Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Greetings loyal FS readers!

I have decided to make a change. You can follow the continued adventures of Frume Sarah at

Many thanks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Watch out -- (Learning) Curve Ahead!

It was a wise decision to start Peach in daycare a few days before my return to work. I am determined to get my act together by then. This Friday, that is.

Yesterday's exit from the house was a little frazzled. But I managed to remember all the bags, bedding, bottles, pump, and so forth. Couldn't locate Beernut's lunchbox so I sent him with his old "Thomas the Tank Engine" lunch bag. PC mentioned that was a social gaffe so I made a mental note to replace the lunch box ASAP. I was a little dismayed to find that not only was our favourite teacher sick for the day (and out for the week) but that our least favourite teacher is going to be in the Infant-Toddler Center for another week or so until she is moved to another classroom. But I managed to overlook that minor annoyance and go about my day.

A friend of mine had offered to take me out and do anything I wanted in order to get my mind off of the baby. I decided that a long-leisurely lunch at the Cheesecake Factory was just the thing. I had it all planned out; run a few errands (such as picking up the replacement lunch box for Beernut), pump, and then meet up with my friend. And it was all going according to plan...until...

I realized that although I had remembered to bring the pump, the tubing, the vehicle lighter adapter, the ice packs, and the collection bottles, I somehow managed to forget the breastshields which are necessary for actually collecting the milk.


A choice to make -- cancel my lunch in order to return home and pump OR cancel pumping for the day and feed Peach at pick-up. I really think that if this had happened with my first baby, I would have totally freaked out! As the experienced mom that I am, I calmly decided that going a few hours without pumping would be OK. Going home and seeing the empty crib and all the lonesome baby items would not have been OK.

It was a very good decision. Spending time with a friend is a truly underrated necessity that should be a regularity rather than a luxury. I was reminded how calming it can be to visit with a friend.

I was acutely aware, of course, of my ever-enlarging breast which continues to grow heavy with milk throughout the course of our (wonderful) meal.

And it goes without saying that Peach had finished a bottle about five minutes before my arrival...

So we learn from our missteps, right?

Today I was extremely careful to check and recheck the pump. And I felt pretty good about that too.

Of course, in the midst of all that diligence, I forgot to drop off Beernut's medication in the camp office and had to double-back.

But hey, tomorrow's another day.

Monday, July 09, 2007


It was a long day without my little man by my side. I managed to load the car in under 5 trips this morning and we dropped Beernut at camp before heading over to the pre-school. Poppyseed had asked to help drop off her little brother and was actually quite a big help. She entertained him while I was busy organizing his diapers, wipes, extra clothes, bedding, bottles, frozen milk, etc. We nursed and then it was time to let go.

Because that is really what today was all about; letting go of my baby.

When I explained to the older kids this morning (after snapping at them) that I was a bit nervous today, Poppyseed replied, "I'm nervous too."

"Really? What are you nervous about?" I asked.

"I don't want Peach to grow up yet," she replied.

I understand what she means. Peach was not only my largest baby at birth, but he weighes what Poppyseed did at her NINE MONTH checkup! Wearing 3-6 mos clothing and size 2 diapers, his journey through infancy is passing with such dizzying speed that I cannot catch my breath. "Slow down," I whisper as I watch him sleep. "Don't grow up so fast." But each child grows as he or she is meant to grow. It is selfish to wish time to slow its march.

Yet, I watch helplessly as my children grow...up...and apart from me.

Which is as it should be.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Night Before...

Sorry I haven't written in a couple of weeks. It's been crazy busy! My schedule is about to free up because {sigh} Peach is starting "school" tomorrow. This is in anticipation of my return to work on Friday.

We visited Peach's classroom last week. He will be attending the same school as his big sister, Poppyseed, who is thrilled to pieces that her little brother will be at her school. He'll be in her old classroom and will even have one of her beloved teachers from when she first started in the Infant-Toddler Center three years ago. The continuity is definitely nice. And it put my mind at ease when we saw Ms. B who called Peach "tateleh" and "bubbeleh". She clearly speaks our language!

Everything is all set. I've got his linens washed and folded, extra clothes, diapers, and wipes all packed and ready to go. He hasn't slept well today but maybe he is like a dog and senses something in the air. I have been pumping like crazy and have exceeded my goal of freezing at least 100 ounces of milk. Now I just have to get through tomorow...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One is the Loneliest Number

First off, it really pays to have friends. Not only did I not have to buy a new computer, but I didn't have to send it anywhere to get it fixed!! My good friend's husband is an IT guy and was able to make it better than it was before -- and that is a good thing. So Frume Sarah is up and running once again.

