Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hurricane Meyer

I'm going to pretend we are totally current with each other. Too many things to catch up on. All thats truly important is we are in our new apartment and loving it! (Yes, I know I already told you that. Be quiet.)

Most of the unpacking is done, we have very few boxes left.

This week is finals week for Shuky and then we go into vacation time. Cue fireworks and awesome theme song. Maybe 'Eye of the Tiger'.

We don't have huge plans for our glorious three weeks. We will enjoy Chanukah and the events being offered. We are going to Kansas City for a long weekend, just a nice getaway to uncharted territory. Short-ish driving distance. We will also be doing a shabbos in Des Moines and enjoy a bar mitzvah.

Otherwise, we will just hang out, finish up the last few boxes, do some organizing, maybe even get some decorating started!

In the meantime, both kids have been sick for a couple days now, although Benny is back in school already. But our home is definitely showing the side effects. Laundry to be done, forget about the clean baskets waiting to be folded. Dishes are finally under control. I've been ignoring the mess in the playroom, much to the dismay of the OCD person in me.

To make up for the mess inside, I've been taking an extra step to look put together when I drop off Benny. The sad thing is, the smallest amount of effort seems like a huge change worth mentioning to the people around me. I need to reconsider my morning routine if this is all it takes!!! :)

My computer is still not set up so my posting is limited to my phone and ipad so bare with me here!!

GOOD LUCK ON YOUR FINALS SHUKY!!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Miss You!

I don't have time to write something real. I'm on the phone, helping my sister with a project. I'm in middle of catching up on House with Shuky. Benny is still awake. Bella was screeching until a minute ago.

I just wanted to say hi!

We love our new apartment, and all that comes with it. Our neighbors in the building are all really nice. The manager is super sweet. The heated, indoor parking rocks my world!

I'm almost totally unpacked, which is why I've been so silent.

As soon as we are boxless, I will take you all on a tour.

I've even found a nook to call my own, where I am currently hiding to sneak on my bloggity blog.

I truly miss what was becoming my daily blogging. Looking forward to being done with boxes for a long while! Until then, I bid you good night!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

On this, the day of thanks, I would like to show my appreciation for that which I have:

My amazing husband, who's love and devotion knows no bounds.

My rambunctious three and a half year, who's sense of adventure gives me both pride and nightmares.

My beautiful seven and a half month old, who's smile is constant as she lights up the lives of everyone around us.

Thank you G-d, for sending these souls into my life!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may we only have things to be thankful about!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dented Nails

Last week I had an appointment with a dermatologist, found out I have psoriasis. Didn't come as a huge shock, I have eczema, notoriously dry skin, I always have to wear gloves in the winter and when I'm doing dishes. Just a few extra creams to add to my barely-there daily routine. Nothing serious.

When I got home from my appointment, I went straight to the computer to see what to expect from the news.

When I was pregnant, I started getting dents on some of my nails. The midwife had no idea what it was but after some research, she decided it must have been caused by some stress to my fingers our something like that.

Now I know that was actually a symptom of psoriasis. And now, eight out of my ten fingernails are completely covered in dents.

I feel very shallow right now but it looks gross. I'm actually taking the time to be embarrassed about it!

My home is covered in boxes and I'm sitting and thinking about how ugly my nails look right now.

Time for a manicure!!!!

PS Tomorrow is moving day!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Out With The Old!

I am pleased to announce the arrival of our newest family member. At the same time, I would like to thank the amazing people in our lives that helped make this possible! It will be nice to have one less thing to worry about!

Say hello to my little friend!!
We will need some time together before I can appropriately name him. We went with a male car this time, hopefully less temperamental!
 Nice buttons without faded words!
Read the mileage and smile with me. **GRINS**

Happy kid enjoying his ride home from school today :)

We opted for the extended warranty on our new (used) car. Full bumper to bumper for 5 years or 100,000 miles. If you read my blog at all, you will understand why! 

Yesterday, we headed out to Postville at around 5 to pick him up. Got home around 2 in the morning. Had to be out of the house before 8 this morning. Small prices to pay in exchange for a gorgeous, reliable, more efficient car! We are now getting between 22-32 miles per gallon, versus the 13-15 we were getting before. This car has a flexfuel option, allowing us to use E85 gasoline, when available, which I saw for $2.99/gal on the drive home last night!

*****

In other news, Benny has been learning about the human body in school lately. I love the things he says and understands! 

He knows we have bones and muscles under our skin, and that we need an x-ray machine to see the bones.
He knows we have a brain in our head that helps us understand things and that it sends messages to our body when to get things working. He told his teacher that his brain was telling his stomach that it was time to eat snack. And again at potty time, his brain let him know that he needed to go make! One thing he's not quite getting is that we don't 'crack our head open to see our brain'. He'll get it eventually, though!
He knows our lungs help us breathe and that our heart pumps blood 'fast and slow' in our body.

I am loving this and am really hoping to find time to do a project with him this week, expounding on this topic! His little brain really amazes me on such a regular basis! He soaks in everything, but not without questioning and understanding what he hears and sees. My heart bursts with pride!!!

*****

Bella is so on the go! There is nothing safe from Demolition Bella anymore. Her favorite is paper. She loves to find things that slip under the radar during clean up time, she laughs when I find her and have to fish out the chewed up paper from her little mouth. 

She also tends to laugh when Benny has a tantrum. Super special.

She is trying to stand. She is crazy strong so I have faith in her. It will happen soon!

Today, the cashier at Walmart (whom I totally did not remember as a regular) told me she loves when we come through her lane because Bella is always so smiley. Sigh. The Walmart employees know my family too well. I might be a redneck.

*****

Ok, I keep pretending moving day is two weeks away. It's actually a week from today. I REALLY need to get my packing finished!!!

And for no reason other than pure appreciation for everyone taking the time to read my thoughts, I'd like to wish you all an amazing holiday season, full of smiling friends, loving family, good health, and only good news to share with one another!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life as Chani

Shuky reminded me that my blog started while I was pregnant with Benny, as a way to talk about my pregnancy and beyond. It has turned into my own personal blog, with a vibrant mix of baby, toddler, mommy rants and more!

Thus the name change.

Life as Chani.

It is, after all, my blog! I don't make money with this blog (aside from the occasional pennies that come in from Amazon Associates). I don't receive free gifts to write about (although I wouldn't turn them down if they came!). Ultimately, I write about whatever I want. Whenever there's a feather in my bonnet.

And now, I must return to my packing!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheers to Me!

Being on this side of a quarter century doesn't feel much different physically. It's the knowledge that I am now 26 years old that is making my bones creak!

I'm old!!

But there's always the knowledge that I have two brothers that are older than me (even if my sister-in-law is only 23!! [That, my friends, is what we call true love. Mimi will always be 23.])

And, because my mother's birthday is so close to mine, here's a fun picture of us together!

And one of me, sometime when we still lived in Long Beach:
I know I have a bunch from our younger days somewhere, I need to find them!!

And so, in honor of my birthday, raise a glass of something heavenly! Cheers to many more enjoyable and beautiful years shared with all the amazing people in my life!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Base Model

The following is what should just be for life in the midwest:

Remote Car Starters - Why is this not standard on EVERY car??? I absolutely hate the few minutes where the car is warming up and there's no point in turning on the heater. Unless that's just my car.

Actual Weather Reports - I would love to have a day where I start out appropriately dressed and don't have to add or remove certain pieces.

