Sunday, March 30, 2008

Do you want to take my picture?

I wanted to take professional pictures of my kids pretty much as soon as I became a mom:) But between my organization skills and my decision making (compounded with hubby's 'why do you have to take them to a studio when we can take great pictures ourselves-just find a nice background, etc), it hasn't happened.

In the last couple of months I became determined-the local baby's r us now has a studio; there is a local target now; one of my friends does professional photography; AND I found someone very very local with a very impressive ad in a local circular. Plus, I bought my kids matching outfits in November in anticipation of a sibling photograph. And at the end of March I realized that Eh is about to grow out of hers. So I somehow remembered to check out this local photographer's website and FINALLY made an appointment for sunday.

And, yet again, this is how I fell victim to advertisement.

I enjoyed the gallery of my photographer neighbor (pn) but I liked the 'about me' page even more. The page spoke to me, I almost identified with pn. It said that she has patience for her little clients, she gives them toys and plays with them to make them comfortable. Basically, 'about' page said that pn likes kids as much as she likes making beautiful photos. What else did I need?

I finally unpacked the matching outfits. I drycleaned a pretty made-for-pictures dress that I bought for Eh and was eagerly unticipating our appointment.

The 'studio' was in the basement- not a problem, I still wanted to support local business. And then things went downhill from there:

1. Eh had to put on the matching sweater so the pn 'helped' me by putting the sweater on her head without unbuttoning the neck buttons. No rushing a session there.

2. My mom, who came with us to assist me was told to move to a side because apparently she was actually able to keep kids entertained (and they were looking at her and not the pn). No please, no sorry, no thanks.

3. The pn didn't seem to have much patience for Eh and at one point just dragged her from one point on the prop to the other. A far cry from portrait sessions that are 'never rushed'.

4. The baby kept trying to jump off from one of the props and instead of trying to sit him on something else or on the floor I was told to stand by and try to catch him quickly if he was falling.

5. First the kids were put on the prob and then the lenz was adjusted, etc. An obvious inpatience was heard in the pn's voice when the kids weren't doing what they were 'supposed ' to do.

6. The kids were talked to like adults and very few tricks were used to make them feel comfortalbe with pn. So much for loving to make kids feel comfortable as much as loving to make beautiful photos.

7. Eh was given a noise making toy for entertainment while SiM's pictures were taken. Then pn asked Eh to stop making that noise because it distracted SiM. Bad judgment call or just a bad day?

8. I dressed SiM only in onsie to capture his chunkiness ( even though the climate in the 'studio' was pretty cool). When I asked if pn got any pictures of his legs there was a surprised "oh, you wanted to photograph his legs?'. No, I just wanted him to be cold.

9. At the end of the session, she was pretty dismissive of Eh's last outfit. If you want to end the session, tell me so. Politely. It's just better for business. Plus, more shots=more potential business.

10. The lights in the studio were turned off before we left. Blah. Did she consider a-leaving after us and then turning off the lights; b- returning to the studio after we left for the energy saving routine.

These weren't the only offences but 10 is more than enough. Yet again, I fell victim to advertisement. I just hope that one line of it is true and I will get my "tug of the heart' portrait that I'm looking for'.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

SiM, you did it!

Though my profession is not my identity, it does give my world a certain tint. I notice people's postures, various 'structural' deformities, splints, casts, slings, etc. I notice little kids movements, infants' motor milestones, and lots of other useless stuff.

In short, my baby wasn't reaching some of his milestones fast enough for me. So periodically, I would make him do what he is 'supposed to' at his age or complain to my relatives that he is not the fastest to achieve ALL of the milestones of his age.

One of my complaining sessions happened on Saturday when I (yet again) told hubby that my poor baby doesn't move around efficiently. "Look at him, my poor baby can't sit up by himself!" So hubby put the baby on his stomach. And to my amazement and delight, SiM slowly but beautifully sat up!

Any other mom would probably cry from pride and joy and would rest her case. I was happy and proud for a minute but then I remembered to complain that if SiM falls and ends up on his back he just stays that way... Hubby decided to test that theory as well. Sim smoothly rolled from his back on his stomach and then sat up without complaining even a peep!

Hence now I'm just being a proud mom and showing off or just bragging about his new skills (it took me less than a week to put it in writing...).
Way to go, SiM!

