Friday, December 23, 2005

Germs! Germs!!

Oooh boy.
The crazies were out in full force today at Kohl's. Only 2 (or is it 3) days left until X-mas so all the last minute shoppers are out and about. And many of them are insane. While I had numerous "interesting" customers step up to my Customer Service counter (including a young scammer), there was one who makes me smile every time I think of her.
There was a customer who came and returned a couple things and then she went off to do some more shopping. I noticed about a half hour later or so she was back in line and my co-worker, Nicole, assisted her. The lady wanted to pay her Kohl's charge bill but wanted to know the exact balance, which we don't have axcess to. Nicole told her to use the Customer Service phone hanging on the wall because it connects you right with the Kohls Charge people. And the woman said, "A public phone? I have to use a public phone? I don't want to use that." She was looking at the pay phone. Nicole pointed at the other phone and said it has a direct line to the Kohls Charge account people. The woman had a real disgusted look on her face and kept saying things like "Well, anybody can use that phone. I don't want to touch it." She then asked Nicole for some tissues, one for her ear and one for her hand." And proceeded to use the phone with a tissue covering the ear and mouth piece and one that she used to press the buttons." Nicole kept sneaking me glances and we were both about to burst out in the giggles. But we controlled ourselves and when I finished with my customer, I headed back to the office where Nicole was and we both had a GOOD laugh about that one. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

You just have to wonder about these people. How does she go anywhere and touch anything? I am SURE she doesn't use public restrooms or drinking fountains. But does she have kids? And what about those germs? Does she go to restaurants? And why doesn't she carry around some of those plastic gloves JUST IN CASE she has to touch something........

Oh boy. She came and paid her bill and left her tissues on the counter. So I asked as she was leaving if she was done with them and threw them away. I should have offered for her to keep them. For next time.

A good laugh is always good to have at work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ahhh.......the drama.

Sometimes things that could be so simple turn into such dramatic and stressful events.
Why is that?

A month and a half ago, I asked my boss, in a nonchalant manner, "So, what are the chances of me not working the day after X-mas." He practically laughed me out of the room. "Don't even ask that. There is just no way." he said.

You may be wondering why do I want the day after X-mas off? After all, it's not even my holiday. Well, my extended family generally has a "Holiday Party" every year in Columbia at my cousins house. I have fond memories of this party growing up but the memories taper off as the years went by. Not because the parties stopped but because I stopped going. Last year I was working at Kohl's and couldn't get the day off, the year before I was coming to St. Louis soon after when my bro and sis-in-law would be there. The year before that I was in New York, the year before that in Israel, the year before that New York, the 2 years before that in Israel. So it's been at least 7 years since I have gone to this party. And while I am not terribly close with my extended family, I really do miss them. I think slowly I have been drifting away from my family - and not neccesarily looking back..... But I am not happy about that. I don't know if my change in attitude is because now I have a son and I would like him to know my family too. Or if it was a real eye-opener when I hardly heard from anyone after he was born. You may say well that's really obnoxious of your family but when was the last time I called any of them??? And no, I didn't send out Announcements when Jonah was born so maybe they didn't even know for awhile.
My brother from Seattle is going to be at the party. My cousin from Paris will be there. My cousin who is fighting cancer will be there. Family from Oregon, California, Nashville, Florida, St. Louis, and elsewhere will ALL be there!

Whatever the case may be, it's time for me to reconnect with my family. And it looked like it was going to have to wait this year. Because according to Kohl's, there was NO way that I would get that day off. SO - I did not purchase the $80 tickets that they had on special......

Today I walk into work and check the schedule book - lo and behold, guess who is not working the day after X-mas! Yup, it's me. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had just checked ticket prices yesterday - I don't know why. I suppose I was still hoping. Thinking maybe there was some early early morning flight on Monday or late late Sunday night flight that I could catch. Or maybe I wouldn't be scheduled until Monday afternoon. The tickets were $189. So, the price had already jumped up $109!!

I got home from work and jumped on the computer. Cheapest tickets I could find $233!! GULP. That would get me in Saturday night and back out on Monday night. And it's just me and Jonah. No way could we afford $466!! I went back and forth and up and down. Thought about flying, driving, trains, busses. Take a trip to Chicago with Shauli for the weekend and then head down to St. Louis - fly back from there. Go with Shauli the entire trip but that meant an 11 hour car ride on Monday with my 15 month old in the back seat. Yikes.

I talked to my mom who talked with my step-dad and that whole conversation because one big drama!!! I talked to my friend who was also going to St.Louis that weekend to see if I could convince her to drive there with me.
I was at the computer and on the phone for HOURS. Brought to tears at one point.

Gosh, how I hate MONEY and the stress it causes.
Bottom line. For a month now I had been saying, the only think stopping me from going to the party is the fact that I have to work on Monday. POOF - I didn't have to work Monday but it would cost me $150 more. We certainly don't have $150 to just throw around. So then I thought of taking it out of my savings. Should I? Shouldn't I? Am I crazy?

After a LOT of discussion and a LOT of thinking I decided to go for it. I knew if I didn't, I would regret it. I had learned this lesson once before with my friend's second wedding. I decided not to go for various reasons and really regretted that decision. But it was too late. I did not want to make that mistake again. Look back on it and think WHY didn't I go? Why did I let something like MONEY get in the way of FAMILY? Why did I let another year go by slipping further away from my family? It's just not worth it.

So I bought the ticket. And Jonah and I are flying out Saturday night, coming back Monday night. The money issue will work out. My mom and step-dad are helping out with part of it and I talked with my step-dad and we cleared the air so there aren't any bad feelings between us. PHEW!

Granted, it won't be the easiest trip I have taken. Just me and Jonah, weird flight times, holiday party, no kosher food, etc etc. But I know that it will be worth it. I am already SOO happy to be going. I made the RIGHT decision.

But do you realize how much simpler life would have been if I had just made those tickets a month and a half ago???? If Kohl's had even hinted that maybe I could get the day off. WOW, would we have avoided a lot of drama!

Oh well. Such is life.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I ended up going to Brenda's Memorial Service on Friday. I went with two other girls from work. It took two hours to get there which wasn't too bad. The worst part of the drive was the traffic getting out of Detroit. We got there at 10 and kind of stood around for about an hour until the service started. There was a collage of pictures of her and we talked with Mike and met his Dad, uncle, and grandparents. It was pretty awkward but I am very glad that we went because there weren't a lot of people there and certainly not a lot of people for Mike. It seemed to mean a lot to him that we were there.
The service was pretty short. A eulogy and then Mike said some words about her. There was a video montage with pictures of her throughout her life. At the end there was a Latin quote that meant "I Regret Nothing". It was a tattoo she had on her ankle. At the end of the montage, it hit me. That was it. The end of her life. All those pictures leading up to this. The end of a life at 27 years old. Wow.
That was the end of the service and the family was supposed to walk out first. Brenda's brother and his wife, stood up together and walked out. And then Mike stood up. He kinda looked around, looked back at the picture of her and basically looked a little lost. And alone.
And then he walked out. By himself.
That brought me to real tears. No one got up after that. So the 4 of us (co-workers) stood up and walked out. We went over to Mike and he was the one trying to comfort us. Saying we shouldn't cry because our mascara would run.
Trying to look out for us after he just lost his wife.....
And that was that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Love and Loss

I went to work today and the first thing I was told as I walked through the door was that Mike's wife died on Saturday.
Mike is a co-worker of mine, I think his official title is Customer Service Supervisor. He started off as an associate in the shoe department and was promoted a few months ago to Area Supervisor. He certainly deserved it. He is a very hard worker and a very very nice guy. 25 years old. His wife, Brenda, was 27. So, a young couple. VERY much in love. Brenda used to come into work a lot. She came to have lunch with Mike or pick him up. We all got to know her because sometimes she would have to wait for Mike so she would chat with us. In fact, I saw her about a week ago because she came in just as Mike had to go in for a meeting. So she ended up waiting a LONG time. She was hanging around near the customer service desk and joked that she was going to hop the counter and help me out because it was SOO busy and I was all by my lonesome.

I just saw her. I just talked to her. And now she is dead???

She went into the hospital for a somewhat emergency gall bladder removal. She was in ICU while she recovered but then was doing well. I spoke to Mike when he came into work on Black Friday and she was doing good. He wasn't sure when she was coming home but she was recovering nicely.
Mike worked a crazy day on Friday and was exhausted so he called the hospital when he left work that night to check on his wife. They said she was doing fine and resting. So he decided to go home to get some sleep and see her in the morning.
3:00 in the morning he got a phone call that he hadto get to the hosptital. Brenda had a blood clot that got to her brain. And she died.

Just like that. He didn't even get to say goodbye.

Brenda had lupus. Terminal lupus (I don't know if there is a non-terminal kind). She was supposed to have some kind of surgery 6 months ago but it was too dangerous so they pushed it off. I don't know much about lupus but I guess surgery and lupus don't go well together. In this case, it killed her.

Apparently, Mike's family was not supportive of this marriage because they didn't feel he should marry someone who he couldn't spend the rest of his life with. But Brenda and Mike had found true love and went for it. They weren't on speaking terms until recently when Mike reconciled with his dad and sister. Perhaps it was just in time.

After he went to the hospital to wrap things up and get her belongings, he didn't know where to go. Brenda was his whole life. They didn't have a lot of friends because most of their time was spent together. They were used to being alone. Alone together.

So Mike came to work on Saturday. And the message written on our whiteboard telling us the news, was actually written by him. It's heartbreaking.

Yesterday, he spent the day driving around. Because he didn't want to go home. He didn't want to go home without her.
And today he came back to work. They gave him a job working upstairs in the stockroom so he wouldn't have to deal with people but he said that there were a number of times he just broke down anyway. Who wouldn't?

We put together a collection and came up with more than $800 to help him out. They were having some financial troubles to begin with and he didn't have any money for the arrangements. And of course we all signed a card telling him how sorry we are and that he is in our prayers.

But it was a rough day at work. Hard to see Mike. Hard to not be able to DO anything. Because in this situation - you can't just "make it better." They are having the funeral on Friday but it is a couple hours away in Ohio. That is where she is from although her parents passed away years ago. The funeral is in the afternoon so there is no way I can make it and get back in time for Shabbas either. So I feel bad. I would like to be there. "Like" isn't really the word I should use.

