Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Did It!

NaBloPoMo, that is!

Can I just say how proud I am of myself?

Getting Ready to Head Back Home

I have to say that I'm a bit melancholy about it. Moreso than usual even. I really got a feel for living here by merit of the girls being sick and Aba being exhausted and just having to get out on my own. I went to a couple shiurim with Ayelet and cooked a bit at home. I really like the area we stayed in, too.

But I know the girls need their stuff and their routines. If we were staying for a while it would be different because I would have brought more of "home" with us. As it is, I know htey are feeling restless and cooped up.

That said, Shira has been saying that she wants to stay in Israel.

Depending on the way the flight home goes we might be back sooner rather than later. But first I need to get Batya's situation figured out.

She goes a couple days without vomiting and then something triggers it. She has no symptoms of a stomach bug and she got it first. It definitely was a bug as it went through the females here and we passed it to Ayelet. (Who in turn shared her cold with Aba.) But now it is something else. I'll be making notes on the plane with as much as I can recall of it so that we can share it with the doctor. We are going to call and leave a message to have an appointment made Tuesday morning and then Aba and I are going to take her while Safta watches the other two.

I need to go finish a couple things and then we are off to the Kotel and to hunt down something to wrap up my carseates in. (These backward countries don't allow you to use a carseat for children. Apparently an adult seat belt they can easily climb out of is "safer" than a seat.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This was a meme I found on some blog long ago and it has been hanging out in my draft folder.

I am: Tired. Stressed. On-the-go.
I think: It is a beautiful day to head outside.
I know: the mess int he house will wait for me.
I want: Peace. Joy. To relax.
I hate: The day-to-day minutiae that bring stress into my life.
I miss: My pre-mom friends.
I fear: Missing my children's childhood.
I feel: Like dancing.
I hear: Shira counting, Chaya getting her water from the table and Batya is ominously quiet.
I smell: That someone needs a diaper.
I crave: Caffeine
I search for: New art and crafts projects for the girls and I.
I regret: Missing the first couple months of the girls' life.
I love: My family.
I ache: From bad posture. Mom was right: sit up straight!
I care: About the future and what we will leave the next generation.
I always: Put off today what I can do tomorrow.
I am not: Ready.
I believe: in the goodness of humankind.
I sing: Very, very badly.
I cry: At sappy movies.
I fight: When I am stressed.
I win: When I look in my girls' eyes.
I lose: Everything. Well...almost. Or at least it seems that way.
I never: Saw where life was leading.
I listen: To laughter.
I can usually be found: Running about.
I am scared: Of failing.
I need: To find myself.
I am happy about: Where I am. What I have.
I hope: For the future.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This is the Look

I get when Chaya feels it is her turn for the carrier when it really isn't.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


On our last trip to the market, Aba and I got some Milky for the girls. (For those who don't know, Milky is a pudding cup where the bottom is pudding and the top is a whipped cream.) Needless to say, I'm glad I gave it to them here at 3 Shekel a cup instead of Los Angeles at $3 a cup.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We aren't doing anything here even though there are a number of dinners around Jerusalem. At some point mid-December I'll be making Thanksgiving with all the fixings for Shabbat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BPA in My Tomatoes? Ugh.

I was catching up on my magazine reading and came across this interesting tidbit in Prevention. Apparently the inside of cans are coated in Bisphenol-A (BPA) and acidic foods leach the BPA out of the coating more than non-acidic foods. As someone who loves to use tomato paste and canned chopped tomatoes in her cooking, this shocked me and worries me.

I have worked hard to get rid of most things that have BPA in them for the girls. I switched them from Avent bottles to glass Momo bottles. I got rid of most of our plastic sippies and stocked up on Klean Kanteens and Siggs. I got rid of the plastic flatware we had and got some Oneida and Ikea flatware. After learning about this, I've cut pack considerably on my canned tomato usage, but I still like the convienence of the cans.

Then I was cruising Whole Foods and came across This brand of tomatoes in a box. I need to research the BPA situation with these and with the plastic containers I get from the kosher market. But I have a bit for those last-minute "Ah! I'm out of tomatoes!" moments.