Instant Ice/Snow Melters - For both the cars and sidewalk/streets, or they should change normal business hours to start sometime around midday in the winter.

The Perfect Gloves - I need quick access to my fingers, they need to be cute, not bulky, they need to never disappear.

Unchapped Hands and Lips - Pipe dream. I know. But the bloody, painful chapped areas are nasty.

Car Attendant - By this I mean someone constantly in the car with me so I can run errands quickly without having to take the kids out or let the car warm up all over again. Although the remote starter would cover the latter half of this request.

Trash Chute - Dumpsters on the other side of the property suck.

That's all for now I guess! :)

Have a good shabbos everyone!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Of Tutus and Wings

I am proud to announce that I FINALLY went for pictures with the kids!

Benny did not cooperate. When it was his turn for pictures, he was only interested in being grumpy. When it was Bella's turn, he insisted to try again with his pictures. When it was time for pictures of them together, he behaved nicely when there were toys in the shot, but not when it was supposed to be a nicer picture. Oh well.

In all honesty, I wasn't all that impressed with the photographer. We waited over twenty minutes for our appointment, she said we weren't even in the system. She didn't have the backdrops I wanted. Bella is a super smiley baby, she was not able to get much out of her! I guess the good part was I wasn't tempted to spend a million dollars! I walked out of there after paying $26, and it took me quite some time to commit to even those pictures!

What a shame though. Bella made an adorable little tutu'd, wing'd baby!

Anyway, I feel like a better mother now. :)

And on the way home from the studio, I got an email from the photographer that came to the hospital when Bella was born. They reopened my album in honor of the holidays. Maybe I will actually print some of those!

Enjoy checking out the pictures here!

Funny tidbit, on the way to the appointment, I was singing along with the radio and Benny yells out, "Mommy she can sing by herself!!" Yes. Katy Perry can definitely belt those tunes on her own but I want to be her backup little man!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out!

The weather in Iowa is definitely chosen out of a hat every morning. It is so different, from one day to the next. Heck, from one hour to the next! This past Sunday, it was gorgeous! We went to the park with the kids, enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. I know I rarely post pictures. I always want to but I never remember. You are in for a special treat today!!

**sweaters for my toes**


Yesterday it rained all day and this morning there was snow on the ground. Go figure!

A beautiful old house, across the street from the library

 It's all melted already and in the 50's. I had a teacher that used to say, "If you don't like the weather in Iowa, just wait an hour!"

Speaking of the library, Benny has been intrigued by paper airplanes lately so I checked out a book with different folding techniques. We had a great time making and flying some very agile planes this afternoon!! (Unfortunately, little boy Benny refused to take pictures with his planes.) 

Being that we are moving the week of Thanksgiving, I decided to start the Thanksgiving projects already. Benny and I had some fun making this turkey, using his hands and feet for 'stencils'! It came out very cute :)

And then we had a great snack. No lies, Tostitos Scoops are the answer to my nacho dreams! We love making personal nacho bites out of them, a scoop of salsa, sprinkle on some cheese, maybe a little sour cream or guacamole to dip them in. True cheesy goodness!

And now that I've shared some random pictures, it's time to read some of our new library books!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rollin' On

Seems like life is really rolling on!

The situation with Benny and his horrible pick-up issues has not been solved, but we've done a good enough patch job that we are going to be sending him back next semester. Shuky has been meeting me there, or bringing him home on the bus, four out of five days. I just have to be ready for Mondays. Starbucks is a good answer!

We finally have someone to sublease our apartment, already signed things at the management office. Done deal!

Packing is under way. Albeit slower than I'd like. But we have three weeks or so.

Craigslist is doing a good job of helping me fill my 'new couch fund'!

Exciting prospects are brewing in the land of summer internships. More to come on that when things are official!

Shuky signed up for next semester's classes already so our February trip to Florida for the famous Uncle Levi's wedding is being planned. It's nice to know there is a warm light at the end of the cold tunnel over here!!

While I wish it were all sunny news, our car is officially on it's last leg. I may or may not have talked about it over the past couple weeks but right before Rosh Hashana, there was an issue with the brakes so it went into the shop. We got a rental car to go to Iowa City. The mechanic said he would need the car for about six days. Six days turned into four weeks. That's about $900 for just the rental car! The repair job itself was another hefty sum. And by the way, four weeks was just for the rental car. I told him I couldn't afford to keep the rental. He said the car was finally drivable but he was still waiting for parts. He said he'd have the parts in about three or four days. Almost two weeks later, he finished the job. So we're talking almost six weeks for one stinking job.

On a side note, during the time I was driving the car while he was waiting for the part, I was being super cautious, not leaving town, not going out of my way to be driving around. This past Friday, he said he was getting the part and he would give me a call as soon as it came through the door. I got the call to come over so I loaded the kids into the car and was ready to head his way. I pulled out of my parking space and my brakes decided they were not needed. I had no brakes. THANK GOD, I was in my parking lot, not parked on the street. I was going slow enough to throw the car into park without worrying about my engine falling out. I called the mechanic and told him to come to me instead.

It didn't really hit me until an hour or two later. My. Brakes. Failed. I was in the car with both my kids and I had no brakes. A not so small miracle. I am so thankful that it happened in my parking lot instead of on my way home from picking up Benny.

And that was enough to make me say enough. This car has served it's purpose, it's time to move on. As much as we'd like to lease a car and not have to worry about things anymore, we are not really in the position to lock ourselves into monthly payments and higher insurance rates. We are working on scraping together some money to outright buy a car. So for the meantime, we are going to be staying close to home.

Sometimes, you may not even realize the small miracles happening around you. Bottom line is, always find the good in things and be thankful for the beautiful things you have in your life! There's no time to focus on the negative!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Real Sandwich!

If I ever wondered whether or not Benny's imagination juices flowed, I just got reassurance. There is definitely   something flowing!

The following is a conversation I just overheard him having with his sandwich. Yes, his sandwich. In two different voices.

Benny, in his normal voice: You are a real sandwich!
Benny, in a high-pitched, squeaky, sandwich voice (how did he come up with the sandwich voice?) : No I'm not!
Benny: Yes you are!!
Sandwich: I'm not real!
Benny: I'm going to tell my mommy what you said!
Sandwich: I'm not real!
Benny: Mommy!!! --he then proceeds to tell me what I've already heard--
Sandwich, interrupting him telling on it: Hey what are you doing!?!
Benny, to his sandwich: I'm telling my mommy what you said!

I love that his sandwich interrupted him while he was squealing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Just Because.

This one goes out to my husband. For no specific reason, I want to share my pride!

When I have a bad day, I don't clean, I don't do laundry, I serve cereal and milk for dinner.

When Shuky has a bad day, he still goes to school, does his homework/studying, works his two part-time jobs (!!), and helps with the kids when he gets home.

Sometimes, you just need to stop and appreciate the beautiful things in your life and say thank you!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Curves in my Rearview Mirror

Bella is almost seven months old. I was doing really great with my weight loss and then somewhere, at some point, it all just stopped. I'm going to say it had something to do with all the holidays and traveling but I'll be honest with you, my loyal blog family. It started slowing down way before then! I'm also going to pretend there's just too much going on in our lives right now for me to be making an extreme effort. There isn't. Our life is always this hectic.

At least we are eating MUCH healthier these days!

Here's to hoping I can kick my butt far enough off this chair to look good at my brother in law's wedding in a few months!

Because dress shopping is going to be extremely depressing if not!

The stress of being a curvy mama.

