Thursday, July 31, 2008


Liel is the queen of abandoning her toys on the floor wherever she happens to be when she decides she's done playing with them. A moment ago she dropped a magnetic animal on my bedroom floor, unhappy with the way the pieces insisted on fitting together. "I threw it", she announced crossly.

"Well, could you please pick it up?", I asked.


"What a surprise", I mumbled under my breath.

She heard me. "Mama, I surprised you!", she crowed, beaming with delight.


Zion has incorporated yet another aspect of WoW into his imaginary play. For the past few days he has enjoyed putting things into the Auction House to sell, especially after he comes back from a quest (aka any journey outside the house).

About an hour ago he came back from a bike ride with Robert and headed straight to the bathroom to pee.

"Hi sweetie!", I said. "How was your ride?"

"Good", he replied. And then, apropos of nothing, "I was just putting some things in the auction house to sell." He started peeing.

"Oh", I said. "What kind of things did you put up?"

"Things like...this pee!", he said, and started laughing hysterically. Thankfully he was done peeing, cause his aim is suspect even when he's not laughing.

"Yeah.... I don't think anyone's going to buy your pee".

Zion continued to chortle. "Now I am flushing the pee into the auction house!"


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

She said

Yesterday morning Liel had me put a dress on Fluffy. "He looks cute", she explained. And then, flipping his dress up, "I keep Fluffy's dress open so that I can snuffle his tag". She picked Fluffy up, held his tag close to her nose, and sniffed and huffed and sniffed.

Last night she wanted to take a pair of the new animal chopsticks to bed with her, but Robert said no chopsticks in bed. She cried and cried and wailed. I was giving her her bedtime snuggle and after a minute of her howling in my ear I said, "Liel, that's probably enough". Liel stopped immediately and in a completely normal voice said, "No! I am not done yet." And she resumed her wailing. Ten seconds later she finished. Glad she knows what she needs to do to feel better!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I know what dragons want...

For the past few days Zion has been playing a game where he is a pirate and Robert is his dragon. In order to keep his dragon happy he goes out mining with his shovel and brings back the treasure for the dragon.

He went mining today after lunch while the rest of us sat in our sky chairs on the deck. He came back very quickly (turns out our yard is FULL of treasure!) and announced that he had brought gems for his dragon.

"What kind of gems?", I asked.

"Magical ones", he replied proudly.

"Magical gems, nice!", said the dragon.

Zion leaned in a bit closer. "If you wind them up", he confided, "they sparkle".


I know it's too early to call it for sure, but it appears that both my kids are going to need braces. I'd hoped that since I didn't need braces at least one of them might inherit the good tooth placement gene, but apparently not. Actually, Liel might have, but since she sucks her index finger it's hard to say for sure. Robert and I were talking about his braces last night, and noting that his bottom teeth are busily overlapping anyway (probably from his wisdom teeth but it seems to me that bottom teeth have a much lower success rate in terms of actually staying in place after braces). He cheerfully pointed out that at least our dental insurance has an orthodontist price cap- after we've spent $2,000 per child the insurance will pay any other costs. Of course by the time they get braces that number will likely have gone up, still, mustn't be ungrateful I suppose. So, their teeth are growing, but in kinda funny ways.

When he was out hiking yesterday Zion announced that his hiking boots were hurting his toes, so apparently he's outgrown those. I ordered him some new ones from REI this morning, and man, that kid has big feet! He's now wearing a size 12 shoe, which is bigger than any of the other kids in his preschool class- the next closest wears a 10.5. And he's not the tallest kid in the class! One of the other boys is slightly taller than Zion, and his friend Valentina is pretty much the same height as he is. Big feet.

Liel continues to be not big, tho she does grow (of course). Somehow it seems that she grows more slowly than Zion, or maybe she just grows in spurts more than he does. It took her a year to go from 19 to 24 lbs and then she gained 4 lbs in 6 months (and grew a good bit, too). Both kids continue to be skinny, wearing a waist size that is at least a full size down from the length size they need in pants. When I bought yarn for their fall sweaters I discovered that Zion's chest measurement would indicate that I should knit a size 2-3 years for him, but his length puts him in the 5-6 year category (matching the off the rack size he wears). Liel's chest size was the 1-2 year size. I'll probably knit her a size 2-3 with a bit of extra length in it. Nice that I can custom fit this one thing, I suppose!