What a long week. PC has been in NYC since last weekend for work, though he has managed to hang out with all of my NYC sibs at least twice. This has left me with all three kids. With many thanks to our wonderful sitter, I did manage to get out for about an hour by myself tonight. It was just to run errands, but even that is relaxing when I am all alone ;) It was the first time that I've been away from the baby -- with the exception of a 6 minute (round trip) visit to Golden Spoon -- since he was born nearly 10 weeks ago.

It was lovely to get out but...
the truth is...

I missed him.

I missed him in the way one misses her first love when he leaves the room. A sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach.

I knew I needed to do this so that I can steel myself when I return to work in 3 short weeks. Peach will start day care a few days prior to my return so that we can both acclimate to the separation.

Of course, when I leave him in day care, I will leave him with ample bottles of milk, which was not the case tonight. Tonight, I was banking on fact that he was completely conked out after a 40 minute crying jag. Which was not his fault. He woke up hungry just as we got tied up in traffic on the darn 405. He was shaking, poor guy, when I finally released him from his car seat. He whimpered for a few moments, gave a shudder, and passed out in my arms.

That was 4 hours ago...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Give 100% of My Regards to Broadway!

I love these quizes! Especially when I get all the answers correct ;) All those years of high school musicals and choral singing definitely comes in handy when playing Jeopardy or silly little internet quizes. If you give this one a try, let me know how you do!!

In computer news, I will be purchasing a new one this week. Not having a computer is making me crazy. And not just a little crazy either...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Scootin' Right Along

A big week. Peach turned two months old, Poppyseed celebrated her 4th birthday, and Beernut has successfully completed the first grade. My babies are growing up right before my eyes and I can't seem to slow the passage of time. Peach's big accomplishment, besides bestowing his winning smile on his adoring siblings, is scooting around on his tummy. Especially if the right motivation catches his attention!! Poppyseed keeps remarking how much taller she is or how much longer her legs are now that she is four (her birthday was only yesterday). Beernut has been weepy all week in anticipation of bidding farewell to his beloved teacher. She has been so incredible and made first grade a very positive experience for Beernut. We'll be getting together with her over the summer -- a prospect which lessened the pain of leaving the classroom for Beernut.

Frume Sarah apologizes for the lack of posts this week. Unfortunately, this was the week that our hard drive quit without giving any notice. Noe. Zilch. Just wouldn't turn on one morning. So now we must decide which makes more sense; repair the 4 year old computer...or invest in a new one.

Well, that is all for the time being. PC has been in Dallas this week, will be in NYC for a week starting tomorrow, and then will return to NYC the following week.

And the beat goes on...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

This and That

I keep a running blog in my head most of the day -- but until they have discovered a way for thoughts to print directly to the blog...

Well, anyway...

Quite a week this past week was. We'll start with Beernut. Poor Beernut. Having finally finished his soft food diet due to the "accident" last month, Beernut developed pink eye in his left eye. 5 days of drops (twice daily) was awful enough -- until it moved to the right eye and we had to extend the drop administration. Ugh! His school had the 10th annual Dance Day and he proudly danced the Hokey Pokey with the rest of the first graders.

During the dance program, I got to chatting with some of the other moms. You know the ones. The "other moms." The ones who volunteer hours upon hours in the classrooms, know all the mommy tricks, and have everything pulled together all of the time.

In other words, not me.

So I was talking to our Room Moms about the end of the year party. Turns out that Beernut's last day of school is this week. Guess I didn't get that memo. For some reason, I thought that it was next week. Anyway, one of our Room Moms is the co-president of the PTO and other one, in addition to chasing after her 4 kids with nary a hair out-of-place, is the Room Mom for TWO of her kids. How DO these women do it??

I took the opportunity to ask the PTO president if there was any way to move the Fall Family Fun Night off of a Friday night and onto a Thursday night. She told me that it was always done on a Friday. I pointed out that there was a time that it was on Thursdays. She didn't realize that Jews had their Sabbath on Fridays (thought it was just a Saturday thing) and told me that we couldn't move it just to accomodate a few families.

Guess we'll be missing it again next year...

Lil' Miss Poppyseed completed her year in the 3 year old classroom.