Oh and why can't my dress be as easy to find as Bella's?? I already have like six potential dresses picked out for her!

Check out some of the options I've been eyeing for her:

Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pick Him Up!

I'd love for this to be a purely happy, sunshiney place. I'd also love for my kids to be purely happy and sunshiney. Neither of those are reality so let's move on.

I'm not even going to talk about this past month right now. Too crazy, hectic, tiring. We'll talk about that all some other time as there is definitely what to talk about!

Right now, I'm having an internal struggle. I could definitely use an outlet for my thoughts, no need to let them brew and stew in my noggin.

Picking up Benny from school every day makes me never want to take him back. It's not the school. It's not the staff. It's not even his classmates. All of those are fine, great actually! But maybe that's the problem. Benny NEVER wants to come home with me. They are usually playing in the yard when I come to get him. I usually spend 10-15 minutes trying to persuade (read: bribe) him to walk out willingly. Then I end up dragging/carrying him back into the classroom to gather his stuff. All while holding Bella, who sometimes starts out pickup-time sleeping but almost never remains asleep. {I try to put her in my Ergo to have both hands available, it's a real bummer when I forget it at home!} Once we're in the classroom, I have to gather all his things, he's still busy having his tantrum. My safety zone is usually getting him into the hallway and closing the classroom door. In case you're wondering, we've usually hit the 20 minute mark by this point. Sometimes the hallway calms him down, sometimes he just lays on the floor and goes into full-blown tantrum mode. Shrieking. Kicking. More shrieking. Teachers poking heads out of rooms to make sure everything is ok. Oodles of fun.

Once in a blue moon, he just walks out nicely with me. I can probably count on one hand how many times that has happened.

Shuky tries very hard to get him on the days he's available, or at least to come with me. While he does this quite often, and I am extremely grateful for those days, the bad days WAYYYY overpower those times.

So, now my thought process is telling me it is really not worth the money we are spending for the battle I face, for the small amount of time he gets at the school.

Not sure what will come of this but sometimes rants are needed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wandering Jews

We knew, going into this, that holidays would be difficult. Without a community here, we would always have to go away. It was understood.

Until you experience the sense of displacement, it's not understood. We live 40 minutes from the nearest community so just going to our 'neighbors' is an ordeal. While we have our own traditions of places we've been going for the past few years, it doesn't get easier. The making arrangements, packing, unpacking, laundry, car cleaning, driving time and readjusting is extremely difficult with little kids. And this month, we have to do that four different times!

Forget about the cost of traveling.

I guess the silver lining here is that when we are done with school and have settled into our own little corner of the world, I will enjoy Tishrei so much more!

On another note, please accept this as my excuse for sparseness lately!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

True Love

I will forever be amazed by the love my children have for each other. In these five short months since Bella was born, they have formed an alliance, a bond so strong that it blows me away.

Truth be told, it was love at first sight. From the moment Benny laid eyes on his little sister, there was no way she could do any wrong in his eyes. And as soon as Bella realized who this little prince was, gazing at her endlessly, calling her his little princess, he could be nothing but amazing in her little heart.

He will smush her as she adoringly coos at him.

She will pull his hair as he whispers sweet nothings to her.

Mid-tantrum, Benny will stop to tell Bella how much he loves her. And then continue screaming at me and Shuky.

In the car, she instantly lifts her head up and around, looking for him. Smiles that go on forever when those eyes find him. He asks me to remove things between their car seats, should it block his line of sight. And if she starts whimpering during the drive, he is on the alert. "MOMMY, BELLA'S SO SAD!!!" And then he turns to her, "It's ok my sister, don't cry my Bella." Cue my heart melting.

He can make her laugh for endless amounts of time! It amazes me every time! Deep, belly laughs! Well, as deep and bellyish as a baby's laugh can be, anyway. But you get my point.

My kids are madly and deeply, head over heels, in a completely adorable way, in love with each other, and I can't get enough of it!

Food for Thought

When Shuky and I were dating, I made it very clear that I could make a mean grilled cheese sandwich. That was about it. If he didn't want to go hungry, he would do well to take over the kitchen. I registered for nice things for him to cook with, let him have control of where things went (mostly). I stayed out of his way and I tried to help with clean up. It worked out well because at that point, he was working from home so he could be on the phone for work while making an amazing meal!

Over the past few years, much has changed in our lives. With Shuky being a full-time-student-plus-two-part-time-jobs, two kids who like to eat every so often, and me being home all day, I have pretty much taken over the kitchen.

And I have seriously surprised myself and I feel pretty confident saying Shuky is on the impressed train with me!

I HAVE BEEN KICKING FOOD BUTT!

We just finished the second week since I started meal planning and I am loving it! It is so great knowing what I'm making in advance, no hemming and hawing in front of the fridge. No running to the grocery store every day (if I do it right!). I try out new recipes, make note of the ones that are a big hit.

I've actually been posting my menus on Facebook. Letting my friends in on the fun! Having a digital copy when I forget what that night's meal is!

Big perk, numero dos: I seem to be losing weight as we seem to be eating healthier! I am only using myself in this equation because Shuky is losing weight from other factors as well, i.e. the 6 am running he's been doing! I, obviously, am not doing any running and can solely attribute my weight loss to this.

Here's to many nights of amazing food and pound sheddage!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PSA for Chani Goldsmith

Sometimes I feel like going back to myself when I was single, just for the sake of giving myself a message. There are two things that I feel every single/non-parent person should take advantage of at whatever cost.

1. Sleep in on every possible occasion. Whenever you are given a chance. Don't get out of bed until it's almost time to get back in. And even then, push the snooze button for a little more sleep!

2. Take LOOOOOOONG showers. Like the kinds where you wonder if you're bathroom is going to fall down around you from the steam. Maybe even take a nap in the shower. Kill two birds with one stone. Leaves you more time for bed. Or another shower.

Sigh. To be clean and well-rested.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Success in the Form of a Tantrum

He loved school! Not that I expected otherwise from my social dragonfly (I can't call him a butterfly now can I!), just happy it went as expected. Shuky and I dropped him off together and met up at the school to bring him home. We both got there a bit early to see him in his element. Love the boy!

I know I'm biased. He's my son. My firstborn. My flesh and blood. Doesn't change the fact that I truly believe he is an amazing little boy, poo poo poo. Besides the fact that he is just plain adorable, he is funny and friendly and a total ball of energy.

Obviously he didn't want to come home. Had to be carried out, screaming and punching us.

I enjoyed my time, we now all have clean clothing and my kitchen was somewhat organized for a total of about ten minutes. It is now a mess of dishes and whatnot again. Never ending cycle. Not gonna go there even.

On a side note, we had to take Bella to the doctor today. She's been getting a rash around her mouth after nursing and at other random moments over the past few days. Turns out it's a yeast infection of sorts, moisture spots that stay wet in the heat or whatever. Drool behind the ears, bam - it's there. Who knows what collecting in her chubby neck crevice, bam - it's there. Non-stop nursing baby, damp area around her mouth, bam - it's there. I have a topical cream to treat it and Dr. advised me to use it on myself so it doesn't transfer and become thrush. Thanks but no thanks there, on goes the cream!!

And another side note, my meal planning is going awesome. Not only do I love knowing what I'm making in advance, I am really surprising myself (and probably Shuky) by pumping out some DEEEE-LICIOUS (Benny's own word!) meals! Who knew I could tear up the kitchen like this!?!?!

Off to bed to make sure I get up in time for the little guy's second day of school.

