Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blog from the floor... again.

Sigh. The last three weeks or so, I started reading the news again. Big mistake. The world, and the Jewish world specifically, is falling apart. I don't remember ever seeing so many headlines of horrible things, one after another after another... Criminals, murderers (murderers! Jews don't do that!), horrible accidents and loss...

Tisha b'Av never felt so timely.

Hashiveinu Hashem alecha venashuva, chadesh yameinu kakadem.
Because even if you have utterly rejected us, you have already raged against us enough.

May this be the last Tisha b'Av on the floor, amen.

For those of us who aren't getting out to shul, you can listen to an Eicha recording here, courtesy of Chabad.

Another appropriate - and frightening- article.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's the middle of the night...

...and I just got back from a levaya (funeral).

Well, I wasn't really at most of it. A 3 year old - three year old! - girl fell into an open manhole and died around 5 PM today. (The righteous man who jumped in after her to rescue her is in critical condition.)

The funeral began at 9:30 PM.

I read about it online at 9:45 PM.

In the next few minutes, the girl staying at my house makes some calls, and discovers that this is her cousin, albeit one she never met.

By 10:20 PM we're in the car, by 10:30 PM the eulogies are over and they're on the way to Har Hamenuchos. We get there by 10:45, see the lights on the hill in the darkness of the cemetery, drive around a bit to get closer, see the men leaving, walking past our quiet, still, darkened car, by 11 PM.



I think of my children, so wished for, so prayed for, so appreciated, so dynamic and full of life and wonderfulness - and all children are like that. We cannot know, cannot fully comprehend that all of that could be extinguished in just a moment, or else we would not be able to live our daily lives. But for a moment I realize it, comprehend it, feel it... and in that moment I want to clutch my children to me and never let them go, want to devote the rest of my life to thanking God for bringing them into the world, want to put them in a bubble to protect them for all time... and to protect me.

As one of the better commentators on this article about the tragedy said, Hashem can do anything, even the most miraculous things. So he should just make a miracle and comfort the parents of this child (who just had another baby two weeks ago), and comfort the person (probably like a 13 year old) who was watching this little girl in the park when it happened.

And he should comfort all of klal yisroel by bringing an end to our tears and mourning, and bringing us the ultimate yeshua and end to this season being a season of sadness forever, amen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Report: I cave easily

Okay, so LAST night, bless Llama's little tractable heart, after she was up all that time with us, she slept quietly and solidly until almost 7 AM. Wow! So she went the whole night last night without nursing.

She then took a 3 hour morning nap (!) and still napped in the afternoon. And bedtime was easy - yay!

So when tonight she woke up around midnight, Yoav went in - and he just sat down in the chair. She was quiet almost right away, and clearly fell back asleep. Hard to know how long it took - I came and woke up Yoav about an hour later. :) I suspect Shulamis went down much faster.

So then NOW, at 4 AM, when she woke up, I was a) totally in DEEP sleep, so I was very confused, and b) Shulamis pushed the magic Mommy-button that makes me give into any child's demands:

She was waking the other child up.

So after covering my big girl back up, gentle reader, I nursed that baby. And she nursed for almost 30 solid minutes, and then went silently and easily back into her crib (still awake) and quietly went back to sleep .

In conclusion, she just needs coaching, and I'm the one who needs training. Or at least I need sleep, because hello, now it's 4:38 AM - why am I up?

Right. Cause you're reading this. :) Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To sleep, perchance to blog

Lately when Sarah Rochel wakes up in the middle of the night (fortunately she alternates with Llama) she often comes into our room because "it's too hard for me to sleep," and then asks to sleep anywhere but her bed - like one of our beds, or the chair in her room, or the chair in the living room.

Last night at bedtime, Sarah Rochel told me she couldn't go to bed because there were no sleepies in her tummy, only wakies.

(this picture is after many, MANY protestations that she didn't want to take a nap, and some tantrum whilst I went to tend to the baby. She really needs a daily nap still, but just isn't going to get it, which is a pity. She's even MORE wonderful and sweet when she's napped. Oh well.)

Tonight after she came out of bed for the nth time (okay, I think it was the third, but getting her INTO the bed in the first place was very challenging), I told her if she came out again she was going to get a BIG onesh (punishment). But mind you, I had no idea what it could be, since, hmm, I won't hit her, she doesn't have an allowance, I'm not going to keep her home from gan or friends because then nobody benefits... I finally had the idea that I would turn her night light off, but fortunately I wasn't called on it, as she (finally) passed out.

Tomorrow she's going on a gan field trip to the firestation. She wants to be a fireman. "But Sarah Rochel," I say, "then you'd be a firewoman." No. I want to be a fireman. "Oh."

Anyway, I had to sign a permission slip. A PERMISSION SLIP!! Considering I still feel closer to the life stage of needing to get permission slips signed, considering I have more experience forging parental signatures than performing parental signatures (it was for friends, honest Mom!)... this was somewhat monumental.

