Sunday, November 26, 2006

Apparantly, it IS possible to have butternut squash for breakfast, lunch and dinner...

The turkey was lovely, but according to Malka, Thanksgiving means one thing, and one thing only. The NEW love of her life, behold, the butternut squash:

I made it with a drizzle of olive oil, some cinnamon and nutmeg. That's it. Then scoop out the flesh and "smoosh." ALL food PALES in comparrison to the lovely, delectable butternut squash.

She did dabble in a bit of tofu this evening, AFTER the bowl of butternut squash happiness was VISIBALLY empty. And she liked it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thank G-D it was me, and not her...

Juno, our eldest fur child at 16 years young, has been SO loving and gentle with Malka. She lets her toddle on over and grab her fur, with out so much as a reaction. Well, OK, perhaps the occasional glance in our direction, as if to say, OY, kids!

This morning, Malka was doing her usual couch cruising, and Juno was at the other end. Malka went for it, and Juno growled, as if to say: "Sorry kid, I haven't had my coffee yet, I'm not in the mood, please come back later, OK?" But Malka giggled, and grabbed again. Juno growled again, Malka giggled again, grabbed again, Juno growled again, and I went in to move Malka's hands out of the way, and plop her on the floor. Juno chose to give ME the bite instead of Malka. And one tooth broke skin. I calmly picked up Malka, told Juno thanks for letting me know how she feels, and brought Malka into the bedroom, asking Narda to keep an eye on Malka for a second, while I cleaned up the "area." I washed it, put some of Malka's bactoban (basically prescription neosporin) on it, followed up with a band-aid and went about my morning.

When I got to work, the EEEVIL lure of "Dr. Google" was calling. Yeowza! Um, if you want to be FREAKED out, go do a search using only the words "cat bite." Eek. I had to make an appointment with my faboo doctor anyway to talk about all of the anxiety stuff and to get a referral for a (gulp) psychiatrist. I also casually mentioned to the guy making appointments that my sweet little old lady cat gave me a bite this am, and I was sure it was fine, but that Dr. Faboo should know. SHE (not an advice nurse) calls me back in FIVE minutes, admonishing me for not going straight to the ER. That cat bites are serious. She said she wants me in today to get a 'scrip for antibiotics. Twice a day for 2 weeks. OK, um, she may not have been aware that my "Health Anxiety" was at a peak. So I freaked out. But I was able to get an appointment for 3:30 today, and the lovely diversion of transporting the Torah (yet again) to another venue for a Bar Mitzvah did wonders to occupy my mind in the interim.

I got to the doctor's office early, by 3pm, but my doctor was leaving for the day, and I saw another doctor. She took one look at my finger, and said "you'll be fine." I started crying right then and there. I then had to briefly explain the health anxiety thing, and she just reassured me "You'll be fine, this is totally OK, it looks great. You just have to let us know if it gets yucky and pus-like." Now mind you, on the subway ride over, I was looking at the bandaged finger, SURE of the fact that it was red, swollen, and warm. ALL the signs of infection. She gave me antibiotics, a tetnus shot, and I was sent on my merry way.

I went and got some soup for lunch (I was too freaked out to eat earlier), while I waited for my perscription to be filled, and popped an amoxycillian as soon as I picked up the 'scrip. Picking up Malka from daycare brought another form of reprieve from the anxiety and fear, and seeing her giggly happy face that was just as happy to see mine, well, it made my day that much brighter. And then Narda called, and mind you, she's "," (I know it's an incorrect phrase, but it's um, how we say it...) with the DVFH" AND subbing over at Lion King this week, but she was concerned about ME. She was worried. (I SO love that woman!) A co-worker at Lion King (who is studying to be a vet tech) told her that we have to have the cats checked for Bartonella I called and left a message for our vet; but with the help of Dr. Google, I think they are free and clear (it's primarily transmitted through fleas, and Baruch Ha'Shem, we are flea free, with indoor cats), but I still want them brought in and tested. And until we get the results, Malka will be kept at a much larger distance from them than usual.

And for now, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I have the turkey in the brine, the rice is made, and I have to go have glass of wine #2, and make the stuffing. I'm letting the "area" breathe for a bit, but it will be back under antibiotic ointment and a bandaid overnight.

Thank goodness for wine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


So um, did I mention that there will be only FOUR (4) adults, one baby, and three (3) poultry loving cats at our house on Thursday, and, um, I'm making a 22 pound turkey.

