and a bath at a friend's house) who administers...
Mommy 6:30 PM - 3 ibuprofen
Mommy 7:15 PM - tremors stop, circulation returns to fingers, still a little cold
Mommy 8:00 PM - blessed sweat of fever broken, combined with chicken soup
Mommy 10:00 PM - to bed
Mommy 11:45 PM - awoken by shivering
Mommy 11:50 PM - 3 ibuprofen thoughtfully left next to my bed along with water, because we knew this would happen
Mommy 12:20 AM - shivering tremors stop
Mommy 1:00 AM - repeat of blessed sweat of broken fever
Llama 1:00 AM - awake, crying
Llama 1:15 AM - struggle, albeit less, to down syringe of Motrin. Little nursing, lot of cuddling. Armpit temperature readings are 102.4 on one side, 103.9 on other side.
Llama 1:40 AM - cry that (hopefully) means fever broke, now I'm sweaty. Go in, little bit of nursing, lots of cuddling, back in cribby to, hopefully, sleep
Llama 1:58 AM - happy sounds as we play in our crib
Mommy 2:02 AM - finish blogging all this :)
Llama 5:00 AM - wake up unhappy. I send in Yoav because...
Mommy 5:00 AM - wake up freezing cold again. Frantically try to do mental calculations if I can take more medicine. Give up on math, just take 2 ibuprofen.
Mommy 6:00 AM - fever mostly gone, head pounding
Llama 6:30 AM - comes to Mommy, just lays still on me.
Llama 7:00 AM - nurse a little bit
Llama 7:10 AM - rectal temperature of 104.7. This is getting out of hand.

Highlights omitted: Sarah Rochel telling me she wants to be on me instead of Shulamis, wishing she were Shulamis, "I want to come out of your belly second not first," and so on.

Sick us, en route to doc's appointment this morning (I wore the girl because she would NOT let me put her down). I still need to go to my doctor tomorrow, but no appointments are available. Still, think I'll go anyway. My throat is killing me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

1 AM

Yoav just came home (!) and we were talking a bit, and I told him how I'm amazed that I have so much to do, and that a did a ton of stuff today, and yet I STILL have so much to do!

Which is why I keep going so long between blog posts, thus leaving you staring at my you-think-I-abuse-my-children post for a full week.

My apologies.

As a follow up, God is good (duh) and Sroch behaved herself again for a few days (the day after that previous debacle, I asked a few times if she wanted to discuss it and she said no). Last night it threatened to begin again... and besides (quietly) asking God not to do this to me again, I (audibly) asked Hashem to please help Sarah Rochel sleep so she will have koach (strength) and be healthy and so on. And it didn't help in two seconds, but it did help.

Or God did help. Well, all of the above. :)

Tonight bedtime was, pardon me, dreamy. Thanks Hashem!

Been quite busy with play rehearsals, and tickets go on sale tomorrow, yay!

In other news, Shulamis got a THIRD tooth sometime on shabbos afternoon (seriously, it was NOT there in the morning, but was there by nightfall) - first top tooth! It's coming in slowly, and thank God doesn't seem to be bothering her much at all. Judging by the appearance of the gums right alongside, another will be her shortly as well.

Shulamis also now knows exactly where my nose is (and Yoav's too), occasionally knows where our teeth are, and says 'yah.' Oh, and we had a claim over shabbos that she also said 'Eryl' (i.e. Cheryl) but I did not, personally, witness that one.

Sarah Rochel in the last few days voluntarily went up to people and spoke to them in full Hebrew sentences. Yahooey, or as we say in Hebrew, "Fantastie!"

And WINTER CAME. We hope she stays. Tons of wind and some rain and thunder and lightening. God, since clearly you read this blog, please send oodles and oodles more rain, amen.

Now some pictures. I am so behind, whine whine, good night!

As you see, we went from crazy hot to winter in about a week's time.

And now, poof, instant winter!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 1309 of parenting, in which I once again did not kill Sarah Rochel

...but it was a much closer thing this time than ever before.