Starting the in the fall, our little girl will be in Pre-Kindergarten. That just doesn't seem possible. She is such a big girl! She is spending the weekend with PC's parents down in San Diego, allowing us to enjoy "the boys" and have some quality time with Beernut. (Peach is too little to understand "quality time.")

BTW -- Beernut has figured out why he and Poppyseed don't listen to me.
"You're not scary enough, Mom."
"I don't want to be scary."
"But if you're not scary, we won't listen to you."


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Free Movies for Kids


Many thanks to Verbatim for linking to this article.

Tell your friends/kids/grandkids/neighbours...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sometimes good enough is...good enough

I have to keep reminding myself that I just had a baby a few weeks ago.

It isn't that I actually forget, for course. Not with Peach reminding me that he needs to eat every couple of hours ;)

What I do forgot is that I can't get everything done in the amount of time allotted to me each day. And I still have never been good at saying "no" to requests. So of course I was the first parent to volunteer to bake 4 dozen cookies for the oneg tomorrow night. I was actually hoping to use my new favourite chocolate chip recipe that I found from my new blog-friend, Hilary. And yet as the week progressed, and the fatigue progressed, it became clear that baking from scratch was going to be too labour-intensive.

Thank God for Nestle Refrigerated Cookie Dough. It just doesn't get easier than this!!
Admitedly, they won't be as delicious as completely homemade. But they will be a marked improvement over store-bought. Not fabulous, but good enough.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


That is the current weight of my almost 7 week-old son!

Eleven pounds, twelve ounces.

That's over three pounds in the past month. And it is music to my ears!!

Like most of us reared in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, I was fed formula and did not see other women nursing their babies. In fact, the first woman I recall breastfeeding is MrsGiraffe's sister, TanteBee. TanteBee was one of those new-fangled mothers who worked outside the home, used her maiden name as her middle name, and used her breast to feed her babies.

In other words, it was weird. At least, that is what I thought as an impressionable ten year old.

I was fed formula as were my siblings. My parents were fed formula as were their siblings. If it was good enough for us, it would be good enough for my babies. As a girl, I pretended to feed my dolls with toy bottles. If it was good enough for me, it was good enough for them. As I grew up, I figured that nursing must not be natural. After all, there were many books, classes, and support groups devoted to teaching women how to breastfeed. If it was natural, it should come -- naturally.

And yet...we humans are mammals. And the classification of a mammal is a vertebrate animal characterized by the production of milk in the females. The mammary glands are used to nourish the young. So in fact, nursing is natural. A natural, but lost, behaviour.

In the animal kingdom, and in more primitive cultures, young females observe mothers with their nurslings and are later surrounded by supportive and experienced nursers as they, in turn, become mothers. Our books, consultants, and classes are poor substitutes for these observable behaviours.

I nursed our first two children, but I never felt successful. I worried constantly that I was not producing enough milk -- an all too common misconception for it is extremely rare for a woman to be unable to produce enough milk to feed her baby. One of the pediatricians told me that my first-born son was not getting enough to eat. Not getting enough to eat?? You never tell a yiddishe mama that her poor little boychik isn't getting enough to eat. And so we supplemented with formula in order to satisfy him. Is it any wonder that I did not feel adequate? After I returned to work, I found it difficult to find time to pump and this did affect my milk supply. Beernut nursed for eleven months and Poppyseed nursed for seven. It did not occur to me to regard breastfeeding as anything other than a source of nourishment for my children.

I wanted my experience to be different with Peach. So I began to read the experiences of other mothers and have discovered that nursing goes beyond the feeding of a child. It can have profound physical and emotional impacts on the mother. It can have spiritual ones as well. The human body is an amazing creation. My milk is perfectly suited to the growing needs of my child. Human milk, for instance, contains a high percentage of lactose and fatty acids -- both required for the rapid brain development of a human infant. Contrast this with cow's milk which contains a high level of protein -- required for the rapid bone development needed by a calf who is mobile just hours after birth. The amount of milk my baby needs on any given day will fluctuate and my body will respond to his needs by manufacturing the right amount. The miracle of life does not end with birth...

Peach's weight gain is validation. Validation that I am making good choices about how I am mothering him - and in ways that differ from how I mothered his siblings. The selection of a supportive pediatrician makes all the difference in the world. Our doctor visits are like private La Leche meetings as he encourages my efforts.

And, of course, don't forget the water!! Though I have backed away from the 4 litres a day that I had been consuming during the waning days of gestation, I find that 2-3 daily litres keeps me satiated.