Monday, September 5, 2011

School Bells Are Ringing!

The big day is pretty much here. Benny starts school in the morning. It could not be more anticipated by all of us!

Benny got a haircut today.  He is looking quite dapper! The lady commented on the fact that his hair wasn't long anymore. This was in the Walmart salon, where Shuky usually goes to get his cut. Benny usually makes quite a bit of noise so no surprise that she would remember us!

We went to pick out new shoes. He was hilarious. We went to a store we go to every couple of months and that guy also remembered Benny, this time by name. He even remembered the last pair of shoes we bought. Brought them out in his new size but I wanted something different. I had Bella in my Ergo so he took Benny by the hand and helped him try on the different shoes. Waved me away when I offered to do it. That's why I go back to this store! Anyway, Benny ended up trying on a few pairs and when we found the one that fit best, he wanted to know if they were good for running in. Ran around the store a couple times. Came back to me and said, "Yep, I think they're good. Can you go pay for them?" He wasn't willing to take them off for they way home. It was adorable. When we got home, he reminded us that they ''are running shoes, I have to run to the house!'' Love him!!

We had guests for Shabbos, so aside from the regular house-work, I have a bit of putting-the-house-back-together to do. Perfect timing for a few hours without my three year old tornado! And I'm currently on a clutter-free binge, so to speak. Getting rid of things, selling them on Amazon/Craigslist or just donating them to Goodwill. I have no need for extras right now. We have no idea where life is going to take us once we're done with school so why hold on to things? An organized mama is a happy mama! Sometimes, anyway!

Benny's backpack and lunchbox are ready. His clothing are laid out for the morning. My home is quiet. I am currently headed to bed. Good night, hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day. For all those dealing with back-to-school this week, good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home on the Range

Bella is napping. Benny and I are watching Phineas and Ferb. It's raining outside with bouts of thunder and lightning. It's as good a time as ever to catch up over here. Hopefully. It's been a while since I last wrote. A lot has happened, tons to write about. But, I am going to give you the abridged version, let's zip through it all to get up to date!

We had a beautiful upshernish, not at the park like planned. The weather changed things for us. We would have been able to put up with drizzles. Not the downpour, accompanied by thunder and lightning that we got! So we had it at a friend's house. It was still great, we had A LOT of people there! Food was great, decor was awesome, we had plenty of everything, the kids enjoyed the projects. It was definitely a success. We went straight from there to Benny's haircut appointment, which he definitely enjoyed! Sat in a train while getting his hair cut by a great stylist. She was super sweet and patient with him (and me!), familiar with Jewish law (so no weird looks about his payos). He came out with an adorable new hairstyle and a nice new train (courtesy of his cousins).

Traveling home was a story of its own. We shipped two boxes home - all the extra clothing and toys we accumulated over the summer. We went pretty early to the airport, turned out to be a blessing. The line for security wrapped all the way around the airport (inside) and took about 45 minutes to get through, maybe even more!! There were delays due to weather. Our first flight left a little late but the flight itself wasn't too bad. Our second flight had us sitting on the runway for over two hours. That was horrible, considering the flight itself was only about 45 minutes! We got to Des Moines, got our luggage, hopped on the shuttle (which waited about an hour for us!) and trudged up the stairs to collapse into bed. Spent the rest of that week catching up on doctor appointments, unpacking, reorganizing to make our apartment friendly for two kids, getting Benny's paperwork filled out for school (and meeting with his teachers), getting Shuky ready for school to start, and trying to squeeze in some family time! Needless to say, it was a long week. We stayed home that Shabbos, just stayed in pj's and did nothing. Well needed and well appreciated!

This past week was more of the same, although Shabbos went a bit differently. We made Bella's kiddush in Des Moines, staying at the Jacobson's house. My father drove out to join us. It was very nice!

The past few days have not really been anything new, laundry and organizing galore. I am trying my hand at organized meal plans for the week, for budget and easier grocery shopping. We'll see how that works out.

We are having guests for Shabbos this week (can't wait Slaters!!).

Then, drumroll please, Benny starts school next week!!!!!!! I may be slightly excited about the 3 hours a day I will have to let Bella actually nap, clean, shop, blog, whatever! If there were more hours for me, I would consider taking on a little hobby of some sort. We'll see how the time pans out. For now, I must go entertain my kids, little one is no longer napping and big one is getting antsy. It's raining so I'm not sure what we will do but we definitely need to get out!

Thank you to all the people that helped make our summer great, (especially my mother and step-father). It's good to be home!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Long Farewell

It has come to that time. The part of the trip I abhor. Out come the suitcases. I become a slave to my belongings. Speaking of which, why the hell did I feel the need to pack so much to come here? It's not like we wouldn't have access to a washing machine. It is not even five feet from our bedroom door. It's not like we wouldn't have access to stores where we could **GASP** go and buy stuff! I felt it necessary to tote pretty much all of Benny's clothing, every article Bella owns (but for some reason, nothing from the next size, which we need already obviously), and anything I might fit into. Whether I like it or not. I'm pretty sure there is a full drawer of clothing I never even touched here. And then all the new stuff I got as I continued losing weight. Good stuff. Shuky is probably the best off out of the four of us. He packed a good amount, nothing excessive. Although, he was usually the one most affected by my pushing off laundry times if (read: when) I did. You live and learn. Or in my case, you just live. We all know I will over-pack the next time we go anywhere. At which point you can expect another fun little rant like this.

Being the realist that I am, I began packing last week already. One full suitcase done, another half completed. The drawers are emptying slowly. We occupied two full dressers while here. It will take some time. Been giving things away that we don't want to take back. It's been a full week already and it's only Tuesday night. Nope, make that early Wednesday morning.

This Sunday is Benny's upshernish. The long awaited party is (almost) here! As it comes closer, I'm getting more sentimental about the adorable blonde curls that will soon be no more. I took the kids to Prospect Park this past week to get some nice pictures, (I shot the pictures, my pipe dream of an outdoor photographer stayed a dream) and I do believe I got some great shots! In a rare form of my single-child-blogging life, I will actually post some pictures for you!



Big brother keeping our little model happy between shots. Sigh.


The hair :'(



And, while these are not Prospect Park beautiful, I had some fun with Bella at my mom's place. Enjoy!


Alright, just wanted to pop in for a quick update. Much to do this week between packing and party planning. We'll have to catch up on life later!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thoughts

Just a few thoughts running through my head, thought I would share them:

1. Highchairs/booster seats should come with built-in, automatic floor sweeper uppers.

2. Babies R Us coupons should tell you what you are actually allowed to buy as opposed to what's excluded. I'm pretty sure the list will just say 'crap you don't need anyway'.

3. Mothers should have mandatory solitary confinement. Preferably on a beach with a glass of wine in hand.

4. On that note, there should be a wine that doesn't hit your blood stream for nursing mamas.

5. Older siblings should have a mute button that can be activated during baby's nap time.

6. I would also accept a pause button so I can shower without having to put both kids to sleep first.

7. How come we can have disposable housewares but I still have to wash our clothes?

8. I give major applause to stay-at-home moms. My version of such is actually called stay-at-home-but-mobile/talking-kids-go-out-mom.

9. Movies and television are my friends. I will have to deal with the ramifications later in life.

10. Money DEFINITELY buys me happiness sometimes. Retail therapy is totally under-rated!!!

Hope you all are enjoying your summer! We go home in just under three weeks and we all can't wait!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Of Course

I've been going on and on about needing to take pictures of the kids. Benny is going to be getting his hair cut soon, Bella is over three months old already. I don't want studio pics. We need a new family picture. Blah blah blah, it's all been said already.