Sroch stalls at bedtime, not always, but often. This is a known fact. We give a little leeway, so she wheedled me into a second book plus one in bed, and then we had to get out of bed to pee. Fine.

Immediately returning to bed, she said now she had to poop (pardon my language, gentle reader). Insert me waxing eloquent about always speaking the emmes (truth), and if she really doesn't have to poop I'll be upset that she didn't tell me the emmes, etc, etc. No avail. Off to the toilet, therein to sit for several minutes until she said "nope!" and hopped off.

And it started to deteriorate.

Much kvetching about getting our pajamas back on, who will put her hand in the sleeve, etc, etc. "Fine, just sleep with no pajamas," wail, wail, wail. "Sarah Rochel, you did NOT just hit Mommy, right? RIGHT?" (Yes, I know, I tell her to tell me the truth, then I invite her to lie - this was not my finest moment.) Finally into pajamas, I tell her for the first time (of many) that "I am very, VERY upset," and off to bed.

And then she just turns into Uber Terror Toddler. We get the loud "NO!"'s, we get the kicking and screaming (waking up Llama, natch), we get the defiant glares, we get the running out of bed into the other room. I threaten to turn off the light, she continues, I turn off the light. I try leaving, she follows. I try sitting on the bed, she attacks. Now we have kicking, screaming, hitting and biting. And snatching my glasses off my face! The biting and glasses snatching are SO beyond how she behaves even when she's upset that I gasp, and I push her away from me and into the bed.

I push her away from me quite strongly. And I haven't been scooping her off the floor and dumping her in the bed too gently either.

Finally, I say to her, "Sarah Rochel, I'm very angry, and I'm leaving. I'm leaving because I want to hit you. But I won't hit you, so I'm leaving." And I go. She follows, I go back in to quiet the baby, she tries to come back in, I tell her to stay away from me because I'm too angry, she stays in the hallway wailing until I hear her throw up a little (sigh), baby goes back to sleep (thank you God!). Back out there, I take her to my room, put her on the bed, and sit next to her for fifteen minutes. She quiets. I tuck her in, adjust the light, give her hugs and kisses and leave.

Now, notwithstanding the fact that she STILL came back out a few minutes later (when I had already started typing the above) and asked for her blankie (I told her do whatever she wants, I have no strength left)... I think she's okay now.

So what happened???

On her side, she was overtired... and she was testing. She hasn't had a bout of testing that strong in more than a year, I think.

On my side... I have said before that NO ONE can make you as angry as your child. I, thank you God, really almost never get angry. Maybe once a year - seriously. It's a gift I am grateful to God for. But Sarah Rochel has the ability to make me furious in about twenty seconds. It's truly amazing, and - I have said this before too - it is truly amazing how few children are abused, since when you have a hysterical person smacking and biting you, the part of you that saw this scene from 'Airplane' too many times as a child can only think of hitting the kid just to make it stop. Which of course it wouldn't.

Whenever I have wanted to hit Sroch, it was almost always to do just that - stop the flow. Tonight was the first time I wanted to hit her punitively. I don't like that.

Now, why am I blogging this, as opposed to hiding this deep in my heart?

I will answer with a quotation:
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Thank you Dumbledore.

Nothing makes me more ashamed than that anger made me want to use physical force to discipline my child.

Nothing makes me prouder than the fact that I defied the anger and chose not to do so.

So this was a cathartic blog post for me, but I also want to let the rest of you out there know, it is capital-N Normal to want to do the wrong thing. But you are also capital-A Able to do the right thing too. And while I was sitting on the edge of my eldest's bed, hearing the baby stirring and getting kicked and my clothes bitten, I asked Hashem to help me.

And that's the best parenting tool we have.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Tooth number two just broke through!

Sarah Rochel: "Now she has a teeth, not a tooth!"

Llama's first birthday aftermath

Sarah Rochel - regressing into baby clothes.
Llama - trying to sleep on the floor.