Every generation relies on the advice given by the medical community. Recognizing that trends change, I know that my parents made informed choices based on the information that they had available to them at the time. Just as I am doing with my children and they will do with their children. Just as my parents probably question some of these choices, so too will my children question mine.

In the meantime, my nursling is currently content and with a dreamy smile on his sweet lips as he sleeps happily in his bassinet -- which is next to my bed -- knowing that I am near and ready to respond to his needs.

Lailah tov...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Colour Appreciation

Earlier this week, I had the occasion to see into the future. I took my almost 4-year old daughter shopping and had visions of shopping trips yet-to-come as she gleefully went from store to store. At the Gap, Little Miss Poppyseed picked out this outfit:

It really is a cute outfit and she was really excited to get it in anticipation of being the Shabbat Star at school next week.

Not long after we had ducked into Macy's to find a bathroom, I heard a sharp intake of breath behind me.

"Oh! My! God! Look at those bags!"
{We had just entered the purse department}

"And they have jewelery here too!"
{She was beside herself}

On our way out of Macy's, we went through the shoe department where Poppyseed carefully pointed out her favourite shoes. Most of which, I might add, were by designers such as Ferragamo, Coach, and so forth. She is going to have some expensive habits, I'm afraid.

Stopping by Mrs. Bearsley's for a mid-shopping cookie, Poppyseed spied the cupcakes. I pointed out that cupcakes were pretty messy and given her track record, would stain her outfit.

"I could eat that one," she reasoned, "it matches my new outfit perfectly!"

So it does, my dear daughter. And so it does.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Homework Hassles

Which one is longer: a second or a minute? Seems like an easy question, no?

Not so fast! This question was on Beernut's homework and I must be honest when I say that it stumped me.

Before you jump in and remind me that my mathematical abilities have always been on the weak side, let me inform you that this question was not on a math worksheet but on a language arts worksheet.

I don't mean to make life harder. It's just that the word 'second' and the word ' minute' have an equal amount of letters. Which means that neither is longer. They are the same.

But I am thinking that maybe I am overthinking this. Or maybe I just think differently.

Beernut answered "a minute" and I am hoping that is the answer that is being sought.

Meanwhile, is it any wonder that I took so long to complete my homework as a kid??

Monday, May 21, 2007

I am woman -- hear me moo!

My entire life revolves around sustaining my newborn son. All I think about, read about, and talk about is milk! As amazing as it is that the female body can nurture life, so too am I amazed that my body can nourish that same life. Every one to three hours, my young son seeks me out, motivated by hunger, loneliness, sadness, or fear. And I alone have been able to provide comfort.

That changed yesterday as we find ourselves anticipating my eventual return to work. PC dragged the pump out of storage and I prepared a bottle for my little guy. Peach finished close to 2 ounces in no time -- but he was not happy with the substitute apparatus. He looked so sad...and I felt so sad. Sad because already he is growing so quickly. And this signified his first step of separation. With bottles, he is able to be nourished by others and no longer needs to be with just me.

I took him into bed for an afternoon nap. He nuzzled right up to me and gazed up with his big blue eyes. He smiled and drifted to sleep. And all was safe in his world.

I LOVE the Internet

I really, really do! It allows me to "travel" without leaving the comfort of my own home. It allows me to "window shop" in my jammies ;)

So I have found lots of fun new websites like this one: Mason and Matisse, which has really trendy (read: expensive)stuff for babies. If I were going to get something for Peach from this site, it would be these supercute Robeez Soft-Soled Shoes.

And how did I find this website??

From Adventures in Babywearing -- which is having an awesome product giveaway, which you can read about here.

And how did I find this website??

From Delightful Blogs.

The internet is like a journey of tangential wanderings...

The Best Intention

"Did you set the alarm?"
"We should set the alarm..."
"No, I'll get up on time..."

Famous last words.

Needless to say, we overslept by over an hour this morning. And were amazed that the older kids were still asleep.

"Why won't they do this on the weekends?"
PC showered while I fed Peach.

PC then went to awaken the kids...and yelled back into our room, "They're up!"

And then I hear the following:

"Beernut, you didn't come and get us."
"No, Daddy. We were very quiet so that you and Mommy could get your sleep."

A very sweet, but ill-timed sentiment!!

P.S. Beernut actually made it to school before the tardy bell.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Is This For Real??