For more information on BPA in children's products, check out Z Recs and The Soft Landing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Expectation of Privacy?

While we were at Metsada today, I was getting Chaya up into the Storchenweige. Not a huge deal until I noticed a guy taking a picture of something and I seemed to be moving into his line of sight. I tend to bounce and shift as I get the girl settled into a carrier and I know how annoying it is to try to take a picture and someone gets in the way. So I moved.

Well, apparently I was the subject of this guy's picture. He seemed a bit put out when I expressed my displeasure at this idea. If the story ended there it would have just been an odd bit of the story of our day, but it doesn't. When I asked Aba why he didn't say something to the photographer since he figured it out before I did, he said that there was nothing he could do since we were in public. I'm really confused at how this matters since I am the subject and I don't want my or my child's photo taken by this stranger.

I've gone out of my way to prevent strangers from taking photos of my children and as they become more interested in photographs I am teaching them that they have to ask someone permission before taking their picture.

This brings to mind something that my friend Ayelet mentioned about living in The Old City. When we were talking about it she said that she has a friend who lives there and the friend told her that sometimes when she is taking her trash out at night tourists take her picture. I can't be the only person who sees something wrong with that...can I?

Am I really that "out there" in my feelings on this? Is simply existing in a public space reason for my privacy to be invaded?

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Oldie Found

This was in my drafts folder. I was working on it when I took breaks from Rosh haShanah cooking but didn't get a chance to finish it then. Better late than never!

In between my cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the girls and normal household stuff, I've been mulling over what I'd like the new year to bring for my family.

My darling Chayale,
You are my bechora. I know you don't really "get" what that means and there is still time for you to fully understand your roll as first-born. But right now I need you to understand that it doesn't mean you get to take everything you want from Batya. I'm not sure why or how but you have really clicked onto the "I'm the big sister" roll with her. She seems to enjoy the hugs and kisses and calls herself "the baby" or "the baby sister" and calls you her "big sister". It is sweet. And cute. Until the crying and calls of, "Chaya took my _______!" At some point she is going to get fed up and use her height and weight advantage against you.

I also want to talk to you about the sleep issue. Every so often we click into a week or two when you go to sleep easily, sleep all night and nap well. Shock! You aren't a grouch the next day. Then something happens. Illness, teething, holidays and later-than-usual Shabbat dinner and we fight for weeks over sleep.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Four Down...Aba Escapes?

It's so unfair! I got hit by the dreaded bug yesterday just an hour or so before Shabbat. I ended up sleeping on the sofa through dinner and missing out on the great food Ayelet had prepared.

That said, Chaya and Batya still seem a little sleepy but Shira is back in spazz mode. I started feeling better Shabbat morning and just have to be careful of toddlers jumping on my tummy or doing too much.

I feel so bummed that basically half of our vacation has been spent cooped up in the apartment. I guess I should watch what I say. Before we left I was saying that I wanted to get a bit of a feeling for living here. If I can survive three sick toddlers, being sick myself and doing some pharmacy and grocery runs by myself I think I can make it when the crew is healthy. LOL

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Puke-y Update

The dates are off from when I'm writing and when I'm posting this because of the time changes. It is currently 2:10 AM on Friday morning. So "today" means Thursday.

Well, things went pretty well today. The girls slept until 7:00 around the time Aba came back from Netz at the Kotel. Then we had a light breakfast and tidied up. We were thinking all was well with Batya when she threw up twice. So Aba called our pedeatrician. The call back came when Batya was sleeping with me on the sofa. She said to basically do what we were doing and not to worry about food because when she was hungry she would eat.

Chaya and Shira were going stir crazy so I got them dressed and we walked a bit and stopped at Super-Pharm (drugstore) and at this cool little herb/vitamin store where I picked up some probiotics for Batya and some (kosher!) Rescue Remedy. We ended up coming back home about two hours later and Batya had slept the whole time.

I made lunch and she wanted some spaghetti and chicken and was adamant about getting some sauce, too. It stayed down for the most part. The only time anything came up what when she was screeching after Chaya kicked her in the stomach. (Nice and sisterly, huh?) I had a nice migraine by then but a Coke Zero, two Acamol and a nap killed it.