I've been researching, trying to find the best of what we can afford. Been talking to photographers, trying to see who gives me the best feeling, who is going to really capture Benny in his non-stop motion. I was getting close!

Last night, Benny fell out of his bed (the boy is like a tornado in his sleep!) and got a nice sized bump and scratch, right down the middle of his forehead, with a little scratch on his nose as well.

There go pictures.

I'll be happy if things are somewhat decent looking in time for the upshernish!

Off to research photographers in Ames, thinking about maybe having someone meet us at Reiman Gardens, get some beautiful shots there. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Days

I still stand firm in my initial assessment. The hardest transition is going from zero to one when it comes to having kids. Considering that my last blog post was over a month ago, that does not mean that I am not having an extremely difficult time now as well, it's just an entirely different adjustment to be making!

Let's see, so much to fill in here, and yet, so little has actually happened!

I had a small period of time (read: two days) where I was getting up super early and doing a two mile walk completely alone, no kids, no friends. Just me and my music. Shuky was just getting ready for work by the time I got back. It was great but at the end of the day I was totally drained and it has been very hard to convince my body to get up at that hour!

We set up a nice above-ground pool in the backyard of my mom's duplex a few blocks away. Her and Benny had a great time weeding and planting new flowers. We took food over there, lunch and pool dates galore. It is a great escape but in the current heat wave, it's a bit much! Hoping to get back there next week, as it keeps Benny quite happy, thereby keeping me quite sane!

Bella has an amazing personality, poo poo poo! She is super smiley and (much to my wishes otherwise) has begun the happy shrieking that Benny used to do. She is extremely active, pushes herself around when she's on her back by kicking her feet. She has these great conversations with Shuky, cooing and oohing and aahing back and forth at each other. I love it!

I still have yet to do professional pictures with the kids, Bella needs her first real batch and Benny needs his three year olds, both pre and post haircut.

We are getting closer to H-Day, otherwise known as Benny's haircut. Which, to him, is the marker for when we get to go to his 'real house', where he has his beloved train table and room. Finalizing details and getting everything ordered while working on the final guest list. Much to do.

Speaking of going home, I am currently working on some sort of game plan for getting us there! Haven't really decided what day we want to travel on, to which airport, are we going to ship or shlep our things? Blah blah blah. Mundane details that will ultimately end up with the same result. We will be home.

I will have to potty train Benny all over again. It's just what happens. He is already reverting and I've stopped fighting, knowing that I will have to do it all over again so soon!

By the way, I would just like to point out that Benny will be three this weekend. His hebrew birthday is on Friday, his English on Saturday. And, as I love to do with the big milestones, that means we just passed my blog's third birthday a few weeks ago!

Benny randomly decided to put himself down for a nap so I am going to take advantage of the precious peacefulness that is now in the room and enjoy a nice lunch and a cup of joe.

And for the sake of being realistic, I'll see you when I see you!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sleepyhead

Just wanted to share something adorable Benny said this morning to me, a special tidbit that didn't make it to Facebook. Until I share this link :)

One of the things we've been trying to do is get a few of the small things that Benny has in his room at home, trying to make him more comfortable here, hoping he'll stop asking to go home while we're here!

One of his favorite night time reads is a book called Sleepyhead, a cute little story about a kid who wants 'one more kiss, one more hug...' before going to sleep. Benny knows this book by heart. I can start the line and he can finish the page. 

I found it on Amazon and ordered it, hoping to surprise him tonight by reading it at bedtime.

He saw it on my bed this morning, while I was straightening up the room. His reaction was beyond amazing. One of those times I wish I was recording everything on secret, hidden cameras everywhere!

Benny, upon seeing the book, eyes wide: "MOMMY IT'S MY SLEEPYHEAD BOOK!!!!!"
After a second of contemplation: "Mommy, I didn't bring it with me."
Another second of thought: "Mommy, my room sent it to me!!!!!"

I love this boy. Truly, madly, deeply.

A New Day Has Come

Yesterday, both of us were up early, as were both kids. Shuky asked me out on a breakfast date. We left the kids with my mom (love that I can do that!!) and ran a few blocks away to the bagel shop and had a nice, quiet breakfast. Got myself a huge iced coffee. It was so nice!!

Somehow, the rest of the day was great too! Benny was extremely well behaved. Later, I went with my brother, mother, and my kiddos to an outdoor shopping strip. Got a few nice things for myself at Old Navy, got a few cute things for Bella at Marshalls (I truly love finding steals!!), Benny was still behaving nicely! The rest of the day went pretty well. Bath and bed time went quite smoothly. Benny got a new book that I ordered a while back, he loved it! It was about a little boy who is very quiet during the day and becomes a superhero when the clock hits midnight, called Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero. Very cute book!!

Today was not quite as smooth, but all things considering, not too bad.

Have a good shabbos to one and all, enjoy your weekend!

PS I can't believe my baby is already two and a half months old!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

**Insert Screams Here**

I love my son. I really do. He really likes to test that, though. See if he can find the point that tips the scale the other way. When he started having attitude at around 18 months, easing his way into his terrible twos, I figured it would work its way out of his system earlier on the other side of the spectrum. Maybe by the time we hit three, he'd be nice and calm and have leveled out all the craziness.

I was wrong.

In all honesty, I don't want anyone's advice on how to deal with it. Each child is so different, what worked with one kid may have no effect whatsoever on the next. As I watch friends handling their children, I may envy the way their kids listen, but at the end of the day, I have to do what works with Benny. Not that I've figured that out yet, obviously, or I wouldn't be complaining right now! Complaining is a strong word. I hate complaining. I'm venting. Hence the 'no advice necessary' sign posted on my forehead. Just getting the strong need to scream out of my system. Thanks for listening.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Good News :)

Sometimes they say no news is good news. In this case, no news was expensive but worth every penny. I was waiting to hear back on the results of Bella's urine culture. They do a two day culture as well as the instant. They let it sit in a petri dish and see if any bacteria grows, something fun like that. The two day is more acurate than the instant so it has the final say. The antibiotics were prescribed as a 'just in case'.

I called this morning to see the result of the two day culture and there was no news yet. I went and filled the prescription, just in case. Being that we are out of state, our prescriptions are not covered. Needless to say, this was quite an expensive medication. You do what you need to do as a parent.

About an hour ago, the result of the culture came through. No UTI. Was probably a virus that has passed through her system already. Don't continue the antibiotics.

The knowledge that she's ok, no need for further testing to see why my little baby got a UTI, all systems are go, all that made the large bill easier to swallow.

Have a nice weekend and a great Shabbos!

Cheesy Times

Let's quickly get up to speed here.

Benny is no longer in daycare, the teacher felt he was fighting the structure of the schedule too much and it wasn't fair to him or the kids who were already settled. There were only a few weeks left to her program. He's back home with me for right now. Not sure what's going to happen. In the meantime, I took the money from the half of the week he didn't go for and bought some new toys for him to have while home with me.

Shuky is still happily working, thank G-d!!!

Bella is still over-achieving in her head lifting abilities. :)

And I am just here.

