Monday, February 23, 2009

The delightfulness of Sarah Rochel

"Soon, soon I'm going to eat up the sky."
You are? You're going to eat it?
"Yah, I'm going to eat it all up."
"So the birdies can't fly in the sky anymore."
Oh! But won't the birdies be sad?
"I let them be sad."
(later, reading one of our new books, the classic 'Madeline'...)
"There are birdies flying in the trees."
Well of course they're in the trees - they can't fly in the sky because you ate it all up.
"Yah." (pauses, thinks) "No, not yet. Soon I eat it all up."


In the bookstore tonight, gesturing to the shelf of Russian travel guides: "I know all these books! So buy me all of them, okay Mommy?"


I'm reading her our other new book, "The Mitzvah Girl" (which is what I call her ALL THE TIME, so clearly it had to be purchased, AND it's about the upcoming Purim, so come on!), and as we get to the touching end where the girl gives the poor girl her precious homemade costume Queen Esther crown and I'm having trouble reading it to Sarah Rochel because I'm crying (that's right - still nursing, still a hormonal weepy sap) (shah, like I can blame it on the hormones - I'm really just a weepy sap stam), and I finish and say, "See, she gave her crown away to the poor girl with no costume. And now she and her Abba have walked back down the street." And Sarah Rochel looks at the graphic and says, "And her head came off?"

Well, if you don't look closely, it DOES kinda look like her head came off.

One can only wonder at the educational impact that makes.

More Sarah Rochel videos as she tells us about boys calling the girls uchey in gan: coming soon!


BMA #3,782b

Since gan is literally next door and tzharaon is three buildings down, basically, I admit I have been tempted (and occasionally succumbed) to leaving a sleeping baby at home whilst I ferry Sroch to one or back from the other.

Today I did so my calling the house phone from my cell, putting the house phone on 'speaker' right next to the crib, putting my cell phone on 'mute' - and walking out, listening all the while.

Okay, I did it twice.

This morning, no problem, baby slept, all was well.

This afternoon, baby woke up moments after I left. But just a little cry, a little chirp. I hustled to pick up Sarah Rochel, and by the time we were on our way back - she was crying for real.

Because I'm brilliant, I take the phone OFF of mute and start going - Shh, shh, shh. See, the phone is on SPEAKER, so she can hear me! And then I give the phone to Sarah Rochel:

"Hello, baby? Baby? Baby, you must go to sleep! Go to sleep baby! Shush shush! Goodbye!"

It was rather cute.

Also rather cute is what she does now when she wakes up in the middle of the night, or in the morning. Lately the Llama wakes up and talks to herself a little in the crib, thunks (ala early Sarah Rochel - can you tell I've been reading old blog posts lately?), sometimes falls back asleep, sometimes decides she's hungry.

So tonight she wakes up and I hear her a little. She passed out exhausted without nursing well before she fell asleep, so I don't mind going in even though she's really not asking for me yet. It's dark in there though, so I can't make out her features so well as I lean over the crib... But I cannot help but see her total body aerobics as she sees that SOMEone came to play with her! Wiggle wiggle wiggle of joy! It's a MOMMY! And she comes with MILK! Yippee!

I think she forgives me for parenting her over the phone.

Talking to Bubbie on the computer - Bubbie actually got to see a LIVE roll over demonstration.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Keep on rocking me baby

While she does totally rock, the big news here is that SHULAMIS ROLLS!

Well, one way anyway.

And today it seemed like she forgot how.

But the important part is - she learned how to roll over (one way) and I got pictures! (What, you're surprised?)

This, to be fair, is not actually the first time she rolled, but the second or third - see, she didn't warn me that it was imminent! Sarah Rochel warmed up a few times before she accomplished it, but Shulamis... I think she surprised herself, actually.




(No Llamas were hurt during the capture of this moment.)

And also in exciting developmental news... She has started LAUGHING. We knew she was one of us!! Yahooey!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All the news that I get around to fitting in here

Okay, time to catch up.

The play, and what happened while I was there. The show itself was wonderful, and despite seeming unglamorous, my job of pressing 'play' some 40 times was actually intense (to say nothing of the fact that I had put together a lot of the stuff that I was pressing play on, but whatever). So it was work, but definitely not the same as being on stage, stress-wise... or fun-wise. Not a lot of applause when you're standing in the nosebleed section pressing play. But in six shows I hardly messed up at all, and never really noticeably. But golly, do I want a part next year!

The second week of the shows the kids did pretty fine, although I wonder if three nights of someone else putting her to bed is what upset Shulamis out of perfect bedtime compliance. Hmmm...

And then, Thursday night after the shows...