I usually reserve the bird weeks in advance. But, MP3 keeps us on our toes. So off to Whole Foods (aka, whole paycheck) we go on Saturday for a little shopping adventure (most everything else came via Fresh Direct - ah, the bliss of grocery delivery services!). MP3 LOVES LOVES LOVES to go in the shopping cart - it's closer to eye level with Eemah, and she can giggle all she wants, and play with the stuff behind her. Plus, I can keep an eye on her mood, and hand her rice cakes should she get close to a meltdown.

So I DO NOT RECOMMEND going to Whole Foods the SATURDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING. BAD IDEA. But we went, none the less. And there were just about three (3) free-range, antibiotic-free turkeys left. 10, 12 and 22 pounds. I don't know HOW to make a bird less than 18 pounds, so I got the 22 pounder, and figured that "Uncle" Bobby and "Auntie" Jeannette would be thrilled to have turkey sandwiches all next week, too. Because I DO NOT KNOW how to cook for less than 20 people at a time. I'm a Jewish mother (Oh MY GAWRSH, I can't believe I just said that - wow, I'm having a moment here), who inherited my Bubbe's z"l soul in so many ways, especially in the kitchen. It was always my fantasy to write a cook book-cum-mini-novel entitled: "A little bit of this, and a little bit of that; recipes and stories from the old country." And I just may do it someday, too...

So here's Thursday's menu:
One 22 pound, brined turkey, with rosemary and olive oil stuffed skin
Wild Rice, raisin and mushroom stuffing
Collard greens
Fried peas and mushrooms
Butternut squash
Roasted red potatoes with olive oil, Zatar and garlic
Velma's z"l candied Yams
LOTS of wine
Bobby's bringing dessert, and Jeannette's bringing this AWESOME casserole she calls: "Broccoli and cheese white trash casserole." It's TO DIE FOR.

What are you having? And are you cooking, or going somewhere?

Now pardon me, but I have to go and cut mushrooms and make a stuffing and pick up a baby from daycare...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Note to self....

Do NOT bring out the "chicken of happiness" AFTER the "Mango of ecstasy."

Mango trumps chicken.


You silly, silly, Eemah.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


So many moons back, I came out as a hypochondriac. My fabulous doctor corrected me, and said I had "health anxiety." Let's take a look at the "anxiety" part of the phrase. (From dictionary dot com): "Synonyms 1. fear, foreboding; worry, disquiet. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties."

A while back, I had a diagnosis of GERD - Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. It explained away a lot of my heartburn-gas-cum "fear of pending heart attack" feelings. I've been on acid reducers for a number of months now, and if I have heartburn now? It's my own damn fault, which basically means I said fuck it, and had Mexican food, or citrus, or cheese.

My doctor said that we'd work on the symptoms, and see if removing the symptoms removed the anxiety. And we'd go from there. So the symptoms were removed within a week of starting Aciphex. And I felt great. For a while. Until I heard about someone I know who had a heart attack due to an infection that got out of hand and went unchecked. So I started to freak out about my heart health again. After some time passed, and my symptoms were under control, life continued status quo. Then we heard about a friend who had an awful ordeal in childbirth, had an infection from her c-section, and suffered a pulmonary embolism. She is now doing MUCH MUCH better, but it was touch and go for quite some time. It sparked my anxiety again. I figure, hey, I'm fat, I smoked for 18 years, and let's face it, outside of the 1 mile walk to Malka's daycare every day, I'm not exercising. Plus, add in the stress of a child, owning property, two senior citizen cats, a partner, a relatively new job, and let's face it, life can throw some stressors out there.

But then I was feeling OK for a while, Blogapalooza was there to take my mind off of things. The preparation, and the actual event. And then I read an article in Real Simple Magazine this month about a woman who was in perfect health, had awesome ekg's, wonderful cholesterol, good blood pressure, etc. But she still had to have bypass surgery, because her arteries were SO clogged. I was reading about her symptoms, and spending all day yesterday and today wondering if my tingly left hand was a symptom. I've had excellent ekg's, my cholesterol is 162, and my blood pressure is 120 over 80 on a bad day; 116 over 70 or so on average.

I have had a referral to a cardiologist for about 4 months now. I haven't called. When the referral was given, it was becuase I was having palpitations. My doctor told me that palpitations can be caused by stress. The simple knowledge of this eased the actual palpitations themselves. The other part of the reason that I haven't called is that I'm afraid that they might actually find something. And part of me is worried that they won't. Which would mean that I have anxiety.