So, Shavuos is over and with it came too much excitement in this house. Tuesday morning, Bella woke up with swollen gums. Starting teething at 9 weeks, sounds like something she would do! Very fussy all day, just kept her in my moby wrap and she was fine. Shavuos preparations continued, I just wasn't able to leave the house at all. No biggie. A little before 3, she developed a light fever. 99.3, nothing huge but I gave her tylenol. Our meal that night was nice, no guests. Around 11:15, I checked on Bella and her fever had gone up to 101.9! We called Hatzalah, a local volunteer ambulance squad, and they came to take us to the hospital. Benny stayed behind with my mother, asleep since 7!

When we got to the hospital, her fever had gone up to 102.2. They gave her more tylenol and started an IV line in her hand, they had to do a blood test and they didn't want to have to poke her extra if anything else needed to be done. They needed a urine sample so my little baby girl had to get a catheter. It was all very hard to watch, but thankfully, we were already past the 8 week mark so a spinal tap was not on the menu! They determined that she had a UTI (urinary tract infection)(!!!), gave her a dose of antibiotics and sent us home around 6:30, with the following two days worth of doses and a prescription in hand. We walked into the house as Benny was waking up, who, adorably enough, immediately asked where his Bella and went running to say hi to her!

The past few days have been a blur of exhaustion. Bella is doing much better, thank G-d! She is back to her bubbly, smiley self. I was even able to go to shul with her on Thursday, but I kept her in the stroller the whole time, keeping little fingers away.

And somehow, in all the heat, Benny managed to get a cold.

This morning, I am off to fill her prescription, get Benny a new pair of shoes, venture out into the sauna that is Brooklyn, maybe get a nice, iced coffee. And Shabbos could not be coming at a better time! :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life in the City

Recently, I went to a good friend's wedding. Aside from my mother's graduation, this was the main reason we came out to NY so early. This girl was a fellow dorm girl in high school and we had an apartment together in Brooklyn a few years later. An awesome girl, awesome friend, all around awesomeness.

In general I enjoy weddings, although some more than others. Once in a while, I go to one that I rave about. This one was, by FAR, the best wedding I have ever been to! Benny was out with Shuky and Bella was home with Rochel. The wedding hall was a block away from my mom's house so I was able to run home to nurse when needed. The freedom contributed to the great mood I was in. I felt great about how I looked, so the confidence was a booster as well. Being that I knew both sides of the party (did I mention she married an awesome guy?) I got to see so many old friends. I left all my shyness at home and literally went around saying hi to EVERYONE!! Sat at a table full of friends, they were all drinking and I, being a nursing mom, got "drunk" vicariously through them. I was on the dance floor, a rare event. I shook my booty and just let loose! I had to be dragged out of there, did not want to leave!!

We also went to one of their Sheva Brachos, a bbq in someone's backyard. Turns out Shuky knew the hostess from way back in the day, the Florida day that is. And we knew basically everyone attending as well. We left Benny at my mother's house and took Bella with us. Another well-spent evening!

It's been a few weeks since we got here and things have settled around us quite nicely. Benny is in a daycare (with his girlfriend Shira, of course) and, though this is his first week, he seems to be enjoying it. I have been doing a ton of walking during the day, with Bella of course. Thankfully, she loves being in the stroller so it has been great! I have been doing my fair share of socializing as well. Going out with my mother, my sister, with Shuky, or even just me and the kiddos. Civilization is a beautiful thing. It's going to be bittersweet when it's time to go home. I'm sure I'll be ready for our own corner in Ames, but it will be hard to say goodbyes! But there's plenty of time until we face that so only happy thoughts right now!

Time for some updates on the laughs the kids give us.

Benny calls my mother Beh-beh, as opposed to the Bobbe (pronounce Buh-beh) it is supposed to be. And he is head over heels in love with her and Zaidy Chaim (he calls him Zaidy Haaa-yim). He has taken the concept of grandparents being the spoilers to the next level. He doesn't even wait for me to say no anymore, he goes straight to his Beh-beh and gets what he wants on the first try!

Bella forgot that she's only going to be 8 weeks as of tomorrow. She tries to sit up and stand even. I keep telling her to slow down but it's quite funny. She is also super smiley, thank G-d. A bubbly, happy baby with so much personality already!

Benny is getting somewhat antsy about getting his haircut. He keeps asking when it's his turn, he wants his birthday party already! Every time I tell him we are going to a party (and we've had a few to go to already), he wants to know if it's his. I'm hiding all the scissors in the house, no need for an early, self-cut hairstyle!

And now, I need to go get Benny from daycare and hear all about the fun he had. :)

Glad I got to steal a few minutes to get another post up. I love blogging and hate having such long periods between posts. You, my dear blog (and all those reading it), are my confidante. And what's a girl without a shoulder to lean on!?!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

N to the Y

We are in New York. My mother graduated, the party and ceremony were both very nice. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone again! A few years can go by without all of us getting together and then, bam, twice in 30 days!! Needless to say, we are all extremely proud of my mother, completing her MS in Art Education from Pratt!!

One of the nice things about this trip is the fact that we will be here for so long so there is no crazy rush to see everyone instantly. We can take our time, do things at a normal pace! Shuky started working today at a local job, taking a lot of stress out of the equation as well.

On another note, as much as I feel going from zero to one is the hardest, this whole transition to two kids has not been easy. Night time is killer, which means Zombie Mommy come sun-up. Don't cross me before I get coffee. On days when I don't get coffee (like today) you're better off not even looking my way. I bite.

I would like to commend all breast-feeding mothers in the world. Every time I stop everything to nurse, I wonder about the commitment we make, all that we give up. Yes, it's cheaper. Yes, it's very healthy for both of us. It just takes so much to make it work, how time consuming it is, the food we have to avoid, the sleep we lose. Not that I'm thinking of stopping. Just saying...

Got to go for a nice walk today with a good friend, hoping to go again tomorrow. I need to get more vitamin d, more fresh air, more human feelings running through my veins. Being in a real city means real food options. I need to be proactive about my weight before I have to become reactive!!

And with that, I bid you good night.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Here Today, Gone on Wednesday

Bella is four weeks old already. Today, she is actually one month old. Feels like I just left the hospital with her! We are slowly getting the hang of this two-kids thing. We should have it down by the time they graduate high school. Hopefully.

I'm still in Postville but Shuky is back already. He finished his finals yesterday and is done until the end of August. Which brings us to a close on our first year of school at Iowa State University. We survived! So proud of Shuky for making it through, regardless of the 'obstacles' thrown in his path. I can't imagine it was easy for him to deal with school, an energetic toddler, a hormonally-crazy pregnant wife, and a baby at the end of that tunnel!! Also factor in the time he had to take off for all of the above and then came Pesach, just in time to run back for finals. I don't think I could handle that, virtual hat tip to you, Shuky!!

Now we are working on getting ready for New York. Making sure current bills are taken care of, last minute doctor appointments seen to, mail needs to be forwarded, yada yada. Packing is under way. We are super psyched! Now I just have to find time to say goodbye to our local friends, we'll be gone for quite a while!

Btw, side note about me: currently working on my weight-loss goal for the summer. The plan is to get back to pre-any-kids weight. Wedding day weight is a pipe dream so I'm starting with something more realistic. I'm about halfway there. Already out of my maternity clothing for about two weeks. Feels good to have variety in my wardrobe again!! Been walking a lot, on the weather permitting days. Looking forward to a lot more walking in New York! Also been a bit more careful about what's going in my mouth, with the exception of a few much-needed treats here and there, including my morning coffee (read: sugar, milk, caffeine - in order of amount). Wish me luck!