IKEA! Yoav Dovid Druyan, the Best Husband in the World, got us a babysitter (from 9 PM - 1 AM, gevalt) and off we went to Ikea, which is thoughtfully open until midnight on Thursday nights (and yes, we were home by 1 AM, impressive since we pulled out of Ikea at 12:15 AM and it's in NETANYA). We finished buying all the new furniture for the girls' room - picture below - and a couple other things, like a new lamp for my work desk.

Work desk? Indeed, forsooth. Read on.

Work! As Sarah Rochel would say, SOOOOOO, I went to see my boss, and SOOOOO, he said... Well, basically, by the grace of God (and Talk'n'Save) I think I'm going to be working from home from now on! I still need to go into the office once a week, but they offered for me to work from home and I would frankly be an idiot not to accept. It is very hard to find childcare around here after 1 PM, so it's a lot simpler if I don't need to. I will send the baby out after Pesach, IY"H, and then next year I won't need to find an afternoon program for Sarah Rochel (well, I may want one every now and then, and if her school has its own I might send her sometimes, but it won't be critical).

I was of very mixed feelings when I got this offer. On one hand, it's what I wanted... BUT it takes a lot of discipline to actually work enough hours to pay the bills AND to be efficient AND to do everything else that needs to happen (for example, I could be working now, making money, but I've been blogging for the last 45 minutes, ahem). Additionally, and I have noticed this from the isolated days I've worked at home, you have to be careful not to eat all day just because your own refrigerator is available. So I'm trying to set up a work station for myself in our guest room (complete with this lamp, actually the same price at our Ikea (99 NIS) as it is in the US ($20)!), and we're going to give it a shot!

Hurray for me! And yet... it means I have to be an adult (shudder). But I'm almost 31 years old and I've managed to escape it until now. It must be my turn. In about thirty more years I get to stop though, okay??

Toys! Laughter! Shulamis laughed this week! Totally delicious! She's also been talking a lot more lately (I have a video loading even as we speak). She's also not only grabbing for things but she's successfully holding them and shaking them and occasionally even getting them to her mouth! Pictures below.

Bribery! I find I end up giving Sarah Rochel (small amounts of) candy all the time. I ought to be bothered by this, but I'm not. And I made her chocolate milk the other day, for no reason. It's like how I keep giving Shulamis her Nuk pacifier, even though I'm convinced it's not the best for her oral development (versus other brands). It's this odd dichotomy of wanting to parent these children properly and loving them enough that I want to give them everything they want, even if it's not good for them.

I know, I know. See growing up comment above. I'll work on it.

Toilet training. Hah. The Elder Highness faked me out again this week, telling me at night that she was saying "Bye bye diapers!" and wearing underwear and using the toilet for an hour or so... and then the next morning staying dry... until about five minutes after she got to gan. My unflappable, amazing, gentle and sweet ganenet said we shouldn't send her to gan in underwear again until she's had a shabbos of success at home. But I didn't want to lose the momentum! Except, alas, there was no momentum after all, except insomuch as it was a 'moment' of wanting to be out of diapers.


Rain. We had some - yay! We need a whole lot more - yikes! It rained a bit last week (during the play, including some hail (!) and SNOW (!!) on the highway on our way home at midnight. Fortunately the cast bus driver was excellent, despite the preteen screaming in the back of the bus), and some last night and today. But more, more MORE please Hashem!!

And now for the pictures! I did a slideshow again, since it was just simpler and I didn't want you to miss any cute magnificence.

She was talking for like five minutes before I said, duh, grab the camera.

After I shot the above pictures in the tent, Sarah Rochel insisted on doing a video. I wouldn't have included it except for her adorable line when she's done singing.

A lot of boring detail about Shulamis and sleep

Hello, my name is Miriam and I'll be playing the part of the bad mother this evening.

Well, fortunately, as of about 10 seconds ago, that's not true, but that's the lead-off line for this post that I've been thinking of for the last thirty minutes of bedtime.

Shoot. Back in five.

...Okay, was back in one. I have hesitated to blog about this, but now that, well, now that things aren't perfect, I'm not scared of an ayin hara. :)

When I was pregnant, I devoured a couple of tomes on getting children to sleep properly, "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and the biblical caliber "Good Night, Sleep Tight." I studied them, the latter principally, ad nauseum (no pregnancy pun intended). Anyway, by incorporating their suggestions from the get-go (and, I must say, by being blessed with an amazing infant who never confused night and day and was sleeping like 5 hours a night from the first week of her life!) I've had a completely different - that is to say, vastly improved - nighttime situation with Shulamis than I had with Sarah Rochel.

