Saturday, September 27, 2008

While I was sleeping

Yesterday I gave my daughter some chips and asked her to share them with her brother. In less than a minute I heard her call me to the living room (and the whole idea of the chips is to make the kids content and safely invisible for a bit). I went to check what was the matter. "Mommy, look!" I looked and didn't see anything. And then it hit me. The baby was sitting on the couch together with my big girl! And when I asked if she helped him climb up she said no. "Did he climb on the couch for the first time?" Again, no. In summary, though I missed the very first climbing, SiM repeated both climbing and discending from the couch quite a few times on shabbat. He definitely knows how to do it. Now I have to worry re: where to hide all the chairs from the kitchen.

Also some time last week I noticed that Eh was climbing up the stairs alternating her feet! Way to go Eh! (hope I was the first one to notice though...).

On a side note, last week I gave away 5 pairs of my shoes that I magically fit me in the store only(and I usually walk around in the shoes that I'm planning to buy for at least 10 minutes making sales people +/- secutiry watch me closely) or that I bought during a manic moment, managed to wear once and then then didn't fit me anyway. And as I typed this, I remembered 2 more pairs of shoes ( the once that I didn't find during my inventory but SiM found when he was offering me a ewe [shoe] to wear to we can go outside) that may hopefully change owners. Before I know it, I'll have enough room in my closet to buy new shoes!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It seems like everybody and their grandmothers ( or toddlers, in some cases) have something to say about politics. Most of it seems to be hot air but as long as this hot air doesn't reek of anti US sentiment I dont' really care. That's what freedom of speech is all about. People can burp as often as they feel like.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Historical week for Wall Street

Or so Bloomberg says.

But who would have thunk it-Lehman Brothers went bankrupb, Merrill Lynch bought out by Bank of America (would be they keep The bull on Wall Street?), America International Group (AIG) owned by the feds ( and 79.8 or so % is as good as owned). Morgan Stanley is hoping to be bought and soon. Nowadays one doesn't feel so bad about foregoing investment banking career. One still wonders re: benefits of used car salesperson as a second career...

Friday, September 19, 2008

No, I'm just fat

This week 4 people asked me when my baby is due. 3 of them were apologetic when I told them my usual 'I'm not pregnant, just fat' line.
I also stopped asking how come guys with a belly aren't even called fat 1/2 the time. "Husky" is the word that's used to describe them and when one hears husky one thinks of cuddly doggies not globs of fat concentrated in one area.
And by the way, I'm not even fat. I just have imperfect posture and a good appetite. And on that note, I'm going to enjoy my sandwich...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I usually associate anniversaries with something joyful but this one was somber and brought tears to my eyes more than once.

It started last night when I inadvertently overheard some of the 9/11 tv report. Then this morning, I saw a fire fighter in dress uniform walking to a 9/11 memorial in the Rockaways. Bloombergs radio reporting about now traditional ceremony @ ground zero and at the same time telling about all the conspiracy theories regarding who was behind the attacks.
TV in patient's room - a moment of silence for the fallen, recital of their names with their pictures in the lower left corner. (The patient got annoyed because I stood in her room mesmerized, unable to take my eyes away from the tv and break my thoughts away from the memories of that day.) Throughout the morning I bumped into a tv or a radio here and there and heard more of the name recital which brought tears every time. I tried hide the tears. Those who don't mourn won't understand and my explanation would only trivialize things.

I went to the Rockaways memorial during lunch. The flag was at half mast and beyond the park I saw the skyline, the spot where the towers stood.

After lunch some insensitive foreigner in my department asked what's the deal with today. And for the first time in 5 years I worked with 3 other therapists who were there by the window and saw it all happen together with me. One of them remembered how one of the present therapists cried bitterly for 2 hours until he finally got in touch with his wife who worked in lower Manhattan, the soot, the papers flying in the air, the panic, the need to stay at work and reassure the residents and the urge to find your loved ones, run home and hide.

I guess you had to be there to realize the way it changed everything.

A few weeks later I found some cards @ B & N : " we are all in this together" and " new york needs us strong". I gave them out to my coworkers and many of us had them handing by our desks.

I don't want to remember this but I hope I won't forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trying to be an adult about things

I don't know where I've been for the past 15 months. Who took my bald little baby with a pointy nose and substituted him with a toddler who walk around shaking his fingers @ you saying 'no more', throws things to the garbage on command ( gabage) and takes things out of the garbage despite lots of commands not to do so. The toddler who stands by the window and waves 'ba ba' to me and then switches his tune and starts waving and hollering 'allO, Eya ( Leya) to our next door neighbor.

Today, I gave this toddler an ice cream for dessert. After a little while he gave his ice cream to his abba and took an apple as a substitute. He ate some of it, then started saying 'garbage' and pointing to the can. When I moved the garbage can close enough to his high chair, he took whatever chewed up apple was left in his mouth and proceeded to throw it into the garbage can ( with good aim, I should add). After thus disposing of his apple, he pointed to my ice cream and ahe'd @ it. Imagine my surprise when after I handed him the ice cream he promptly handed it over to his abba. Abba happened not to like the ice cream to begin with, so he passed the ice cream back to me. SiM ahe'd at my ice cream again. And when I handed it to him he again passed it over to abba.