Which reminds me- I'm knitting a sweater for my brother. For those of you who don't know my brother- well, he's 6'8" and hmmm....built like Zion. Or Zion is built like him, either way. It's going to be a loooooong project. It was supposed to be for his birthday (in June) and I did start it in June. Kenny was delighted when I assured him I'd have it done before this winter is over. Kid has no faith in me (possibly because I never finished the fingerless gloves I started for him for Hanukkah last year. Possibly). At least he's not growing any more...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tell me why

I'm knitting a sweater right now that really doesn't want to stay with me. So, it will need to go to one of you! I've just decided it would be helpful to know where it's going before I do the sleeves cause otherwise how will I know how long to make them?

Here are the details. It's a cardigan. It's pretty much this pattern, but the collar and cuffs are a deep dusty pink color and the rest of the sweater is a lovely chocolatey brown. It's soft (but not super soft) handspun wool. I don't know the exact chest measurement yet but I'd guess it's around 36".

So, if you read that and think the sweater wants to come live with you, please let me know! In the case of multiple new home offers there will probably be a dance off .

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pots and kettles

On Sunday we had Ysette and Brian over for wine tasting. We try to get together with them every month or so and we all bring a bottle or two of wine to the table. This time we did Cabernet, and tasted a bottle from Long Island and one from Paso Robles in California. It was tasty, but not as tasty as the Zinfandel tasting of a couple months earlier.

As we all sat around chatting (or trying to chat over the noise of the kids) Ysette said, "Do you guys know anything about the Anabaptists?"

Ysette is working on her PhD in Spanish literature. "Um, yes", we replied, rather startled. The Anabaptists were a 16th century religious group in Germany, a part of the "Radical Reformation". They were heavily persecuted for their shocking belief in the believer's baptism (that's baptism of consenting adults, essentially. It really was shocking at the time!) and are probably best known (if "best known" is a term that can be applied to Anabaptists) for the Munster Rebellion, where some Anabaptists attempted to install a theocracy in Germany. The town was sieged and eventually taken. The Anabaptist leaders were executed in the public square, and for good measure, their bodies were hung up in cages around the square until they were pretty much just bones. Mmmmm. The Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites are some of their modern descendants.

So you can see why we were surprised. "Can you recommend any good books on them?", Ysette asked.

"Not really", I replied. "That's not something either of us study. If you want to know about Ancient Christianity, US religious history, pop culture, or robots we can help you out, but not so much with medieval and renaissance Europe. Why do you want a book on Anabaptists anyway?"

Ysette grinned guiltily, a person caught in transgression. "I'm procrastinating working on my dissertation", she admitted.

"By reading about Anabaptists??", Robert asked incredulously. He shook his head. "Ysette, that's what World of Warcraft is for!"


I've had a few requests for a wishlist lately, and posting one here seems the best way to get the info to everyone! Those of you who didn't ask should please disregard this post :) (I feel a little self conscious even posting this!)

So. Here are a few things I'm really digging on.

1. This wallet
2. Texas perfume
3. This hair fork
4. This recycled yarn. Or this one! Or any other you find on etsy (or wherever) and think looks cool :) Oh, but not cotton or mohair, please! Wool or alpaca or cashmere LOL.
5. These stitch markers are pretty cool!

Thanks for asking! xoxo

Thursday, July 24, 2008

That's what *I* said!

The kids had a disagreement about lunch today. Liel wanted macaroni and cheese with the pasta in the shape of bunnies and a white cheese sauce, and Zion wanted macaroni and cheese with the pasta in the shape of shells and orange cheese sauce. I told them we'd flip a coin and have one today and one tomorrow.

"I get heads!", Zion shouted as he brought me the coin.

"I'd like...heads", Liel offered.

"Sorry", I said, "Zion called heads this time". I flipped the coin. It was tails.

Zion stared in horror. Then, "I want tails!"

"Sorry", I said again. "You chose heads today. We'll make bunnies".

"No, no, no." said the boy. "I want tails. Let's start again".

"No", I said. "We only do it once. We'll have orange shells tomorrow."

A small tantrum ensued, which ended with Zion's announcement that he wouldn't eat anything. I agreed. A moment later he was enthusiastically planning to pick up his bunny pasta with his new chopsticks. I pointed out that he wasn't going to be eating lunch, and he admitted that yes, he actually was.