Batya and Chaya decided they wanted to sleep with me so we moved to their bed and Aba was supposed to make sure I was up in an hour...but he fell asleep on the sofa with Shira so we all slept for about five hours.

So everyone gets up and we have some light snacks, water and juice, play, tidy and fold some laundry. Then Chaya vomits. Three times. But (baruch Ha-Shem!) not as badly as Batya and she didn't get to the dry heaves. So, it is 1:45 AM here and I have a puking toddler in my arms, an ex-puking toddler asleep on the sofa with her bear and a toddler worried about her towel.

I managed to get Chaya and Batya into bed together and left Aba and Shira on the sofa. I gave Shira some probiotics preemptivly and watered her milk down.

But it is 2:05 AM and I don't think I can sleep. I guess I'll work on my hat or my sock.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aba and I Have Decided

that we need a vacation do-over. I'm thinking late April/May-ish.

Mini Israel, Vomit in My Hand and Monsters in the House

Today we attempted to get the girls a bit back on schedule by visiting Mini Israel. It is about a 45 minute drive so we left at 10:00 AM as the girls were heading into meltdown. Shira and Chaya napped in the car but Batya stayed awake. Aba, Batya and I snacked on some crackers while we let the other two sleep a bit more. (The plan was an hour nap there and to take a little driving tour on the way back so that they could get 60-90 minutes more and then they would be ready to sleep in the evening.)

We wandered around the exhibit a bit and it was fun. It was a bit warmer than we expected (The car's thermestat said 30 degrees celsius!) and soon Batya was asking for the carrier. I popped her onto my back and continued on our journey.

Soon, Shira starts crying that she needs a diaper. Being in the middle of an amusement park, warm and not wanting to hike to the bathroom and back again I did what any self-respecting ima would do: I lifted her dress and stripped off her diaper. I was just finishing attaching the second tab when the sound came from Batya.

My back was covered with warm, sticky and sour liquid and Batya was screeching. We got her clamed down and staning in the stroller after another bought of vomit. Aba took Shira and Chaya and I grabbed the stroller and we headed to the exit. On the way out, Aba purchased shirts for Batya and I and some cold beverages. I got her cleaned up and changed my shirt. I gave her some water and about 10 minutes later that came up, too. It was mostly water since she had gotten the crackers and cheese out in the park. We decided to risk it and headed to the car.

I put her in the seat behind me so that, if need be, I could jut open the doors and get to her. I could also easily uninstall the seat. And yes, I did need to. Once I got her out and the road and she had a bit more cheese to get rid of. That emptied her tummy as the other two times it was pretty much dry heaves and some drool into my hand. (Does allowing your daughter to puke into your hand make you an official mommy?)

Aba was so worried he kept looking back and missed two turns that would have gotten us home quickly. So we took a little detour through Mea Shearim.
We got home and Batya and I took a shower and got into pjs. I tossed the clothing into the washer and also got the carseat cover washed. We ended up napping for about five hours. I had planned on getting her asleep and then taking the other two for a walk, but Chaya joined us in bed and Shira and Aba napped on the sofa. She had a couple more dry heaves between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM. She woke around 8:45 asking for chalav. We gave her a bit of water and that stayed down so she had some milk. The she wanted a banana and that has stayed down, too.

It is now 4:00 AM and she is asleep again with no repeats. She has a very mild fever but she is teething (last two molars!). I suspect it was a combination of the flight, food changes, sleep changes, the sudden warm weather at Mini Israel, the preassure on her tummy from when I knelt down and the excess drool she swallows when she teethes.

Another new thing is Shira's fear of monsters. She has mentioned it a couple times and I was trying to come up with an answer. I finally did and it seems to have worked. I had tried the "Monster Spray" idea but she just wanted to spray and spray and spray and wasn't satisfied. Fail.
Instead I taught her to say "sh'ma" when she even thinks she sees a monster. I told her that monsters don't like to hear the Sh'ma so they will run away if they think she is going to say it. She practicied a few times and didn't mention monsters again so I hope it worked. I'll have to tell Aba about that one so that he knows what to do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Which I Talk About Sleep

Yes, I know this will probably upset some people, but it has been grating on my mind for a while and I just need to get it out.