Sroch actually went ahead and tore Llama's birthday hat in two, and then with a great deal of self-awareness, told me because she wanted Shulamis not to have it anymore, and was ready for it to be HER second birthday. I am SO proud of her for...

-taking out her agression on the hat, not the sister
-understanding that what she did was bad BUT she knew why she did it*
-taking 24 hours of Little Sister's Birthday before she displayed any jealousy

*So after she ripped it and told me why, I said, "Do you feel good now?" I was expecting her to say no. But she said yes.

Say it with me...




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Birthday pictures - the I-have-no-time initial post





(Why does Picassa only let 4 pictures at once?)
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Sunday, October 18, 2009


"Mommy, where's Shulamis's birthday party going to be?"

It's going to be at our house, silly goose. Where do you think it should be?

"It should be in a CLEAN house Mommy!"


Monday, October 12, 2009

Unrelated to Srochs and Llamas - Shlock Rock is now pay what you want

Attention music lovers!

Beit Shemesh resident and paragon of Shlock, Lenny Solomon, has just
released an amazing new album called "Shlock Rock - No Limits."

In an amazing move, however, allows you to download the
new album for the low price of.... whatever you want!

Want to pay $5? It's yours. Want to pay $10? It's yours. Want to pay
$450? You won't be turned down! Want to pay $20,000? Well, if you

12 ORIGINAL songs* - pay what you want - delivered immediately to your
computer. It's amazing!

By all means, support a Beit Shemesh local, but more than that, treat
yourself to an amazing, great new album.

*I personally love Shlock Rock parodies, but Lenny's original stuff is awesome AND when you walk down the block whistling it no one
thinks you're whistling a secular song that sounds just like it! Not
that there's anything wrong with that.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silly and sweet

Sarah Rochel started telling me a story at dinner, and I asked if I could get the camera and video it. She kindly agreed. She made it up all by herself, and truly, out of thin air as far as I can tell. I am most impressed that the stirring in Ramat Beit Shemesh is loud enough to be heard in America:

By the way, I am really impressed with her grasp of geography. She understands that America is so far away and over a big ocean, so you can't drive (she really wants to take a boat, though). She knows Uncle Boaz lives in the same part of America as Saba and Savta, and Uncle Micah lives in the same part as Bubbie and Zayde, AND she understands those two parts are far away too. (Sometimes she remembers one is New York and one is Houston or Texas.) She did ask, however, why Abba wasn't going to be going to see Bubbie and Zayde upon leaving Saba and Savta.

Speaking of which, she has asked why Yoav is there, and I told her because Saba needed him more than we did. She asked why, and I said because he was sooo sad. And not only was that all she asked about it (I am willing to talk to her about death, but she didn't ask, so I do NOT feel compelled to bring it up), but she was magnanimous enough to be happy to 'share' Abba. I was really, really proud of her.

Our Simchas Torah was a bit of a challenge, although our neighbors were terrific and hosted us for meals, danced with Sarah Rochel in shul and so on. But it is hard for a father not to be with his children on this particular holiday, and vice versa. Both girls also missed Kol Hanearim (unlike previous years) but please God, there will be many, many more yom tovim we spend together, amen!

Anyway, here's some sleeping Llama action (that's the sweet part).

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Almost one...

I was about to write a post (new motto - blogging: it's better than cleaning) about Llama's developmental level of 'doing stuff' now that she's, yikes!, almost one. And I was inspired to look back at my blogs of Sroch at the same age.

You can see all of the February 2007 posts, or just this one, with Sroch's first word list.

Inevitable comparisons? Check!

With Sarah Rochel, I didn't know what was normal, developmentally (well, except from books) and so I didn't think it unreasonable to try and teach my 11 month old where her nose was or to speak to her as if she understood. With Shulamis, because she is The Baby I think of her as The Baby and thus not yet ready for words, ABC's, body parts, pre-calculus, etc, etc.

Her turning one changes all that, because a one year old is NOT a baby. And let's not forget, I was reading by the age of 2, which I'm sure has something to do with all of this.