I found Mike as I was leaving work to tell him that if he needs anything he should call. And I wasn't just saying that. We don't live too far away from each other so I said he should come over sometime this week or next week for dinner or just to hang out. He and Shu could play X-box together. Just so he can be with people. Not alone in his apartment. I gave him my number and hope he takes me up on the offer. He needs to be around people. And know there ARE people that care.

Seeing him like this really makes me realize how important sitting Shiva is. While I hated it at the time, it let me mourn, the way one needs to mourn for someone close who passes away. When my father died, it felt like my world was caving in. I didn't understand how life could go on. And I needed that week to sit in my house and grieve. I needed to be surrounded by family and friends and focus on my loss.

I am sorry that Mike is not surrounded by family and friends. I am sorry that he can't take a week off from life to sit in his house and just mourn. Be surrounded by his loss. Going back to work and trying to live life normally is too hard. But if we at Kohl's are his support system then I am glad that we can be there for him. I hope he realizes how much we care and how much Brenda will be missed.

I pray that G-d will help him through this hard time and one day, he will move on and get remarried and have children. He will make a great father. I pray this doesn't break him. And I don't think it will. He is strong and I applaud his courage in marrying Brenda. I am glad he was able to spend the few years he did with her. Because they had found true love.

"Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mike.
Rest In Peace, Brenda.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Quagmire......The Dog

Should we get a dog?
A 4 year old Chocolate Laborador to be exact?
What are your opinions? Ups and downs? Ins and outs?
Keep you posted.......................

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Shana Tova!

Well, it's been awhile since I have blogged. Whoops.
Not sure if it is because I just don't have a lot to say or I have just been too busy. I think it's choice B. At least I hope I haven't run out of things to say. :)
Just been somewhat overwhelmed with too many hours working at Kohl's, trying to fit in as many hours doing medical billing as I can, and trying to take care of my family and house and actually spend a little time with them every once in awhile. So, just busy busy. I like to think things will slow down after the Chagim are over. We'll see.
Even though things are quite busy, I would have to say all is well. Jonah is a regular toddler now. He walks all over the place and rarely crawls anymore. It's crazy how quickly that happened. Within a week and a half he went from taking a couple steps here and there to walking across entire rooms. WOW! I LOVE it!!!! A lot of people say uh oh watch out for then they start walking! Now you're in real trouble. Well, I am sure that mischief will come but for now I love the independance that he is.
And oh boy, is he independant!! He is getting quite the personality and lets you know when he wants something or does NOT want it. I do look forward to when he uses more words though. That will be nice. He says a few words now, his favorite still being BALL. Anytime he sees a ball, a picture of a ball, or even just a circle, he gets very excited and starts yelling BALL BALL. Cute.
My brother in law and sister in law were in town from Israel which was GREAT. We got to spend a fair amount of time with them but I wish we could have spent more. Oh well. Next time? They helped out with Jonah a lot so that was REALLY cool.
We are heading to St. Louis for the Shabbas and second days of Sukkot and I am very excited about that. We're hoping to stay in U. City for Shabbas and Chesterfield for Simchat Torah. Just like old times!! Uh....except I am married with a baby but you know...............
Well, that's all for now.
Shu is off playing basketball so I am going to try to get some work done and then maybe head to bed early. I have a KILLER headache. Blah.
Have a SHANA TOVA and an EASY FAST and I hope you all forgive me for anything I may have done or said to you or about you that may have hurt you in any way.
If you don't, call me so we can work it out. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

To Set the Record Straight

Something has been bothering me since Friday and I would like to set the record straight. Someone, and I don't know who, has been spreading nasty rumors about me. I don't think they were doing it maliciously - this is something they must think about me and are sharing it with others. Well, I want to tell them and anyone else who may have heard it that they are 100% WRONG!!!! I don't know where they got their information from, why they would ever believe it, or why they didn't ask me about it but it is NOT true.
Someone is telling people that I don't want to move to Israel anymore because I have seen the way my friends live there and they live in "squalor" and so I want to stay in America. Well people, that is GARBAGE.
First of all, I love Israel. A part of me is missing when I am not in Israel. When I was living in Israel, I was not complete because I hadn't found my B'shert. Now that I have found the love of my life, something is missing because we aren't in the Holy Land. Yes, he knows I feel this way. I would pack up and move to Israel in a heartbeat. The longer I stay here, the harder it is/will be to leave. I take comfort in the fact that many of our friends also want to make Aliyah so I dream that one day we can all go together.
Second of all, the last time I was in Israel was in November, and the only friends I saw were the ones who came to visit me in the hotel and hospital. So I didn't see any of my friends living in "squalor."
Third of all, I have lived in Israel, aside from in dorms I have lived in an apartment and house-sat a house. And I have NO problem with that.
Sure, there are a lot more material and physical comforts that come from living in America but in Israel, you don't need those things. Those things aren't important there the way they are here. Life is just....................different.
I'm sorry that you think I am so materialistic that I would give up the dream I have had since I was 17 years old to move to Israel because I supposedly didn't like the way my friends were living. I'm sorry you obviously don't realize how much I love Eretz Yisroel and how my heart aches when I think of it.
I'm also sorry that the people who heard these rumors seem to have believed them. :(
And yes, I am sorry that Shu doesn't feel the same way that I do. If you want us to move to Israel, he is the one to work on. Not me!

And that's all folks.

Friday, September 23, 2005


So, all this hurricane stuff has really got me thinking. (Is that correct English?)
Hurricane Katrina was some crazy stuff, right? And people probably did not realize how bad things were going to get so they stayed in their homes until it was too late.
Now hurricane Rita comes along. And it's threatening Texas. People in Houston are being told to evacuate their homes. So they are. They have a little bit of time because I guess the storm is not supposed to hit real bad until sometime on Saturday. So they can pack up their cars and head inland. Which is no treat because everyone else is doing it too. Someone was interviewed on the news and he had gone 48 miles in 13 hours. Youch. Our friend's family lives in Houston and left their house. It took them 6 hours to go 12 miles. Ugh. They are staying with some other family now and hope to be safe.

Anywhoo, that brings me to my latest thoughts. If I knew I had to evacuate my house and there was a strong possibility that my house and everything in it could get destroyed........what would I bring with me?
Let's say I had a couple hours to pack up and I could only bring what could fit in my car, what would I take?
My family of course. I think that goes without saying. But I said it so you guys wouldn't give me a hard time about not saying it.
Basics - I suppose I should take some clothes but just my favorites because I can always buy new clothes. And I would bring some food and water because I may be on the road for awhile trying to get to wherever I am going.
I think I would go from room to room and take the important things from each one.
Our bedroom: The clothes, some toiletries, some hats. My jewelry, specifically whatever Shauli gave me and an heirloom ring that came from my great grandma.
Jonah's bedroom: Some clothes and if there is room, a copy of a painting by my mom. Also, a baby down comforter and pillow my mom made when we were little. My baby blanket that Jonah used.
The guest room: A wall hanging/quilt that someone made for us from our wedding. Important papers like birth certificates and passports. Jonah's shot records and social security number. And photo albums.......I guess I would not have room for ALL my albums but I would go through and grab my favorite pictures. And I could bring the negatives of my pictures. Those don't take up too much room.
The computer room: My discs of pictures from Jonah's birth and on and our digital camera. Maybe our computer tower? I feel like there is a lot of information on that computer but I don't know if it is worth the room that it would take up. I think I would take my wedding dress. And Shauli's kittel.
The Living Room: Our ketubah. The painting my mom made for me and some favorite pictures. Some photo albums. My wedding tiara. My Shabbas candlesticks and the Shabbas blessing picture that my mom-in-law made for me. Our wedding pics and negatives. Shauli probably wouldn't want to part with his X-box. Jonah's baby book.
Kitchen: I already said food and drink. My dad's cookbook. Shauli's cutco knives? Those are expensive.
Basement: Now comes the hard part. That's where all my boxes of memories are. Things from when I was little, favorite toys, diaries, a memory box full of things that were my dad's. I guess I would just try to rifle through them quickly and grab the most important things.

And that's that. Would it all fit? Am I missing some REALLY crucial things? Possibly. Did I write too many material things? I'm not sure.

Now if I had to leave quickly - the list would definitely shorten. Hmm..............................

What about YOU? What would you bring?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

And the World Stood Still

Yesterday was my day off......from Kohl's.......
And like the good mother, wife, friend, person that I am, I had plans to fill it with all kinds of errands and Things To Do. There were playgroups to attend, grocery shopping to do, Shabbas food to prepare, birthday preparations to be done, phone calls to be made, medical billing to be done, piles to go through, bills to be paid, presents to buy and wrap, photos to be enlarged and framed, a house to be cleaned and organized, and the list goes on and on. Well.......... I accomplished one item on that list. And you know what? That's ok. Because yesterday the world stood still.
The item I accomplished was that I went to playgroup with Jonah. Our shul has a playgroup that meets on Thursday mornings and I don't usually attend because I have to work but since yesterday was my "day off", Adina and I planned to bring our kiddies to playgroup together. Which we did and my friend Channa even joined us and all was well and good in our worlds.
We came back from playgroup at around 11:30 and shortly afterwards Jonah CONKED out. He was sleeping so I figured it was a good time to get some medical billing in. So I worked on that for an hour.....two hours...... Jonah's still sleeping. I finish up the phone calls I needed to make for that (which I can't do when Jonah is around) and work on some regular billing, and Jonah is still sleeping.
Finally at about 3:00 or so he wakes up and is not quite right. He's complaining crying. No tears, no terrible sobbing. Just complaints. Like something is bothering him. Like he wants to go back to sleep maybe but at the same time, he can't. I thought he was probably starving because he missed lunch but he refused any and all food and drink. Even animal crackers!! I knew something was wrong then. He just wanted me to hold him and he wanted to "cry".
I called Shauli upstairs and we decided he may have felt a little hot. He went to Shauli and lay in his arms and after a short while, just fell asleep. OK? So I went back to working and doing miscellaneous things while checking on Jonah every so often and Jonah kept sleeping. He finally got up around 5:30 or so and accepted his bottle while lying on Shauli's chest. He drank about 8 ounces and promptly threw it all up.
And he was sweating and burning up. He would not eat or drink anything else and just wanted to be held so he could lie there and stare off into space.
So thats when it happened..... the world stood still.