When the girls were born, Aba and I made the concious decision not to cry-it-out, sleep train, Ferebrize, self-soothe or whatever other lingo is used to describe allowing your child to cry themselves to sleep in an attempt to make them able to fall asleep on their own. We made this decision knowing full well that it would be hard on us and we would be spending many nights waking up multiple times. We did this without help other than a few times my aunt or my my mom came up to give us a break. We didn't have a nurse, nanny, housekeeper, maid, doula, or other person there most nights. Why would we do this, you ask?

Simply put, we believe that children are children for a short time and have needs that we aren't able to fully understand. They understand their needs and we simply work to provide for them. By responding to our children's needs in a timely matter we believe that we give them the groundwork to build a healthy and happy life upon.

While the theory of allowing a four, six, twelve-month old child to learn to fend for themselves sounds wonderfully relaxing for the parent, there are many studies and anecdotal experiences that show that it isn't necessarily the best for the child.

One of the most compelling, in my opinion, examples of the potential harm in sleep training comes from the "Kibbutz experiment" where parents volunteered to have their children sleep in communal quareters away from them. Necessity caused the attendants to ignore most cries from these children. Lawrence Kelemen describes the results in his book To Kindle a Soul.
The ill-fated trial produced horrendous results. A barrage of studies found that the graduates of kibbutz children’s facilities suffered disproportionately from a range of psychological disorders, including attachment deprivation traumas, major depression, schizophrenia, low self-esteem, and alcohol and drug problems. By 1994, more than half of all children on Israeli kibbutzim exhibited symptoms and psychopathologies associated with insecure attachment. Professor Carlo Schuengel, an investigator from the University of Leiden, Netherlands, echoed the findings of many earlier researchers when he identified the cause of the psychological disintegration kibbutz children experienced: “Although collective sleeping may allow for sufficient monitoring of children’s safety, it leaves children with only a precarious and limited sense of security.

As data poured in revealing the damage that had been done by children’s sleeping facilities, kibbutz leaders abandoned the experiment. The last of the kibbutzim’s 260 children’s facilities was finally closed in 1998. Professor Ora Aviezer, director of the Laboratory for the Study of Child Development at the University of Haifa, summarized the disaster:

Research results indicate that collective sleeping arrangements for children negatively affect socio-emotional development in the direction of a more anxious and restrained personality. Collective sleeping was abolished as it became clear that it did not serve the emotional needs of most kibbutz members. Its disappearance demonstrates the limits of adaptability of parents and children to inappropriate child-care arrangements.

I often think of Ferberizing as a symptom of the push we give our children to grow up faster and leave the simple joys of childhood behind. We want them to sleep through the night, eat solids, wean from all nursing, get out of diapers, play quietly by themselves, watch TV, read, play video games, use the computer, take a host of classes, rush off to school, load them up with extracurricular activities and homework and dress them in miniature copies of the latest fashions. Then, in their prepubescent years we lament their lack of innocence.

I'm not saying that all sleep training is bad or that we need to ask how high when our child says jump. I am saying that we need to be responsive to our children's needs and add them to the mix when we make our parenting choices. Any parenting method only works if your family can implement and success with it. That said, I am hard-pressed to believe that it is in any child's best interest to have their needs be ignored and that a lot of parents have no problems with Fereberizing.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to leave the house while your child cries or you sit on the other side of their door weeping along with them can you honestly say that this method "works for us"?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We've Arrived!

Safe and somewhat sound. I'll go into the whole story later. :)

Here are a couple of pictures from hell...err...the plane. And how I carted my carseats through the airport.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We're off to Israel!

Our flight leaves early so we will be leaving the house bright and early. We'll be gone for two weeks and I hope to update a bit from overseas, but who knows what kind of time I'll get. So I've set some posts to go live while we're gone.

I'll be available via email if you need me, but won't be on Twitter or Facebook.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boo! Hiss! Motrin!

What a way to honor International Babywearing Week!