Shulamis SHOULD, therefore, be sleeping about 8 or 9 hours straight these days, waking to eat, and then sleeping another 4 hours or so.

Well, she HAS done it. She IS capable. But lately, it's been tending towards sleep 5-6 hours, wake up and eat, and then sleep another 5 hours OR sleep 3 hours, eat again, and sleep 2 more.

Insert sound of me drumming fingers. Harumph.

The secret truth is I don't really mind so much, because I don't care if my one middle-of-the-night wakeup is at 2 AM or 5 AM. Well, 5 would be nicer, but really, it would be fine except that this is a deterioration, and I don't want to lose all my hard work. For example, I have tried very hard to not establish a suck-to-sleep association with this kid, or at least not eat-to-sleep (she, alas, almost always falls asleep with the pacifier in her mouth. Yoav reminds me that Sarah Rochel used to do that at this age too...). And up until the last week or two, it was great! But she's been falling asleep nursing at bedtime... and after she wakes up from her naps and I feed her, she falls asleep again!

So I have to move up her bedtime, because if she's falling asleep whenever I nurse she's too tired. Okay. Moved it up. And NOW... she and Sarah Rochel are going to sleep at the same time in the same room. Insert sound of my hair not even waiting to be pulled out in frustration, but leaping out of its follicles of its own accord.

Both children are in bed. Both are quiet. Tiptoe out. Baby whimpers as she settles into sleep, and Sarah Rochel yells out, "MOMMY the baby's crying!" ARGHHHHHHH!!!!

Last night both tired children didn't want to go to sleep. Both insisted on eating more after they'd been put in their beds (toast for one, milk for the other - at least nursing doesn't make for a bunch of crumbs in the crib). Both did their fair share of crying as they moved from tired to overtired.

And today, all of Shulamis's (aside: Shulamis'? Shulamis's? Shula-misses?) naps (except for the one in the stroller when we were outside) only started with me leaving her alone to cry for a couple minutes. And she takes 4 naps a day!!

So tonight, Sarah Rochel is all "I don't want to sleep," Shulamis is essentially saying the same thing. And I nurse and I sing and I cover Sarah Rochel about eighty times (in actuality, it was 9 times)... I pick up the crying, flailing Llama and hold her tight, at which she quiets. I put her down, and she cries. I hold both her hands and put my cheek next to hers, and she quiets. I let go, she cries, and Sarah Rochel thoughtfully yells from 18 inches away, "Mommy, the baby's crying!" I say thank you, I'm aware of it. I keep patting and shushing, Sarah Rochel is patting and shushing her dolls as well (she had already nursed them while I was nursing Shlama), and boy is she loud (and unrhythmic!).

I eventually tell her that the baby is going to cry for a couple of minutes before she falls asleep. Sarah Rochel says, "I sleeping now." I say GOOD, and I'll be right outside the door. I go, baby cries, Sroch calls me back in again and again until I say, "I don't want to hear another word from you until tomorrow morning," (but in a nice way) and I'm outa there.

Sarah Rochel is asleep, and Shulamis is asleep.

Time since I put the first one in the bed? 1 hour, 23 minutes.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 things about my girlies

There's an unfortunate Facebook trend just now to write 25 random things about yourself for the whole world to see. There was even a very funny Time article about it.

While no one has 'tagged' me to do so, I wondered if I could come up with such a list about my two girlies. I suspect it may end up being about me, but still...

1. Nothing rhymes with 'Rivka', as in when you try to sing a song about Shulamis Rivka. Not much rhymes with 'Shulamis' either, come to think of it.

2. Sarah Rochel now thinks of daughters as 'sisters,' meaning if she wants to play with you, she will say, "Now I will be the mommy and you'll be the sister. Okay sister? You want me to make you lunch sister?" Maybe a bit too much Berenstain Bear influence there, I don't know.

3. I showed Sarah Rochel a map of America today trying to explain the difference between New York and Texas (well, you need a lot more than a map to explain the difference there, but I digress). She then pointed to Colorado and asked where that was. I told her it was far away from both New York and Texas. And then she asked - why?

4. You know when you hear a machine's repetitive sounds, the white noise often sounds like something discernible? Here I am thinking of my electric pump. When I pumped for Sarah Rochel, it usually 'said' to me either 'adequate, adequate' or (and this must mean something), 'white power, white power.' When I now pump for Shulamis, it says 'way to go' (or 'what up bro'), and 'rosenblatt.' This is of course somehow reflective of the two girls, dunno how.