Sure, I had a million and one things to do. But my baby was not feeling well and needed to be held. And I needed to hold him. And that was the ONLY thing that mattered.
As I was sitting there holding my burning hot baby I was vaguely aware for a moment in the back of my head that there were things to be done. But it truly did NOT concern me. At that moment, I could not have cared less if they ever got done. It's not as if I was holding him but at the same time my mind was going a mile a minute and I was getting worried about how would I get ready for Shabbas on time and this and that.

I just sat there.
Holding my baby.
For as long as he needed me to.
For as long as I needed to.

And that's when I realized what being a Mommy is all about.........

*** PS - Jonah is doing MUCH better today and is almost 100% back to himself, Baruch Hashem.

Friday, September 09, 2005

My Nephew

Well, well, well, do I have a nephew to tell YOU about!!!
My 9 year old nephew decided over Shabbas that he is going to raise money for the victims of the Katrina hurricane. And the way that he is going to do this is by collecting bottles and cans and turning them in for money. Here in Michigan, we get 10 cents each so that already puts him a step ahead. He goes door to door asking people for cans and has collected more than 800 cans and $10 in cash to put towards the cause. You can see a picture of him and read a little more on his dad's blog, Airtime.
I saw a TV clip for the upcoming news for this evening called Kids Helping Kids and while I didn't get to watch it, I know my nephew could be on it.
I will keep you posted on his efforts and if you are Michiganders and want to donate cans, let me know or drop them by my house. Or if you want to send a little something to support the cause, I will pass it along to him (and he, in turn will pass it along to others).
Thank you!!!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Birth Story - Part 4

I get wheeled down the hall and keep thinking of this as a scene in “A Baby Story”. But those women look and act SOO different!! I think about the people I pass and wonder if they know where I am going. Do they know I am going to get a c-section? Do they realize what has been going on in my life for the past day and a half? Well, we are coming close to the end. Or rather, the beginning.

I get wheeled through those electric doors that Shauli and I had passed so many times on our walks. I guess now I know where they lead to. I am wheeled into an operating room with very bright lights. And it seems so cold. Cold, sterile, and impersonal. There is a table in the middle and I wonder how the heck I am going to get onto it. There is all kinds of equipment in the room and I see a place to put the baby. Finally, this baby bed I know my child will end up in. The third one I have seen since the beginning of my labor. I keep thinking to myself, is this really happening to me? Am I really going through this? Yep, I am really in the operating room. So, this is what one looks like. There are a number of people in the room and a couple of them help me onto the table. My nurse Bev is there so that’s a familiar face. I ask her if she will be there during the surgery and she says yes. That makes me feel better even though she stays in the background most of the time. The young resident that I met earlier and the even younger medical student come in. Then there are a few other women who look like miscellaneous nurses. They seem nice enough. Dr. Schoenberger comes in and so does the anesthesiologist. He asks me how I am feeling and I am quite honest when I say that I am terrified. He jokes with me a bit to lighten the mood and tells me that he likes me because I am a patient that he can joke around with and I am fine with it. I don’t freak out. Everyone is so casual and it’s nice that they aren’t rushing to cut me open. We’re just talking for a little bit. I remind everyone that I do NOT want a play by play of what is going on with the surgery. I want to know when they can see the baby, and when they deliver the baby and if it’s a boy or girl. That’s it! I ask how long they think it will take from start to finish and Dr. Schoenberger says about 1 hour. Now it’s 2:30 and they should be done by 3:30. That seems longer than I had expected but I will get through it. It’s not awful. Even though I know it will feel like ages.

Then it’s time for the spinal. A nurse comes to my right side and the anesthesiologist is behind me. Everyone else is bustling around setting things up. I am sitting up and the nurse tells me to lean forward. So I do and they clean my back off. The doc tells me that I will feel a pinch and I shouldn’t move. I feel a sting and since I can’t move, I try to relive the tension by saying “ooh, ooh, ooh” and breathing the pain out. I’m terrified at this point and keep thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Please don’t let me be paralyzed. All of a sudden I feel a shock go down my right leg into my foot. What a weird feeling and I let out a gasp and say ouch. The anesthesiologist asks what’s wrong and I tell him that I felt a shock in my foot. He says, “what?” So I repeat it and I guess he can’t hear me because he tells everyone in the room to “Be Quiet! Everyone be quiet for a second.” His tone of voice scares me and he says “Ma’am, WHAT did you say??” I tell him what I felt and he asks which foot and if I still feel it. I say my right one and no, it’s gone. He doesn’t say anything else but quickly goes behind me again. I still have feeling in my legs so it must not have worked. The doctor says he is going to try again so I will feel another pinch. The nurse helps me lean forward and really crunches me up. They say that is the right position and I feel that sting again. He must have gotten it that time and quickly lay me down. I feel the numbness traveling down my legs and it is such an awkward feeling. Then they quickly crank the bed so that my head is lower than my feet. Everyone is rushing around and making me very nervous. The anesthesiologist then takes an alcohol pad and swipes it on my arm. He asks if I can feel the cold from it and I say yes. Then he tells me to let him know when I can feel it on my body. He starts towards my stomach and I feel the swipe like a little tingle but not the temperature. He moves up and up and asks if I can feel it yet. He sounds like there is a problem so that’s pretty scary. I still don’t feel the cold though. Finally, I think I feel it when he is almost at the top of my chest and he asks again if I can feel it yet. I tell him I think so and they quickly crank my head back up. I just keep thinking to myself that I hope I am not paralyzed and how scary this anesthesiologist is. Finally, I suppose he is satisfied with the spinal because he steps back.

Then it’s time for the resident to prep me. She comes in and explains what she is going to do before she does it so that is nice. She washes off my stomach and puts iodine all over it. The nurse who helped with the spinal stays next to me during all this. I suppose she is my “c-section nurse” although she doesn’t introduce herself. They stick something on my shoulders and put up the sheet that will shield me from the surgery. I guess that is also the boundary between what is sterile and what is not. The nurse gives me oxygen through a nasal canula. I lie there with my arms out like a scarecrow and I’m shaking a little. I feel cold and hot at the same time and I ask the nurse for a wet washcloth for my forehead. She brings it to me and that feels good. I had been using one all through the labor to cool me off and I think it must be a comfort thing for me too. I remember ever since I was young and not feeling well my Mom would always put a cold washcloth on my head and wipe my neck with it and I still do it to this day. And that’s it for the prep. Time to start the surgery.

I hear but can’t see Dr. Schoenberger begin. He starts giving instructions or explaining what he is doing and I start freaking out. I don’t want to hear when and where they are making the incision. I know that I am losing it and I think to myself that when Shauli gets here, I will ask him to talk to me about ANYTHING so I can get my mind off what is going on and so I won’t be able to hear them talking. I will ask him to tell me a story or even talk about sports or maybe sing a song. Then I realize that I have to figure something out until Shauli gets here because I can hear them. I feel the numbness going higher and higher and it’s harder to feel myself breathe. That was one of my biggest fears. I had even mentioned it to Dr. Schoenberger beforehand and told him that I am scared of that. He says that it happens occasionally but don’t worry, I will definitely be breathing and a way to test that is if I can talk, then I can breathe. He also said that if I do stop breathing, it’s not a big deal, they will just stick a tube down my throat and breathe for me. LOVELY! So I feel my lungs getting numb and so I start breathing loudly. Meaning, I breathe in and when I breathe out I say, “hoooooo”, breathe in, “hooooo”. It must have been pretty loud because the doc says jokingly to “cut out that loud breathing, what are you doing over there?” He asks if I am still breathing and I say, “Let’s check. Well, if I can talk then I can breathe so I guess so.” Then I ask him if my breathing noises are disturbing him because I can be quiet. He laughs and says that he’s fine. The sensations I am feeling are the weirdest I have ever felt. I keep thinking to myself that this is one of the strangest and most intense experiences ever in my life.

Well, after a moment or two, the breathing noises aren’t loud enough to cover up what they are saying and Shauli still isn’t in the room so I decide to sing to myself. The song/prayer “Mizmor L’Dovid” pops into my head because Shlomi told me that is one of the Tehillim that are good to say when you are pregnant. He told me to say it often because it will help with an easy birth. Plus, I know and like the song it goes to. I start singing real quietly to myself. “Mizmor L’David, Adoshem ro-ee loh echzar, binot deshe yarbitzayni al may menucha yenahalayni”. I think of my words going up, like a prayer, to Hashem. And with every word, I sing a little louder. I start listening to myself and concentrating on each word and each sound. I don’t hold back but just keep my voice steady and can almost see each word coming from my mouth and rising to heaven. As I am singing, Shauli comes in. Thank G-d he is here. I have never been so happy and relieved to see someone. I am overwhelmed with love and feel like he is an angel coming to rescue me. He sits down and I tell him that I need him to help me sing so I don’t hear them talking. He sings Mizmor L’Dovid with me and then we finish the song. So I look at him and ask what to sing next. He tells me what about the song he walked down to at our wedding, that was a beautiful song. Somehow, even though my head is so foggy, I am able to think of the song and the tune. Mi Von Siach. We sing that together and then Esa Enai. Afterwards, I sing V’leeyerushalayim and close my eyes. I think of the city and the country that I love so much and my longing to be there. Longing to be there like I long for this baby.
I am SO thirsty. Since they made me stop drinking and stop with the ice chips, it feels like torture. I tell Shauli that the idea of really having a baby at the end of this process is really foreign to me. I can’t really believe that our baby will finally be here. I need something tangible to look forward to. So I tell him that aside from looking forward to the baby at the end of this process, I really look forward to a drink. I hope I am not too bad of a person for saying that.