And that's when I reminded myself over and over again that I'm an adult. And I'm not at all jealous of the attention abba got.

I'm an adult.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Silver lining

Yesterday I started a new assignment. It was definitely bittersweet. I was very delighted at the flexibility- I took Eh to her 'school' the first day and then went to work. But this facility is a bit gray and mediocre in comparison to the previous one. The patient population is different as well-one I prefer not to work with.

So today, after took my daughter to school, I had a bit of a better mood coming to work. And then I saw the other silver lining- the blogger is not blocked on these computers! What more can I say?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Anniversary dinner. Sim's 15 months

Since I forgot to make advanced babysitting arrangements, my daughter went for a sleep over party to my mom and my son went to celebrate our anniversary ( and his 15 month birthday ) with us.

Since the celebration was kind of late, the little guy went in to a fancy restaurant in his pjs (and since he was sleeping, we took him in in a stroller). And we sat outside to accomodate us and SiM in the stroller most comfortably. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful and the celebration was most enjoyable.

The dinner let me realized just how much I've changed. I barely ate any appetizers, didn't order a soup, got drunk on 1/3 glass of wine, AND was unable to finish a 14 oz stake! And yes, I had to decline the dessert. At first I was so embarrassed I wanted to keep all this a secret. But then I decided to embrase my maturity and admit that thankfully since I'm not as active my appetite is not as big. And yes, this, more than anything else can be an insentive to join the gym so I can proudly exclaim again:
Long live midnight snacks!

Preschool hygiene

When I used to work with kids the first thing I did when entering a kid's house was wash my hands. And, after the session clean the toys with some sort of sanitizer.

I'm embarrassed to admit I don't remember what the hygiene procedure was when I worked in a day camp. Did we wash/wipe kids' hands before we fed them???
I know I made them wash their hands after they used the toilet. And since I worked for large institutions it was assumed that housekeeping would clean the toys.

As a mom of a toddler I wonder how much of my attempt to instill good hygiene habits can be retained by the kid if I spend mere 3-4 of her waking hours with her? I'm hoping and praying that washing hands before meals/snacks and after the bathroom is the accepted routine everywhere she will go. Why has it before such a hot topic now? Because there is no comparison between learning something right the first time vs trying to break bad habits...

And the toys (especially outdoor toys) in day camps and day cares, how often, if at all, do they get cleaned?

One of my friends told me that she chose to send her daughter to a nursery in a big school rather than send her to a local, less expensive and already familiar to the child, play group because the play group was "dirty'. I thought the friend was mean. And that my experience with grody toys in one day care was not a typical depiction of the general picture.

I've checked out a few local establishments since. Now I can't help but wonder- do parents accept discolored-with-dirt toys as part of the toddler play group experience? Do parents just not care one way or the other? Or do I have a knack for picking run down places for generalizing current trends?

Saturday, September 6, 2008


SiM speaks in one word sentences that are sometimes so eloquent that he couldn't have said more even if his vocabulary was same as in a decent size dictionary.

When listing his vocabulary I forgot to mention 'Toda, rega, and danger'. Truth is he repeats and uses appropriately quite a few words but sadly I don't remember all of them.

Anyhow, today while both kids were playing happily in the living room, I went to the kitchen to get a drink. As I was drinking, I heard SiM saying something at a closer range than the one I left him. I told him I'm coming and when I came I wasn't sure if I should laugh, scream, or do a bit of both simultaneously. SiM climbed 3 steps. I caught him when he was standing on the third step chanting 'danger, danger'. And subsequently, he was very upset when I removed him from the 'danger'.

It was especially funny because he mispronounces danger a bit and it sounds like a blend of danger and dangger that only kids can make.

Later in the day, when I again left them playing to go and get a clean shirt for SiM I heard Eh call out 'Mama, SiM's climbing'. As I ran back to the steps I saw SiM standing on the landing this time ( again successfully climbing up 3 steps) chanting his favorite "danger" and laughing at the same time.

I appreciate in advance all the advice about gates that are mandatory on the bottom and not just on top of the stairs. It's well taken. Thanks.

I'm sure there would also be advise about childproofing all the bathrooms, closets and doors to the above since a either yesterday or the day before SiM learned to open the door handles and was caught today rinsing his hands in the toilet bowl. Thank Gd for the cleaning lady's attendance the day before and low traffic in this bathroom. But still, that gave me another reason to appreciate my firstborn girl.

It's not like SiM isn't supervised enough. He is just quick and resourceful. And now that I have a precedent, hopefully I"ll be quicker, too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I just listened to Rudi's and Sarah Palin's speeches and they left me inspired and proud. More later.