I freely admit the Motrin is my OTC pain reliever of choice for the girls. However, after seeing the new Motrin ads I think I'm going to have to review that choice. I'm not one to boycott products and when I do choose not to purchase something I tend not to advertise it unless asked directly about it. However this new ad is so offensive to me (an apparently many other moms) that I don't know that I will be able to continue to purchase Motrin.

It is currently up on their website but, G-d willing, it will soon be gone so I'm going to copy and paste the transcript prepared by Barb.

In case they pull the ad from their front page by the time you’re reading this (I sure hope they trash the entire campaign, and fast), I’m quoting the little video on their website front page, which they call a “Mom-versation“. The phrases in bold are my emphasis, though they have even better emphasis in the graphics in their ad.

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion.

I mean, in theory it’s a great idea.

There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch.

And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free.

Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience.

They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others.

But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t?

I sure do!

These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?!

I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom.

And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

Since I recently did a review of my favorite babycarriers I think it is pretty safe to say that I don't find then uncomfortable, painful or just a fashion accessory. There is a lot of research that has gone into babywearing and the benefits to parent and child beyond being able to do something while carrying your baby "handsfree".

If you have pain or strain from your carrier than you either need some help adjusting it or you need a different carrier. I recently sent my sister a couple carriers for her to try out and she only uses one...because it works for her. I have a number (way too many to count, though I did post some photographs a few months back) of carriers but only use a couple regularly. Why? Because they work!

And, while we are on the subject of pain, let me tell you about the lovely seudah shlishit and havdalah I had. We took the girls to the synagogue without the stroller. Chaya and Batya decided mid-meal to be clingyIneedmamarightnoworI'mgoingtocry so I ended up carting 30-60 pounds of toddler around while keeping track of Shira, Aba and eating. Finally I put Batya down and told her that my arm and shoulder was just too sore to carry her some more. If I had had a carrier I could have tossed her onto my back and went about my business.

So Motrin, think I'm going to hear that story any time soon in a "Mom-Alouge"?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Packing, Packing, Packing

I'm hoping to get a chance to add some pictures of the carseat set-ups, but I might not get the chance until later.

I've gotten us pretty much all packed. I have a couple things to toss in (my toiletry case, phone, perishable food, etc.) but really I feel like we can leave without a problem. Here's what I've got:

Large suitcase with girls' clothing, my clothing, carriers and some diapers.
Medium suitcase with diapers, wipes, girls' bottles, some new toys for the trip back, shoes, various electrical chargers.
Small bag with food and drinks.
Diaper bag packed with books, a couple small toys and my knitting.
Small suitcase carry-on with change of girls' clothing, my toiletry case, toys, camera case.
Luggage cart with two carseats puzzled together and attached with the LATCH straps and bungee cords.
Third carseat strapped to rolling carry-on with bungee cord and tether strap.
Aba says he will have 1 suitcase and his briefcase.

The diaper bag fits, food bag and Aba's briefcase will be in the stroller basket or hanging from the handlebar. Two girls will be in the stroller and one on my back. One of us will push the stroller and the other one will control the two other pieces.

Should be fun!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One Hour Shabbat Dinner

That's right. I made Shabbat dinner in an hour. I'm pretty impressed, myself.

Homemade Challah (from the freezer)
Gefelte Fish
Israeli Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Fried Eggplant Salad
Mizuna Salad
Cranberry Chicken (from the freezer)
Roasted Carrots
Cake (from freezer)

Lunch is at the Beit Knesset for a bar mitzvah and seudah shlishit is always at the Beit Knesset. We'll have the leftovers for a late dinner and then it all gets put into the trash as we leave Sunday at 8:00 AM for the airport.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shira the Stylist

Well, Batya may have liked longer hair, but Shira decided she would look better with a bob and cut her hair. So I had to even it out. The shorter length brought out a little flip we didn't know about. The part that Shira cut the shortest falls under the natural part Batya has so it works and will grow.