All of a sudden, I feel like I am going to sneeze. Now for some reason, even though logically I know that the incision is very low, I have this image of me lying flat on the operating table and sliced open from top to bottom. I can feel them poking and prodding all over my body so that backs up my mental image. I know it can’t be true but that’s how it feels. So if I sneeze, I am worried that I will really mess up their operating because my organs will jump. And they might cut something that they didn’t mean to cut! So I am freaking out. I ask Shauli to tell the nurse that I am going to sneeze and what should I do? So he says, “My wife says she is going to sneeze.” She looks at me and says “ok, sneeze.” And I say “really, it’s ok?” And she says “yes, go ahead and sneeze.” I try to let it come but the sensation passes. That’s fine. I’d rather not sneeze.

My body is shaking all over and I feel really incredibly sore. I’m so uncomfortable and want this to be over. I want to ask what time it is so I know how much longer until 3:30 but I also know that I won’t be satisfied with the answer. Shauli keeps taking a peek over the curtain but every time I ask what he saw, he tells me that he can’t see anything because there are people in the way. I tell him that we need to start singing again because I am scared. We try to think of a kid’s song because I feel we should sing to the baby. Shauli says the only song that keeps coming to mind is “Little Neshomele” (Little Soul). I say that’s a good one and we start singing together. “Come with me, little neshomele, let me take you by the hand, there’s a little child waiting to be born today, you’re to be his heart, his soul. Come with me, little neshomel’e….” As we sing, I think of the baby inside of me. I don’t know why it wasn’t coming out before, I don’t know why it’s head never engaged. But I do know that it is healthy and maybe it is just scared. I don’t know if it’s neshama is inside yet. Maybe it’s just hovering above. So I am singing to the neshama of my unborn child. “Don’t be scared,” I want to say, “We’re here. We want to take care of you and love you. Please come meet us.” I am gazing at Shauli as we are singing and I know that this is probably the most intense experience in our lives so far. I know it certainly is the most intense since we have been married. And I know this will change us forever. I feel a bond with him stronger than ever before. I know without him, I couldn’t do this. I need him. I see tears forming in his eyes and I know that he is listening to me sing to our baby. His voice breaks and he can’t sing anymore. I go on singing for a little bit, knowing he is listening to me, knowing he is praying for me and for our baby.

I just want everything to be ok. I’m so scared, and so tired. I want this to be over. Why is it taking so long? I feel out of it and drugged. I know that I am talking less and less and I tell Shauli that I feel drugged and I don’t know why. Then numbness is spreading and I can’t feel my lips anymore. That makes it hard to talk. But it scares me too. I ask Shauli to tell the anesthesiologist that I can’t feel my lips. Is it ok? I can see him out of the corner of my eye. He is behind me and seems to be just leaning against the wall, hands behind his back. Hanging out. I don’t really like him. Shauli asks him and he says that it’s fine. We don’t need to be worried. My neck is hurting and my arms and my shoulder is in a lot of pain. I just want a massage. I want to be done with all of this. When are they going to get the baby? I think I hear a baby cry and I ask Shauli if I did. He looks over the sheet and someone else in the room says, is it time? Is the baby coming? Everyone is getting excited and starts moving closer and looking. The doctor says, “Hold on everyone. It’s not time for the baby yet. It will be a few more minutes.” I guess I imagined the cry.

Finally, it’s time. The doctor gets the head out. He says they have the head. Shauli is watching. They tell me that I am going to feel some pressure and I do. It’s not a comfortable feeling. I feel pressure and tugging around my stomach area. Then they pull out the rest of the body and I hear those incredible, amazing words…..”It’s a boy.”

I knew it! I am SO happy. I look at Shauli and know that he is overjoyed. He has a son. A first born son. I hear my baby crying and it is the sweetest sound in the world. Can we see him yet? Not yet. Bev comes over and says “Congratulations. He’s beautiful. He has all his parts! Everything is there and he is healthy.” I look at Shauli and say, “A boy. Just what we wanted.” Shauli asks if he can go over to the baby but they say they will bring him to us.

Finally, they bring him over all wrapped up in a blanket and with a little hat on. His eyes look so funny. They are all black and moist. He is SOOO small. And the most beautiful sight in the world. I tell Shauli, I never imagined I could love something so much, it’s amazing. Shauli gets to hold him and I reach over and stroke his face. “Hi baby,” I tell him. I am in awe. This is our baby, our son. WOW. They tell me that he is 7 lbs. 2oz and 19 ½ inches long. They take him away and tell Shauli to come with them because they are going out to the recovery room and going to show him to the grandparents. So off they go. The two loves of my life. My husband and my son.

The doctor is finishing up and I hear him saying things to the resident. This goes here and that goes there. I keep thinking to myself how unhappy I am that a resident is doing this. Why do I have to be the guinea pig? But I am sure everything will go well. Dr. Schoenberger is here after all and he isn’t going to let them mess up. I hear him say, here’s an ovary. What are they doing looking at my ovaries? I hope they are checking to make sure everything in there is ok. And I hope they make sure to put it back in the right spots!!!

I finally ask the question that has been on my mind for months. The baby is ok? He doesn’t have Down Syndrome? The nurse reassures me and tells me he is healthy and perfect. Dr. Schoenberger says, “Wow, you are such a nervous mother. Relax” I tell him that it’s his fault that I am this way. After all, they are the ones who told me about the spot on the heart, the ecogenic focus which might indicate a Downs baby and the polycystic kidneys so of course I am nervous – they freaked me out!! He says, oh yes, he forgot and apologizes.

I am shaking really violently now and the nurse offers to put a blanket on me. I accept and she puts a really nice warm blanket on me. It feels good and helps the shivers somewhat. I’m exhausted too. Well, after a few more minutes I am all closed up and ready to head to recovery. They lift me up and back onto the bed and off we go. Off to my new life with my beautiful baby boy and my incredible, amazing, supportive, strong husband. A family.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Birth Story - Part 3

Morning finally rolls around. Contractions are about 2 minutes apart, a bit stronger. I need concentration to get through them. But it’s helpful having someone watch the monitor. And afterwards we can say, wow, that was a big one. At this point we want the big ones to keep coming. We get a new nurse and her name is Bev. She is pregnant too with her first baby. And no, she doesn’t know if it is a boy or girl. Good for her! She seems really nice and we hope she will be the LAST nurse we have. But I think her shift is until the evening and there is no way that they will let us go that long without having the baby. Well, Dr. Schoenberger shows up and it’s actually nice to see his face instead of hearing from him through the nurses. And we can finally talk business with him. But first, time for another internal exam. The nurse has to put the bed all the way down and that is painful in itself because lying flat on my back is no party. Then he checks me and it’s awful. This was certainly the most painful thing in the pregnancy. No need to go into details but it is REALLY horrific. I feel like it is torture and I can hardly handle it. It scares me that if I can’t deal with this pain, how can I birth a child? Mom says it’s different kind of pain. Internal exams are bad. Finally he finishes and I just want to die. No good news to look forward to either. I am still hardly dilated and maybe 60% effaced. The baby’s head is still very high up. Why won’t that baby come down? The Pitocin is helping but not enough. Contractions are not close enough together to keep the baby’s head down. The doctor says he will give it until this afternoon and if there is no more progress by then, they will have to do a C-section. The concept is incomprehensible to me. I am not going to have a C-section. We ARE going to push this baby out. The doctor is not optimistic that anything will change but he will give it some more time.
More Pitocin. More hours roll by. No changes. I am so terribly exhausted by this time. Will it ever end? The concept that I will actually have a baby is getting harder to believe. I try to tell myself by this evening I will definitely have a baby, one way or another. But it’s really hard to imagine. I’m totally drained. Well, it’s 11 am and the doctor comes back. He says he wants to try something when he does the internal exam. He is going to try to put in another monitor so they can get a better reading on my contractions. They don’t seem to be changing too much but maybe the internal monitor will tell us something else. Uh oh, another internal exam. Really, really, really painful. He thinks there may be a second bag of waters that he is going to try and break. He thinks that he breaks something. Now time for the monitor. This is awful. I don’t know what to think or do or say, I am in so much pain. I just keep praying that he will be done soon. It can’t go on forever. Please let him finish. Finally, he is done but was unsuccessful. Now comes the talk. Basically, if nothing changes, which it most likely will not by 1pm – we’re doing a C-section. The reality hits me. And so does the fear. I ask the doctor if he can stay for a few minutes and talk to me. I want him to explain what happens in a C-section and answer my questions and maybe help with some of my fears. I need to do this now so that I have time to mentally prepare for the surgery. I have never had surgery before in my life but it’s looking imminent. So hard to believe but I have to believe it. I like to think something will happen in the next 2 hours but I know it won’t. Not after 30 hours of labor. So he agrees to stay as long as I need and his AMAZING bedside manner comes out. Not only does he explain the process and listen patiently to my fears but he compliments me on how strong I am and what an amazing job I have done so far. He tells me that he was “torturing me” with the internal exams and I handled it so well. I didn’t freak out or scream or cry. He is really impressed and yes, my pain tolerance is VERY high. As for my big fear with the c-section, I am scared that I won’t be able to feel myself breathe. I heard that happens sometimes because the numbness goes really high. Dr. Schoenberger says it’s rare to happen but yes, it can and I will still be breathing even if I can’t feel it. The best thing to realize is if I can talk, I can breathe. Of course he adds, if I do stop breathing, no big deal, they will just stick a tube down my throat and breathe for me. LOVELY! Well, he says he will see us at 1pm and make the call and then he leaves.
Then the tears come. I can’t help it. I break down. Not sobbing hysterically or flipping out or anything. Just sad, tired, can’t believe the way things are going kind of tears. My mother in law comes in then and sees me crying. She gives me a hug and we all talk a bit about the situation. I keep repeating that we are so lucky that both me and the baby are healthy. The heartbeat is strong, baby is just happy in there. But it’s time to come out, time to be born. For sure by this afternoon we will have a baby. Still hard to believe. I’m so scared of the surgery. I am scared of not feeling myself breathe. I am scared of being numb from the chest down. I am scared of being sliced open. I am scared of throwing up. I am scared of something going wrong. I am scared of getting the spinal. Luckily Shauli can be there with me. I don’t know what I would do if he wasn’t. I can’t go alone. My Mom can’t come though and that’s hard. She has been such an amazing birth coach (in addition to Shauli) and now she can’t come for the final part. She can’t be there for the birth. I feel bad for her too, not just me. My mother-in-law stays for a while which was really nice and then she has to go because she has a million things to do. David and Shany are flying in today. What a day! But she says she will come back in time for the surgery and stay with my mom throughout. That’s good. I don’t want my mom to be alone. I wish we could stop the Pitocin. What’s the point? I wish we could take off the monitors. What’s the point? I am working to change my mindset. I am going to have a C-section. That’s the real deal. Me. C-section. Me. Surgery. No more eating or drinking. That’s a killer. The ice chips have been amazing and I need water. My throat gets so dry. Well, we cheat a little bit.
And here comes 1:00pm. Dr. Schoenberger comes back and the final verdict is, as we knew it would be, C-section time. However, first he has to go supervise a D & C and then he will come back at around 2 and we will go in. After he leaves, a very very young resident (probably my age) and an even younger med student come in and say they will be assisting the surgery. The resident seems ok. The med student seems like she really doesn’t have a clue. Great. I don’t want them doing my surgery. But I am too tired to argue or say anything. I just think it. Jocey has been in touch with Shauli all along and I speak to her before the surgery. I speak to AP at some point too (may have been earlier) and he even does the cheer. That makes me smile. It’s nice to have such good friends. I ask everyone to daven for me. I am terrified. I say the Tehillim that Sho told me about. I am really praying that Hashem give me the strength to get through this. Mentally and physically. I have accepted it but am still in some state of shock and disbelief. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I am going to have a c-section. That’s it.
Shauli and my Mom pack up our room because they are going to have to bring the bags somewhere when I leave for surgery. The nurse comes in and gives me something gross to drink that is supposed to prevent me from getting sick. On one hand, I want the doctor to come already so we can get started so that it can be over. On the other hand, I want him to stay far away. In come all the people with papers for me to sign. The resident comes and tells me all kinds of scary things that can happen in a C-section, sign at the dotted line. Then the anesthesiologist comes and says even more scary things and has me sign at the dotted line. I do but wish they could have done that earlier. Not half an hour before I go under the knife. Time is going so slowly.
Here comes the doc. I guess I am relieved to see him. Let’s do this! They are going to wheel me into the operating room and Shauli is going to stay behind and put on scrubs. They will give me the spinal and prep me and then Shauli can come in. It’s about 2:20. My mother-in-law is back. I am glad I get to see her again before going in. They stop the Pitocin (finally) and hook me up to a catheter. Ugh. That’s painful. I don’t know how people have them in all the time. It completly grosses me out. The “fun” never ends. That’s how I feel. Things just keep happening. When will it all be over? Will I really have a baby at the end of all this? Boy or girl? I’m so curious. They unstrap me from the monitors. Well, this is it. It’s time. And they roll me out of the room. I wave goodbye and don’t want my family to worry.