"OK", I said, standing up. "I'll go start water for the bunnies then".

Zion leaned in towards his sister. "Liel", he said in a confident voice, "did you decide that you wanted bunnies or orange shells?"

Liel was not taken in. "I want bunnies."

Zion growled in frustration and burst out, "Damn it's taking Liel a long fucking time to choose orange shells!"


This morning Liel walked into our room and picked up a book.

"Look!", she said, "there's a picture of Zoraster! Can I show you a picture of his balls?"

She flipped through the pages as Robert snickered quietly behind his hand. "I'm going to show you a picture of his baaalllls. Are these his balls? No. Are these his balls? No. These balls? No...."

I started trying to hide my giggles, too. I'd say we did a rather good job at it, since Liel continued on, undaunted. "Zoraster has two balls", she told us seriously. "Where are his balls??" She scowled at the uncooperative book.

Finally she found the page in question. "Here are his balls! Two balls! And his...pieces." She was most triumphant. We kept our faces hidden.

The book in question? The Unofficial Lego Mindstorms NXT Inventors Guide. Zoraster is a robot, and Robert and I have the maturity of 11 year olds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Not to brag, but my kids don't tend to hit each other, or kick, or bite. They are not, however, miniature Ghandis. No, their preferred means of sibling affliction is squeezing (think of Homer Simpson "squeezing" Bart's throat).

Right now they are dancing to The Beastie Boys "Intergalactic" in the living room. Then Liel came running in wailing, "My tummy hurts!!". She'd just had a snack so I asked if she needed water. "NO", she said, clearly frustrated by my denseness. "My TUMMY hurts".

"Well", I said, "why does your tummy hurt?"

"Zion SEEEEZED it!"

See how she managed to tattle without starting out by tattling? She's clever, that one.

Monday, July 21, 2008


This morning as the kids and I were driving to Trader Joe's Zion asked one of his semi-regular religious questions.

"Does G-d die?", he asked.

"No", I said.

"Why not?"

"Well, G-d isn't really alive, so G-d can't die. G-d isn't like us, it is something completely other".

A pause. Then, "Does Asalan die?" (The kids loves The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. He's actually sat through 2 readings of it in the past 6 months!)

"No, not really", I replied.

"Why?" (See a pattern here?)

"Because Asalan is a metaphor for G-d.", I said, feeling pleased at the intelligence our discussion was showing. "When C.S. Lewis, the man who wrote the Narnia stories, wants to talk about how he understands G-d, he uses Asalan to describe him."

Zion was quiet again, then said something I couldn't quite understand. I asked him to repeat it. "Will you turn up the music?", he said.

And so The Ramones concluded our lesson for the day.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Rice Pudding Rules

OK, you probably know that I like rice pudding. And pudding in general, frankly (though not out of a box- that stuff isn't pudding, its...its...nasty boxed powder crap). Since we don't use eggs (allergy) in the house, pudding can be a bit of a challenge. Mostly I make kheer and call it a day.

But today I was looking for something new, and I found it! Rice pudding with risotto rice. Those chubby little grains are useful AND cute! They'll make your vegan rice pudding creamy and delicious. I worked from this recipe on the Food Network's page, but there are many others. I chose this one cause I had all the ingredients in the kitchen. I subbed soy milk for the cow milk and added a bit more sugar to compensate for the lack of milk sugars and it was delicious! Highly recommend. Would be great jazzed up with various flavorings and raisins, too. But we only had the hated golden raisins (I love 'em, kids don't). I asked Liel if she wanted raisins today and she said, "Huh. But I won't eat them."

Today's consumerist update

Oh my, I've found some badass pants! I know you can't see me, but let me assure you that I'm making grabby hands at my computer screen. I know the picture is fuzzy, but it's what she's got on her Etsy site, so it's all I can give you. I am in pant lust.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tell me about your trip!

My parents are back from Oaxaca, and yesterday they told me a bit about their trip while they were driving to work. My mom spoke first and told me about the lovely embroidered clothing, historical sites, delicious mole sauces, and the indigenous people. After a few minutes she stopped and said (as she often does), "But I'll stop now and let your dad have a chance to tell you something!"

There was a pause, while my father collected his thoughts. Then he said, "A dog followed us back to our hotel the other night."