5. Shulamis today picked up and held for like ten minutes... an empty Doritos bag.

6. These were the same Doritos Sarah Rochel had for dinner the other night while I was at the play.

7. After two nights of the play, Sarah Rochel said, "Mommy, I want YOU to stay with me tonight!" Ouch.

8. Sroch often mentions things vis-a-vis the baby, as in, "Babies don't eat candy, right?" and "Babies don't color, right?" and so on. However, when we discuss that "babies don't use the potty," the logical connection that we SHOULD use it since we're not a baby doesn't carry over. Oh well.

9. Sarah Rochel still says 'pasghetti.'

10. I do not actually want to correct her on saying 'pasghetti,' to say nothing of 'aminals' and 'earrings.' Earrings, you say? Indeed. She refers to my diamond engagement earring on my left hand, my plain gold one from the wedding, etc. It's cute!

11. I secretly think Sarah Rochel is superior in all ways to just about every one in the world.

12. I am positive Shulamis will be as well, except frankly, she just doesn't do much yet.

13. When Shulamis poops, it usually leaks out the upper left quadrant of her diaper. Now this, THIS means something.

14. I am tempted to buy fuzzy red pajamas for Shulamis now in every single size they're made. Hey, end of winter sales - rough stuff.

15. I fully expect the Llama to one day be really annoyed at me for calling her 'the Llama.'

16. Yoav and I agree that we're looking forward to our children being embarrassed at what we do or say about them.

17. Saying "our children" still seems pretty darn surreal. I very frequently say "my daughter," forgetting I have to qualify that remark. Thank God!

18. Both Sarah Rochel and Shulamis have gmail addresses. Well, they had to to become writers on this blog. I really wonder if they will end up using them one day. We'll see.

19. Several of Sarah Rochel's friends call her 'Sarah Rochel Droooyan" because that's how she labels herself.

20. Last night around 4 AM, Sarah Rochel must have come into our room, probably to ask for her sippy cup which she couldn't find. I only very very barely remember prodding Yoav awake to tend to her, I cannot at all remember what I said to him... a few minutes later my brain caught up, and I came out to the kitchen to find her on a stool and him groggily getting her a cup of juice. It's flipping 4 in the morning. I send him back to bed, and actually acquiesce and let Sroch take the juice to bed (a big no no) because I realize that all three of us are basically sleep walking through this whole dumb episode. Yoav doesn't really remember what happened either.

21. Shulamis used to have a wrinkly tushy, but it has fleshed out very nicely now.

22. I secretly want to hang up elegant, framed, black and white artsy photos of my daughters' naked bottoms in our bathrooms. But I don't, because despite #16 above, I'm not entirely cruel.

23. Neither one of my girls have their English names spelled the way I wanted them to be on their official paperwork. Oh well.

24. Sarah Rochel helped me vote this week by sealing my envelope and putting it into the big box. She also took home a couple extra ballots (which are slips of paper with letters on them) - "one for my Abba-li and one for my baby-li." I think she took the Pensioner's Party one for her baby.

25. I actually often use Sarah Rochel's name for the baby - "baby-li," which translates to "my baby" except "baby" is English and "li" is Hebrew.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

A momentary aside of economic commentary

It's time for the big old momma Oorah Chinese Auction again, that American Chinese auction so flipping huge that they mail catalogs all over Israel AND if an Israeli person wins, they pay to ship you the prize! Or at least, they used to. But you pay the tax. Still, good deal.

Anyway, I was flipping through the catalog and noticed something very interesting - almost half of the prizes are money. It's couched in different ways, but it's money. One is money to use on tuition. One is money to use on bills. One is money to use on gas. One on groceries, one on rent or mortgage, one on debt. One is money to use on buying yourself the honor of Maftir Yonah!

Fascinating stuff.

Anyway, tickets are just $5 and it's a great tzedaka. Go here: Oorah. And if you feel like buying $250 worth of tickets and getting my girls the free set of Mitzvah Kinder, I let.

Blood, poop and snores

Blood: On the way to the 'far park' (i.e. Park Ayalon, a whole ten minutes away versus three), Sarah Rochel suddenly fell on the ground. I stopped pushing the stroller to pick her up and noticed amidst her tears there was blood all over her face. Now, she's almost three, it's true, but by supreme luck (aka divine providence) this has never actually happened before - she has almost never bled from anything, very few cuts, scrapes and so on, certainly none of those scary head wounds. So I wasn't quite alarmed, but it was different. Anyway, it was just her nose bleeding, probably because with her slight sniffle and the arid dry weather it was prone to bleeding anyway, and then the fall cinched it.

The best part: She was wearing dark purple, and I was wearing orange, i.e. the blood hardly showed and won't stain. Oh, wait, that's the shallow best part.

