Saturday, December 19, 2009

hanukah with kids

the best package ever arrived in the mail from Gram and Zayde! for years, I've felt bad not to have given my mom grandchildren because I know that she would send them the cutest little packages...

and now I have.

and she did.

striped tights and a polka-dot hat and onesies and teething rings for Nina.
Hello Kitty markers and a journal and a notepad for Jo.
dark chocolate and tea for us.
a batch of her oatmeal cookies for everyone.
and yes, even a sweater for the dog! (says: bah humbug)
the gifts were wrapped in color comics (I'm originally from St. Louis, where there are color comics every day!) and the chinese american news and little organza bags -- blue and white for Hanukah -- except o yea! the chocolate gelt in a gold bag. ;)

a totally sweet package, a box filled with small treats.

and then today, I spent the day making hot cocoa mix for Jo's teachers and some local folks, and then wrapping them up with ribbon and fabric. very slowly working my way up to Lynn's level ( -- with a long way to go!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So, I had 8 weeks of 'maternity leave' -- in quotation marks because during that time, I had to officiate at 5 bar/bat mitzvahs, prepare a curriculum for my 10th graders, and get some things together for the cantor, which required a number of backs and forths... Now, the plan was to have my first two weeks back at work be half-weeks (i.e. 15 instead of 30 hours), but I am now headed for 30 hours just this week alone, plus an unexpected funeral.

Of course, the work itself is a bit of a juggle -- being back at work with the babe is interesting -- as a rabbi I'm either supposed to be thinking Big Serious Meaningful Thoughts and/or having a Meaningful Interaction with a congregant or student. Mostly what I do is jiggle the baby and try to sound like I'm typing Something Very Important. My congregation is 45 minutes away, so I'm also juggling her nap time to try to coincide with driving. works sometimes; others, not so much.

In the meantime, Nina is doing great -- first of all, she has fabulous head control (it's a start!), smiles lots, and is doing great at sleeping. A couple of feeds in the night, but they're dream feeds, so we're both pretty happy.

ok. time to cram before teaching later this morning!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


whew. from curious to scary to fine...

for a few days, I'd noticed that Nina seemed to have a mucousy ear. I really didn't think it was a big deal, just strange -- but the doc said the words "children's hospital-ER-rule out meningitis" and that made for some scariness.

so I got Hali and went, and fell apart and held it together alternatingly, and it seems that Nina has swimmer's ear (aka out ear infection). I was so scared when I thought my baby daughter might be seriously sick...dear god. and grateful to live 10 minutes from boston children's hospital.

and now, she's just sitting on Hali's lap, doing the same silly jiggle-head and tongue-trick things Hali is doing, and I am amazed that she can mimic things already, and amazed at our good fortune...

Friday, October 2, 2009

newborn life

So, I'm doing ok here in newbornland -- some nights are better than others, but clearly, not overstimulating her with running around during the day is key. Yes to going out, no to going to 5 places in one day. We went for our first walk yesterday -- I put her in the stroller and walked around the neighborhood, then stopped at home, grabbed my library card and walked there to get 2 books I had on hold (it was 3 actually, but the third was Ina May's Guide to Childbirth -- too late!). Who knows if I'll actually get to read the books, but it felt great. I've also learned to start the day slowly for now, going down to make my coffee after H & J leave, then climbing back in bed for a nurse/snooze with Nina. makes the day immensely better. Today, I have already prepped dinner and I am nearing the end of the 4-6 washing/drying cycles for the diaper inserts. Which means that very soon, we will bite the bullet and become CD mamas!

In Nina's first two weeks, she went to a Rosh Hashanah lunch (at 5 daysold!), attended three high holiday services, went to my favorite grocery store, and came along for that trip to the library!

Didn't post this when I wrote it yesterday, so I can now add that Nina's tushie is now safely ensconced in a cloth diaper. Love doing it, but I have to say, it's not as trim as those, what with being dressed and all, you can't see the CUTEness of the cloth, alas. ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


our sweet Nina is here. She eats like a champ, sleeps like a dream -- well, except for 2-4 AM...