Diet Coke Plus is everything you love about Diet Coke, plus several essential nutrients you want and your body needs. Each 8-ounce serving of Diet Coke Plus provides 15% of your daily value of Niacin and vitamins B6 and B12, and 10% for zinc and magnesium.

Is it just me or is this really disturbing?? Diet Coke is junk food! There isn't supposed to be any redeeming value to it. Just a refreshing taste. If I want health benefits, I'll eat my veggies!
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It's the Little Thngs

Sometimes it is the simple things that strike us as so funny...

Or it might be the lack of sleep since Peach was born...

Anyway, my dear friend "Kay" (who lives in Jerusalem) sent home with my parents a CD -- and she included the gift receipt!!

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For some reason, this totally cracked me up.

And then I realized that a UPC is a UPC and I could probably return it to my local Tower Records. Of course, my local Tower Records has gone out of business. Plus, I LOVE the CD. But it was considerate of Kay to give me the option of getting something else in case I didn't like what she had selected.

I really appreciate the gift giver who is more interested in my enjoyment as the recepient than her feelings as the giver.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mother's Day 5767

Spending the past 4 and 1/2 weeks at home on maternity leave has definitely awakened some latent domestic inklings. The proof is in what I was hoping to receive as a Mother's Day present.


When PC mentioned to one of my friends that he was getting me a mixer, she calmly explained that no woman wants to get a mixer as a Mother's Day gift.

And so he surprised me with this:

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Postscript -- I must mention here that DadGiraffe, who is normally clueless about such matters, actually recognized that his son-in-law's lovely gift was from Tiffany's!

Time Flies...

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's All Fun & Games 'til Someone Gets Hurt

As if life with a brand-new baby (child #3) isn't hard enough...

Last week I received the following email:

I am plonit bat plonit, I'm ploni ben plonit's Mom. He talks about Beernut a lot. I was wondering if you got the flyer about the Pump it Up night and if Beernut would be going? Ploni was hoping Beernut was going to attend. Please email me or call me if you need any additional info.

Well, this was a great email to receive. Beernut does not often get such positive feedback from his peers. It so happens that this young friend is in Beernut's social skills class and loves Nintendo as much as Beernut does. We were so thrilled that we thought it was a great idea for Beernut to attend the party...even though it was on a school night.

Given that Peach was just shy of two weeks at this point, I stayed home with the baby and Poppyseed and sent Beernut to the party with our (fabulous!!) sitter. Not five minutes after they arrived, disaster struck.

Apparently, and no one knows exactly how this happened, Beernut's face somehow got in the path of Ploni's older brother's foot. And knocked out his two front teeth. Beernut has something of a blood phobia -- and gums bleed. A lot. He was hysterical in the background while I was on the phone with the sitter. I was so sleep-deprived that I could not recall if his upper teeth were baby teeth or permanent teeth.

A trip to the dentist the next morning showed that they were in fact baby teeth. Good news. However, his two front lower teeth (which are adult teeth) were now loose. And the dentist also feared that Beernut had sustained a slight jaw fracture. So off we went to the oral surgeon -- who determined that no fracture was revealed on the panoramic xray. However, Beernut would need to be on a soft diet for a MONTH in order to allow the lower teeth time to get over the trauma.

It's going to be a loooooooon month!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Peach Has Arrived

Peach arrived on 13 April 2007, corresponding to 25 Nisan 5767, and was entered into the Covenant of our People on Friday, 20 April, corresponding to 2 Iyar.

He has dark hair and a gentle nature.

And we are grateful!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

There are three foods that I always connect with Pesach -- matzah, strawberries, and hard-boiled eggs. It isn't that I don't them during the year. It's just that I eat an enormous amount of said items during the 7 days.

No longer living at my childhood home, I am now responsible for the boiling of my own eggs. I suppose PC could take care of it, but this is one of those times that he pulls the "but you do it so much better than I do" card. Really. (He does it with baked potatoes and making the bed too.)

Now why he thinks I do it so much better got me to thinking; is there really a "better" way to hard-boil an egg. I always thought that you just toss a pot of water on the stovetop, wait for it to boil, put in the eggs, and voila! Hard-boiled eggs.

A quick internet search has taught me that apparently there is a "correct" way to boil an egg.

