Sunday, April 12, 2009


Due to going back to work, I haven't been posting. I went back to work on January 15th and I've been very very busy. The baby has had non stop ear infections. We haven't slept in a long time. We've been using Shabbos as catch-up sleeping time although it isn't enough. I can't believe that we've been functioning this well. I was off before Pesach but was trying to get cleaning done in between nap times for baby and kids being home and needing to be occupied. We made it to Pesach. This year my hubby was forced to take off for Chol Hamoed and Erev Chag which means he's been a tremendous help around the house. We've so far gone to the zoo and to Ein Gedi. A good time was had by all. I'm trying not to do any work during this Pesach vacation. Once it's over though I've got a lot to do! My next vacation is the summer. There's a good chance that I won't be able to write until then. Sorry!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back to Work

So I haven't posted in a while. This is because last Wednesday, I went back to work. That right, my maternity leave is over. The week before I went back I brought my baby to the babysitter to see that he'd take a bottle. He took it nicely. On Wed., he refused. I didn't know what happened. My schedule is such that I can go to the babysitter in the middle of the day to nurse him if I need to. Thursday, again he refused the bottle. Now, I have a lot of hours and I was also given four hours a week that I have to fit into my schedule to sit with girls one on one to help them out. So, I was trying to work out how I was going to do that and to shuttle back and forth to the babysitter (who lives pretty close to the school). On Sunday, I called her to see if I should come or if he took the bottle. She told me to come because he was hungry and by the time I'd get there she'd see if he took the bottle or not. I got there and she had him in his car seat and he was gobbling up the bottle she was holding. We warmed more up and he ate it very nicely. I was so impressed. So he does know how to take a bottle. This makes my life a lot easier. Now I can stay in school and pump instead of shlepping to her and nurse (which take a lot longer than the electrip double sided pump). Thank goodness that I don't have too many classes. I do have a lot of hours though. It was also nice to start slowly. I taught Wed. and Thurs. which meant that I had two days to recuperate. Then I taught Sun. and Mon. and today is my day off. I come home very tired and needing to nurse but my son is usually happily asleep in his car seat. I try to "rest" or relax as much as possible once I get home but that doesn't really happen. It's nice to be back and to get back into the swing of things. I'm happy as long as my baby is happy and as long as I have time in the afternoon to be with the kids. I do wish I had more time to sleep though.

There is a new girl in school who came from Miami. Being the token English speaking teacher, I was asked to tutor her and help her out with some of the basics. I feel so bad for her. She's so lost. She has no clue what's going on. In Miami she studied in Beis Yaacov which means that she doesn't know Israeli Hebrew. It's going to be like starting from scratch. Luckily she also undertands Spanish and there are two Spanish speaking girls in her class. I hope this makes it a little easier on her. Yesterday she was crying. I think that everything was just overwhelming her and frustrating. I hope that she is able to get olim hours and a teacher to help her out so that she can start to make up lost time. It's not easy making aliya at that age. I always say that either people should come when their kids are really young (like gan age) or when their kids are all older (like college age). Anyway, let's hope this schoolyear is fruitful and that I am successful at teaching the students middot as well as English.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Last Minute Shabbos Guests

The night after Chanukah, my former roommate from seminary got married. My hubby, baby and I went to the wedding. It was a lot of fun. We saw people we hadn't seen in years from our circle of friends and acquaintences. One person we saw was A. A. told us that she had been looking into our yishuv. She and I were talking about it. Last week, she called me up to tell me that her owner wants to sell her apartment that she and her hubby are renting in Neve Yaacov. That means that she'll have to be out of there by Feb. 10th. She's desperately looking for somewhere to move. We spoke at lenth about our community. On Friday morning she calls me with some questions about the forms. She also mentioned that she'd like to come for Shabbos. I casually said, "Oh, well next Shabbos we're supposed to go away to friend but maybe this Shabbos would be good." She realized that I didn't really mean it. A little while later she calls me back to ask me if it would be at all possible. They are desperate after all. I call my husband to see what he would say. Now we were planning on having a nice quiet Shabbos. We haven't had one of those in a while. He said it was okay. I called A. back and we discussed how to split up the menu. I'm so bad at dividing up work that I ended up doing most of the work.