I shared with Narda tonight a fear that I thought I had never told anyone, but me, being the boundary-less wonder that I am, apparantly had. When I was younger, in my teens, I would often be found saying that I'd never make it to 40. Gulp. Well, 40 is right around the corner, and I WANT to be here. Well into my 100's, thankyouverymuch. But the fear? Is that I jinxed myself - self fulfilling prophecy and all that crap.

Talking to Narda tonight, and even writing about it seems to have lessened the anxiety somewhat.

I never thought I'd be "one of those people" that "needed" anxiety medication. I was so wrong. Humility is something to be so incredibly grateful for.

I will still make an appointment with the cardiologist, but I will also talk to my doctor about this anxiety. And ask for medication. I cannot continue to function in this state of constant fear about my health. My bubbe, z"l was a self-described "Worrier." I didn't get it. Until now. They say that traits tend to skip a generation. For further proof - NEITHER of my parents drink alcohol, coffee, or smoked cigarettes. One of my jobs as a teen was to call the waitress over to refill Bubbe's coffee, because it "got cold." You get the point about the whole "skipping a generation thing." Now pardon me while I go have some wine.

I did stick to my food plan today. Which is something. And I drank a lot of water. Which is a good thing, too. I do know that removing the physical symptoms will help alleviate the anxiety in a big way. Losing weight is part of that process. Doing things to help take care of myself is part of that too.

Thanks for letting me share.

Just sign on the dotted line

So this morning, Narda and I met with the woman who will be facilitating the legalization of Malka's adoption.

We signed lots of paperwork, certifying that we are who we say we are, that we do not have a criminal history, and um, I had to confess to stealing a Hello Kitty Crayon set when I was 10, that Malka will indeed have a gazillion names, and the like.

We learned that she was born at 6:56am - we hadn't known that before.

The next step is for her (lawyer lady) to send the documents "downtown" to the Surrogate court (MUCH better than Family Court, everyone tell us) and then for us to wait for a court date. NYS Courts will have to give us a date within 60 days of "approving" our paperowrk.

So we could finalize Malka's adoption as early as January.


(and um, for further squeeing, please go send some exciting adopting love to Art-Sweet!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Closer still...

So, for those who were un-aware, Malka is not officially our daughter yet.

Tomorrow, we head off to our adoption attorney to sign more paperwork. We will more than likely have a court date in February. But they say that adoptions in New York State can take up to 15 months, so we aren't too worried.

It IS rather exciting, however, that we are *this* much closer to officially being her Eemahot.

We also set up our December meeting with Birth Mama V, and we'll go see her on Monday, December 11th. We want to get her a Christmas present, but aren't sure if she's told her family about Malka yet, so our social worker suggested something "suggestive" of her name and personality. On placement day, we gave her a ceramic angel, since Angel is the name V gave her. But I really want to be creative about it. SO I'm open to ideas - any "themed" gifts that go with Malka Velma Angel?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Because Malka went to bed early...

Taken from Cali, who is asking us to steal her meme... (answers in bold)

1) If somebody said you were like a breakfast cereal, which one would you be and why?
Well, my Ego says Lucky Charms, because I'd love to be considered someone's lucky charm, but my id says generic rice crispies, because I tend to be a bit snap, crackle and pop...

2) How do you take your coffee/tea?
2 Slpenda and fat free half and half. (I'm a NY'er after all!)

3) Your bedroom is on fire. You can only reach in & grab ONE thing. Do you grab your photo album or your journals?
Photo Albums, easy. But, um, I'd actually get the fur balls, because that's where they sleep - the photo albums are in the living room.

4) When I see
Dati (Orthodox folks)
I wish we could blend in easier
so that everyone else would know that
Malka's a Jewish baby.

5) Got porn?
Does Showtime "After Hours" on demand count?

6) If I could meet
myself when I was 8 years old
and explain why I
need to find other ways to comfort and nurture myself
I would never
overeat again.

7) What is the worst pet name in the history of your family?
Shatzie - the Daschund

8) I would eat a bowl of
Guacamole for free,
but if you want me to eat a bowl of
Pork fried rice
you'd have to pay me $Enough to pay off the mortgage - I think the Rabbis would be OK with that... .

9) What 80's tv star would make you giggle like a school girl?
Jo from Facts of Life - SWOON!

10) What age was your best and why?
I'm not sure if I'm there yet - I can think of awful and wonderful tings for each age. 30 was pretty rocking, however, as it's the year I met Narda. And 35 was the year we met Malka - it's cheesy, I know, but true.

Friday, November 10, 2006

thinking back...