Have a relaxing weekend and enjoyable shabbos. Next time you hear from me, I will most likely be in a different time zone! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crunchy Munchy

Pesach was great. It was so nice having everyone around, Benny was supremely excited to run wild with his cousins, like a caged animal set free! He was beyond obsessed with my oldest nephew Zalmy, who is six years old (!!!). I'm talking calling his name a million times just to say hi when Zalmy would finally respond. Throwing his arms around Zalmy's waist every chance he got. Forget about sitting next to him on the couch, he basically sat ON him! When it came to my youngest nephew, Yossi, they had somewhat of a love-hate relationship. They are exactly 5 months apart, to the day, so it was expected. I'm sure one day they'll be closer than ever, causing tons of trouble together! Shaina, my adorable niece, loved playing Mommy to him. Benny was usually more than happy to oblige. Unless Zalmy was available.

Bella had a great time as well, being passed around, sleeping on the couch with her uncles (sometimes when there was work to be done), spitting up all over her aunts, keeping her parents up at night. Basically, she did exactly what she was supposed to do!

Goodbyes were sad but it wasnt horrible, all of us 'kids' are getting back together to celebrate my mother's graduation, in two weeks, in New York!! So proud of my mother!!!!

I decided to let Shuky go back to Ames alone, stuck around with the kids at my dad's house. Few reasons why, first being the state of the house and the amount of extra work my dad would be left with. Another reason was to give Shuky a real chance to successfully catch up on the last few weeks of school work (considering how much he missed between Bella's birth and Pesach) and do well on his finals, which start on Monday.

Of course, as soon as I volunteer to stay behind, both kids decide to get sick. Benny has a cold and cough with a mild fever, Bella is just super congested. The kids are tag teaming through the nights here. One wakes up crying, I finally calm him/her down, seconds later there are wails coming from the other side of the room. It's been fun! I'm getting through the housework dung the day, just a bit slower than anicipated. No big deal. I've got time.

And now is my current five minutes of quiet so I'm gonna go enjoy it. Quickly. I already hear Bella stirring.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And Then There Were Four

Last week, on Tuesday, I had my 39 week checkup, including an ultrasound. One of the big concerns we've had with this pregnancy has been the possibility of experiencing another labor/delivery like Benny's and my body not being able to handle it. Our goal has been to figure out a game plan to help avoid an unnecessary C-section. We had this ultrasound done with the intention of seeing how everything looked and trying to get an estimate on the size of the baby. The midwife said it seemed like the baby in there was about 7.5 lbs, give or take a pound. Everything looked good, but that weight gave us a moment of concern. Unanimously, we decided I should come back in the morning to be induced. Depending on the exam they would do in the morning, there was a possibility that all it would take was breaking my water. That would have to be determined on the spot. They told me to go home and get a good night's sleep. Eat a good breakfast, as they don't allow food when you are in labor, and come in at 7.

Look at those lips!!

I would like to find out how many people walk out of their appointment, having heard that they will be induced in the morning, and actually get a good night's sleep! With Benny, I didn't sleep a wink. Literally, not one second. This time, I was a bit more calm, having already been through the experience once before, but I've definitely had better nights of sleep! The truth is, reality didn't hit me until the alarm went off at 5:30 in the morning. I stepped into the shower and the waterworks began. Both from the shower head and my own. Just to clarify, I mean tears, not my water breaking! It's a big deal, knowing you're about to bring another life into the world. Granted, it wasn't a surprise to me, this baby had been growing inside me for the past 39 weeks and all! It just hits hard when it finally hits home!

Anyway, Shuky made me a nice breakfast while I went and cuddled with Benny for a little. Told him we were going to the doctor to get the baby. Grabbed my bag and headed out the door.

We got to the hospital in a great mood, joking around with each other. Definitely ready for this to happen! Made our way up to the Birthways, as the maternity ward in our hospital is called. Got settled into my room, unpacked a few of my belongings, and waited for the midwife to come and get the show rolling. Apparently, it was a good day to have babies. People came in left and right, already in labor. Considering that I was not actually in labor yet, they profusely apologized and said they would get me started at the first chance they had.  So Shuky and I got to hang out, watch some TV. Almost like a coffee date, without the coffee shop, or the coffee. Around 11:30, the midwife, Alice, finally came in and did my exam. Said I needed pitocin, the baby wasn't low enough to just break my water. So in went the IV and on came the contractions. On a side note, I was STARVING when they started everything so I convinced the nurse to let me have some jello, she felt bad that they had made me wait so long so (after checking with the midwife) I got a little sneak of food right at the start of everything. I couldn't even tell you what they tasted like, I sucked those things down so fast!

The contractions sped up quite nicely and painfully. In an effort to avoid slowing down the dilation, we started with a pain killer through my IV. It would last two hours and I could do two doses successfully. And I did. It was great. I knew exactly when those two hours ended, without having to look at the clock! After those two, I was ready for my epidural. The relief was INSTANT. Quick reminder, I did not have an epidural with Benny so I had no idea what to expect! Anyway, like I said, instant relief. It was almost hard to believe I was in labor. I was sitting up in bed, joking around with Shuky, watching some TV show or another. Just hanging out with my hubby. No big deal!

Around 8:30ish, the next midwife, Carol, came in to check on me (shifts changed around 7). I was 6 cm dilated. As she was telling me this, my water broke. On it's own. Yay me! My body may need to be induced to get the show started but at least my water knows what to do!! (Broke naturally with Benny as well!) At that point, I started asking the nurse (Tera - loved her!!!) how I would know it was time, being that I wasn't really feeling a whole lot. She described the feeling to me, we chatted for a few minutes and she walked out. 37 minutes after Carol said my water broke, probably about 10 minutes after Tera finished describing the feeling to me, I got the feeling. Shuky went out into the hallway, 'Umm I think she's ready!'

Four minutes and maybe two or three contractions later, I had a little baby girl laying on my chest, screaming her arrival. It was 9:08 pm.

She was 7 lbs, 4 ozs; 19 inches long; her head circumference was 14 inches. Similar to Benny in most measurements, except a good pound and a half less! (Benny was 8 lbs, 15 ozs; 20.5" long; 14.5" head circumference).
I love her chicken legs!!

I decided to have her room with us the first night, she was so cute I just didn't want to let her go. My body wasn't so sore that I felt like I couldn't handle it! Big mistake. She was so cute that I couldn't stop cuddling with her and looking at her! Around 5 in the morning, I called the nurse and made her take the baby to the nursery. I needed sleep!!
A special thank you to Dodo Rachel Bloom for the beautiful blanket!

The naming process for a little girl is much more simple than that of a boy. We were able to name her the following morning, although through a proxy (my father). He had us on speaker phone throughout the process and it was just another huge difference to add to the list when comparing my babies' entries into the world! (Benny did not have his bris [circumcision and naming ceremony] until two days before he was four weeks old!) It was almost strange to me, seeing the name Bella Miriam on her crib card. Calling her Bella in the hospital. Filling out the forms for her birth certificate on the spot!


Benny came to visit us the next morning, with my sister Rochel. It was love at first sight for this big brother/little sister duo! He held her for a while, stroking her hair. Whispering little words of love to her. Letting her know he was the big brother, there for her! The hospital also offers this great service - they send a professional photographer to your room to take beautiful pictures of your new baby and then provide you with an online gallery (Username: lb1119 Password: 34195-lb1119). You are able to order prints if you want but have no obligation whatsoever! I made sure Rochel brought Benny in a nicer outfit and got some great shots of the two of them together. (The shots of Bella alone are very cute but I feel like she looks completely different already at this point!)