In other news, Shulamis is at that wonderful, delicious developmental stage of having a milestone a minute. Crawling. Pulling to standing in the crib (and trying and failing on many, many other less stable things). She gets to eat dairy in a few days (thus meaning we'll need to start buying cottage cheese by the case around here). She loves to laugh, loves to play with her sister, plays so nicely by herself. She stops when I say 'no' too (nice to have one child listening, sigh). Bli ayin hara! Her face also just totally changed, she just had a big growth spurt or something, because her head is less lumpy and some mornings I hardly recognize her.

But back to sleep. There's Shulamis. Wonderful, delicious, Shulama-llama, who has nights of lots of sleep and nights of lousy sleep.

So that's it. She'll be nine months old this week (!!) and it's time. We are not sleep training, but we are sleep coaching. Because it makes no sense that a baby can understand why they are nursed when they cry at 2 AM but not when they cry anytime before that (or whatever) it means we're attempting to eliminate night feedings, going with the theory that once she realizes she won't be nursed, she'll opt to keep sleeping. Since many nights she has gone long, long stretches with no food, I know she CAN do this.

And we're in the middle of the first test. About 20 minutes ago she woke up. I went in, and started my shushes and occasional back pats (bless her, she is brainwashed to lie down most of the time if I start patting her back - she did it to herself), and she would stop crying and be still (under my hand) and most of the time her eyes would be closed. She'd sit up, adjust her pacifier, I'd pat, she'd collapse down, I'd gently straighten out her legs (cause she was going from sitting to just flopping down, leaving her legs under her. Impressive!), pat pat, shush shush, she'd be perfectly quiet... until seemingly in her sleep, she'd come up to sitting again and we'd start over. After 10 minutes or so, her eyes were staying more and more open. So I left. She cried, and Yoav and I went in together - he saw what I was doing, and took over. Llama protested.

So he's been in there for a bit, she's been quiet. He just came back out (liveblogging!), she protested (darn squeaky door, must WD40), he just went back in... and we're getting there!

She CAN do this. I made sure today she napped well, that she ate well, drank a ton - she does not need to eat, she is not dirty or in pain. Her cry is that of the insulted babe (she's even cute when she's insulted, especially cute actually) and after the first few minutes she even stopped making her little right-arm rotation movement which I think is accurately interpreted as "pick me up now, woman, and I wouldn't mind a cuppa neither."

Quiet now.

Did I mention I'm happy Yoav is back from his latest camp overnight? Last night I spent about 70 minutes with a wide awake Llama around 1 AM, whilst he got about 10 hours of straight, consecutive sleep. It is soooo his turn!

Hollering, hollering. He must have tried leaving again. But not getting worse.

Much quiet. He leaves. Crying. BUT within 60 seconds, petering, petering... now I'm sure she's still awake (Yoav said she was just crawling around the crib while he was there) but she's learning. We're coaching. She knows what she needs to do, just hasn't done it yet.

She's alone. Quiet, with the occasional token protest. She's learning!

The biggest hashkafic issue with letting a very young child "cry it out" is that it disrupts their nascent understanding of a parental / God figure who will always answer their cries. But by us being in there with her, that is avoided. So IY"H she'll still have healthy relationship with us and God, and will never forge signatures on permission slips (hers or those of others) and let us all answer, amen.


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Sarah Rochel, when she doesn't want to go to sleep:
But it's not so much fun for me to go to sleep!

Shulamis, referring to me, Yoav, or any friendly spirits wafting around the room:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I told me so

Last night she woke up and nursed 3 times between 9 PM and 3 AM, the first a mere 30 minutes after she finally fell asleep.

Yup, saw it coming. Y-A-W-N.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bli ayin hara!

Things to never blog about - but I can't resist!

Shulamis slept the whole night last night!

Well, essentially. She was down in the crib by about 8, few minutes before... But then Yoav or I had to go back in there several times (not assisted by Llama's noisy roommate who shall remain nameless) to convince her it was really time to sleep. In the end, she babbled herself to bed. Around 11, she started to fuss - I ran in, gave her the pacifier again, patted her back... and didn't hear from her again until 7 AM!!!

That's my big girl!

Of course, now that I blogged it, she'll wake up every two hours tonight. Oh well.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yoga and wrestling

Llama is an expert crawler now. What she lacks in speed she makes up for in form. Here is 'normal' crawl...

...and here is her 'Downward Dog' routine, like she straightens her legs like she wants to stand up, but of course, she can't stand up. She almost pulled herself up to standing in her crib this evening, which means that crib is getting lowered ASAP! Yikes! Gulp.

This just LOOKS like a headlock. But it's just cuddle-time. Really. (Aside to my mother - doesn't Shulamis look like my baby pictures here, like a lot?)

Can't you just see Sroch giving me this look as a teenager? So can I. Gulp again!
Posted by Picasa

More pictures

I think she's just gorgeous. Bli ayin hara!

Crawling! Airborne!