Sometimes I get overwhelmed at her vulnerability and that she is my/our responsibility for everything, and other times, I feel so completely blessed to teach her about trees and French toast and walking on the beach. Her big sister (H's daughter) has taken quite a liking to her new little sister, thank GOODNESS. My mom is here for 2 weeks, which has been great. I feel a bit spoiled, but it really is nice to have someone bring me a glass of water, or hold her little granddaughter while I take a shower, all of it. Jo seems to be connecting even more with my parents as her own grandparents, with no pushing from us. We've encouraged the relationship, but we've been careful not to push her to see them as grandp's unless and until she chooses to.

I am loving being a mom, loving feeding her, staring into her sometimes-open eyes, amazed that she looks like me and is at the same time very much her own person...what will this be, motherhood?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

39+ weeks

well, I'm 2 months into my rabbi gig, and 9 months into my pregnancy gig. I'm now at home (i.e. not going to work until after my maternity leave!), which is great, and I am totally ready for this little duckling to emerge... The only thing I really want to do is cook, simply because I like to cook -- but between the swollen achy ankles and the neuropathy in my hands from the pregnancy/carpal tunnel phenomenon, even cooking seems to leaved me wiped out.

and today, Hali greeted me in the kitchen with some good news-bad news. bad news: we need a new water heater (old one seems to be leaking all over the basement floor). good news: we're alive and well and the guys will be here to replace it in the next 2 hours. My life really has gone from single gal in the city to home-owning-family-person in a very short time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

interdependence day

so, apparently I've ignored the blog for a the meantime, I'm now 32 weeks pregnant and MARRIED!!! H and I were married on Sunday, the first weekend of sun in about a month, and I am happy happy happy...

a few things I would do differently if I could have a do-over: 1. I would get the cake from my favorite bakery. (the cupcakes we did, at each table, were actually a bit dry, and the cake from my favorite place, which we did have two nights before the wedding, is STILL perfect.) 2. I would have a definite dance floor and a DJ. (we used an iPod, and things just didn't fall into place, dance-wise. 3. I would serve twice as much sangria. (it was fabulous.)

photos soon! 

I am loving being pregnant, loving feeling this babelet move around, and I am tremendously glad that between now and then, I only have to go to work, live my regular life, and drink more water. buying a house, graduating, negotiating a job, planning a wedding, and getting married have been a bit much activity! 

Friday, April 17, 2009


So, it appears that I will be graduating with a job!  (phew.) Once contract details are worked out, I am going to be the rabbi of a 220-family Reform congregation -- the people have been wonderful, and though I will have a long commute, I will usually be there only 3 days per week.  

While right now I am a single person, renting a very cute little apartment by myself, in just a few short months, I will be (godwilling) a homeowner, spouse, parent and step-parent, co ngregational rabbi, and mind-boggled person.

the zodiac up there is from the 6th-century synagogue at Beit Alpha, in northern Israel. I first saw this zodiac in a class -- during my first year of school -- on the book of Genesis, and then traveled to Israel that summer and saw it in person. While the tile-work in the synagogue where I'll be working is not quite that detailed, I have dreams...and yea, they're mostly architectural.

Meanwhile, the little Virgo inside of me seems to be dancing up a storm. I can't imagine that it has anything to do with the sugar high of the leftover toasted-coconut-marshmallows I just ate, does it? ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009


ok, so that may be overstating it a teensy, but last night I actually felt Cleo (that's her inside name) thump me a bit! it was definitely her, because my eyes just flew open that instant, and it was just...different from anything I've felt before. surreal and real and stunning. 

I had just been thinking yesterday evening about what a tremendous miracle it is how humans develop inside other humans from little gooey specks, and how amazing and convenient -- despite the discomforts of pregnancy -- that we literally get to carry them inside at the perfect temperature, getting them everything they need. it's just stunning. and then Cleo lets me know she's in there. and then I can just go about my night and day as I would. wild. and much easier than I know parenting will be... 

Friday, April 3, 2009

way to go, Iowa!