And so I present to you --

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Recipe By : Julia Child, “The Way to Cook”
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:40
Categories : Cheese/Eggs Family Recipes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
For 1-4 Eggs:
1 to 4 Eggs
2 quarts water -- * see note
For 12 Eggs:
12 Eggs
3 1/2 quarts water -- * see note
For 24 Eggs:
24 Eggs
6 quarts water -- * see note
Special Equipment_________________________
High (not wide) Saucepan with cover
Bowl w/ice cubes & water (large enough to
completely cover eggs)

*note: water should cover the eggs by 1 inch, so use a tall pan, and limit
cooking to 2 dozen eggs at a time.

1. Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. Set
over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan,
and let sit exactly 17 minutes.

2. When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and
water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil
again. (This 2 minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)

3. Transfer the eggs (6 at a time only) to the boiling water, bring to the
boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds - this expands the shell from the
egg. Remove eggs, and place back into the ice water.

Chilling the eggs promptly after each step prevents that dark line from
forming, and if time allows, leave the eggs in the ice water after the last
step for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilled eggs are easier to peel, as well.

The peeled eggs will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, submerged in water
in an uncovered container, for 2 to 3 days.

NOTES : The perfect hard boiled egg has a tender white, and a yolk properly
set. There is not the faintest darkening of yolk where the white encircles
it (a chemical reaction caused by too much heat in the cooking process).
Eggs cooked this way can also be peeled neatly.


Yes, you read that correctly. FORTY minutes to hard-boil a few eggs. A bit labour intensive for what it is. However, I am forced to admit that the eggs tasted great and there was absolutely no green discolouration. Even PC declared them "terrific!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What Really Matters

It appears that once again I am going against convention in not discovering the gender of our baby prior to birth. I get asked daily -- usually by strangers -- if I know what I am having. When I respond that we are waiting to find out, the shock clearly registers on the face of the individual. As though I've said something so completely shocking and out-of-the norm. The follow-up question is usually "this is your first?" as though that might explain our odd decision. When it comes to light that this is my third and that we have both a son and daughter, the response is always the same.

"So it doesn't really matter, then, does is."

I find this extremely strange -- and a little insulting. First of all, it never really mattered. Not the first time. Nor the second time. And not this time. Though I certainly desired the experience of mothering a son and a daughter, I always figured that any mothering experience would be wonderful regardless of the gender of the child. The fact that I happen to already have one of each in no way impacts what I hope with this one.

For all I really want is a healthy child.

Would I love for Poppyseed to have a sister? Of course! I can't imagine making my way through life without my sister. Or sisters -- now that I've acquired two more through marriage.

Do I think that life would be even better for Beernut if he had a brother to share in life's adventures? Absolutely! And Poppyseed would certainly hold an important position as Daddy's only girl :)

But I can't have it both ways. And to be quite honest, either scenario will be a blessing to our family. It just irks me that people make assumptions about gender desirability.

Furthermore, since I ascribe to our tradition of preparing for the impending birth by not preparing (!), there is no logistical reason of discovering the gender prior to the blessed event. As a hard-core devotee of supersition, I certainly would not want to attach too much personality (or God-forbid the actual name) to this potential life. Even with modern medicine, I won't breathe easy until the little one is safely delivered.

So no -- it doesn't matter. It never did.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


According to the baby books, it is common for soon-to-be moms to experience an uncontrollable urge to prepare for the arrival of baby. This urge is known as nesting. This apparently is a natural instinct seen throughout the animal kingdom and in humans is thought to give the monther a sense of control and accomplishment as the birth nears.

Nesting can come in a variety of forms. Some women find themselves unable to pass by a bathroom without scrubbing it with a toothbrush. Others have been known to iron anything in the house that couldn't out run them. And yet others have cleaned the kitchen cupboards and organized everything by size to the point that you make sure the silverware patterns match when it's stacked in the cutlery drawer.

Sadly, my nesting urges have shown my true colours -- to read everything in sight! I've read a couple THOUSAND pages in the past two weeks and there is no sign of stopping. A lot of chick lit (Wife in the Fast Lane, The Reading Group, Friendship Test, Alphabet Weekends), some classics (Marjorie Morningstar, Rebecca), contemporary fiction (The Namesake, Intepreter of Maladies), and some mystery (all of Elizabeth George's books except for her most recent).

"Where does she find the time?" you ask yourself.

Well, I spend a lot of time at the hospital being monitored each week. So that gives me some built-in reading time. Plus, I always seem to find the time somewhere. It's like breathing. I find the time to do that too.

I'm betting that PC would probably prefer that I iron or sort or clean.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


It truly is amazing that I manage to make my way through this world being as clueless as I am.