As I look back at posts like this one: Sucky road to parenthood story #1 or this one: Story #2, I remember the time before blogging, where we tried, for 16 cycles with donor sperm to try and get pregnant. I remember how I cried, fetal position on the bed the first time it didn't work, because I was certain that my Eastern-European ovaries would get me knocked up quickly. I remember how each time we switched donors that I was hopeful again. I remember getting more and more bitter and angry at each pregnancy I saw, each BFP I read about, each adoption that was successful. I remember thinking it would never work, and looking despair right in the kisser, feeling my soul sucked out of me each time.

I still haven't forgotten how that feels, it's just been lovingly and gently put up on a shelf in the recesses of my memory by the tiniest of hands, and the warmest of hearts. Malka has melted the bitter icicle that had become my hope. She is just about the best thing that has ever happened to me (outside of Narda, of course!).

I wish SO much for those friends I've made along the way to experience the power of motherhood. You have all been there for me, some longer than others, but you have all been there - and then when Malka came home the support and love continued. I am forever grateful.

One of my friends who has been there since I first put down my cigarettes, almost 4 years ago, and has been on the journey with us and continues on that journey herself is having her third FET cycle today. She's had years of timed baby making sex, IUI's IVF's and now FET's. S, I pray that today's the day. I love you, and thank you for being there for me, and I hope you know how much we (and especially boo boo baby bite-face)are pulling for you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

could it be true?

So long sad times!,
Go 'long bad times!,
We are rid of you at last
Howdy, gay times!
Cloudy gray times,
You are now a thing
Of the past, cause:

Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
Let us sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again
Altogether shout it now!
There's no one who can doubt it now
So let's tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again
Your cares and troubles are gone;
There'll be no more from now on
Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
Let us sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again

THANK YOU Montana and Virginia!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The nitty gritty, because I know you're dying to read it....

So all the past week, we were cleaning and de-clutteirng, and re-organizing, and the biggest thought running through my mind wasn't "Oh, I'm making this space so comfortable for our guests," but in fact, it was: "Damn! They won't see it the way it is on a normal basis." Silly, vain, me.

On Friday, I was en route to pick up MP3 from daycare, and I got the call that Kristen, Trista and Julia had landed. I gave them directions, and hurried up to get the muffin butt. We had a bit of time at home for last minute preparations, including starting dinner, and the doorbell rang. It was the ladies, and Trista's hair was just fabulous! Julia was all snuggly, due to her ear infection, poor boo. They settled in, and we began our chats and the girls played together. Well, more or less played with the same things, but not really together. Julia has this adorable thing that most 15 month olds have - the "I touched it, therefore it is mine" mentality. And Malka was like, "OK, but this one here, it's mine." And Julia was instantly bored with the object she was originally playing with, favoring Malka's newly acquired object. This went on for a while, and they finally settled in playing with separate toys that sang and beeped and whirred.

Dinner was being prepared, Kristen was filling us in on playing Killer Bunnies (a faboo game, I highly recommend it!), and Narda came home. We all chatted some more, dinner was ready, we fed the girls, except Julia wasn't too keen on eating, and we then shared the Shabbat experience with our visitors. We had a yummy dinner, followed by wine and Killer Bunnies. Jen, Cait and Natalie arrived mid-way through our game, and they made up for the lack of items that Trista and Kristen brought. A few trips to the car, and smiley, giggly Natalie won everyone over. We all talked about being nervous about the weekend, about ear infections, germs, plane rides and the like. We all pooped out around 11pm or so.

Saturday morning, coffee was made, and made again, and Hope, Megan and Quinn came over. ON TIME. At 9:30am. New Yorker's don't DO "on time," so I was still in my jammies. But hey, we were moms, so what's a bit of bra-less jammie time in front of friends? After MP3 woke up from her short morning nap, we all went off to a NY diner experience, walking past the beautiful changing leaves of Central Park. The diner folks didn't blink an eye at our caravan invading their space, and they were right on the money with highchairs, on time service and gracious accomodations. Malka was happy to share her Oat-e-o's with Natalie, and Natalie was VERY grateful and excited to have the experience. Malka also shared her rice cakes with Julia, who found them to be rather fun to eat as well. After we all felt a little more roley-poley, we walked back the mile or so to our place, and began our preparations for blog-a-palooza. Everyone was most helpful in terms of bringing stuff downstairs, and I was, truth be told, happy to have to run upstairs to "prep stuff" and check on the sleeping MP3.