Birth Story - Part 2

We reach the birthing center and I feel more relaxed. We have our choice of rooms because there is no one else in today. We pick the middle size room because it has the good Jacuzzi. Shauli finds us and we unpack a little. Now what? The nurse comes in and checks me out. She gets my temperature and the baby’s heart rate.
It seems I am only a fingertip dilated so we want to try and get labor moving along. For the next few hours we try a number of things. I sit on the birthing ball, we take LONG walks in the halls although there isn’t too far to go because we have to stay on the same floor. So we walk through the hall of the Recovery Rooms and then through the administration wing. That’s carpeted so it’s nice. And there is another hospital type wing in there. Seems to be all women of different ages are there. We also walk through the regular labor and delivery halls and see a sterile looking wing that is closed off by glass doors. We wonder how to get in because there is no button. Walk, and walk, and walk. Contractions are getting a little more intense.
Mom massages my back, ankles, legs, and arms. My mother-in-law comes by with pizza for Shauli and my Mom. The first nurse we had was pretty cool but another one took over shortly after we arrived. She was nice but too grandmothery and not a take charge type of person. She keeps asking things and at this point, I don’t want to be making decisions. I guess she is just trying to be accommodating but I wish she was a little more in charge.
Well, the hours pass and not a whole lot changes. Dr. Debono’s shift finishes at 5pm and Dr. Schoenberger takes over. This makes me a little nervous because generally, I haven’t been crazy about Dr. Schoenberger. Also, he is not a big fan of the birthing center, especially for first time mothers. He is the one doctor who is most against it in the practice. Great. Well, he wants to be kept posted on the situation but if there is no progress then he is going to want to move me to the Labor and Delivery wing and put me on Pitocin. No way, I don’t want that. We have to get this baby out!!! I keep thinking to myself, we will have a baby by tonight, we will have a baby by tonight! The nurse offers castor oil again and we discuss it but the concept really turns me off so I pass on it again. Especially when the nurse says most women who take castor oil refuse it for the next child. That makes me feel like it’s not worth it. I pass.
Hours drag on and we are all feeling pretty hungry. We call Jocey and she brings us some Dunkin Donuts. I just have a plain bagel with margarine and it really tastes good. We hang out for a little bit in the ABC and it’s nice to just chill with her for a bit. She leaves and we do some more walking and get the verdict from the doctor. If nothing changes by 12am, I am getting moved to the Labor & Delivery wing and starting Pitocin. Oh well. I talk to my sis-in-law on the phone and she tells me about her experiences with Pitocin. Seems to work but I am nervous about the contractions. Although at this point, I am really wanting the baby to come already. So I want those big contractions to come. I just wish it would be naturally.
Another nurse joins the second nurse and I like this one. She is the one who gave the Orientation for the Birthing Center. She seems great and I wish she could deliver my baby. But, it’s 11:30pm and the annoying nurse comes and wants to put in my IV so it’s easier for them in Labor & Delivery. I am not crazy about the idea because I want to hold off on the interventions as long as I can but she’s insistent. Ok, I show her the spot that I prefer for an IV and she decides to try it elsewhere. On the side of my wrist. What an odd place. And extremely painful!! She puts it in and I am in terrible pain. Not only that but I am bleeding all over the place. She wants to see if the pain goes away but it doesn’t so she takes the IV out and says they will have to put it in there. Great, that’s what I wanted in the first place. Well, it’s time.
Off we go to Labor & Delivery. I’m scared and nervous. And tired. Very tired at this point. I really want to have this baby and figure it will come sometime in the middle of the night. That’s reassuring. By morning, I should have a new baby. Come on contractions!!! Our new nurse comes in and she seems really nice. That’s a relief. And then the fun begins of trying to get an IV started. After 5 attempts and 2 nurses, they FINALLY get it in. In the exact spot where I asked them to do it in the first place. It’s not painful, just uncomfortable. And I hate being attached to things.
Bring on the monitors!! Two monitors are strapped to my big belly, one to monitor the baby’s heart rate and one to monitor my contractions. They are fun to watch on the screen, generally, but I HATE being strapped down!!! So I’ve got the IV and the monitors and the nurse comes in with the Pitocin. Oh boy, here it comes. She hooks it up and starts off at the lowest level. They increase it every half an hour. I’m scared. I don’t feel anything different right away. The nurse keeps asking if I want something for the pain. No, thank you.
The hospital bed is terribly uncomfortable and I have to sit on a pillow to tolerate it. I miss the queen size bed in the ABC. I miss everything about the ABC. Why would anyone want to have a baby this way – all strapped up?? Oh well, next time.
We try to get some rest and my mom and Shauli take turns napping. I can’t really sleep although I doze a little here and there. We are all so exhausted at this point. They bring a birthing ball for which I sit on to try and help the baby’s head move down but it’s hard to get in a good position. Every half hour the nurse comes to turn up the Pitocin and offer pain medication. The contractions are coming harder and closer together now. About every three minutes. And I have to concentrate and breathe to get through them. I’m so tired of this. I want the baby!! We watch the hours tick by. There aren’t as many channels in here and a few hours are spent on the “relaxing channel”. Soft music and babbling brooks or raindrops. Outdoor scenery pictures. That’s nice because I want something on to distract me but I certainly can’t concentrate on TV shows. Not that there is anything very good on.
We are coming up on 24 hours of labor. That’s a long time. I’m SOOO uncomfortable. Will this ever end? Will we ever see our baby? I feel like this will never end.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Happy Birthday to Jonah!!

Wow, it's my baby's First Birthday. Soooooo crazy!!! The time just FLEW by and he has changed SO much from when he was just a little 7.2 lb itty bitty guy.

Jonah reached a major milestone today. He started walking!!!!!!!!!!
I was taking some pictures of him and he saw the camera so he took about 3 steps toward me from the couch. Then I figured I would try to get it on video. So I start taping him and he takes two steps and stumbles so he grabs on to the couch. Then he looks up at me and lets go of the couch and starts walking like he's been doing it all along or something!!! He took 9 steps!!!!! And you hear me in the video saying " Oh my G-d!!!! He's walking!!!" It's rather amusing actually. :)

So happy birthday to my baby boy and congrats to me and Shauli for surviving the first year!!!!

Birth Story Part 1

When I first started my blog, I was thinking of what I would put on it and some of the things I thought about were writings from my past. Now, I haven't done that yet but I have definitly toyed with the idea of putting Jonah's Birth Story here. When I initially wrote it (started within a week after Jonah was born and finished about a month later) it was 11 pages long. But I am going to trim it down and edit it for content. Fair enough?
DISLAIMER!!! WARNING!!! PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU CONTINUE ANY FURTHER!!!!PLEASE don't read it if you are uncomfortable about this subject or are going to have nightmares!!! Just kidding, it was ALL worth it and I would do it over again in a second for the reward that I got. But I don't want to hear complaints about how could I write this and it's too much information...blah blah blah. Ok? So if you are sure about this.......carry on..............

It was a year ago this morning that my labor started and a year ago tomorrow that Jonah was born. So here, is Part 1 of Jonah's birth story.