All scissors are packed away. Very high and far away.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

International Babywearing Week

Today is the start of International Babywearing Week and it is a bit bittersweet for me since the girls and I seem to be at the end of our babywearing career. It seems a bit fitting that the Sunday of IBW will be spent on a plane and in airports and that we are only bringing the double stroller to Israel and a selection of carriers and my Suse's Kindercoat. In honor of IBW (and because I had told a couple people that I would get around to it) I'm going to share reviews of Aba's and my favorite carriers. Again it is fitting since all but one of these carriers will be making the trip to Israel with us.

First up is a stretchy wrap. Most common seems to be a Moby, but I have a gifted Israeli one. This is basically a long strip of stretchy t-shirt material. You wrap yourself and your baby in it and head out. I was pretty faithful to a "front wrap cross carry" and wore the stretchy wrap until the girls were too heavy for it to support their weight. I wasn't able to breastfeed, but i did bottle feed the girls in this wrap and breastfeeding is supposed to be wonderfully easy. (This is the carrier that isn't going to Israel with us.)

Then we have a traditional mei tai. I own a few brands, but my current favorite is a Nurslings Hemp Tai. The body is wide and soft. The straps are padded, comfy and long. The panels are gorgeous. The hood is easy to put on all by yourself. I really wish I had splurged on this carrier at the beginning of our babywearing journey.

Next is the Calyx. This carrier is a version of an Asian-style carrier. Instead of tying it on, you buckle it. Inside is a seat to help support your child. There is a learning curve with the internal harness, but it isn't that bad and if your toddler will stand still then it is even easier. The shoulder straps are curved and padded and are among the most comfortable straps I've tried. The curve also keeps them in place without the chest clip. This makes it a lot more comfortable as the chest clip isn't pulling and digging. My only complaint with the Calyx is the hood. It is different than most carrier hoods so there is a learning curve which I don't mind, but I have a hard time getting it up by myself.

Another buckle carrier that I love is the Connecta. This British carrier is so light and easy to "pop" the girls into. This is the one you will find flapping behind me as I wander after the girls while we are out and about. I leave the waist buckled and then lossen the shoulder straps to let the girls get up or down. The hood on the Connecta is also wonderful and I can easily get it up without any help.

Aba has his own favorite buckle carrier. He likes the Yamo. This Israeli carrier is a bit more "manly" looking which he prefers. The shoulder straps on this carrier have dual adjustments. This gives an even better fit. The body is narrower than others and the hood is pretty easy to get on alone. My complaint with this carrier is the short body. Aba doesn't seem to mind, though, and it is his carrier.

Aba's second favorite carrier is the Ellaroo Mei Hip. He really liked the pouch but the girls quickly outgrew the carry he felt comfortable using with the pouch. I tried to teach him to tie a mei tai for a hip carry, but he claimed it was too involved for him. I found a Mei Hip on The Babywearer's FSOT board and he used it pretty regularly until we got the Yamo. The only drawback on this one is that you can only use it as a hip carrier. If you use that carry a lot, though, this is something to look into.

I'm not sure if I'll be bringing any wraps. I have quite a few but I've fallen into the catch-22 of babywearing. I don't feel comfortable and secure with a wrap so I don't use them; I don't use the wraps so I feel uncomfortable and insecure with them. I highly recommend learning to use a wrap when your child is old enough to have their legs splayed. It is sort of like driving a stick shift. You might not need to, but you have the skill and can use it if needed. I've been working at it, though and took a long walk with Chaya in a wrap and it was comfy.

Missing from my list are pouches and ring slings. I just don't like them. I always feel like I need to hold onto the baby i'm wearing. I had a couple and used them until I got the stretchy wrap.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Knitterly Stuff

It occurred to me last night that I haven't posted anything crafty lately. So, here is a crafty fix.

I've been plugging away at the girls' Josephs. I got everything finished last night and it is now drying. Hopefully I can start seaming them tonight.



You might notice that Shira's jacket (the red one) seems quite a bit larger than the other two. That was my big error on these pieces. I knit Chaya's first and entered it in Ravelry. Then I let it sit for a while before I cast on Batya's. I knit her back and part of the right front when I decided to update Ravelry. Then I noticed that I was using 13s instead of 17s as listed. I measured the backs against each other and they were roughly the same so I figured I was fine. I finished Batya's and used 17s when I cast on Shira's.