Cousin Natalie came to visit for shabbos, which was SO nice! We enjoyed her immensely, the girls too - don't she and the Llama look a little bit alike?

Posted by Picasa

Dinner pics

I am the best mother in the world. See what I made her?

Green eggs and... well, cherry tomatoes.

Llama got pureed lentil stew.
Posted by Picasa

I have 30 minutes to spend on this blog... GO!

Okay, here I am! Insert gratuitous apologies for not blogging, but time has been flying lately, and I have been so bad about blogging... and exercising... and laundry (I actually went I think 10 full days without doing laundry! Can you IMAGINE the pile that was waiting for me?? Oh, I think I did one load in the middle of that of kiddo clothes, because otherwise, some of their clothes have developed sentience by then...

Okay, so, what do we got?

About 2 weeks ago (oh, I am SO bad) Shulamis starting CRAWLING, like real deal forward motion tummy-off-the-ground crawling. Delicious! We're so proud of her. I have a wonderful video that first day she figured it out, but she was already clad in just a diaper so you won't be seeing it online. You can come over for a viewing any time.

Which brings to mind that Sarah Rochel has gotten into things being 'tzanua' lately (that's 'modest', and alludes to the complex laws of dressing and behavior that we follow and that she, please God!, will eventually follow as well, once she stops pulling up her dress on the street to show off her pretty underwear). Like tonight, she asked Yoav to button the three top buttons of her nightgown because it wasn't tzanua. Um... We tried to explain that that's really not an issue, because we do NOT want her to burn out on things like the top button of her pajamas but rather to save her zeal for things like not going out on the mirpeset naked. But it's fun to watch her gain an awareness.

That awareness is, I think, like so many other things these days, a product of her friends. Or, more accurately, her friends' older siblings. My theory is all the children in a family behave as if they were the oldest sibling in the house. So mybestfriendrena often talks like a 12 year old, for example. This leads to my daughter often having comical apathetic teenager expressions on her face, which make it very, very hard for me not to laugh aloud. She also like a, say, 6 or 7 year old, will sometimes pull the whole "if you don't do X then you're not my friend anymore" thing, which I capital-L LOATHE. I am trying to squelch that.

She is getting more mature, which is fun. For example, a couple of exasperating bathtimes ago, as I was going to get her out of the tub and was standing with a blue towel unfurled, she asked for the Mickey Mouse towel (which she hadn't had for about two weeks - see the laundry comment above). As soon as she asked, my face just fell, because it was just ONE more request and I just couldn't deal with any more. She saw my face (I didn't even say anything) and then she said, " okay, let's pretend that's the Mickey Mouse towel." !!!! I was so proud of her! She really pretended, like made me turn it around so it would be Mickey's back, but like - wow. It was really sensitive of her, and I was so proud. She often shows consideration of her sister, but when she's considerate of us it's just stunningly sweet and encouraging.

Argh! Just 10 minutes left! Shoot, I didn't even do pictures yet!

Other cute things recently:

After going to the bathroom, I told her to come here and wash her hands. She said, "The end!" and scampered off. :)

Shulamis was sneezing, and I heard Sarah Rochel going, "Amen!" every time she sneezed. When I asked her about it, she said "I couldn't remember to say 'bless you,' so I said amen." Oh.

Last week we set up the Pack'n'Play (which you saw a picture of in the last post) for Llama to get used to for when we go away for shabbos later this summer but also to contain her (she's crawling now!) when I'm cooking, and Sarah Rochel was very into it as well. She was playing in there while Llama was napping, and then had a whole bout of regression to babyness. This may or may not be related to Thursday's record going through 5 (or was it 6?) pairs of underwear in one day! And today she went through only two. Sigh. It's a process, it's a process..

Shulamis shook her head no for the first time, when I was trying to feed her another bite of "Green beans and brown rice" babyfood (can't say I blame her - blech). And when she was playing with a wire, I told her 'NO' loudly - and she stopped! Wow!

Yoav has gotten Sarah Rochel into looking for Shulamisssss's hair to grow, so Sarah Rochel will often stop in the middle of a sentence and look over and say, "She got a new curl!" It's very cute.

Llama's sleeping has improved again, thank God, so on a good night she's just waking up once around 1-3 AM, nurses and goes back to sleep until 7:30 or so. On a bad night, she's waking up around 11, nursing, waking up at 1 AM, nursing, and waking up at 4 AM, nursing. But - that's rare. I can't decide if I want to do something about this last one or not. I am concerned about her fluid intake - at the risk of being too graphic, I had to buy her prune juice (which she loves) and after a couple days, it was very effacious! More laundry! :)

Shoot. It's almost 12:30 and I hear her making noise. Since she didn't fall asleep until 10 PM (despite bedtime starting at 8:10 PM)... shoot, okay, I'm outa here. I'll do pictures in a few minutes...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Good shabbos!

Better than nuthin.

I shall post motzei shabbos, darn it! Bli neder...