Yes, it was true. Apparently the dog followed them all around the city, and was waiting when they came back out of the hotel. "We gave him a roll to eat", dad reported. "And we took a picture of him. He was cute, and had a really bright look about him".

So there you have it.

(To be fair, Dad went on to tell me about the city wide protests that shut Oaxaca down a couple years ago, and the food, and how much he enjoyed being there again. Just so you don't get a totally mistaken impression of my father.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More puke than a barrel of monkeys

Nice start to the day, right??

Yesterday I had a fun morning planned. I was going to take the kids to the library while Robert worked, and maybe even the bank (our bank has a basket of free lollipops and the ATM gives out receipts; the kids adore the bank). Zion wasn't as enthusiastic about this plan as one might have thought, but Liel was and he didn't protest so off we went. It was a lovely morning for a walk. At the bank Zion refused a lollipop, even when Liel brought one over for him. Still, I didn't worry cause if ever a kid could refuse sweets its my boy. He doesn't even finish dessert half the time- just says, "I'm done" and pushes it away. So on we went.

When we got to the children's room at the library he curled up in a rocking chair, asked for one of the toys on the high shelf and then just sat there with it. Didn't play, didn't look at the books I brought him. I decided to cut our visit short after giving Liel a few minutes to play and look at books, and we hurried upstairs to check out, where Zion asked me to hold him and hug him. I did, and hurried faster. Popped the kids into the Chariot and busted on home. There was a package from my gramma waiting on the porch. Liel was delighted (and even managed to carry it into the house by herself- it was half her size!) and Zion didn't even seem to resister that there WAS a package. Uh-oh.

Inside he curled up on the couch and sort of half closed his eyes. He was pretty warm to the touch, and didn't pay attention to Liel opening the package. When I brought him his gift to unwrap he asked me to do it for him. He now felt downright hot, so against his feeble protests I took his temperature. Before the thermometer even beeped he had pushed it out and refused to allow it back in his mouth and it read 104.1. Crap. Zion had never had such a high fever (well, maybe when he was in the hospital, but I don't remember). I called his ped and was told by the answering service that the office was closed for vacation. OK, plan two: medicate him! Gave him some children's Advil. He swallowed it down, sat up, and vomited all over the couch. A lot. A glass of soy milk, a glass of almond milk, the remains of an entire cinnamon raisin bagel. Some parts of parenting are just downright gross, let me tell ya.

Anyway, got him cleaned up, got the couch (mostly- puke is hard to clean out of upholstery!) cleaned up, gave him more medicine. He kept it down and had cheered up and turned into his normal (if slightly subdued) self within 20 minutes.

Just for fun, Liel (who has been potty trained since she was 20 months old) had two accidents yesterday. She must have sensed that I hadn't filled my daily quotient for children's fluids or something. One was on the wood floor, so no big deal, but the other was on the rug, which kinda sucked. Couldn't compare to puke on the couch, but just wasn't what I needed, you know? The kid goes a month or more without any accidents- she clearly knows how to pick her days!

We expected to keep Zion on a steady dose of medication yesterday, but although he got hotter as the first dose wore off he never got unbearably hot again, so we didn't. Around midnight he woke up and came in to tell us he loved us (he's so cute and lovey when he's sick!) and he was pretty hot again (not nearly as bad as the morning, but too hot) so we gave him a second dose. This morning he seems fine! A touch on the warm side, but fine.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Things I never thought I'd hear

Welcome to what will surely be a recurring theme on my blog!

Liel was picking her nose as I was putting her to bed tonight. She was frowning with concentration and nothing appeared to be happening. I pretended that nothing out of the ordinary was happening and waited for her to be done. Finally she turned to me in frustration and said, "Mama, there is something in my nose! Will you get it out for me?"

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Birth is important to me. It's been a part of my life as long as I can remember, with my mom teaching childbirth education classes, working as a nurse in obstetrician's offices and offering labor support (ie being a doula) to birthing mothers. Family friends include midwives and OBs and the result of all of this is that birth has never been far from my consciousness.

I'm no expert on birth, but I know more than a lot folks out there since I've been around it (and listened carefully) for so long. I decided that I would give birth to my children at home with a midwife, and I did.

A few weeks ago the American Medical Association released a "Resolution on Home Deliveries", in which they affirmed their commitment to "develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers."