I, like almost everyone who was there, suffer from a small social anxiety thing. I may be all bubbly and perky and self assured (or self-absorbed, depending on how you look at it), but even though I DESPERATELY want the spotlight on me? I FREAK THE FUCK OUT when it gets there. That's why my therapist is making a lot of money off of me. I'm one big contradiction.

But I digress. It was SO great to see people I already knew, and wonderful to meet those I've known for a while - like Jennifer said, there were those of us who knew one another from "way back," aka, the FF days, back when I was a smoker. And decided to quit in order to get knocked up. And that was about 4 years ago. People like Cat, who has become more than a sister in the trenches, she's become a friend. A genuine, bonafied, friend. And there were the bloggers, women I'd only read, and didn't have that previous connection with (aka, they didn't know the inner workings {or lack of workings} of my who-ha) But each and every one of you were gracious, inviting, kind, friendly, and fun to hug.

My one regret was that I didn't get more time to talk to the mommies to be - the bitter baddies, as I lovingly call them. I did get to go hang out with them in the smoking section for a bit, but then Narda got called into Lion King to sub, and well, I was on MP3 duty.

I really wanted more time with Jennifer, Bri, J and S, and Cali. I, like everyone I've read so far, can honestly share that I hope you liked me as much as I liked you guys, but if you didn't, that's OK too, because I have a therapy on Wednesdays at 5pm. It was really great hosting Jen and Cait and Natalie, because I already knew them, and got to bond even more with them, which was just wonderful. I'm also thrilled that we got to host Kristen and Trista and Julia, because, well, they're just as cool in person as I imagined, and I'm so glad that we got to know them in a more personal way. And Julia is even MORE adorable "IRL" (in real life) than she is in pictures.

Sunday was an easy, kick back day, we went to go have brunch and watch my friends Bobby and Janette kick butt in the marathon, except, they didn't stop to re-fuel and get water from us like they had planned to. They just kept running. Later, I found out that they wanted to make good time, and they both came in under four hours and 30 minutes. That's 4:30! Kristen and I were joking that we'd be the people the news cameras were following at midnight, cheering them on, crawling to the finish line. Yup, that'd be me.

I never know how to end these long posts, as I'm not the best writer, I tend to just write the way I speak, which is rather chatty and rambling. So forgive the randomness of some of this, and just revel in the fact that you are all awesome women, and it was an honor to meet each and every one of you.

PS - I SO wanted to mention everyone, and if you weren't mentioned here, just wait - you WILL be "name dropped" in the near future! That being said, I also wanted more time with Art Sweet, and her AWESOME Nikon D-70. SWOON.

Did you?

Look Out America!, originally uploaded by andrea z.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Das Boot, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

I'm still tired and we're still recovering, but this was a wonderful weekend, full of out of town guests, loads of babies, mommies, mommies to be, bloggers, and some good old fashioned wine consumption and second hand smoke inhaling (AH, I miss smoking sometimes...).

I'll write more when I have a free moment. But I will say that we got to see the boots. And the pants. And each other.

It was grand.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

C is for Cougie!

C is for Cougie!, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

Photo Friday - C is for ____

I chose Cougie - he's TWO c's in one!




I LOVE my Cougie-bear. He was Narda's mom's cat, and he, along with Juno, came home with us two summers ago after she passed away. He's a pain in the ass, and our lives will be much easier when he's gone to the rainbow bridge, but I love this little cat to bits, despite his peeing, pooping, and puking in ALL of the wrong places. He KNOWS he has me wrapped around his little 14 year old paw, and I'll admit here folks, I'm "Pussy" whipped...


He's cute as all get out, and really loveable. Just a little "special," if you catch my drift. For example, he LOVES being petted, but then gets overwhelmed and will turn to bite you. Now he's 14 years old, and his bites don't hurt at all, but still. He will also do his best to pee IN the litter box, but to him, it's just so "un-refined" that he barely goes in, and ultimately, misses, and we just have to clean the rug that the litter box is on anyway. He also poops in the shower. And his nickname USED to be "Sir Pukes-a-lot." But he's on 5 mg prednisone every other day and now he's just kind of "sir Pukes-sometimes." We put a golf ball in their dry food - it's supposed to slow him down with the eating thing, resulting in less pukage.

Oh yes, and because of the puking and peeing and pooping thing, we have a big ole plastic shower curtain on the bed, with a little rug down at the bottom for him. Juno has now taken over the little rug thing, and Cougie-bear has taken over my pillow, bless his little furry heart.

So my Photo Friday post is my homage to my Cougie-Cougs. Even though Narda reminds me that his name is Cougar, and it drives her nuts when I call him Cougie...