Eviction, update

Where do I begin? Probably a good place to start would be to compare writing to exercise. It's only fun if you do it consistently, i.e. you have a routine. Once that routine is broken, getting back is harder than starting for the first time. You wonder who needs it, why did you do it in the first place? You've done enough writing ( exercising) to last you a life time, etc., etc., etc.

Then, you finally remember why you started doing 'it' in the first place. That's why I decided to write an update on my evict-the-baby-from-my-bed situation ( and why I have a very battered-but-still-can-be-used free pass to LA Fitness Club in the pocket of my labcoat).

The night I stopped writing eviction updates was also the night when I was SO exhausted (from stuff?) that I went to bed at an unheard of hour of 10pm. Naturally, my baby woke up before I even got a chance to fall asleep. So I just plopped him into bed with me and did what came naturally. We were both sleeping in no time! The next thing I remember is hubby changing baby's diaper. When I mumbled something in an attempt to explain that I want to forget the discipline and just get some sleep he said not to worry so I went back to sleep. The following morning I realized that hubby returned the baby back to his crib and basically woke up every time the baby did to help me keep the eviction process going.

Sadly, waking up like that didn't do hubby any good and the next few nights we took turns snuggling with the baby or rather allowing the baby to snuggle in with us. But all in all, we are heading in the right direction and the baby spends at least a portion of the night in his crib and that's an achievement in and of itself!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eviction, Continued

As always, it's past my bedtime so I'll make it quick. For the past two nights, the baby stayed in his crib with his dad giving him bottle 2x. However, when it was my turn to pacify the baby, I tried feeding him in my bed and we were back to square one.

Tonight however, we went to a wedding and my baby didn't fall asleep until 9:40. So there is hope he'll sleep a bit better

My typing was interrupted by a loud yelp. Sigh. However, he is still in his crib as I sign off:)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eviction, night 3

Last night was a bit of a setback. Apparently, while I was doing laundry and before I wrote last night's entry, the baby woke up, was fed and changed by hubby and was put back to sleep ( in his crib:)). He woke up again around 12. And again, thanks to hubby he was back asleep in his crib. At 2-something, it was my turn to wake up for him and in a moment of weakness I took the baby into my bed, thinking that after I nurse him and he'll fall asleep I'll put him back where he belongs. But baby didn't want to nurse for some reason. And frustrated I was about to get out of bed and try to give him a bottle until I looked at the clock and realized that 2 + hours passed. Apparently, he nursed quite successfully before and was ready for another installment. It was hubby's turn to pacify the little guy.

In my semiawake state I have no idea when and how but the baby woke up completely and was standing in his crib practicing his speeches- na na na, bababa, ma ma, da da da, etc, etc,etc. We both tried to ignore him, be annoyed and all. But he was so cute and cheerful - we had to laugh.

Then I got tired and took him to bed with me. The next thing I know my alarm went off though by the time I actually opened my eyes I was only 40 minutes late...Good luck to us today. Peace out:)


I've worked at my present assignment for 14 months. I started there when I was 4 and 1/2 months pregnant so many people, residents and coworkers alike, know me as someone with a baby. As previously mentioned, the residents from the floor where my clinic is located are especially interested in mine and my baby's wellbeing. Some ask for pictures, others even remember his name.

Possibly because I was pregnant and all the hormones made me nice and mellow, or maybe because motherhood made me that way, I made friends with some of the residents on that floor. With one of them I became particularly close in the last 3 months because she fell and broke her hip (non operable fracture) and from a very independent classy woman she became a dependent yet still fisty and even defiant and still very classy woman.

This woman passed away on Thursday. It was expected. Her last couple of days seemed difficult but she was a fighter til the end. She probably died wearing her pretty matching PJs but sadly on the day she passed away I came to work late- 2 hours after she left this world.

By nursing home standards, she had lots of possessions- clothes, jewelry, books, her art, pictures, etc. She had no known family so all of her possessions were either given away to other residents or thrown out. I took one picture she drew and a collage she made-a tangible even if distant reminder. I said a prayer for her and when I found out that her funeral would be on Monday I thought to myself that I'll attend.