We had a lovely Bar Mitzvah service at shul yesterday. Noticing that the hue of the yarmulkes was a kelly green, I asked the young man if green was his favourite colour. He laughed, "No, it's for St. Patrick's Day."

"Really?" I replied, "when is that?"

"Rabbi, it's today."

I mean, I did know that it was in March...sometime...

And I also knew that yesterday was the 27th of Adar.

That's got to count for something, right??

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ah...Modern Conveniences!

There is no way that I would have survived as a housewife in any prior generation. I just don't have it in me. I'm not that great of a cook. Can't really bake. And my housekeeping skills are just OK. I have never mastered a hospital corner and it would take personal coaching from a Gap employee before my folding skills were up to snuff.

My kids, who haven't been bothered by the absence of a balabuste in their lives, recently rejected the Kraft Parmasean cheese that they has previously enjoyed in favour of "the good cheese that Bubbe makes for us." Unable to compete with Bubbe's culinary prowess, I figured that they'd just need to make do with what we've got.

Lucky kids! It turns out that Kraft debuted a new product called "Grate-It-Fresh."

That's right -- cheese that has its own grater attached.

It just doesn't get any easier than this ;)

Don't Count Your Chickens...

So Beernut has been on a certain medication for several months and it has been mostly effective. However, we'd noticed that his afternoon dosage wasn't working and he was experiencing some side effects. No prob. The pediatrician added another afternoon med to the mix with hopes that all would be well. One caveat: Beernut would need to swallow this pill. Unlike his other meds, which we are able to pour the contents onto his tongue, this med loses its effectiveness if taken in this fashion. Dr. P sent us home to practice. "How does one practice swallowing medication?" you might ask. Applesauce and M & M's. Beernut loved practicing. And it worked much of the time. So we moved on to the medication. And at first, it worked fabulously. In fact, Beernut exclaimed that he'd like to take all of his medication this way. "Great!" I thought. "I've actually managed to teach my kid how to swallow pills"

Well, it was short-lived. More often than not, the pill got stuck on the way down...and then came back up. I figured that chocolate pudding would do the trick. And it did -- once!

Needless-to-say, Dr. P came up with Plan B -- a totally different approach that does not involve pills, applesauce, or pudding.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Pointless Consequence

Beernut often seems to suffer from what I like to thing of as the "droppsies." No matter what is in his will end up on the floor. Like the remote. The remote must end up on the floor a minimum of a dozen times a day (I am not exaggerating!). Of course, this might explain why the remote hasn't been operating at its usual level of efficiency of late.

This morning, after the remote had landed on our nicked-up hardwood floors for the 9th or 10th time today, I took away Beernut's remote privilege. Not five minutes later, I heard the channel being changed and could actually feel the steam streaming out of my ears.

However, when I reached the family room, the remote was exactly where I had left it. "Look Mom! I figured out how to change the channels just by pressing the buttons on the TiVo."

Heck, I don't even know how to do that. So while it was a wasted punishment, at least I will still be able to watch TV when (and it is when, not if) the remote ceases to work.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Baby Talk

So out-of-the-blue Beernut asks about the party we are going to have when Baby (aka "Peach") is on its 8th day.

We should have a cake that says "Welcome to our family."

That's a great idea, I respond.

I know...we should have peaches because that's our special name for the baby while it's in your tummy. And Jordan Almonds too, of course.

Of course.

You know, we should also get the leaf for the tree at the party too.

We have a recent tradition at our shul that at each Family Service, we honour anyone who has put a new leaf up on our Simcha Tree during the past month. For some reason, Beernut has really taken to this new tradition and has been anticipating the right moment to honour the birth of our latest addition.

It's nice to know that he's been paying attention ;)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Post-Purim Blues

I always feel a let-down after this holiday. Maybe because the run-up to it is so intense. At least it is in our house. We LOVE this holiday. I mean in a major way. For weeks in advance, we plan our costumes and wait daily for Ebay packages to bring the bits and pieces that make the outfits just right. No baking this year, sadly, due to my ever-creasing girth and inability to fit comfortably in our galley kitchen. The many hours spent preparing the Purim Shpiel and the Megillah reading -- and then poof...over in just the flash of an eye. This year, thanks to timing, it was a weekend full of festivities. Services on Saturday night, carnival on Sunday morning, and an adult-only costume party on Sunday night. It was a fantastic weekend. One celebrating our ongoing survival against enemies who would rather do away with us.