I had already finished my cooking actually. I had put up the chicken and the soup and was planning on making couscous. We decided that we'd have chullent (that I'd make), pasta salad (that she'd make) and baked potatoes. So I quickly tried to get as much done as soon as possible. We suddenly went from a relaxed Shabbos to a guest Shabbos. I was more relaxed because I know that they're laid back people and wouldn't really judge me by what they saw that I did on a moments notice. I cleaned the guest room and the living room. Things were rushed. Luckily, somehow we were able to get ready for Shabbos early enough for my husband to show them around. They really appreciated that. Shabbos was very nice. They took quite a number of walks around the yishuv. They didn't mind the hills. They seemed like they liked it. Now they're trying to send in the forms and find a place to live. Her hubby is learning and she's working so they don't have too much money. It looks like they're hoping to find a caravan. I hope for their sake that they are successful. It would be nice to have a good friend in the neighborhood.

I have never in my life done anything so impulsive. I couldn't believe myself. I just said yes and somehow made everything work. Usually, I start planning for Shabbos on Tuesday and cook on Wed. and Thurs. I was amazed at my ability to cook for us plus two on such short notice. They were so thankful and they had a good time. The kids went to sleep late so they were kind of nutty by the end of Shabbos. Other than that I think that everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

War Update

So I've been a little out of it lately. I've been busy taking care of the baby, the house, myself, the kids, etc. I've been listening very closely to the news. I've been following the news also on various blogs. I haven't posted anything because most of the time that I'm on the computer I'm holding or nursing the baby and so I can't type.

This morning, at 7:30 approx., three rockets were fired towards Nahariya. Two were injured. Right now the school in Nahariya are closed and people are warned to be near their mamadim. The rockets were old and so far it seems that they were not fired by Hizbollah. Let's hope that this is a one time thing.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the soldiers and citizens. We hope and pray that this war will be over very soon with all of the goals reached in the best way possible.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nursing experiences

Mother in Israel posted about nursing and formula and I just couldn't keep my mouth shut about the topic. Here is my wonderful experience:

I gave birth to my son in N.Y. I was a new mother and didn't really have any friends who had just had kids. I got married young and way before all of my friends. I come from a family of two kids as does my hubby so our mothers didn't really have any practical and up to date advice to give. I knew that I wanted to nurse but although I read lots of stuff about it, I didn't really know what it entailed. I had a tremendously traumatic birth and recovery. Let's not get into that. My son wasn't even in my room with me. He was in the N.I.C.U. because he was breathing too quickly. I never got to hold him in the delivery room. I had to go to the N.I.C.U. every time I wanted to nurse. Never mind that I couldn't walk, it was far. I had to have someone wheel me in a wheelchair in order to nurse. In the hospital the lactation consultant came and gave me some good advice. She was very experienced and to this day I remember some of the things she told me. After I left the hospital my son stayed in the N.I.C.U. until he was 10 days old. I was pumping at home and every day we'd go to the hospital and place the milk in the fridge. I noticed that many times they weren't even looking for my milk because it was clearly labelled and nobody touched it. They automatically gave him the formula. I got really upset at the nurses every time it happened. I had a really hard time trying to get my son to latch on. I tried very hard but in the end, the only thing that worked was to put a bottle nipple over my own nipple and to nurse that way. He had gotten so used to the bottles in the hospital that he didn't want to nurse from me. I was very upset about this.

When we went home I decided that I couldn't continue like that. It was just too painful. I tried without the bottle nipple. We were really stubborn and both my mother and mother in law helped me and gave me the moral support that I needed. It took two months for us to get a good breastfeeding relationship down. In the end he nursed normally (without the bottle nipple). He loved nursing so much that when I went back to school, he didn't want to take a bottle. He was just 2.5 months at that point. It was funny how he changed so much-from the baby who didn't want anything other than a bottle to the nursing only from my mommy baby. I refused to give him formula. I refused to give him bottles when I didn't need to. That rocky start stayed etched in my mind. I pumped every day so he would have what to drink at the babysitter. We tried bottles and then sippy cups. Eventually he graduated to solids.