SO anyway, Shualmis's's's Current Word List:
1. Um! UM! UMMMMM!!!!!: this is a recent one. It means either 'food!' or 'general excitement!' which in her life, of course, usually means 'food!'
2. Buh: like bye-bye. She will wave bye-bye nicely as soon as you give up on her doing so on command.
3. Tongue-click / smack: obviously a sign of her proficiency in global languages. Means "look, I entertain you," or "gimme some of that food you got there, because, hey, I entertain you."
4. Abba. Abbababababa. A-buh: means Yoav. Maybe. I think so...
5. Mah / Muuh: Me. Right.
6. Wow! / Woah!: this is more 'general excitement that is not related to food.'

She is also developing a conscience, like when she stands up in the tub now, you just have to make a face at her and she shakes her head no and sits down. For about four seconds.

Thank God, she's been a lot healthier this year than Baby Sarah Rochel was (bli ayin hara!). Good thing too, cause unlike her big sister, Llama hates medicine. Now she has a bit of a cough, and I actually only gave her a partial dose of the expectorant tonight because I was tired of fighting to get it in her mouth. Sroch woulda taken for her, easy.

We (Big Sister and I) tried sending Llama down the slide at the park, but Llama was so clearly baffled as to WHY, if it's clearly a drop downward, you would do that on purpose, when we try to AVOID going over precipices? Of course, her avoidance of those is only downward. She climbed up our slide in the backyard today, all the way to the top. And then I took her down, because she hasn't the foggiest idea what to do once she's up there, much like her climbing onto our kiddie chairs and the couch, which she can do now!

Oh, and I let Sroch give her a piece of Bamba today. Somehow I managed to avoid nuts and chocolate for her for (just about) a full year, VERY impressive considering her big sister, She Who Eats Junk Food. Of course, I'm assuming here Llama has never picked up a piece off the floor when we were out of the house, or at the metapelet. But it's her first peanut exposure that I know of!

Hmm. Maybe that's why I've already had to go in her room twice since bedtime? Nah... I think it's the cough instead. Shoulda made her take the medicine...

Ein Chemed (and a bonus Yeladudis video)

Bonus video from yesterday:

This morning after the promised thrill of Sroch and I organizing my closet (well, one shelf, and most of it is still laid out on the bed, but nu nu), we got our act together and went to the Ein Chemed national park.

It is SO great.

And it would have been greater with two parents there. Sarah Rochel was just... kvetchy. Titchy. Picky. Everything was stressful - me walking with the stroller too far ahead of her (four feet), being anywhere near the random camel waiting there to give people rides, being on the trail, being off the trail. She was more or less okay much of the time, but the capital-Q Kvetch was there beneath the surface at all times.

Still, we had a lovely time. Or I did, anyway. The natural spring was all but dried up - we did eventually find a little bit of running water (more like a moving puddle, but at one point it did cascade in a stunning two inch waterfall). Some of the natural rock formations reminded me strongly of the much-missed Pedernales area back in Texas. As a destination, it is VERY well done, with full wheelchair (and thus stroller) accessibility, lots of ropes to keep you from falling into the, ahem, rushing water, and even a decent playground (which is where we spent most of our time). I really hope to go back this winter when there will be water, and husband too.

The only time Sroch really perked up was in the cool Crusader-era farmhouse ruin that's on the grounds. I started explaining to her that it was 1200 years old (-ish) and you can learn things from what is left, like the hole in the ceiling meant they cooked or had a heating fire there, etc. So then she started telling ME what I saw (and what was cute was not what she was saying, but the authority with which she said it). Hope it came out well - it was like the dark ages in there.

(Sorry, couldn't help it.)

Look! Water! Really!

Note Sroch's expression of abject fear because I had stepped away from her posing on the 'turtle' in the 'stream.' I asked why she was scared. She said the camel. Item: the camel was a five minute walk the other way and was nowhere in sight.

This is the outside of our crusader house.

Millstones: crusader playpens.

Sroch the tourguide explains it all...