Umm, not quite. Studies on homebirth show that for healthy moms with normal healthy pregnancies homebirth is every bit as safe as hospital birth. Gee, if I didn't know better I'd think the AMA was trying to restrict my individual rights and possibly jeopardize the my health and the health of my babies for their own profit! Oh wait, I do know better. Bunch o' asshats.

Jennifer Block wrote a great Op-ed piece for the LA Times on this very issue 3 days ago. If you or someone you know is thinking about ever having (more) children, I highly suggest that you read it. I'm not telling you to have your kids at home- that wouldn't be any different than telling me I had to have my kids in the hospital. But if you don't think birth is a business (and a big one), you're wrong. Most of us know better than to walk into a car mechanic or auto dealership and say, "Hi, I know absolutely nothing about cars and I don't intend to learn. Please sell me/fix whatever you like! I won't second guess you or get second opinion or even complain if I get a total lemon/you don't actually fix anything because YOU are the car dealer/mechanic and I'm sure you know what's best", yet many of us do something that looks an awful lot like that when it comes to birth. An educated consumer is a consumer who gets screwed over less often, and your health is rather more important than your car, right? Last year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the high rate of C-Sections in the US (approximately 1/3 of all births) has contributed to the rising maternal death rate. That's right folks- the maternal death rate in the US is rising. Nice work modern medicine! It wasn't bad enough that the US has the second highest infant death rate in the industrialized world (only Latvia ranks below us), now our maternal death rate (which already lagged behind most industrialized nations) is getting worse, and overuse of C-sections bear the blame for some of those rising numbers. According to medical studies, C-Sections should account for no more than 15% of a hospitals births. Anything over 15% indicates an overuse, which comes with increased risk of maternal and infant death.

There are of course many factors in the overuse of C-Sections in the US, but my personal pet peeve lies in induced labor. At this time a majority of babies born in the US have their labors induced for one reason or another, ranging from being "overdue" (40 weeks gestation is a midpoint, not an expiration date folks!) to "too big" (anecdotal evidence only here, but in my mom's 17 years in the field she never saw a baby that was too big to fit through its mother's birth canal/pelvis) to having too little amniotic fluid (this can usually be remedied by mom drinking more water since it is often associated with dehydration). As with C/S there are legitimate reasons to induce labor, but as with C/S induction is often misused. And when you try to induce labor on a baby who isn't ready (and it is the baby who starts the labor process)? Yep. Nothing happens. Or not much happens. Or it happns "too slowly", or the baby, unhappy with the forced contractions, goes into distress. And then? Welcome to major abdominal surgery and it's accompanying risks and recovery.

So to sum up: I want to continue to make my own health care choices, and (home or hospital!) I hope you do, too. Educated consumers, man. Educated consumers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bug and not-stitches

Tonight after dinner we were out on the deck enjoying the beautiful weather (it's been our best summer in New York, weather-wise!) when Robert discovered that he'd become the seat of choice for a praying mantis. We were all enchanted, and then Zion wanted to hold the bug. We said no, because praying mantises are delicate and we didn't want Zion to accidentally mash the bug as he picked it up. I took a couple of pictures while it crawled around on Robert.

Then Zion put his hand in front of the praying mantis and it crawled right on him. He was patient and very gentle, and good at putting one hand in front of the other to keep the bug on him. I was quite impressed with his bug handling skills! He later told me (quite proudly) that that is what he does with Huggy-Buggy (his school's pet hissing cockroach). Good to see that he's learning!

We tried to get the bug to pose on Zion's shoulder, but he wasn't having any of it (being rather tired of us at that point) and leaped onto Zion's face.

I took some pictures of Liel, too, since she got her stitches out a few days ago. She asked me to be sure to take a picture of her cut. It's healing pretty well, I think! And she's just so beautiful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is my parent's 37th wedding anniversary. They are in Oaxaca and hopefully having a good time!

In celebration (...or something) I made an incredibly delicious summer treat: lemon ice! Here's how I did it.

Zest of 5 lemons (6 would be good, but I bought 6 and already used the zest from one).
Put the zest in about 2- 2 1/2 cups water and put it in the fridge for a few days. Strain out the lemon zest and keep the lemony water.