The REAL best part: Sarah Rochel wasn't fazed by the blood at all. She was crying about falling, but the blood dripping down her face didn't bug her. Yay! And we're so glad I had wipes on me.

Oh, and I asked her what made her fall. She said, "A leaf made me fall." Item: the only leaf on the ground for ten yards in either direction was about the size of my pinky.

Wow. Some leaf.

Poop: At the far park, Sroch was playing happily with a friend and I was holding the baby in my lap. Suddenly I heard that special, special noise. But when I looked to investigate, I saw that the stain had spread all the way down to her heel. That's impressive. So we went straight home.

It was about 5:30ish when we got here, so I started changing the baby... and rather than get out a whole new outfit for sixty minutes, I plunked her in the sink, with Sarah Rochel a willing helper. They played very nicely - Sarah Rochel got her LittlePeople (TM) to go in the bath with the Llama, which all enjoyed. I got Sroch's dinner together on the table, gave her her baked apple as an appetizer, took the baby out and got her dressed - and now it's like an hour before the baby's bedtime range. So I ask put SR1 at the table with her baked potato and chicken leg, and tell her I'll be back in a few... I nurse and put down the baby, and come back to the living room.

It's quiet. Too quiet. "Sarah Rochel sweety, where are you?" And then I hear...

Snores: Sprawled on the baby's playmat with her menchies, she's out cold. She took like three bites of potato, meticulously ate every shred of breading on the chicken but no chicken itself, and went to sleep on the floor.

She only partially roused when I changed her diaper. Into jammies, into bed... And then she woke up enough to need all her LittlePeople in bed with her, arranged just so.

I leave, start this post. Shlam wakes up for the other half of dinner. I go in - Sarah Rochel is still playing, but quietly. Nurse baby, sing to them both, leave.

Baby wakes up - "Mom, that was just a nap, right?" Nope. Replug, no dice, Sarah Rochel wakes to say, "I think she wants to go with you into the living room."

So here I am, typing with one hand.

I think she'll go back to sleep now. Hope so - I have a skinned piece of chicken to eat.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Splashing Shlam and CLASSIC Sarah Rochel

Here's the bath video that finally loaded. Dunno why the camera didn't pick up the audio well.

Since it was clearly Sarah Rochel's turn, I asked her to do a video as well:

I especially like the lyrics to 'Row Row Row Your Boat Gently Down the Street.' Previous versions have included those timeless lines, "Like a butter dream." It stirs something inside of you, doesn't it?

And lastly, I really wanted to get an example of how delightfully she talks these days, how she really TELLS an account of something. I lucked out that she was in the right mood when taking this one:

A laborious transcription for all of you who are Srochlian Challenged:
Sarah Rochel, can you tell me something you did in gan today?
Okay. I ate, I did, I did something that is paint.
Paint? Yeah, you painted? What did you paint a picture of?
Um, I painted.. um leaf falling off the tree.
A leaf falling off the tree?
No I didn't. I did painting, painting with brown and then, and then I painted a tree and there was and then I paint paint paint and then my hands got dirty.
Yeah, so then what did you do?
Then I did, 'Mah at osah' (translation: what are you doing?), then 'Mah at osah' (repeat several times), then then we say 'Mah at osah' again.
'Mah at oseh' (again and again), and then we say, then we say, and then... and then there were a lemon, and an apple and an apple and a pear and a rimon. (translation: rimon is a pomegranate)
A rimon, yeah?
And then, and then was my yellow apple, and then Adina's (Adina is a girl in the gan) yellow lemon.
Yellow lemon?!
Yeah. Me and Adina same lemon, then we say "Baruch ata...hamotzie... borei minai haetz." (editor's note - this is a jumble of about three brachos, but well remembered all the same.)
Very nice!
Then we beep beep then we eat it.
That was a good story.

She had told me earlier in the day that she and several children were running around gan saying 'mah at osah'... quote, "Just like Savta." Hee hee!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I hab a cude beby - here-da videow

(So maybe I have a bit of a cold...)

There's another cute one too of her splashing in the sink, but GoogleVideo is kvetching at me.

I have so much to blog about, but I need to go to sleep. I will probably forget it all, but I do have to mention the following Great Moments in Sarah Rocheldom:

(during a meltdown of a bedtime, but in the recovery stage)
"I want a bawkle milk."
Sarah Rochel, you know we never have bawkles at bedtime.
"But I'm so sad!"

(after she accidentally knocked her yogurt on the floor, and I was cleaning it up with paper towels and 409)
Sarah Rochel, you never touch this (the 409), right?
"No! I have Mommy and Abba clean up for me."