5:00 am, Tuesday morning, August 31st
I wake up and lie in bed, quite tired after another long, pregnant night. I can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours straight before having to wake up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. And the sleep I do get is not deep at all. At this point, I am generally dozing at night. Oh well, it will be over soon and then I will not get sleep because I will have a little human waking me up to feed or change or rock it. I’m not worried. I’ll adjust. And besides, I will be able to sleep on my stomach again. Very exciting. So there I am, lying in bed, trying to decide if the urge to pee is really worth heaving my huge body out of bed. I can’t sit straight up anymore and climb out that way so I kind of have to roll over and scootch as best I can. “Well,” I think, “I really do have to pee. And besides, what if it’s time for my water to break?” So I push myself out of bed and the moment I stand up…. GUSH. No need to go into gory details here but it was WEIRD and GROSS!!!!
My mind starts racing. I realize “Oh my G-d! This is the beginning. I’m going into labor. My water just broke and soon I will have the contractions and go to the hospital and be in pain and have a baby. I’m TERRIFIED! How did I get myself into this? Is there any way I can get out of it? I’m so scared. It’s starting. My life is about to be changed forever.” I start shaking and my mouth is drying out and I realize I have to get control of myself. “Yes Natalie, that was your water breaking – this is a good thing. This is what you have been waiting for for a month now. Yes, soon you will go into labor. Also, a good thing. And by tonight you will have a new little baby. Calm down and go wake your husband up.”
I waddle back to our bedroom, stand at the foot of the bed and whisper, “Shauli…..Shauli wake up.” He looks up confused and half asleep and I say, “I think my water just broke.” I have never seen him jump up so high and so quickly. He shoots out of bed, grabs some khaki pants from the floor, flies into them, throws on a belt, grabs a shirt and then I say, “Woah, slow down. I don’t think we have to do anything yet. We need to call the doctor and ask what to do but we probably won’t go to the hospital yet. I don’t think I am even feeling contractions.” Now he stops to breathe. I ask, “Do you think I should wake my mom?” He says yes, he thinks my mom would like to know what’s going on. After all, this is why she came. So I wake Mom up and we all go into the kitchen to call the doctor. I am sitting on a stool and shaking away, feeling very nervous, wondering if the shakes are from nerves or from labor. I’ve heard about people shaking in labor but that’s generally at the transition stage. I don’t think I am quite there yet. I get a hold of the answering service and they say that they will try to reach Dr. Debono. They put me through to her and I tell her what’s going on. I feel bad because I woke her up and she sounds SO tired. But I guess that’s part of her job. She tells me to stay home for now and eat and drink what I want, walk around, and rest up because there is a big day ahead of me. She says she will call me in about 5 hours and see where we are at. At this point, I have stopped shaking and feel a lot more in control (except for the dripping water). I feel more ready.
The morning is spent relaxing, watching TV (we watched the movie Executive Decision), chatting a little online (with Sho saying – are you crazy? Get to the hospital!!), snacking, and resting. Who can sleep? We’re going to have a baby!!
As crazy organized as I like to be, my hospital bag had sat at the foot of my bed, since about two weeks prior and the only things in it were a washcloth, some socks, and a nursing nightgown. I figured everything else I would need until that point. So I pack that up, not really having a clue about what I need.
Dr. Debono calls at about 11:30 and says we should think about heading over to the hospital because I should get checked. At that point my contractions are generally about 5 minutes apart but not getting stronger or closer together. They had been going on since 5:50 am. Since my water had already broken, the doctor prefers that I head to the birthing center to get checked as opposed to waiting it out at home.
So we have a bite to eat Shauli and I head out for an official last walk as just the two of us. Wow, our life is really about to change. We are both very excited and nervous and so curious about the next few hours. We walk along, holding hands and talking about the next few hours. Here goes a big step in our life. We reach the end of the block and turn around to head back and we see our neighbor pulling out of her driveway. So we flag her down and tell her what’s going on. She gets SOOOO excited and keeps saying wow, soon you will have a little baby!!
Then it’s back to the house, a final look around realizing when we come home, there will be a new baby with us. And it’s off to the hospital. We’re pretty calm but I can tell I am nervous and the closer the hospital comes, the more nervous I get. I don’t like being a patient. Shauli drops me and my mom off at the front door and goes to park and bring the bags. We head inside to register. I tell them I am here for the Alternative Birthing Center (ABC) and that someone from there already called them to let them know it’s ok for me to register now. The woman glances up and says, “Are you in labor?” I answer “yes” and she quickly says, “Oh, you can’t register here. We need to get you upstairs right now.” “But what about my husband?” I say. They tell me they will let him know where to go when he comes in. For some reason that makes me very anxious and I am scared he won’t find us. But they reassure me a number of times. They grab a wheelchair and we head up to the 3rd floor in the elevators.
Stay Tuned for The Alternative Birthing Center...........Jonah's Birth Story Part 2.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So much....

Wow, I've been really busy and very neglectful of my blogging. Does anyone even read this anymore??
So, my birthday was Monday. Fun times! Saturday night my dear friends attempted to have a surprise party for me but failed............. at least at the surprise part. But the party worked out well and Jonah even joined us..... oh boy.
Sunday morning we had family brunch at R and V's. Gotta love those brunches!!! What will we do as the Zacks's desert us one by one and move to the Holy Land where they can eat Bonkers Bagels at their brunches?
Sunday afternoon was filled with shopping at Great Lakes with the sisters and Shauli. :) He did well. Hardly (if any) complaints. And he EVEN returned Madden '06 which he pretended to buy me for a birthday present. My real present will take a couple weeks to arrive. Hmm....I really wonder what it is. I don't have a CLUE!!
My mom sent me some money to use for something FUN and not bills. It's good she designated that because knowing me I would deposit it in the checking account thinking I would "use it later" and forget about it and use it for bills. So now I have to choose something fun. I think I am deciding between two things. Or maybe getting both and adding a little of my own money. There is a really cool piece of artwork that I have been looking at in a Judaica catalogue for months. It is Pressed Wildflowers of Israel in a cool blue frame. The picture is above which I am sure you have realized by now.
OR I am thinking of getting a massage which I could REALLY REALLY REALLY use. But does anyone know of a good masseuse around here? Female, please. Let me know because I don't really know how to find one.
Ok, so enough about presents. :)
Sunday evening we had a BBQ again at R and V's so that was fun and we got to hang out with the Bostons Zacks's some more (minus one). And that was that.
Monday was my actual birthday -woohoo - and I worked from 12 to 6 - not so woohoo. But after that Shu and I got a quick BKC dinner (not that ordering from there is ever quick but we like the food so we deal with it). My sis-in-law (G-d bless her) came over to babysit for Jonah and off we went to the Lions/Rams football game. Now first of all, a shout out to Shu's cousin Gabi for hooking us up with tickets!! That was awesome because we tried to get some but weren't able to and he pulled through at the last minute. That was great! I had never been to a football game and this is the only time the Lions are playing the Rams this season (well, preseason) so I pulled out my St. Louis pride (no, I don't even have a Rams T-shirt to wear) and headed off to the game.Parking was ridiculous near the stadium, $30 -$40!! So we drove a little further and found a $10 lot. Woohoo!! Not that we spent anything on the tickets but why pay the extra $20-$30 if you don't need to. The game was great. Well, for me and the 4 other Rams fans. :) For the Lions fans, not so pretty. The stadium was maybe half full at half time and practically empty by the end of the 3rd quarter. It was the game that WOULD NOT end. But I was enjoying because I just love the whole experiance of being at the game. I love people watching and player watching and trying to get on camera (next time I should bring a sign but there is no way Shu would sit with me then!!) Well, it finally ended and we headed out and passed by the Rams bus. So we waited around to see some players and they did come out and come over to us but it was really to see their family and friends and you couldn't even tell who they were. They were the Big Guys but not all were so big. So I guess we saw 2 or 3 superstars but didn't really realize until they were about to get on the bus. I was getting "star struck" but thanks to Shu we finally left. :) Kudos to him for putting up with me!!! I wonder though, if I get so bad with players I don't even know in a game I don't care too much about - what would happen if I met Tayshaun Prince (WOOHOO) of the Pistons. I don't even know!!!!! But it would definitly involved picture taking and perhaps some fainting. JUST KIDDING, I am NOT that bad......I think. Can anyone out there hook me up with a meeting and we'll see????
Well, Shu should be proud of me. Many women would go gaga over Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt but I go for the DETROIT basketball player!!!!! Go figure. Sean Connery might beat out Tayshaun though.
So, we finally made it home to a tired looking Shev who somehow managed to get our kid to bed at a normal hour. She has to come over more often - HINT HINT HINT!!!!
And that was my birthday.
Jonah's is coming up on Thursday so I will keep you posted.........................

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I don't know what to say. I don't want to think about it. I don't like to hear about it. It stresses me out. And it pulls at my heart.

I read on Digital Irony's blog about the disengagement from Gaza being over. But I couldn't even read the whole thing. I just had to skim it. Because if I think too much about it, it makes me too sad. I read about the young people who holed up in the yeshiva and the girls who took over the abandoned house. And how they had to be carried out by soldiers because they were fighting so hard. And about the boys and men who held onto the floor boards, so it would be harder to remove them. These poor people. I am so far removed from the situation and so far away from the country that I hear about these things and they make me sad. But when I take a minute to process it, I get choked up with tears in my eyes. These people are being kicked out of their homes. Their beautiful homes and lives. And being sent to live in caravans and hotels. How do they deal with it? How can this have happened??? What will be next?
My sister-in-law is very involved in what's going on there. From protesting to helping the newly homeless people pack into their temporary teeny homes and trailers. I spoke to my brother-in-law the other day and he gave me a brief run down on what it's like in Israel now. And at a glance on my other brother-in-laws blog, I saw that he went down to Nitzanim to do manuel labor - in whatever was needed. For these people who voluntarily but unhappily left their homes. Because what else were they supposed to do??
And I just feel sick to my stomach about it. For a couple reasons, in no particular order.......

1. I have not really followed what is going on. If somebody were to ask me questions about it, I would hardly be able to answer a thing. I feel guilty about that. Like I should know what's going on in MY country and MY homeland. But on the other hand, I don't want to know. Because it makes me feel worse about my #2 and #3 reasons.