And so it was particularly upsetting for me to discover that for many of the non-Jews in our area, their awareness of Purim was informed by an article which ran in the LA Times this past weekend. An article entitled "A More Sober Marking of Purim?" While it is true that drinking to excess present real problems and underage drinking is both illegal and dangerous, this is not a story that should have landed in the secular press. This is an internal issue that we must deal with -- within our community and not before the eyes of the secular public. Furthermore, there is so much more to Purim than drinking. And how very sad that the real message of this holiday had to be obscured behind what some editor felt was newsworthy.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Water, water everywhere

So it's been an interesting week!

My first appointment was on Monday and they delivered the alarming news that my amniotic fluid was on the low side. The parametres are between 5 and 25 cm -- and I was at around 8.4. Nisht gut! But looking on the bright side, not as bad as it could have been ;)

I was sent home with the strict orders to build serious rest time into my schedule and drink water.

Working at my computer, as it turns out, does not qualify as rest time. They mean horizontal time. So I have made it a point to leave work for a few hours each day to really lie down and rest. It turns out that this allows for all blood flow to go directly to the placenta, which in turn will get to the baby, whose kidneys will then output the amniotic fluid.

As for water, it's not like I wasn't drinking before. However, I am now to be drinking 3 litres a day. 3 LITRES A DAY!!! That is a heck-of-a-lot of water. Just over 100 ounces, if you really want to know. Juice is off-limits, of course, as it interferes with my blood sugar numbers. Tea is a diuretic so that won't help. Apparently the more liquid I drink, the denser my blood pressure is and that increased flow is good for the baby.

So now -- I am totally obsessed about water. I play little games with myself. 40 ounces before noon and I know I'm doing well. Another 40 by 4:00pm. Then it's just over 20 to go. Silly, I know. But it seems to be working because....

When I returned to the hospital on Thursday, good news!! Baby's reactivity was good and the fluid numbers had risen to 15.24. They are happy with anything about 12 cm so this is good.

Of course, I am not to return to my evil ways of working 13 hours straight and being lax about the water. But I remain hopeful that with a continued aggressive approach to the water and rest, things will stay in the safe zone.

Chag Purim Sameach...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rolling Right Along

Week 32 commences today! This is a good thing for the following reasons:

1. The end is in sight.

I know at this point that no matter what happens, this baby will be delivered sometime between now and when taxes are due -- which is 7 more weeks for those of you still getting your tax info organized! This is a precaution set down by my my perinatalogist who won't let me go past 39 weeks. Babies of diabetic moms run an increased risk of getting too large (though this does not seem to be an issue given the tight control we've kept through 3x/daily insulin injections) as well as a high risk of stillbirth. Contrary to a recent rumour I heard, a delivery by April 15 has NOTHING to do with the fact that Rebgiraffe and MrsGiraffe are leaving for Israel on April 23. Anyone who knows me and family clearly knows that induction would never have been an option for any reason other than a medical one.

2. I start going to the hospital 2x/week for testing.

I get much more relaxed once I get to this point because I am under regular surveillance! This decreases the possibility that the baby could get into trouble without someone noticing. I am very old-fashioned in this respect. I like being in the hospital environment, surrounded by medical experts, who assume the responsibility for my welfare and that of my unborn child.

So that being said -- for those of you who have seen me recently:

* Yes I know I look huge.
* No, I am not carrying twins.
* No, I am not "about ready to pop."

I am exactly right on target for a 32 week pregnant woman. A bit tired. Still getting sick most days. But overall, grateful for the opportunity to join in partnership with God in the creation of new life.

Friday, February 23, 2007


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OK -- personally I do not observe the mitzvah of t'fillin. But I just love this doll!! Barbie really can do anything ;)

For more info -- you can check out her website.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Irony of it All

I love this country...and for so many reasons. Here is just one example:

At some point in the not so distant past, I was the victim of a crime. A minor crime. Some goniff stole the registration sticker from my rear license plate and the very nice Highway Patrolman brought it to my attention. All I needed to do was get a replacement sticker, have a police officer verify that I had placed it on my license plate, and send it back to the courthouse -- accompanied by a $10.00 processing fee, of course. Not too bad. Of course, that did not take into account the $15 fee that the police station charged as a verification fee. So -- being a victim cost me $25.00.

And if they were to catch the guy and he was unable to afford a lawyer, my tax money would provide him with legal representation.

And that, my friends, is just one of the things that I love about this country!!