Juice the lemons (I got about 1 c juice). Mix it with the lemony water and add some plain water- I think I added 2 cups or so. Stir in a cup of sugar (or whatever sweetener you like) and about a teaspoon of vanilla. Pour it into a 9x13" pan and put it in the freezer. Stir it with a fork every hour or 30 minutes so it doesn't freeze solid (though if it does you can put in a blender and save the day), and eventually you will have rock star lemon slush.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stitches and recipes

Liel got her stitches out today! It would have been more exciting had we not had to wait over an hour past our appointment time to see the doctor, but it's nice to see her looking more like herself (of course part of that is the tiny bandage right over the scar. But still.). Liel got bored once the lollipop the receptionist gave her was gone (aside from the sticky traces she left on the chair), and we made 3 trips to the bathroom, only one of which was productive (the second, if you're interested). The surgeon told me to keep the scar out of direct sunlight for a month, which will be a bit tricky since we don't put sunscreen on the kids unless they're going to be outside for a good while and Liel refuses to wear a hat.

On to the recipes! Robin asked for the pilau recipe and she and Rachel both wanted the spice cake.

The pilau is simple- Crumble some thin pasta (vermicelli etc) into a pan with hot oil. Saute it until it is golden, then add rice and chicken broth and salt and cook until it's tender. While it's cooking saute an onion until it's lovely and caramelized and then top the rice/pasta with the onion, nuts and raisins. Oh, I sometimes add cinnamon and nutmeg to the rice, too.

The Cochin Spice Cake recipe comes from Joan Nathan's Foods of Israel Today.
1/2 c melted butter
2/3 c sugar
3 eggs
2/3 c semolina flour
2/3 roughly chopped almonds
2/3 c roughly chopped cashews
2/3 c golden raisins

Beat the eggs until they are nice and foamy. Add the sugar and butter and spices and continue to beat til it's fluffy. Add the flour (should be fairly stiff). Fold in nuts and raisins and bake in a loaf pan for about an hour at 350.

My notes: I added baking powder since I use egg replacer and it doesn't get foamy or fluffy. Glad I did, as this is not a light fluffy cake even with the baking powder. I think I'll add a bit of salt next time, too. I didn't give exact amounts for spices bc I don't have the recipe in front of me and because I added more than called for- just went with my nose. Cake comes out dense, very nutty and fruity. Quite tasty.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Liel's nose + K+ Z

Just some illustrations for ya. Liel the day after her injury and Kenny and Zion at K & G's birthday bash.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

To the 4th of July...and beyond!

After I posted the other day we had another scare- Liel woke up about 2 hours later in a screaming panic and couldn't draw a normal breath. The hospital had given her a dose of penicillin (had I been thinking clearly I would have refused it- the plastic surgeon said she did not need antibiotics) and one allergic reaction to it is difficulty breathing. I got dressed and prepared to take her to the hospital again, which upset her even more. I'd tried talking to her about it before but tried again, explaining why I thought she might need to go, her difficulty breathing etc., and suggested she try to be calm, and sit with me and see what happened. Eventually she did calm down enough to slow her breathing and so we decided not to go. She wanted me to sleep with her and I didn't want to leave her alone in case it started again- our disagreement was about where to sleep. I wanted her to come to my big bed, and she insisted on her twin bed. She won. I dozed a bit until 430am when I crept back to my room and lay awake for 20 minutes feeling guilty and anxious (what if she woke up and was scared? Or her breathing (which had been perfect) got bad again?) and then I slept.

At 10am we had Zion's schoolmates who were still in town over for a playdate. I'd made hummus and bought cherries and blueberries the day before, so we finished cleaning up, sent Robert to Target for more children's Advil (her nose was bothering her a fair bit) and made pita bread. We had a great group of kids and parents over for a few hours and it was fun, even though we were tired!

In the evening we went over to Craig and Vivienne and Valentina's house for a BBQ. It was yummy and fun, and we could see the fireworks (not perfectly but well!) from their yard. It was the first year we'd seen the Nyack fireworks since we usually go to Manhattan. The Nyack ones were about what you'd expect for a little village- nice, but nothing to write home about.

So imagine our surprise when we started home! The village streets were PACKED. Traffic was at a standstill, lights turned green and red and green again and we didn't move at all. Most annoyingly there I didn't see a single cop helping with the traffic, which really, really needed help. Robert and I were cursing our decision to drive to the V's house. We normally walk (it's about 1.5 miles) but had driven since we'd be out late and wanted to get the kids home quickly. Yeah. It took us 45 minutes to get home, and I drove over two sidewalks to facilitate that process. It blew.