2 - I am not doing anything about it. I know I am thousands of miles away. But I still feel like there are plenty of Americans that probably are doing something. Somehow. Supporting or protesting. Or just educating themselves. And I am just sitting here.

3 - I am not there. The fact that I am not in Israel right now hurts so badly that I don't even want to think about my country. I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to know. Because the more I hear, the harder it is to be so far. I can barely even read my siblings (in law but whatever) blogs because they ARE there. And even with all the turmoil going on, I know they are lucky.
I just know that I belong there and should be there and that dream of mine is so far in the future. I was there during the worst part of the Intifada. I was there and involved. Volunteering for MDA. Ready to rush to the scene of any terrorist attack. Educating people about the situation, about what TO DO. About Israel. There were days I didn't think I would make it. There were days when I was scared to death. But every minute I was there and every day that I made it through. I knew I belonged. And I couldn't leave my country then. I was there then and I should be there now.

But I'm not.

Cystic Fibrosis Wristbands

The CF wristbands have arrived. So if you wanted one, just hand over your donation and you can have it. Haha. Or contact me and we can work it out.
Thanks for your support all!!!

Stop the world, I want to get off!!

Well, I don't really want to get off. But sometimes I do feel like my world is spinning and I am going in all kinds of different directions. So much to do, so little time. And life just keeps going.

I know that doesn't really explain why I haven't blogged in a LONG time. I was in St. Louis from the 12th to the 19th. Shauli was there for the weekend with me and we spent some time in good old Chesterfield where I grew up. We stayed with a family that is basically one of my second families and it was SOOOO great hanging out there. The fast was no fun but we survived so that is always good. My darling husband left to go back to work in Detroit on Monday which was sad. It was also sad that I had to get him to the airport by 6:30 in the morning. But it was nice of me. :)
And midnight Monday night I was back at the airport (with Jonah in tow because he decided to wake up just as I was leaving - no, I wasn't going to leave him by himself! Grandma was there and she is quite the babysitter. Jonah loves her which is SOO cute!!) So 12:30 I picked up Adrian and Kerry (my bro and sis-in-law) who had just flown in from Seattle. Tuesday we all just hung out. My mom came and picked us up and we headed out to her house where we did more hanging out. Jonah is the first grandbaby/nephew on our side of the family - so there was a lot of sitting around and watching him perform. :)
Wednesday was AWESOME!! We went on a canoe trip down the river. Jonah had on a cute little life preserver that was almost as big as him and round like a barrel. He looked ready to go down Niagra Falls. And we got him some little blue swim trunks (to wear over his swim diaper) with red hawaiin flowers. And of course, some water shoes (that were a bit too big but he can wear them next year too). Jonah behaved GREAT on the trip (he was sitting on my lap in the middle of the canoe while Adrian and Kerry paddled). And I only freaked out when we drove through some tree branches and about 15 Daddy-Long Leg spiders ended up in our boat. AHHHHH!!!!
Thursday was fun too. We went to the St.Louis Zoo which has changed a lot from when I was a kid. I loved it then and it's even better now. And they have an AMAZING Childrens zoo where you can hang out with goats, feed canary type birds and do all kinds of other cool things. Jonah LOVED that!! My Mom and I tried out the new dairy kosher restaurant in U. City called Shmeers. How Jewish can you sound???? The salad was good, the pizza was so-so (the sauce was too sweet for my liking), and the French Fries were INCREDIBLE!!!!!!
Friday morning I flew home all by myself with Jonah but he was practically an angel on the flight. WOW!!! Of course, he woke up that morning at quarter to 6 and was up literally until the planes wheels touched the ground at quarter to 10 (or 11 Detroit time).
Shabbas was great. We welcomed back our dear friends the AP's from Israel so that was a good reunion!!! Shabbas lunch was in Shul in honor of Esty and Jose's upcoming wedding. And then Esty's Shabbas kallah that afternoon. And Sunday was their wedding. Wow, was that a great wedding!!!! I danced till I could dance no more and my legs are STILL hurting. And I cheered so much that my throat was sore. There is just something really special about going to a good friends wedding. And when you are friends with both sides that is REALLY awesome. The happiness you feel for the two is soooooooooooo special!!!! Good times, good times.
And here I am. Back at work. The craziness of back to school sales is beginning. It's nice because it keeps me busy while I am there but it can also be exhausting!! Those crazy customers. :)
Next week is a big week. I turn 26 on Monday and Jonah turns 1 on Thursday. WOAH!!!
Party plans are in the works for the joint birthday of Jonah and Noa. We hope to have a location picked out tomorrow. BUSY BUSY.
That's all for now. Hope you all feel caught up.
Well, it's time to get back on the crazy ride we call LIFE.........................................

Thursday, August 11, 2005


There are some things that you don't imagine you will ever have to say to anyone................
And then you have kids.

This morning I found myself saying, "Jonah, DON'T eat the garbage can!!!"

Interesting, isn't it? Anyone out there have any phrases you didn't think you would ever use?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Jonah has slept through the night 4 out of the last 5 nights!!!! Hooorah!!! And the one night, he was sick so I think that is what kept him up.
So, when do I get to say, "Yes, my child sleeps through the night."?
What a beautiful thing!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Long Time No.....

Sorry I have not written for a few days but I wanted to make sure that everyone who came to this site saw the CF wristband blog. Anywhoo, now I made my order for 20 bracelets so we can move on. Although if anyone is still interested - let me know!!
I feel like I am on a dry spell in the blog department. Not sure why. Maybe I am so busy getting back into Detroit life that I have no time to be creative. However, at work I am constantly telling myself that I have to blog about this or that. Crazy customers and random thoughts. Maybe I should start writing them down.
Shu and I are flying to St. Louis on Friday so I am REALLY excited about that. Although nervous about flying with Jonah. I hope it won't be too awful. Anyone have suggestions about how to keep an 11 month old quiet and happy on a flight? Aside from drugging them??
My brother and sister-in-law will be coming to St. Louis on Tuesday so I will hang out with them until my return trip (ALONE with Jonah!!!) on Friday, the 19th. Not enough time to spend with them but I guess I will take what I can get.
Then we get reunited with the AP's - YAY!!!!!!! And then Esty and Jose's wedding - woohoo!! My bro-in-law and sis-in-law will be in town from Boston with their cutie patutie kiddos. Fun!
And then my birthday - I feel like I am getting OLD. Then Jonah's birthday - woah, how did my Baby Boy get to be a one year old?????
And then we are already in September.
Ooh, a few things I want to do - go to the Renaissance Festival (anyone want to join me?) and maybe take Jonah to the State Fair.
So, that's all for now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cystic Fibrosis Wristband

Show your support for the 30,000 people with Cystic Fibrosis by wearing this bright blue rubber wristband and raising awareness for the need for a cure. Money generated from the distribution of these "Breathe" bracelets will support the vital research and care programs of the CF Foundation. The word "Breathe" and "" appear in block letters on the wristband.

Would anyone like to contribute $2.00 for one of these wristbands? They are available in Adult (8") or Youth (7") sizes. I wanted to order one but minimum order is 10. Anywhoo, if you don't live in Detroit, I will mail it to you.
Let me know!! THANKS!!

Monday, August 01, 2005


A beach? In Detroit? Yup!
Shu and I spent the morning saying that we should really do something outdoors today because it was beautiful weather but neither of us knew what to do or where to go. So I cleaned up the house and Shu was getting ready to do some yard work. Then our neighbors saved the day. :) They called and said they were headed to Metro Beach about half hour away and do we want to come? Beach vs. House and Yard Work? Heck yah, we want to go!
So we packed up a little of this and that and off we went. Now granted, as our California neighbors pointed out, the size of this beach wasn't quite as impressive as in San Diego and the sand wasn't as white or as smooth as in San Diego and the water was full of seaweed and what not but wow, what a great place to go (Digital, you know I am just giving you a hard time - right?). I happen to LOVE hanging out at the beach. Not for the lay out, do nothing aspect of it. But I just love the sight of the water and the sand and the smell of the sunscreen and the BBQ's going. I love the environment.
So we hung out there for awhile, ate our lunches, Jonah had his first playing in the sand experience (and he didn't eat it). We went to the water shooters part of the park which was fun and just spent quality time in the outdoors. It was the perfect day for it. So kudos to our neighbors for the suggestion and we are up for a last minute trip anytime. By the way, when are we going camping?
Ooh, big news - Jonah said his first word today. He said "Ball" (or baw in his pronunciation). As Shauli said, "it's not Mommy or Daddy but Ball. That's my boy!!!" The truth is, he babbles all the time and has probably been talking for awhile but it's hard to say if he really knows what he is referring to. Like he sometimes says "baba or badu" when we give him a bottle. And he definatly says Mama and Dada but we don't know if he is referring to us individually. But with ball, there was no doubt. So that's EXCITING!!!
All in all, a good day.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Back to Life