When I was photographing them last night I figured out what I did. I didn't mix up needles. I used 13s on Chaya's and wrote down 17. Luckily Shira is the largest of the girls. Batya might have some length issues with the sleeves so I'm going to seam Chaya's and try it on Batya so I can add some length as needed.

Next time I need to be more careful with what needles I'm using. I'm thinking a piece of blue painters tape on the reverse with all the info on it so that if the items gets separated from the pattern or needles I have a record. Or I could just double check my notes on Ravelry.

I've also swatched up Cambridge Jacket for Aba and Pearl Buck Swing Jacket (Ravelry links) for me. Though I have a few other sweaters I'd like to make for me so I haven't decided which one to start with. I haven't touch Absorba. I need to get to that, though. I have all of the Ugly Betty eps from this season saved on the DVR so I might force myself to work on Absorba while watching them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Much to Report on Today

and I really don't feel like writing. I've been writing a lot for when we are gone and I'm just beat.

This trip has me wishing I had an extra set of hands. I'm not sure how all of this is going to make it without serious complaint.

Carry-on and gate check
3 car seats
bag of food
diaper bag
our carry-on
dh's carry-on

Checked luggage
Suitcase with our clothing
Suitcase with diapers and shoes
Suitcase with rear-facing foot for car seats, toiletries and assorted electrical chargers
Dh's suitcase

I'm going to try to narrow down the suitcases to two but it will depend how I can get stuff fitted. For the carry-ons, I don't think I can really narrow it down except perhaps splitting the food up among the diaper bag and carry-on.

On top of all of that, I'll need to gate check the stroller and then pre-board and install the car seats while Aba corrals the girls to board at the end. I know how hard it is to do that alone and I also know how much Aba stresses when they are "running free" anywhere much less an airport. We also have the option of checking the stroller through which would be perfect except for the layover in Paris. Definitly the subject of some more discussion.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hanukkah Gift Planning

I've been working on holiday lists for the girls. Which naturally gets me thinking a lot about what we need, what the girls would like, what I would like, what will get the most use, what will be the best value. The girls have also asked for some specific things.

Aba and I would like to ask any gift givers to please shy away from electronic things. We like them to have more open-ended toys that use more imagination power than battery power.

For clothing, They all wear about 2T. Target seems to run smaller and they need 3T in most things. Gymboree is a 2T bottom and an 18-24 month top. Children's Place runs small so they need 3T especially for bottoms. Shoes are a 7 or 8.

I'll add as I think of more.

Hobby horse (You know, the horse head with stick body. We saw one at Ikea and she adored it.)

Black horse (Breyer type. This she asked for.)
Camera (She asked for this, too.)

Baby stuff (for a 16 or 18 inch doll. She has enough babies, but clothing, diapers, cradle, etc are needed.)

For all of them
Dress-up stuff (Lakeshore Learning has some dress-up masks that are animal faces.)
Sand and water table

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Life Worth Living

I was catching up on my Reader when I came across this post from The Artful Parent. It really hit a spot and spoke to me as I've been feeling that itch that tells me something isn't right in my world. Ahhhh, but that is actually another post. This post is about those wonderful little things that make life worth living. Let's see how many we can come up with.

  1. Batya coming up to me and saying that she loves Chaya.
  2. A well-made cappuccino.
  3. Snuggling in bed next to a warm little baby.
  4. That odd bit of morning when you are awake but haven't gotten out of bed. You lie there in the quiet with the light peaking in around the curtains and listen to your family breathe and all the creaks and groans of the city waking up.
  5. The moment your soul gets carried away by the shirim haShabbat and you can't help but sway and hum long after the song has ended.
  6. Realizing you've done something that has helped change the course of your life and possibly the world.
  7. Helping someone unexpectantly.
  8. Sharing something important to you with another person.
What makes your life worth living?

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Day in the Life

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Nursing a NICU Baby (or Two)

Some of you know about my problems breastfeeding the girls despite many efforts and struggle. Despite this I am still 100% pro-breastfeeding and encourage all new moms to do their best for their babies and get good advice from competent lactation consultants and La Leche League.