Come Monday and I find out that many people from work cannot attend the funeral because, for some bizarre reason the nursing home administration decided that there must be a lavish St. Patrick's Day celebration. And her resident's friends were not allowed to attend because there were issues with ambulettes, etc., etc., etc. But I thought to myself I can still go, I heard the funeral is local, 15 minutes drive from work.

The time flew uncharacteristically fast for a Monday morning. Before I knew it, I had to attend the daily morning report and hard as I tried, I couldn't find one of my friendly coworkers who'd tell me the address of the funeral home. So I thought I'd find her after the meeting, get the address and go then.

But what was I thinking?! Monday morning reports are typically longer and more boring because they include 3 days instead of 1. I left it a bit early but not early enough. By the time I found out the address of the funeral home it was 5 minutes before the funeral was scheduled to begin.

And that's when I felt horrible, really horrible. My procrastination, disorganization, unfound optimism that I can go any place in 10 minutes or less...Unlike all the other empoloyees who were denied permission to go, I made my own schedule. I came and went as I pleased. Yet, I failed my friend. I didn't make it to her funeral with no good excuse. I just missed it.

In another hour, after someone who attended the funeral came back I realized just how much I've blundered. There were only three people at the funeral- my friend's social worker, her nurse, and the rabbi.

I'm deeply sorry my friend. I hope you rest in peace.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Eviction, night 2 / Carnival

Last night, after I finally got to bed, I felt exceptionally comfortable and quite lonely. No delicious hair to sniff for a good-night-aroma-therapy, no warn chuncky little feet to poke me. With my newly found freedom it tooke me some time to actually fall asleep. I wonder if that's what parents experience when they finally marry off their children and then suddenly and painfully feel all alone.

Basically, the baby woke up 4 times during the night. (Too many times for someone his age). Still even with all the getting out of bed to quiet the baby, I felt that I had a better night's sleep overall. Plus, to comfort us both, I took him to my bed to nurse around 4 ( though I put him back to his crib as soon as he fell asleep) and I took him to my bed around 6:30 and though he never went back to sleep, I was in the state of semiwakefulness which was the next best thing to sleeping ( with a little bonus of listening to him babble).

Tonight, he turned in around 8 PM (thanks to my visiting sister aka mother's helper:)) so he should be waking up in 15 minutes or so...So I should go and prepare a bottle of water (with back up bottle of milk because I have a suspicion he'll refuse water after he'll realize what's given to him) so that he's awake as little as possible.

Thanks all for your support and encouragement. More to follow.

PS Today, the kids and I went to a Purim carnival. The baby fell asleep on the way, which was good. We got there early to avoid the crouds but walked into the carnival area and I realized that she's a bit too young for most of the entertainment, I felt a bit disappointed. Then I found 2 things that she can participate in- face painting and air-walk (though it's not the proper name).

My usually talkative girl took her time in affirming with a nod that she's like to have a picture on her face, and that picture can be a flower. After that, I asked her if she'd like to jump on a big big mattress and she said yes. Naturally, as soon as I placed her on top of the mattress, she refused to jump. Thankfully, since there were no other customers at the time, the attendant allowed me to go in with her. She was giggling non stop and when the time came for us to exit she said she wants to go back.

To make the long story a bit shorter we spend most of the 2 hours with Eh either jumping on the 'mattress' or waiting in line to jump again. We took two little breaks to eat hamentashen and pizza but then we returned to the mattress again:).

The day went a bit downhill from there because Eh ended up taking a late nap and waking up an hour later in a bad mood. But when I asked her to describe to her dad where she went today, she just said " I want to go again" and I felt proud of myself as a parent who actually goes somewhere with her kids (and that somewhere is not just a trip to a local RiteAid).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eviction, night 1

For the select few who read my blog- it finally happened! For those who just wandered by, I'm proud to report that after 9 months and 1 week of cosleeping tonight is the night when my baby was evicted out of my bed into his crib.

The process was long and complicated. Initially, he was sleeping on and off in his bassinette ( inherited from the big sister). However, there were 2 factors that made constant sleeping in the bassinette rather difficult. 1- he was a larger baby and outgrew the pretty box pretty quickly. 2- The true reason is that around the time the big sister was about 6 months old, I learned that I can nurse her while laying down (read 'sleeping') with a bit of discomfort but lots of other advantages. So I started this baby off by sleeping with me more than sleeping in his bed. I knew it wasn't advised in 'Babywise" to mention but a few 'experts'. But what the heck, I am an expert of self, and I knew that frequently interrupted yet quickly regained sleep is better than who-knows-how-frequently-interrupted but definitely not as quicly regained sleep.