These are obviously not the professional shots. Just from my phone...but I love them!

Everyone stuck around for a few hours and I sent them all away mid-afternoon. I was wiped out. Shuky came back to do dinner with me, ran home to help Rochel get Benny situated for the night, and came back to me later to spend the night.

The following morning, we packed up and waited to be discharged. Bella was checked over, I was checked over, forms were filled out, and we were walked out to the car, with a nurse carrying Bella (in her nice, new car seat) out of the hospital. It was their policy.
Ready to go home in her outfit from Bobbe :)

We had nothing at home for a baby so we made a stop at Target, got some teeny tiny diapers and onesies and such. Ruffles and frills included obviously. Hello baby girl, goodbye money in the bank!
Bella's sweet new car seat and ride :) We got the Chicco and the Britax B-Ready!
Big Brother needs something special for himself, hello Thomas hat!
Our welcome home signs made by Benny and Aunty Rochel :)

Shabbos was very nice, added another shabbos candle for our beautiful baby. Rested and relaxed a lot! All in all, a pleasant shabbos.
My nightly cocktail. Note to self: only chew the chewable ones!!

Sunday we went to Des Moines. Old Navy was having a sale and I wanted to get some stuff for Bella. I also wanted to go visit some friends in the area. We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to, I just got a bit wiped out, needed to head home and put my feet up!

This whole week has been a whirlwind of appointments. Monday was Bella's visit back to the hospital to check bilirubin levels (she's fine, just a precaution because of Benny) and to make sure she was nursing well and gaining weight. She weighed 6 lbs 15 ozs. Tuesday, we had an appointment for both kids at WIC. She weighed 7 lbs 4 ozs (birthweight). Wednesday, Bella had her two week check-up, one week early because of Pesach. She weighed 7 lbs 6 ozs. Generally, the goal is to have the baby back at birthweight by two weeks. This little girl is ready for overeaters anonymous apparently!! ;)

Benny has really taken to his role as big brother. Every day, when Shuky gets home from school, he runs to the door to update him on a days' worth of Bella news. When she cries, he comes running, whispering sweet little consolations, "Don't cry Baby Bella, it's ok!" When he notices her pacifier, he grabs it and brings it over to wherever she is, you just never know when a baby might need one of those! He told his toys all about Bella. The cutest yet is what he does at night. He has us bring Bella to his bed and he sings Shema to her. It melts your heart, and I finally caught it on video to share with everyone. :)


Still can't get enough of these chicken legs!!

Only love from this big brother :)

Post-nursing euphoria

Talking with me, telling me about her day

Today, at a week and a day old, she is relaxing at home with me, Benny, and Aunty Rochel, as we get ready for our Pesach trip to Postville. And get her settled into our room. And all her new clothes washed and put away.

Happy Pesach preparations to everyone out there!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yet To Come

I am obviously way overdue on a blog post here! Give me a little more time to get my feet back on the ground and a post ye shall receive! Thank you for your patience and loyalty! Hang in there, details are coming!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moving Right Along

It's April 1st. That's insane. Where did March go? Of course, this means that I'm due in 11 days. Which is even crazier! My brother is coming out this afternoon, just in case I have to go in over Shabbos. And my sister comes in Sunday morning to stay with me until Pesach, when we will go to Postville together. It's great to have amazing siblings!!

I finally took the time to pack my hospital bag last night. Of course, that led me to start organizing things as I was looking in drawers, trying to find what I might need. Damn this nesting bug! The good thing is I know I don't have to worry about Benny's room for a few months at least. Baby will be in our room for a bit and then we are gone for the summer. Gives me the time I need to focus on my room, and trust me, I need all that time!

And now, I am off to start making food for Shabbos. Going to start early this week so I don't wipe myself out by rushing to do everything last minute as I continuously do every week! Simple menu, made much easier by spreading across the afternoon! 

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seashells and Cheese

Yesterday was a long and hard day. I needed a quick and easy dinner idea so I ended up with noodles and cheese. I used shells to be a little different. That backfired. Big time. Benny saw the shells and immediately looked at me, super confused.
"Mommy, these are seashells. We have to make a sand castle!"
"No Benny, they are noodles and they have a yummy sauce with cheese on them! Take a bite, try one!"
"No Mommy, we can't eat seashells!!"
And on it went for a while!

Shuky managed to force one into his mouth about fifteen minutes later. That was it. Ended up giving him a bowl of cereal and milk for dinner after much arguing. Note to self: stick with what works.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Seriously???

It snowed this morning. This is really starting to get ridiculous! I WANT THE SPRING TO REALLY BEGIN!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Welcome Back

It seems my old nemesis, sciatica, has decided to rejoin the picture. I honestly thought I got away with only having nausea to deal with this time, but alas, with just over two weeks left to go, sciatica rears its ugly head. For those of you who remember the details of my pregnancy with Benny, that was my biggest challenge. Actually had me in physical therapy at one point, learning ways to cope with the pain.

Thankfully, this time was a mild pain. All it did was add a slight momentary limp to my waddle. That gimp you were staring at was probably me. :)

Here's a belly shot - will be 38 weeks on Tuesday, g-d willing!

Over the past few months, we've had quite a few problems with my phone. I got it replaced about 5 times total, each time the replacement was a refurbished phone and within a week or less, new issues would come up. Friday afternoon, I was completely unreachable for almost three hours without even realizing it. After Thursday night's contractions, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Shuky got on the phone with customer service and they not only promised me a new phone, they allowed me to switch to a different phone if I so preferred. And they gave us a credit on our account. They told us which store they arranged everything with and this morning, we went to West Des Moines in search of a Tony.

I switched to the Evo. It's not that I didn't love my Epic. I absolutely did! I'm probably the only person who willingly switched away from the Epic, too! But it was just a relationship that wasn't working out. So now, I am starting fresh with my Evo. Hopefully, this time things will be better. I just can't have a phone that I can't rely on when I could (hopefully) go in to labor at any point in time!

Friday, March 25, 2011

We're Really Getting There!!

Last night I had some real contractions, about 9 minutes apart. Thought I might have to go in! But they stopped and I actually had the best night of sleep since probably the beginning of my second trimester. Go figure! Made me realize I need to get a bag packed sometime soon! And Rochel, my amazing sister that is coming out to help, better get here soon!!! I figure, worse comes to worse, Moishy (being the awesome-sauce that he is) will have to drive down from Postville if the time comes before Rochel does. Not a huge deal.

I still have a bit of organizing to do but thankfully, we have made our way through most everything. We've rearranged our closet one more time (did it last week) and this seems to be the best configuration, the way the storage space is being utilized is so much smarter! We can see everything and are able to pull out what we need without a domino affect destroying everything else. That, my friends, is the key. And it's not an eye sore anymore, looking into the closet from the bathroom. Yet another thing that makes me smile!

Benny's room is still a work in progress, trying to figure out how this will become a room for two, considering that we keep all the toys in there as well. Ultimately, I need to find an awesome dresser that can hold clothing for two kids and maybe host a changing pad on top. And I need to go through everything being stored in his closet, see what can be put back in our Postville storage and what can be consolidated, maybe with the help of our trusty vacuum bags (I wrote about them when we were packing to move).

I went to link to the old post and got caught up reading about our moving month. Lol. Easily distracted is an understatement about my current state of being. And with that note, I am off to be distracted by something, who knows what, that will keep me busy as I desperately avoid looking out my windows. There is snow out there. Why???