It's such sweet news that Iowa has recognized the need for marriage equality today -- and I'm more than a little excited to be friends with the lead couple (the Varnum in Varnum v. Brien)! I'm so glad that my wonderful midwest is part of the progressive front in this issue...

Of course, life has continued along, and quite blessedly for me, I have to say. The short version:

1. I'm now 18 weeks pregnant (totally showing, and now wearing maternity clothes!), and it's been smooth sailing so far. 

2. I also got a job as a congregational rabbi, which I'm so happy about. Graduating at the end of May, and then I imagine I'll start work at the end of June or beginning of July.

3. H and I are buying a house, and it's sweet and old and has a fireplace and a yard with a garden.

4. H and I are getting married! July 5th.

Really, the only thing that I could heap on top of this would be to win the lottery... 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

ok, I have been an absent blogger. I'm still loving the PB and honey on toast, but holy smokes, I'm already at 13w 3d! In the meantime: I have heart the babe's lovely HB several times, and I had a CVS done last week, which showed a chromosomally healthy little baby -- GIRL. More than anything, the gender thing just makes it so much more real. 

I've continued to be hungry all the time, and still tired, but a bit less perhaps, and am just realizing today that I'm either getting fussier about my coffee (as in, only I can make it right!), or I'm just not loving coffee as much right now. Which is a bummer. Coffee is to mornings what mint chip ice cream is to evenings, only *way* more so, and with a much longer history. Coffee and I have been together, for, oh, forever...

I'm definitely porkier -- a friend who does know I'm pregnant said that if he didn't know, he'd just say that I'm looking portly. um, thanks. Anyway, my hope is to get through job interviews without being obviously pregnant, but I'm thinking that is going to get more tricky very soon. 

In other news, H and I have put in an offer on a house to buy, and she told her daughter last night about the prospect of moving. It was finally time to help her put together the idea of our getting married with the implication of a bigger place. Her response: as long as she can stay at her current school and bring her Wii to the new house, she's game. :) So we'll see what happens on the house front, and meanwhile I had better get cracking on my homework. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

one hungry gal!

So, it would seem that all it takes to bring me blissful happiness the last couple of days is PB and honey on toast. or sometimes melted cheese on toast. I do wish for a tinge more symptom-ness (tremendous puking not so much), just so I'd have a better sense of being pregnant. My first MW appointment isn't until Feb 2 -- oh, the long wait...

Today I am writing a paper on Jewish mysticism -- ah, yes, the end of last semester! -- and then I will get more on board with my project of bringing organic, grass-finished, sustainably-sourced beef and lamb to Providence (available kosher or not, halal-process too)! I bet you weren't expecting me to say that, eh? 

Friday, January 9, 2009

one hungry caterpillar!

I am very relieved to say that there is one little bean in there, which H and I saw on my first ultrasound yesterday! Stunning, really, to realize that there is a heart beating deep inside me, that two little cells have evolved to this point and godwilling will continue to do so. The little blob we saw looked like the bean was *all* heart :) -- because the whole blob was whomping around in the sac. This means that I've graduated from the RE office and now need to choose a midwife, also stunning.

Amidst all this, I am enjoying getting to be a bit of the earth mama I hope to be. Which at the moment, other than making my own yogurt, mostly means eating very well/organic/nothing processed, being calm, listening to soothing music, trying to get enough exercise and water and omega-3s, sleep, yadda. It's not as challenging at this point as I imagine it would be with a human on the outside! 

And gosh, I am HUNGRY ALL THE TIME! I woke up in the night restless and feeling hungry, and I thought "hunger and thirst often feel the same; I'll start with a large glass of water" (so I don't eat every single time the thought occurs to me) -- but lo and behold, after the water and some reading, I was still definitely hungry. Ate some walnuts, and woke up at 7 AM...hungry.

Friday, January 2, 2009

well, a little update: my betas have been good -- a bit too good, I fear! -- 12 DPO: 53; 14 DPO: 150; 23 DPO: 7800 (that last one was today). So, yes, I'm clearly pregnant for now...I really want this to be a healthy singleton pregnancy, and I'm beginning to wonder whether I have a whole preschool in there!