But now the natural, even if almost symbolic at this point, source of nourishment doesn't always seem to quiet baby down. And since the crib's been completely available for over a month, hubby finally got annoyed enough to move the crib into our room (hopeless optimist that I am, for a while there, I sincerely thought the loud baby can sleep in the same room with his older sister), and tonight is the first night the little baby (though sometimes, unkindly, I wish to call him a foghorn) is sleeping in the crib!!!!!!!!!!!

So far, he woke up after 2.25 hours but, thank Gd, went back to sleep after consuming a bottle of milk. And I know I should be in bed enjoying my newly found even if possibly short lived freedom but I realized I have to share my happy moment with my friends and family.

On that note, peace out and good luck to me!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The mystery of a disappearing wig

I wanted to buy a good wig for the past 28 months. If you wonder at my unusual attention to detail the answer is simple. It was 2 weeks prior to me becoming a mom that I almost bought a wig for an obscene amount of money but the credit card machine didn't work at the store and that was the last time I visited them.

Today, thanks to my friends, I found out that there is some sort of warehouse clearance sale ( or whatever the polite term is for around 500 wigs or so of all shapes and colors laying down on tables in the basement of some school, and women coming in hoards to get a 60% off bargain which necessitates trying on all these wigs in public, with a few not so strategically located mirrors, few combs too few and an invisible pull to buy at least two discounted-yet-still-not-so-affordable beauties that would make many a woman's hair look like a pitiful old blushing brush in comparison). Whew. That was one heck of a run-on sentence!

Anyhow, there I was, part of the throng of bargain hunters. I didn't even find my friend at first but right away I found two potential purchases. They quickly turned into three. I was lucky and found a spot by the mirror right away but as I took for contender #1 and was trying to put on contender #2 some girl, who wasn't even buying for herself (and was just trying on something that her mom wanted to buy) occupied the space by the mirror. I politely excused myself but naturally she reappeared as I removed #2 and attempted to put on #3.

Sadly, due to daylight savings time it seems like it's past my bedtime already so there is only so much detail I can provide...Let's just say that in the end (1.5 hours later) my choices were boiled down from 6 ( yes, there were lots of possibilities) to 2. And one of them was SO overpriced (and that's with the 60% discount) and SO comfortable that I was seriously considering making it mine. It was so comfortable I even feared that it was too big for me. But the owner reassured me that " it fits perfectly and it's a beautiful handmade piece."

Advertisement always works on me, by the way. So I showed my final choices to my friend ( who by then made her selection) and she approved both. The last deciding vote was that of hubbies. At the time I had the less expensive option on my head and the 'beautiful piece" in my hand. I put it down on the table to search for my phone, while still conversing with my friend and looking in the mirror. And then I happened to look at the table and realized that the masterpiece was gone!

I spent another 15 minutes looking for it. I recruited my friend, the owner and her daughter to help me. They made an announcement requesting for the masterpiece to be returned to its rightful potential owner. I gave a couple of dirty looks to a few women who looked like potential masterpiece snatchers. I even questioned a couple re: items that they had in their hands. A couple of wannabes were found but they were the wrong color. And as revved up as I was about buying a bargain masterpiece, almost didn't do it for me this time around.

The masterpiece was gone. Vanished. Disappeared into the air.

I finally realized that I should just buy the one that was still in my possession and go home. Though at that point, if the masterpiece was found I'd buy it just because it's value went up in my eyes as something that took a while to find ( again, I never denied being a victim of advertisement[s]). I even left my phone number with them just in case they found it. I was willing to buy both the masterpiece and my now 2nd but only choice.

Now it's 11:30PM, I'm more than 45 minutes late with my nightly routine and yet I took the time to write about the wig not taken. And I can't help but wonder if the disappearance act didn't happen and I bought the more expensive wig, how likely is it that I would I be sitting in front of the computer and blogging about paying an obscene amount of money for a nicely arranged bunch of someone else's hair!?