My friend Celeste recently (has it really been three months!?!) gave birth to twin boys at 32 weeks. She has a wonderful post up on her blog about breastfeeding, dealing with the NICU, preemies and low-supply. I mentioned it in the comments, but here is my addition to what she said.

Be on the lookout for postpartum depression. Have your friends and family aware of the increased risk of ppd with premature births and NICU experiences and get help at the first sign. I can telly ou from experience that you don't want to be near your child's first birthday and learn that their first months of life are shrouded with a black cloud in your memory.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Am I the Only One

a bit saddened by Bert and Ernie's now being Claymation?

Yes, I understand that they can do more with it than they could with the puppets, but it still makes me a bit sad since the puppets have disappeared from the new season of Sesame Street.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Have You Met My Little Friend?

(Said in my best bad Al Pacino/Scarface impersonation.)

As many of you know, I was a HUGE fan of the Senseo. I got mine as part of the $15.00 trial and used it and loved it. I participated in pod swaps. I bought the My Pod and extra-large water tank. I sang its praises to everyone. Then it started misbehaving.

The gasket wouldn't seal and it was taking forever to get a cup of coffee. I tried all the tricks and tips I found online and had success with descaling the machine. For a couple weeks. I went back online to hunt down some other tips and tried everything. It was pretty hit and miss and I started drinking Israeli instant again.

Finally I decided to splurge in a new machine and started looking up reviews of the other single serve coffee machines and ended up picking a Keurig B66. I love it. I can't imagine life without it. Yes, it was a bit more expensive than the Senseo (The Keurig was $139.99 at Costco and the Senseo was $15.00 through their Share Senseo program but retails for $59.99.) but the ease of use and the quality of the coffee can't compare to the Senseo.

The Keurig has a timer so I set it to turn on at the same time my alarm goes off. By the time I'm downstairs the machine has hot water ready. The Keurig also has a larger water tank without purchasing an extra item and the water temperature is adjustable.

I received a number of sampler packs with the machine and I signed up for Green Mountain Coffee's autoship club and received a couple more boxes of samplers. There are still some unopened boxes here for me to try plus a whole world of other available K-cups out there not to mention the regular coffees that I can pack into the My K-cup that came with my machine.

So far, of the ones I have tried my favorites are Green Mountain's Double Black Diamond, Espresso Blend, Wild Mountain Blueberry (surprisingly light and not gross like it sounds!) and Caribou Coffee's Caribou Blend. They also make a hot cocoa, but I haven't tried it and would have to look into the kashrut implications of making a dairy drink in the machine.

Overall I'd have to say that the Keurig is the machine to get if you are looking for a good cup of coffee from a single serve machine.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Shopping Cart Made for Us

We recently went to the newly remodeled Target. They have new shopping carts, too, and we found some different three-seater shopping carts. The old ones really were only good for two since the add-on seats blocked the legs of the basket. But this new one in in the seating arrangement that is wonderful for triplets. Needless to say, we will be heading to this Target when we need to pick something up.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Wireless Connection Hates Me

Its true. Why else would it work for Aba and not me? I think I've got it sort-of fixed, but I need to get a permanent solution worked out. I'm hoping for a decent post tonight, but we'll see if this is it. The girs are having a hard time today. I'm off to make lunch and then see about a walk with them. Maybe a treat, too.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Music Nights

Shavua tov everyone!

I have this post set to automatically publish, but I'm hoping to get a couple pictures uploaded before it does, so there may or may not be photos. LOL

Last week our synagogue started a new program. We recently got a new chazzan who has a wonderful voice. So parents and children get together for a half hour of shirim with music. The idea is to teach the children the shirim and then later on to have a dinner where they sing.

The girls are a little young, but they seem to enjoy it. The music is all on keyboard so it isn't as loud and raucous as the music class we took over the summer. They still sit quietly and sometimes bob their heads, but I won't be surprised to see them dancing soon.

After the singing we have pizza. That's a big hit. LOL

Woot! Got the pics uploaded so here they are: