Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Lean Green Eating Machine

Hila was never an easy eater. Nursing was impossible, early feeding with a spoon nonexistent, and even now as a toddler, she goes through phases where she just isn't interested in eating anything at all. (She also goes through phases where she'll eat anything in sight -- I like that.)

Meira is an entirely different story. Breastfeeding -- while we had a rocky start, she ended up being a super enthusiastic nurser. Early feeding with a spoon -- CHECK. Early self-feeding of finger foods -- CHECK.

But here's a problem I never experienced with Hila: Meira is ALWAYS hungry. ALWAYS. 10 minutes after she nurses, she's whiny for food. 10 minutes after she consumes a feast of food, she's whiny for more milk. If she had it her way (which sometimes she gets), she'd go from breast to food to breast to food all day long. It' do I say this without making you think that I'm not super appreciative of her enthusiasm...okay, I'll just say it: It's annoying. Really annoying.

Thank you Meira for being such a good eater, but give mommy a break, k?

(P.S. Ever seen Meira? She's tall and skinny. And here's her diet secret -- Yes, YOU too can eat all day long and still stay slim. All you need to do is exercise -- army crawl around the floor, climb up on furniture, and stand and start pushing furniture around the room. Smart kid!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Meira: An Update

I haven't said anything about Meira lately, so let me summarize the last few months quickly:

Eating -- I am still breastfeeding -- an activity that has become natural and easy and enjoyable (yes, it's about time). Meira eats 2 solid meals a day, usually lunch and dinner -- about 1/4-1/2 cup of something, anything. Unlike Hila who I couldn't PAY to open her mouth for mushed up food, Meira is enthusiastic, eager, and not too messy. I enjoy making and storing baby food. My freezer is filled with ice cube trays of food. Yes, I'm that mom (suprisingly).

Sleeping (at night) -- She goes to bed at 7PM on the dot, every night, and wakes up at around 6:30-7AM every morning. In those 12 hours she usually wakes up twice to nurse. No, she won't take a bottle. (Though kudos (and thank you) to Menachem for trying and trying and trying, and having some success occasionally.) Occasionally she wakes up around 10PM, but we let her sort that one out herself. She's usually back asleep within 5 minutes.

Sleeping (during the day) -- She usually takes 2 naps, each about 1-2 hours. If one is less than that, then I give her a 3rd nap, which she sometimes takes. I do not nurse her to sleep anymore,  but she does sometimes go down and then cry. Again, that doesn't usually last more than 5-10 minutes. We're okay with that, for now.

Physical development -- In the tradition of other Gold-Pritzker babies (i.e. Hila), Meira is super strong. Both girls came out of the womb with their heads up, neck straight, and looking around the room. At 5 months Meira started "scooting," which she still does, quite fast, around the room and under tables. Today I saw her pull herself up to her knees! And if you put her in the standing (holding on to something, like the crib rail) or sitting position, she can stay that way for a while.

General disposition -- She is the sweetest little girl in the world. She gets upset (like if she's hungry or tired), but she's easily distractable and consolable. She does still have "cranky time" -- those "witching hours" between 5-7PM, which is not the best timing since that's when Hila is home, playing and eating and getting ready for bed herself. During that time she needs lots of attention, especially in the form of breastmilk and cuddles, but sometimes a song and dance from her doting big sister will do the trick as well.

Sounds like a keeper to me!

So far so good....

Menachem is in's just for a few days, but even the thought of taking care of these two kids stresses me out, so I wasn't looking forward to it. far so good!

First, I got Hila out of the house this morning without chocolate. Maybe your child can easily make it til 9AM without chocolate, but mine can' least not anytime in the last month or so, until today. I hadn't even thought about it at the time. It's just that things were going so smoothly, that I didn't need to bribe her at all!

Next, Hila is on a cleaning kick. Now, usually a messy house stresses me out, but around 6:30PM, Hila said, "It's clean up time," and cleaned the entire living room. There is not a single toy on the floor.

Then, unlike last night when Hila peed at 7 and then I made her pee again before bed at 8 and she couldn't and we fought for a bit (until she finally did), tonight, she peed at like 5:30, then drank a cup of chocolate milk, and then easily peed again before bed. No fights.

She brushed her teeth nicely, and in exchange, got her nightly band-aid on her invisible boo-boo. Then she wanted pasta. I didn't make her re-brush her teeth.

Hila and Meira, as usual, played so nicely together. I nursed Meira and Hila cuddled up next to us singing songs (she did that last night too, and I would love for that to become a regular thing). I put Meira to bed and she didn't cry -- just rolled over and fell asleep.

Hila asked to read in bed, and then called me in to take the books away when she was ready to sleep. She's not asleep yet, so I'm still expecting her to call me in a few more times, but that's okay.

Meanwhile, my ears/throat still hurt at night (after 2.5 weeks! -- Doc says it's a virus -- BLAH), so that's no fun, but otherwise, things are going well here.

Am I the only other army wife here who can't wait til she and her husband are 40? (I assume 40 will come before having 6 kids or becoming rich -- the other 2 exemptions from miluim.) Then again, Menachem begged the army to let him do miluim, I'm sure some technical exemption will do nothing to deter him. My husband, the Zionist hero. (Grumble.) (No, really, I am proud of him.) (Grumble.) (Really.)

He comes home tomorrow. Yes, all this was about a 3 day miluim.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Had a wonderful break from packing today, visiting Liat and Avigail up north at Hamat Gader, right outside their kibbutz. Hila still talks about our former neighbors on a daily basis and it was fun for 3 generations of Gold/Pritzkers and Meck/Smolans to hang out.

But here's why I'm writing...

Our house is a disaster -- boxes and newspaper and tape and STUFF all over. Hila has been at Grandma and Grandpa's for the last 3 days and only entered the disaster zone today. She walked into the kitchen and said, "What a terrible mess!" And I said, "We're packing!" And she said, "Oh, I want to pack too," and started throwing newspaper onto the floor. When she was done, she said, "Okay, I'm done packing," and walked out.

Oh, Hila, if only it were so easy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Some of My Thoughts Lately

  1. I really like Costco. Why don't they make large stuff in Israel? I particularly like my new Costco contact lens solution. It was super cheap and has the type of cap that you sort of flip up, not that you have to unscrew and completely remove. I really prefer that. Why is contact lens solution so expensive in Israel? Why are contact lenses so expensive in Israel? Why is everything so expensive in Israel?
  2. Things that are cheaper in Israel than in America -- healthcare, education, avocados (when they're in season), laser hair removal.
  3. I love my new electric toothbrush. I look forward to brushing my teeth and it just feels so good on my gums. My teeth have never felt cleaner!
  4. People think I'm a laid back person, but what they don't know is that a lot of stress, anxiety, and hard work go into looking like a laid back person. That is who I really am -- a stressed out person trying so hard to be laid back.
  5. I think toilets flush better in Israel than in America.
  6. If breastmilk is so perfect, then why do I need to give my baby Vitamin D and iron supplements? (I don't -- I keep forgetting. I also keep forgetting to take my own multivitamin. Oops.)
  7. I think that I enjoy pedicures more than other people. 
  8. I think my life would be a lot easier if I had a large American washing machine. Or, better yet, a washer and dryer in one -- put your laundry in, push some buttons, and then come back in an hour (or longer -- that doesn't matter) to clean, dry clothes. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Thoughts on Weight Watchers So Far

I've been on Weight Watchers for a few days, and I think I'm going to quit. It's not because I've lost faith in dieting or because I don't think the WW method works, but rather, for these four reasons:

  1. I cannot get the Android app to work on my phone. I have a feeling it's because I live in Israel. I hate when companies persecute me because of my IP address. Meanwhile, I contacted customer service and they haven't gotten back to me yet.
  2. On day 2 of being on WW, I spent over an hour trying to locate the "Points Tracker." It just wasn't where it had been the last time. I simply could not find it, and so could not input my points for the rest of the day. Meanwhile, I contacted customer service and they never got back to me.
  3. Today, day 3 of WW, the site again works the way I remember it, but it keeps freezing my computer, so again I can't input my points. I'm not even going to bother contacting customer service. 
  4. As a nursing mother, I was awarded like 15 extra points. That's a lot. And I feel like if I eat all those points (which I haven't done on any of these days), then I will definitely not lose weight. So I know you're supposed to eat all your points, but I just don't want to. 
I have lost weight these last few days -- I can tell already and I feel great about it. But by NOT following the rules here, I've sorta motivated myself to do lose weight my own way. I know how to lose weight; I've done it before. I just needed a little push.

Weight Watchers online isn't just a money-suck, but a time-suck. I have spent an embarassingly long time online -- not browsing for resipes or reading health advice, but trying to input my stupid points. I don't have that sort of time.

Here's what I've learned most of all -- I should eat more fruits and vegetables. Okay. I can do that.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

We're exclusive.

It's been an emotional rollercoaster. All the starting and stopping and supplementing and exclusive formula-feeding and exclusive pumping and losing milk and then rebuilding my supply...again and again and again...but we've finally made it -- I am exclusively breastfeeding Meira.

Yes, in last post I said I was happy pumping, but I knew that wouldn't last. I started feeling a bit like a prisoner to the pump. I couldn't go out for more than a few hours, I was obsessed with the how today's yield compared to yesterday's, and sometiems Meira would be crying while I was pumping and I couldn't get to her and that made me feel downright silly. Also -- all those bottles...too many dishes.

I spoke and then met with an amazing lactation consultant (actually two -- Fran and Alexis), who both helped me realize that a) I have plenty of milk (and I better, after all that hard work), b) Meira has a good latch, and c) I can do this. They also helped me work on d) relaxing. So I slowly exchanged pumping sessions for nursing sessions.

It was hard. At 6.5 weeks into the whole ordeal (because that's what it was), I felt like I was at square one -- with a baby just getting the hang of nursing, falling asleep all the time, wanting to nurse all day, etc.

And we're still working on it. We're certainly not at the every 3-4 hour mark. And because I switched from formula to nursing at night, we've both been getting a little less sleep (though the nights are still pretty good).

I'm not gonna lie -- breastfeeding is hard. But I am starting to get glimpses of what people mean when they say that it's easier than bottles, and more enjoyable.

So here I am, patting myself on the back for a job well done. And here's to Meira -- a very patient little baby!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My name is Sarah, and I'm a pumpaholic.

I've become obsessed with pumping and milk production. I don't even care as much about the benefits of breast milk for babies as I do about stocking my fridge and freezer with milk. I have about 50 oz. of expressed milk stored away for a rainy day. Meira is exclusively breast fed (or bottle fed breast milk) during the day and gets 2-3 bottles of formula at night (helps her sleep longer and easier to prepare than heating up cold breast milk at 2am).

Talk about a pumping success story --

A few weeks ago I was pumping about a quarter of what Meira needed per feed. Occasionally I'd pump half a bottle's worth of milk and pat myself proudly on the back. Now, a few days after finishing my last fenugreek capsule and what feels like hundreds of pumping sessions later, I am easily pumping out a full bottle each time I sit down to pump. In the morning, I can pump out almost 2 full bottles in one go.

What's more, sometimes I actually look forward to pumping. I love feeling full of milk and then 10 minutes later feeling light and empty. I love sitting there and relaxing, drinking my water (if I remember to bring it to the couch beforehand) and reading or watching TV.

Here's the problem --

As smoothly as things are going, full-time pumping is not a long term option. At least not for me. While I don't mind the pumping at all, sometimes I feel like I need to pump at the expense of going out or at the expense of doing things around the house that need to get done (like taking care of my children).

Yes, you're right (because I'm sure you're thinking this) -- I could just nurse Meira when the pumping is inconvenient; but despite my full milk supply, I still cannot seem to get the knack of nursing. I still try and nurse once or twice a day for a bit, but it is never comfortable or enjoyable. I can't seem to ever get enough milk in her, even if I sit there for an hour with my boob in her mouth.

And here's another thing -- Meira is not the happiest of babies. In fact, we just put her on a formula-only diet for 24 hours to see if maybe there's something in my breast milk that she doesn't like that's making her cranky all the time.

But it is true, she cries after a bottle of breast milk and cries after a bottle of formula, and I always think she's hungry. So I'm sure when I nurse her she's getting plenty and I'm just being neurotic by thinking she's not getting enough.

I know practice makes perfect when it comes to nursing, and I still plan on diong a 2-day nurse-a-thon to try and get us both adjusted. Maybe I will love it, but then again, I doubt it.

Obviously (because you know I can't keep these things to myself) I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Breastfeeding Update

It is becoming more and more clear to me that breastfeeding is just not for me -- or at least not this time round...or last time either. I have spent the last two weeks working extremely hard to increase my milk supply by round the clock pumping (every 2-3 hours, 4 hours at night) and taking fenugreek supplements (9 per day). During this time I have done very little actual nursing simply because I was not willing to spend the time nursing, giving bottles (which I had to do after every nursing session), and then pumping, but I did make sure to nurse a few times a day, simply to keep the memory alive for Meira so she wouldn't forget how to do it (and she hasn't).

And after weeks of hard work -- MAGIC -- my supply is up! I produce enough milk to provide full bottles of breast milk for Meira all day and into part of the night! Mission accomplished!

Today I decided to go on a nurse-a-thon and try and give Meira my breast milk through more traditional means -- the breast instead of the bottle. Once again, she fell asleep every couple of minutes or stayed on the breast for hours, oftentimes getting frustrated and bouncing on and off the boob. For about 4 exhausting, nap-free hours I let her nurse on demand, but she never seemed to adequately drain my breasts -- yes, after hours of almost non-stop feeding, I was still dripping milk and she was still not satisfied. When I had had enough, I gave Meira a bottle of pumped milk, and she drank the whole thing.

According to my lactation consultant who watched Meira latch on and feed, she (and I) are doing everything right.

Yet it certainly doesn't feel that way.

Breastfeeding has become something that I dread. When Meira starts to stir after sleeping for a while, my first feelings are of dread -- oh no, time to put her back on the boob.

Not quite the feelings you want to have towards your precious 1-month-old.

So, to sum up, breastfeeding is not for ne, or for us.

That being said, I am still committed, at least for a little while longer (until I begin to dread that too), to provide breast milk for my baby. I have worked so hard to increase my milk supply that it would be a shame to let it dry up now. And the oddest part of this whole thing, is that I totally don't mind pumping. In fact, I sort of enjoy it. It's a quiet, meditative time during which I get to close the door, read or watch TV, and just relax.

Plus, the benefit of pumping (in addition to providing free milk for my baby) is that I still have the option of breastfeeding a) if I change my mind (again) and b) as quick comfort to Meira. It is certainly a nice tool to use when she's screaming and nothing else calms her down.

(P.S. Have I mentioned that my angel baby has turned into a bit of an afternoon/evening colicky baby? We still love her.)

Whenever I hear of people exclusively pumping, I think they are absolutely insane. Please feel free to feel the same way about least while this lasts. 

Okay...back to the pump I go!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Nursing, continued.

I hit my 2 week nursing goal, am about to hit my 1 month goal, and now am shooting to hit the 6 week mark. Most things I've read and most people I've spoken to say that the first 6 weeks are the hardest, but that after that, a solid milk supply should be established and things should get more comfortable and easier.

I know from my own experience with Hila that I never reached the point of comfort and ease. I did the nursing/pumping/supplementing thing for 4 miserable months then, and I swore that I wouldn't put myself, my child, and the people around me through that mess again.

And I am...nursing and pumping and still having to supplement with formula. The only difference this time is that I'm not going crazy. In fact, besides for a few emotionally draining hiccups, I've been handling these hurdles pretty well.

My milk supply is still not where it should be, but I am working hard to get there by nursing, pumping, and taking a heck of a lot of fenugreek capsules (9 per day). Pumping is a lot less aggravating when you actually get something to show for it. It takes me 2 pumping sessions of about 5-7 minutes each to get a full bottle.

Fortunately, I am working with a very patient little girl. She is, however, also a very sleepy little girl, and that is probably the main reason why things went down in the first place. I simply cannot keep her awake at the breast long enough to get a full meal. And I refuse to have her at the breast all day.

While things are fine right now, they are still far from ideal. I will give it a few more weeks (maybe) to see if things improve and if I can increase my milk and my nursing time and reduce the pumping time and the bottles.Just thinking about all the bottles and pumping stuff in the sink is motivation enough right now.

Meanwhile, whoever said that nursing is the cheaper alternative? Between seeing the lactation consultant, investing in fenugreek, and buying nursing pads, nursing bras/tanks/shirts, and other nursing gear, it is becoming quite expensive! (Thank you Bethami for the pump and pillow!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Nursing. I have milk and a baby willing to suck -- two things I never had during my 4-month trial (and failure) with Hila. My nipples aren't even that sore.

And yet...

Eh. I'm not loving it. I miss the 3-4 hours schedule that you can immediately implement when you're using formula. I don't like having leaky boobs and having to wear nursing pads all day, every day. I don't like feeling like I can't go out because maybe (definitely) the baby will need to eat and I'll have to sit on a park bench or in a restaurant for an hour trying to feed her without exposing myself. I don't like feeding every hour, maybe two hours, maybe even three hours at night, but most probably 30 minutes (during teh day). I don't like feeling insecure that Meira isn't getting enough to eat since there's no way to measure what she gets in a single sitting.

I've already given in and feed her one bottle of formula at night -- and oh how I look forward to it!

But it really does seem like a shame to quit when things are actually working out, especially after my struggle last time. And it's not like I have much else to do during these next few weeks...

I am going to take this one day at a time.

Meanwhile, in an effort to make sure Hila doesn't try and give Meira food or drink or any sort, we're had the following conversation a few times:

Me: "Hila, can babies eat pizza?" (or whatever we're eating at the time)
Hila: (laughing) "No!"
Me: "What do babies eat?"
Hila: "Only mommy's boobies. Only boobies."

Welcome to the world, Meira Aviv!

Last week on Saturday, May 14, 2011, we welcomed little baby girl, Meira Aviv, into the world, and since then, she has transitioned into our family and into our lives beautifully.

No offense to our very special big girl Hila, but WOW -- I had no idea that newborns could be so quiet, easy going, and patient. We are truly blessed to have a new baby in the house who doesn't disrupt the calm and relative quiet that we've worked hard to maintain while raising our first child.

Of course, the smooth sailing can't wholly be attributed to Meira. Hila has already proven to be an amazing big sister. She's quiet and gentle around Meira, understands that certain things (toys, pacifiers, swings) belong to Meira ("only Meira"), and is extremely proud to show off her baby sister to any visitors who stop by. Meira is the first person she wants to say goodnight to before bed and good morning to when she wakes up. She's even patient during the long hours that Meira spends in my lap during her never ending nursing sessions (see next post).

People assured me that a second birth would be easier and shorter than the first. In terms of timing, Meira's birth followed a very similar timeline to Hila's (about 12 hours -- 8 hours until the epidural). In terms of intensity and pain, I think it was pretty similar as well. But one thing is certain -- this birth was not traumatic. I knew what to expect, knew that the pain was unimaginable, and knew that it was all normal. After reading the book Hypnobirthing and preparing with our AMAZING doula, Julia Mannes, I really internalized the idea that much of the pain and trauma of childbirth is connected to fear. Did these contractions kill? Yes, just like before. But I wasn't scared, had strong support around me (Menachem, Julia, and an excellent midwife) and so I kept my cool (sorta) and had a relatively calm birth.

And yes, of course I had an epidural. Anyone who doesn't is just silly.

We love you Meira!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is Hila trying to get rid of me?

The other day we were outside playing and Hila said, "Mommy, go away." And I said, "No." And then she said, "Okay, Mommy stay here." So I said okay and sat down next to her. And then she got up and walked away.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hammocks and Jellyfish

Yesterday Hila and I were out on our balcony and Hila was sitting in the hammock (no way I'm getting in--i'll never get this huge body out of it). I asked Hila if she knew what the things she was sitting in was called. With a very matter-of-fact tone she answered, "A magic carpet!"

Is this a kid who has watched Aladdin one too many times or what?

Then later I was making her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and, very politely, Hila said, "More jellyfish, please."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bye Bye Bottles!

We said we would do it and we did: We got rid of all of Hila's bottles just before Pesach. She's probably asked for a bottle of milk once a day since then, but has not cried or whined when I offered her a cup of milk instead. I think maybe today she didn't even ask for one. Of course, now she's drinking very little milk (none today), but we'll work on that. She has two new sippy cups that she's enjoying, and otherwise she is drinking from regular cups. Yay Hila!

And about the pacifier...we'll revisit that in six months or so. For now, she's super attached to it and we're not in the mood to fight. She just got her bottles taken away, there's a new baby coming soon, and then we have a trip to American later in the summer (i.e. long flights). We'll let her hold on to the pacifier at least through all that.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bottle Weaning?

Hila is already 2+ years old and still drinks from a bottle. Not always--that is, she also drinks from sippy cups, straw cups, and regular cups just fine. But sometimes she really wants her bottle of milk.

Because she also habitually sucks on her pacifier, we've decided that she's probably ready to give up the bottle. (One bad habit is enough...) We were going to wait until Pesach, but last night I decided to give her milk in a sippy cup ("just like Avigail" -- her BFF) and she was totally fine with it -- excited even.

So that was easy.

But then this morning she woke up at 6am (which I know may be normal for you, but is unacceptable in this house), and I know that the only way to get her to go back to sleep is to give her a bottle of milk. We don't ever let her fall asleep with milk in her bed at night, but if she wakes up between 5-6:30, giving her milk does give us a chance at another hour (or like this morning, 2.5 hours!) of sleep.

So, here I am, with a 2-year-old who seems more than ready to give up her bottle, but who has parents who are still relying on it for their own benefit. I could give her a sippy cup of milk in bed in the morning instead of the bottle...but what's the difference really?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Falling Asleep Frustrations

First, the good news: Hila has been sleeping through the night in her big bed about 9 times out of 10. Okay, maybe 8 times out of 10. And on the nights that she does wake up crying, all we need to do is go to sleep in the twin bed next to hers and she'll fall back asleep until her 6:30-7:30 wake-up.

The hard part: It has been really hard to get her to fall asleep. First, she needs like 6 pacifiers in her bed. We read her 3-4 books, say shma, and then TRY and leave her room, telling her that she can read in bed. We leave her door open a crack, with the hall light on, so she can see a bit.

She's usually quiet for a few mintues and then cries for us to come in. Crying it out just doesn't work when she's in a big bed. I'm just afraid she'll fall out. There's a bed rail, but it doesn't wrap all the way around the bed and if she leans over it in an attempt to get out, she'll fall. She doesn't quite know how to get out by herself, though she has done it on occasion.

So we end up going in. Sometimes she says she has a poop (and when we check she usually doesn't), and sometimes she wants a bottle of milk (which we usually don't give in to). Usually, the only thing she wants is for mommy or daddy to lay down in the other bed. Which we usually do. And within 30-40 minutes (okay, sometimes an hour), she's usually asleep, after much singing, talking, and occasional whining.

The thing about these 30-40 minutes is that it's not an altogether unpleasant experience. In fact, she doesn't mind when if we read in bed with a little light or bring in a laptop. (I am actually in her room now -- I hear her breathing getting a bit deeper....)

Sometimes I think we should just start out the night like this, rather than spend a good half hour trying to convince her that she's a big girl and can sleep by herself. By that time, and then after the 40 minutes in her room, it's been well over an hour of trying to get her to sleep. If we were to just come in and get in the other bed at 7pm on the dot, then we'd be out of there by 7:30 and Hila would get a full hour of extra sleep.

On the other hand, we're always ones to think about the long-term effects of a situation and to think about breeding good habits. How long is this going to go on that she needs us in there to fall asleep? She USED to be able to go to sleep on her own with no problems. When the new baby comes, are we going to be able to handle two kids who have trouble sleeping?

Any tips on how we can get her to sleep on her own? Reason doesn't work -- i.e. telling her that she's a big girl and big girls sleep all by themselves.

P.S. It is clear that she is no longer afraid or uncomfortable in her new room or in her new bed. She simply does not like to sleep ("no sleep! no sleep!") and certainly not alone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This is how Hila greets us most mornings. She'll cry or call for us to come get her from her bed (she doesn't get out on her own -- we're hoping that lasts for a while), and as soon as we open her door, the first word out of her mouth is "POOP!" Not "Good morning, mommy" or "Hi," but "Poop," plain and simple.

And half the time she didn't even make a poop!

And while I'm on the subject, just the other day, Hila, who usually struggles when we change her diaper, came over to me and asked me to change her diaper.

Me: Do you have pee-pee or poopy in your diaper?
Hila: No pee-pee. No poopy. Only farts.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Overheard from the Big Girl Bed

"Muchum! Muchum! Read book!" -- This was calling out to daddy ("Muchum"=Menachem) who was sitting right outside her door.

"Bottle of milk; go to sleep." -- Hila negotiating her sleep terms after "trying" to go to sleep for an hour, unsuccessfully.

Getting Used to the Big Girl Bed

We've had a difficult few weeks since Hila fell (jumped?) out of her crib and landed on her head. That very night we said goodbye to her crib and moved Hila into a twin bed (now complete with bed rail) and new room. We are trying to be sympathetic and patient, knowing that it is a big adjustment, but the hours of fighting about going to sleep at night and the missed naps when she's home all day can really be tiring.

We have had a few good nights, particularly those that follow a nap-less day when she literally passes out in bed from exhaustion. Last night, for example, she slept for 14 hours (!!!) and then still took a nap today.

I think we would have waited a bit longer before the big transfer, but the truth is, now's a good time. It gives Hila a good 3-4 months before the new baby comes and takes over her old room.

The number of good nights are becoming more and the number of difficult ones are becoming less, so I assume we're all headed in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Kosher By Design Teens and 20-Somethings

I have about four hours to write this review while I'm still a teen or 20-something (obviously I fall into the latter category), so here's a quick review of Kosher By Design Teens and 20-Somethings, in bullet format.

First, the negatives:
  • I think the cover is sorta stupid looking.
  • I think teens and 20-somethings really don't have much in common, so I'm not sure why they're clumped together into a single cookbook. Maybe to someone in her 40s or 50s (the age range I imagine Susie Fishbein, the author of the cookbook, falls into), teens and 20-somethings are the same. She'd probably criticize me for saying that people in their 40s and 50s are the same, so I guess we're even. But really, for a cookbook, there's a big difference. Mainly, teenagers live in their parent's home and have access to all the wonderful kitchen gadgets and endless ingredients that go along with a well established kitchen. 20-somethings, on the other hand, are either single in college with few appliances (if any) and little money, or are "young professionals" (the new term for single people) who maybe have slightly more of those things but not much, or are perhaps young married couples who are likely paying a full rent for the first time and probably don't have much money either. So, not that the recipes in this cookbook are super expensive, but I'd like to see a budget cookbook that would better reflect the needs of 20-somethings.
  • As a pretty lazy 20-something, I found a few of the recipes to be a bit long. However, in general, the recipes were easy and straightforward, and I appreciated that.
  • As a 20-something and NOT as a teenager, I was offended by some of the recipes. Like do I really need a recipe for hot chocolate or for popcorn? I think I can figure those out on my own. Also, I don't generally keep Cap'n Crunch on my cereal shelf.
  • In the introduction to Homemade Chickies, Fishbein writes, "If you are lucky enough to live in or near Teaneck, NJ..." This made me feel bad because I am not lucky enough to live in or near NJ -- instead I live in the holy city of Jerusalem. I wish I had known about these Chickies before making aliyah; maybe then I'd have moved to Teaneck and would be able to count myself among the lucky ones.
And now for the good part -- I'd say every single recipe that I tried from this cookbook (and I've already made quite a few) was absolutely delicious.
Here are a few highlights --
  • The pizza soup and the beef and barley soup rocked. I will definitely be making those again and again and they were quite easy and quick to prepare.
  • In the chicken department, I made the teriyali mushroom chicken, shwarma chicken, sticky orange herb-roasted chicken, and the Amalfi chicken (minus the powdered lemonade -- I doubt that's how they make it in Italy) -- each was excellent, especially the shwarma chicken, which I've made a few times.
  • The eggplant parmesan  is one of the recipes that took FOREVER to make; it was, however, the best eggplant parm I've ever made, maybe even the best I've ever eaten.
  • Spicy carrot sticks -- oh so easy to make and oh so delicious. A great substitute for french fries.
  • I'm horrible with salad dressings, so I appreciated the simple salad recipe.
  • Chocolate chocolate  chip sticks -- yummy and easy.
  • Blondies -- I burnt them, which is not Susie's fault. People still ate them, though. All of them.
Overall, it's a good cookbook, maybe even an excellent cookbook, food-wise. Theme-wise, I think it could have used some tweaking.

P.S. Kosher By Design Short on Time is still my favorite.


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