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Today, we had our friends over for lunch. Typically, the conversation covered the events of the past week, plans for the upcoming weeks, acquaintances, friends, work. You name it. And then it somehow turned to people who come around to collect money and our various experiences related to the topic. Then, hubby asked if one of our neighbors is rich (that was an extended part of the 'collecting' discussion). And before our guest got a chance to answer, his wife said "I don't think so. But my husband is not a good reference, he thinks you are rich, too."

Everyone at the table had a good chuckle but this comment made me pause and realize that he is right. We are rich. Maybe not in the sense that our friend had intended it but we definitely are. And, of course, hubby's quotation of the chazal that 'he who is happy with his lot is truly rich' helped, too.

And, I'll have something to think about while I'm trying to fall asleep ( namely what exactly have we done to join the 'rich' category?).

Peace out and a wonderful week to all!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Miss Independence

Quick update for those who are interested... Big Eh prefers to dress by herself 'self' as of last week. It was a gradual process where first she learned to put on her shoes, then socks, the pants, and now shirts. The only thing she does not want to put on by herself is PJs but that she doesn't want anyone else to put on her, either. PJs=sleep and no kid wants that...:)

And in case I haven't mentioned it before, she now pronounces her name correctly, and insists on others using her nick name rather than full name:)

Lost and Found

There is a delightful networking site '' which is the Russian version of ''. After years of refusing to join any networking sites because 'emailing was sufficient', I caved in and joined facebook. It was fun for about a month and then facebook joined email-overstimulating, overwhelming, let-me-check-it-later kind of activity.

Then I met an acquaintance at a grocery store and he told me that odnoklasniki is the best site to reconnect with my Russian speaking American friends. 'We are all on it" were his words. And "facebook is a waste of time'.

So about a month later, while I was trying to prioritize all the chores that had to be done before I went to bed, I decided to check out odnoklasniki ( read: all chores can wait another day- what's a day compared to eternity?).

And there, together with my lost American friends, I found my best friend from elementary school with whom I lost touch over 10 years ago. I saw her picture where she looked pretty much the way I remembered her- just shorter hair and a bit more mature look. And, to make things so much more exciting for me, she lives in Manchester, England, i.e. she reads and speaks English!!!

I also got a chance to say hi to a couple of my classmates with whom I didn't have much to do since I left. Still, it was fun. And as far as my lost friend, she's found now. And we are trying to exchange 20 years worth of stories in small email installments.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bad parenting

We had a visitor with a baby Eh's age last week. The girls hit it off and were playing pretty nicely, for the most part. At one point, the mom had to excuse herself and I was left with the kids. Before I knew what happened, the little visitor got a hold of one of Eh's drumsticks (little colorful things that came in a set of little instruments) and no matter how much Eh asked her she wouldn't give them. I told Eh that she should just take the stick away. But my poor little daughter just kept crying, jumping, screeching and trying all the other tricks available to a 2 year old except for taking the blessed stick from the kid. I was trying to teach Eh to be independent and kept telling her " take the stick, just take it" but my little girl just couldn't do it. Meanwhile the visitor seemed to be oblivious to Eh's distress and kept walking up and down the room with a stroller and a drumstick in her hand. She had a few months of daycare experience (aka fight for your toys) under her belt and just enjoyed the toys while she can.

This whole thing must've lasted for about 5 minutes at which point, the mom of the visiting girl came out of the bathroom, asked her daughter to give up the stick which she did with ease, and gave it to my inconsolable-for-another-few-minutes daughter.

I'm still reliving this episode as if it happened 1/2 hour ago ( though a bit over a week has past) and wondering what the h*ll made me think that by telling my daughter over and over and over again to take her toy away from someone who [technically speaking] stole it from her I'd give her a crash course in daycare etiquette. Not only didn't I help my daughter in the long rung, I didn't help my daughter. I let her cry, get disappointed, frustrated. I now feel resentment towards that kid and the mom, who heard the commotion but didn't bother coming to the rescue earlier since it wasn't her child who was crying...

Maybe after putting it in writing I'll get over this episode like my little Eh did a little while after it happened. Maybe I'll learn to stop doing stupid things as soon as I realize I'm doing something stupid rather than continuing to persevere in futile hope that something stupid will turn into something great? Hear hear.