Anyway, Liel is in fine spirits. Her nose and the forehead about it is swollen, but she is cheerful and wonderful as always. This evening Mr. Faux and Kaori are coming up and having dinner and we are giving them our crib and other baby things for their little one (due in a couple of weeks!). Menu: hummus with snap peas and carrots, Israeli style pilau with nuts and currants, green salad, and Indian-Jewish spice cake (it has cashews and almonds and raisins in it! I've never made it before- hope it's good. It SMELLS good.).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bed Jumping

Man, what a night. So, at bedtime Liel was jumping on her bed and fell. She cracked her nose on the headboard of her bed (lovely heavy cherry wood- it was my bed and it was my mom's) and split the bridge of her nose clean open. Except that it wasn't clean at all- it was very, very bloodly. Blood pouring all over her face, on her blankets, on Robert. Once we got a glimpse of the wound I pulled some clothes on her and ran her to the ER, cradled in my arms with a cloth diaper over the cut trying to staunch the blood. Thankfully we live 1/2 a block from the hospital! The desk guy at the ER rushed us right into the pediatric ER and a doctor had her cleaned up (all the dried blood and such. Well, not all...her hair is awful, gonna have to wash it in the morning!) and put a bandage with anesthetic on her. Then he suggested we have the pediatric plastic surgeon come in to stitch her up, since its right in the middle of her face. I agreed, and the plastic surgeon (who was at home) was called in. He got there pretty quickly, though waiting for him wasn't bad...Liel wasn't crying anymore and we were snuggling and talking about the doctor coming to help the cut on her nose.

The helping part was rough. They have this baby straight jacket thing they put her in so he could clean, cauterize, and stitch her up. Once the poking started (the injection of the local anesthetic) Liel started crying. And screaming. And begging me to pick her up so we could go home, and wailing, "You're hurting me!". That went one, more or less uninterrupted for about 20 minutes. The hole in her head wouldn't stop bleeding! He finally got it to slow up enough that he could put the stitches in. There are 6 or 8 of them. Once the poking was done and I could hold her Liel calmed right down and was positively cheerful when the nurse brought her stickers and a cookie (though she did inform the nurse that the straight jacket thing was "too tight").

She's home, sleeping. We'll go in on Tuesday to have the stitches out. I'm a little worried and sad for her about having a scar in the middle of her face (right between her eyes!) but I'm also incredibly grateful that that's the worst I have to worry about with regard to this particular incident. She's an amazing kid, and I love her so much!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New class

I'm supposed to be writing up the syllabus for the brand-spanking new class I'm teaching this fall. But, to paraphrase Barbie, "Writing syllabuses is hard!" (Of course it is- that's why I spent most of my 20's in grad school.) Mostly I'm having trouble working movies into the class, since it meets 3 times a week for 50 minutes a pop. I have ideas, but it's still tricksy.

The reason I should be working the syllabus right now is because Robert took the kids hiking. Lucky me, I have a quiet house! What I'd like to be doing is creating a new WoW character (she's going to be a blood elf warrior), but I feel too guilty to do that so I'm blogging as a compromise. See how grown up and responsible I am? Anyway. Liel was looking extra cute in her self-chosen hiking outfit this morning and when Zion came in to get his jeans on he looked at her admiringly and said, "Mama, can you dress me so I look as cute as Liel?"

Speaking of the kids, they have been getting up waaaaaay too damn early the past few days. I don't know what happened! We had several weeks where they were getting up at the luscious hour of 7am and now? Well, it was 5:45am today. We've been insisting that it is too early and that they should sleep more, which they don't. Our compromise has been to close our door and tell them entertain themselves until 7 or so, when Robert gets up. It kind of works, too, esp if you don't count the interruptions (which range from every 15 to 45 min) to check time, give hugs (yes, it is kind of nice, even at that hour) and bring bunny covers in for fixing.

Tonight we're having dinner with Craig, Vivienne, and Valentina at the swankily named River Club. Viv assures us that it's all an act, and really is quite casual and fine for kids. They have a burger with cheese and pulled pork on the menu (too bad it's not called The Good Morning Burger ala The Simpsons) so I'm guessing she's probably correct.