Well, we have finally returned home and I hope that next week, life will return to normal. This past week has been pretty crazy and we were still trying to get back into things. My husband's boss came in with his family from Sunday to Tuesday so I hung out with the family while the men went off to work. It was fun and tiring!! We went to the zoo on Monday for about 4 hours and now I really want to get a membership. This was Jonah's first time to the zoo and I was curious to see if he would enjoy it yet. He loved it!! Part of it was the fact that he was with 3 other kids who he has become pals with and part of it was just the fascination with the animals. The Detroit zoo is set up pretty well so people can get close to the animals in some of the exhibits and Jonah was wide-eyed watching these creatures move around and do stuff. It was fun to watch his expressions!! The zoo is only about 5 minutes away from our house and is open year round so it will be a nice a place to visit with him and good, enjoyable exercise for me!!
Monday night we had them over for a BBQ which was nice. On Tuesday we headed to Dunkin Donuts for a late breakfast and then to a friend's house. She has a 7 month old baby so it was like a Baby/Kids meeting right there. Jonah is getting really into playing "with" other kids and especially LOVES watching older kids and interacting with them. He's good with babies too....more or less.......
We were also having an internet issue - it wasn't working and they said they couldn't get a tech out to us until FRIDAY!!! So if I wanted to get any work done, I had to go to my in-laws. However, many of my e-mails and info I needed were on my computer at home. So that didn't work so well. But after calling Comcast every day, twice a day and explaining how we desperatly needed our Internet because both my husband and I work from home and need to be online and our home phone is run through the internet, we finally found someone to listen!! The customer service rep, Isaac, contacted dispatch to see if they could squeeze us in and called us at about 11 that night to tell us someone would be out on Wednesday to help us. So that was good!!
The tech came out and fixed it and that was that. Shu has been working from home which will be nice when he moves into his "office" downstairs. It's hard for me to be home with the baby and see Shu sitting right there in the other room and not be able to say hey honey, watch Jonah for a minute? I have to do such and such. Cuz he's right there. But I must remind myself - he is working. Also, Jonah loves his daddy and wants to do what he is doing. So if Daddy is typing on the computer, Jonah wants to be there right next to him. Causes a bit of trouble.
One of these days we hope to finish the basement, although in the more immediate future, we need to do something about the room down there so Shu can have his office. And that will make it somewhat easier.
Jonah has gone back to his babysitter and LOVES her and the other kids there. By the third day, he jumped off my lap and headed over to play with a 3 year old friend he had made the day bfore. He hardly even glanced at me. I guess that is a good thing but it's crazy to see his independance.
He is getting into more of a bedtime routine - WOOHOO!!! This means he goes to sleep at night between 7:45 and 9:00 and it's not much of a struggle. He wakes up once at night and goes back to sleep pretty easily (although we need to go in and lay him back down or give him his pacifier). And then he wakes up at about 6am. At that point, I am truly not functioning so I just bring him into our room and he either conks right out or crawls around on the bed for half an hour before falling asleep in some weird position like upside down or sprawled across my legs. And then he is usually out until about 8:30 or 9:00. So this is much more liveable than the way things were in Pittsburgh where it was a fight to get him to sleep at night and a real struggle to get him to go back to bed after he woke up multiple times in the middle of the night. And he was raring to go at 7 in the morning (or so). So I'm happy. Not quite using the Ferber method (except to tire him out) but more using the Baby Whisperer method. Whatever works at the time, really.
But since he goes to sleep so early, it made it difficult when I had a crazy craving for ice cream and Shu was out of town. I did debate putting Jonah in the car seat and just going to the drive through but I restrained myself and waited until Friday to have my Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip. Mmmmmmmmm.....................................

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Well, it has almost come time for the AP's to come home and take their car back from us. Despite all the craziness that has occured with that car, we will be sad to see it go. It certainly holds some insane memories!!! The most recent of which you can read about on Shu's site.
Anywhoo, unfortunatly we are going to have to get a second car. Shu is going to be driving all over Michigan for his job (until he hires someone else) and I am going to be back and forth when I return to Kohl's (woohoo) and hopefully to take Jonah to some new places because he is really at the age where he LOVES discovering new things. Plus the general errands that moms need to run. So now comes the question - how? what? where? when?. HOW do we pay for this car (although no one reading this blog can really answer that - unless you have a winning lottery ticket you want to give me). WHAT kind of car do we get - make, model, new, used, lease vs. buy? WHERE do we get it from - ads in the paper or possibly Shu's cousin who works at a Chrysler dealership? And when - well, I guess sometime in August...
Shu's family seems pretty into leasing cars but I have always felt weird about it. Because you pay and you pay and you pay and you don't have anything at the end. Kind of like renting an apartment. On the other hand, if there is a problem with the car you just bring it back and they fix it. You don't have to pay and pay and pay when there are problems with it (like when the air stops working in the MIDDLE of the boiling summer.....twice).
So, I just thought I would throw this out there. What do YOU think of renting vs. leasing? Any Chryslers that are good?
I really know nothing about cars so we are starting from scratch here. Oh, except I really want a Dodge Intrepid because I had that as a rental car once and fell in LOVE with it. But it's not a Chrysler so I may be out of luck.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Only In Israel

"At least we can all still daven together. The world will never understand."

I got this picture sent to me via e-mail (and don't know who to give photo credit to) so I thought I would share it. Quite a sight. Only in Israel, right?
Speaking of Israel, my friend Shlomi called me from there today. It's been ages since I have spoken to him and it was nice to hear his voice. He got some phone service where he pays 10 NIS a month and gets unlimited calls to anywhere. I should have asked what service it is. Pretty good deal.
Oh yah, and he is looking for a blonde, green eyed girl. Thought I would pass that message along for him. :)
That's all for now. I have to stop procrastinating and finish packing so I can move back to DETROIT tomorrow!!! Hoooooray!!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Why is my baby such a faker?
He knows how to climb down one step (head first of course). We know that he knows how because we have seen him do it (when he thinks we aren't looking). But if he is on that one step and we are in the room or were playing with him a little earlier, he will sit on that step and whine and cry until we come over and take him off the step. And he will do a whole production and make it look like he has no clue how to get off the step.
Why is he such a trickster?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Noa - you better come on home!!! And Jenna, you better watch out!! Jonah spent all weekend with TWINS. And they are moving in on your man. Well, one of them more than the other - but you know.
And a HUGE Kol Hakavod/Way To Go to my friends Sho and Benny because they certainly have their hands full with those feisty girls (again, one more than the other). What a visit!!!
Just thought I would share these cute pics with the rest of you. Doesn't Jonah look big??

RIP "Baby Car"

We just drove past the site of my fateful accident from the first night of Chanukah 2000. After I retold the story to Shu, I decided it was a blog story. And typing it up in Word would give me something to do while we drive. So here you are….

It was a cold wintery night………I was on my way to Pittsburgh from New York for Mayer’s bar-mitzvah. I was with 2 friends and twins that called to ask for a ride. Twin M and Twin T. We were driving at night and after a few hours, I was exhausted. So Twin T offered to drive. I was very protective of my “Baby Car” which was a red 1990 Geo Prism that had belonged to my Dad. Since these twins seemed to be responsible, good people, I assumed (and you know what happens when you ASS U ME) that they were responsible and good drivers too. Perhaps Twin M is. But maybe not since they are identical so aren’t they from the same egg? Maybe they have the same driving traits? But that’s more than I really want to think about.

Back to my Baby Car. Twin T offered to drive and I asked if he had insurance and will he be very careful. And most important, if he breaks my baby car will he fix it???? And he said YES. I should have had him sign on the dotted line. So there we were. Twin T driving with Twin M in the front passenger seat. And me and my two friends in the back seat. I was fast asleep before we even left the parking lot. But as I was drifting off, I remember wondering if I should put my seat belt on. I was sooo tired and it would take a lot of maneuvering because we were all smushed in the back seat. So I decided not to bother anyone by making them move and I thought, “I’m sure nothing will happen anyway.” Famous last words?

BAM…..BAM…..BAM…. I thought I was back in Israel. Driving back to Jerusalem with Eli after dropping my mom off at the airport. Eli falls asleep at the wheel and we hit the guardrail. Good thing it was there. Because there was a cliff on the other side.
Then I realize I am not in Israel with Eli. I am in my Baby car and we are swerving back and forth on the road. The next thing I see is a forest and I think we are going over the side of the road, into the forest. We’re going to hit a tree and I wonder if death will hurt. Will it be quick? How will it happen?
My head is hitting the ceiling of the car and against the door. And I keep repeating some choice words as the car spins around and around and around until we smash into the guardrail and go a few more feet……
We didn’t die.
We tumbled out of the car and I asked if everybody was ok. The entire night trucks had been speeding along that road and for the minute that it took for the accident to happen, the road was clear. Since it was right outside of a tunnel, no one could see coming out. And the accident could have been a lot worse. I saw the side of the car was a little smashed in and the tire was flat. I just kept saying, ok, it’s not so bad. At least everyone is ok. Thank G-d everyone is ok. Then I saw the trunk open and our bags all over the road. I walked behind the car and saw the real damage. It made me feel sick. It was like looking at a horrible wound. I finally had to look away.

We were all pretty dazed but had to get our heads together. Someone collected the bags from the road, we tried to flag down passing cars and trucks but no one stopped. There was a sign nearby that said NO CALL BOXES NEXT 50 MILES. My friend’s phone had no reception. My battery was dead and charger didn’t work. And while the roads were clear, there was about a foot of snow everywhere else. We saw a house with no lights on across the highway and about ¼ mile back, a building of some sort. So we figured we would just have to hike over there. We left one twin and one friend with the car. We told them they may not want to sit in it because it’s dripping stuff all over and we thought it might explode (after all that is what happens in the movies). But then again, it was freezing outside. So it was their call. The 3 of us began the hike.

We got to the building which turned out to be a maintenance building for the Penn turnpike. They called the cops and we called my friend’s dad to come pick us up. But there was a blizzard in Pittsburgh so he wasn’t happy about it. He ended up coming with my friend’s sister and since the road to Pittsburgh was bad, they wanted to stay in a motel for the night and finish the drive in the morning. But there was only one available motel room. Well, guess who got the room. My friend, her sister, and my friend’s dad. We lit the Chanukah menorah and thanked G-d for our Chanukah miracle. Then the rest of us slept in the car. And we could only turn the heat on for a few minutes every half an hour. What the ????
To make what turned into a very long story – somewhat shorter, I had a slight concussion and was sick as a dog at the bar-mitzvah. I ended up in the hospital later that week for what turned out to be (figured out months later) two herniated discs in my lower back. Luckily, I had good health insurance. But neither insurance (not mine nor his) would pay for the damage to the car. It was a couple thousand dollars of damage and a few hundred more to keep it at the garage until I decided what to do with it. Which was basically have it taken to a junkyard.

Things got pretty ugly between me and Twin T. He refused to take responsibility for anything and tried blaming it on the road, black ice, my (new) tires, my car, anything he could think of. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if he fell asleep at the wheel or was just going too fast. The cop could not find any ice (black or otherwise) on the road and said Twin T must have been speeding coming out of the tunnel and around a turn. Twin T says the cop is wrong and it was just a fluke.

I know I won’t forget the miracle of the first night of Chanukah. I’m lucky to be alive. We all are. I just wish my Baby Car could be here with us.

And kinda wish certain people would learn to take responsibility for their actions…………….not that I am bitter. No, not at all……

Oh yah, ALWAYS BUCKLE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!