The funny thing is that he didn't have a high enough level of iron so we ended up having to give him formula so we could boost his iron. Cow's milk was causing the iron level to be low. I was still nursing but it wasn't doing enough for his iron. We would mix the formula for him in his cereal bowl and he'd have cornflakes with "milk".

With my daughter I set out from the beginning knowing I wouldn't make the same mistakes. I nursed her in the delivery room. I did rooming in -this birth was in Israel. She was with me all the time and there was nobody in the world who would give her a bottle. The lactation consultant at that hospital was even better. She enlightened me about so many things I didn't know before. She gave me the support and knowledge that I needed to nurse my daughter until age two. She never took a bottle. At 5 months I went back to work. She was already eating solids. She also learned how to drink from a cup with a straw. We had a spillproof cup and the babysitter loved that. She would drink the milk I pumped with the straw cup.

My newborn now also was nursed in the delivery room. Here I had a totally different experience. I gave birth erev Yom Kippur and the staff wasn't too lovely at the hospital. The babies were with us from 5 AM to 10 PM. Too bad if we wanted to rest. At night, when I'd go to feed my baby, I would hear tons of crying. It was terrible. Many of us didn't sleep because we refused to leave the babies with the nurses. I wrote that I didn't want any bottles and that I wanted to be woken up. Every time I tried to leave him at the nursery sleeping they'd refuse. They told me he cried too much and I should give him a bottle of formula. They told me he'd sleep longer and be happier and that I didn't have enough milk to give him since he was and is a very big boy. Well I remembered what lactation consultant number 2 told me. She told me that the first two or three days, until the milk comes in, you have culostrum (sp?) and that that's all the baby needs. Hashem provides the baby with exactly what he needs. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This gave me such strength. I remembered what she had said and instead of arguing, I took my baby away from the nursery and stayed away from those nurses. All they wanted to do was feed everyone with formula and shut them up. It was horrible. I couldn't believe how many mothers were giving formula to their babies (as well as trying to nurse). There was one new mother there and she had no lactation consultant because it was YK. I tried to help her by my goodness. It's not my job. Why did the nurses keep ignoring her when she would ask for help?

I was very unimpressed with my past hospital stay. Thank goodness I know enough to not listen to those evil nurses. I feel very bad for all the new mothers who experienced that YK along with me.

My husband always says that all of the reasons for nursing are selfless (good for the baby) while all the reasons for formula are selfish (so you can go out, etc.) . I think people see how easy it is to shove a bottle in a baby's mouth so why do it the hard way. Why experience the pain of the first week of sore nipples? After doing so much nursing I can't imagine it any other way. I love nursing and wouldn't give it up for the world. That being said, I have a friend whose son wouldn't nurse-I don't know details. It's her sixth kid. He is 6 months old. She still pumps all day, although she also has to supplement. The kid refuses to nurse from her but will take her milk in a bottle. I think it's incredible that she does that. I have a very hard time relating to people who don't nurse or don't nurse for long periods of time. I just don't understand them or their point of view. Maybe one day their eyes will be open and they will see the beauty of nursing.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

I couldn't think the title of the post is more true. Today, after reading a bunch of blogs, I've come to a conclusion. The nature of posts and comments by males are completely different than those of women. Women want to share things that have happened. They sometimes post thought-provoking information that causes a discussion. They sometimes want empathy for something that happened. They seek support and want to be validated. Men on the other hand have a different nature. They post about more political topics. They are more into competition and being better than the other. Many times men will make sexual references. They many times include either halacha or parsha/Torah thoughts. I find that women discuss ideas while men are more practical. Sometimes men will report stories in the news that they want to comment on. They give their take on the world around them. Women discuss ideas, problems in society, ways to make the world better etc.

This is my way of venting about a comment that a male made on something I wrote. I found the comment to be completely insensitive. Then I took a step back and said, "Wait, he's a man and I'm a woman." Here lies the reason that he wouldn't think twice before saying what he said, while I saw nothing wrong with what I said. I was just giving my take on things. He totally rejected my take. I was seeking to be validated and he just wanted to say that I'm wrong. Well Mr. Man, maybe you shouldn't be reading women's blogs if you can't handle the right way to comment. Next time be more sensitive! (Sorry, I'm not in a thick-skinned mood today).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Updated Pics

And now, on a cheery note, here are some recent pics of the kiddies.