Number 15 or the circle of life

Dentists number our teeth to make their life easier. Today, after putting it off for 35 months, I had to finally say good bye to my tooth # 15.

It started with an innocent cavity. The cavity progressed to a root canal in a couple of years. The root canal was just fixed and the tooth was filled. Then, when the dentist realized she can mild my insurance she convinced me to replace the filling with a crown "root canal means a dead tooth and without a crown it can chip at any moment"-and who wants a chipped tooth?
The crown lasted for a while until one day, while I was southbound on the West Side Highway, somewhere in the area of Chambers Street and happily chewing / making bubbles with my mint flavored Must gum, I realized that there is a foreign body in my mouth. A crown that popped off #15.

After getting over the initial shock, I put the crown in a napkin, swore off gum, and made an emergency appointment with my dentist. This dentist refused to use the old crown that the first dentist made ( because she, too, realized that she can milk my insurance for some USDs), and in a couple of weeks crowned my #15 with a new, weirdly feeling but porcelain-with-gold-beautifully-made cap. That lasted less than 1/2 year at which point I, 38 weeks pregnant, had to make another emergency dental appointment.

This time I went to a male dentist- he was trustworthy and didn't accept my insurance. He told me that the tooth was a gonner- not in the theoretical root-canal-equals-a-dead-tooth sense of the word but rather it-has-extensive-infection-and-bone-loss kind of a gonner. (And I bed the hyena who put on the new crown knew that, too). He sympathized with my situation, gave me an antibiotic and recommended to get rid of #15 ASAP.

I went to a factory of oral surgeons where one of the factory dentists with much less sympathy to my situation told me that #15 cannot be salvaged and he'll pull the it for 800 something dollars. And, I'll have to come back in a week to remove the stitches. "How about the stitches that dissolve?" "Those are not as good." " I'm 39 weeks pregnant, I can give birth any day." "Well, make up your mind."

I was pregnant, concerned for my little alien with an infection in my body. I was mourning the eminent departure of #15. Yet, I was even willing to shell out almost a thousand bucks just to get rid of my tooth and forgo the bad factory worker attitude. But regular stitches!?
I thought I'll risk it and just finish my antibiotics to quell the infection and take care of more permanent changes after my baby arrived.

My baby arrived and my tooth stopped hurting. And I figured a tooth inside the mouth is better than a tooth outside of the mouth. It hurt every 10 months or so, (the kind man-dentist retired, so) I went to a new dentist, heard the '#15's got to go' got my antibiotics, the pain would stop and the tooth's life 'd be extended. Until a few months ago, when due to unforeseen circs I went to yet another dentist with the same issue. He gave me antibiotics but said the tooth should go because I won't know when the it'll start hurting again and how serious it may get.

What do you know- last Friday and Shabbat #15 started hurting again. The pain was so severe that I couldn't really sleep ( with 2 painkillers in my system) motzaei shabbat, replaying the dentist's words, thinking that he must've given me the evil eye, desperately hoping I won't have to go to an ER on a long holiday weekend. And finally resolving to pull #15 out.

This morning, with lots of encouragement from hubby and my mom ( and hubby's kind company), I finally made it to the oral surgeons office. I almost backed out from pulling #15 after the xray was read. After all, the pain completely resolved already by Monday. It didn't even hurt when the dentist tapped on it. #15 was instrumental in my mastication and subsequent digestion. It and I went through so much together. I needed it, I'd dearly miss it.

But in the end, I just let it go. I took it home with me in a cup -it looked so big yet abused by dentistry. I acutely felt it's void in my mouth even before I started feeling very acute pain because it was gone. Now, thanks to time and pain meds, the acute pain is gone. I'll miss my #15 even if the advances of modern dentistry won't let its absence be palpable for long.

As I was writing this eulogy and listening to the Republican National convention speeches, I kept looking at the cup on my dresser and feeling the empty space in my mouth. Now, that the eulogy's completed I think I'm ready to say my final good bye to #15.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Number 7

Two days ago I tickled my little guy so he bent his head back and I saw it. A top tooth, somewhere in the back on the right side of the mouth. It kind of makes his two token buttom teeth even more special:)

And, in case I forgot to mention it before, he started saying "mamma", almost always while addressing me (though abba remains his most favorite).

His vocabulary also includes 'more, no more, up, elmo, amen, toda, hi, heLLO'.
He also says his version of his sister's name. He shares his food and drink with her. And today, he tried to put her crocs on her feet. That was smart and sweet.

My big girl allows me to wash and comb her now though I still need to ask permission before putting in clips or making ponies. And, permission isn't always granted...
She's practically toilet trained but since she is the boss, some days pampers are still requested.
(Pull-ups are poo pooed on though, and since I had lots of $2 off coupons I have a couple of girl pull ups which I'll try to use on my little guy before he realizes what I'm doing...).

Eh is looking forward to going to 'school' next week and I'm just a tiny bit nervous.
But, since Gd willing, next week I'll start working part time, I'll hopefully be able to take her to 'school' the first day so I'm looking forward to the event, too.