Friday, December 29, 2006

And sometimes Dr. Google can be reassuring...

So as many of you know, I'm very excited to celebrate FOUR years as a non-smoker in a few days. It also marks the four year anniversary of our actively trying to start a family. It took three years into that "activity" to be blessed with she that is Malka Palka Pooka Palka. And NOW, looking back, I can honestly and truthfully say that the wait was worth it. Each and every family that I have met on this journey, that has been blessed with a family addition as well, has been blessed with THE perfect baby for their family. We are no different. We are SO lucky, it's amazing.

But I digress. As many of you also know, I am currently on lexapro, for an anxiety disorder. My anxiety tends to focus on my health. If I get a splinter, I SLATHER on the antibiotic ointment, for fear of infection. If I have heartburn, I'm convinced it's something more serious. It's sadly my nature. The lexapro has REALLY REALLY helped. I feel my edges rounding, and I'm not feeling as anxious as I used to feel. Sure, I get waves of anxiety, but they aren't the multi-day panic-fest they used to be - the waves are usually over in a few hours.

So I've had these sores in my mouth for about a week. And now I'm sick - the cold (either daycare virus #37, or the lovely re-circulated airplane air from the ride from NY to Chicago) has hit, and I just bought An Inconvienent Truth and watched it. WOW. Amazing movie, and puts everything I already knew into a much more urgent perspective. But it's also the kind of movie that can remind you that unless we act NOW, the world is due to end in about a week. So that kind of level of seriousness can trigger my anxiety buttons QUITE easily. So as I'm watching the movie, I was CONVINCED that the 18 years I spent as a smoker had manifested itself in mouth cancer. I know a few people who have been recently diagnosed with cancer, Janet being the most recent. Her diagnosis came while dad was here in NY for Malka's birthday. It's breaast cancer. She's very optimistic, and looking at it as an "obstacle." WOW. I am in awe of that woman's strength. So yes, I had myself convinced that I had mouth cancer. All in the span of an afternoon.

When the movie was over, I went to google. I looked up: "Canker sore." I was VERY relieved to read the information, along with the google image search which showed EXACTLY what I have going on in my mouth.

So for ONCE, "Dr. Google" was my friend. I had actually put a self-imposed ban on googling symptoms, as that previously mentioned splinter? It could be Mycetoma.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I've wanted one for a while...

For a while now, I've become increasingly frustrated with my current point and shoot digital camera. I've missed a LOT of great pictures of Malka because of the ginormous lag time between when I depress the shutter and when the picture actually takes.

Narda had said that for Chanukah I could get a new camera. I had my HEART set on a Nikon D50. It cost a wee much, however, so I told Narda I'd go half-sies with her on it. After I brought it home, she said I didn't owe her a dime.


All I can say is: "Look out internet, here comes some SERIOUS MP3 pictures!"

Thanks, baby. You rock.*

*Narda confessed that I didn't owe her for half of it, because she said that she wanted to use it as my bribe for being home with Malka for a month without her... OK. That works. But after being a "single mom" with her whilst here in Chicago (Narda's in rehearsals at the Goodman Theatre) - wow - it's like one LONG weekend - wonderful, but by 6:30, I'm ready for bed as soon as she is! I'm WIPED.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Necessary Improvements

About a week ago, just around Malka's birthday, we noticed that our fridge wasn't getting as cool as it used to. And there was a weird dripping thing going on in the back. But we just figured that the fridge was crowded with stuff for her birthday party.

And then it continued to get not cold, and almost warm. We went and checked the warranty, and wouldn't you know it. The warranty expired in NOVEMBER. Funny that. We spoke to our super, who said that a few folks had also had the same problem in our building. He thinks that the fan blew. I can only assume that the developer got a deal on some lame-ass fridges, and we were the loser recipients.

I've always coveted a stainless-steel bottom freezer fridge, and we figured that since the warranty on our current fridge had expired, and the cost of a repair person would be half the price of a new fridge, that we'd just indulge ourselves with a new one. Ultimately, anything we do to the apartment will likely up it's re-sale price, so it's all good.

Behold the new lovelyness that is en-route to our apartment as we speak, and I'm secretly glad that we overpaid our cat-sitter (because of sir pukes-a-lot), since she'll have to deal with it upon its arrival...

(please note that ours does not come with the water dispenser, but you get the idea...)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Frank-N-Baby... A post by Malka AND Eemah...

Malka wanted to help write this post wherin she tells everyone to have a lovely Chanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, that we're having a great time in Chicago, and oh yeah, SHE CAN WALK! She JUST took her first steps. Video to come. She's just about as proud as we are!

This bit's from Malka: "n tt l,;באעעעעעעעעעןהע22222חן3טי4אעק3קעאאאאארכהג'קטקקקקקב;2'1;ה ק31'ק"

(I have NO idea HOW she turned on the Hebrew - but it's kind of cool!)

Happy Holidays everyone.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thanks, Jo!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Is the title of book 7.

Hopefully, we won't have to wait TOO much longer...

A few random HP thoughts:

1) I still think that McGonogal is an imposter in Book 6 - I think someone replaced her with poly juice potion during her stay in St. Mungos after Umbridge's attack in book 5.

2) After reading up a bit on JK's site, I'm thinking that the "missing" horcrux is Voldy's father's tombstone.


Finding the Zen...

I don't function very well past 9:00pm, and that's usually when I start my chores. My day goes something like this:

ANYWHERE between 4 and 6am - wake up with Malka Palka Pooka Palka, change diaper, give bottle, clean dried gak from nose, hope she'll go back down (like she did this am).
Stumble back into bed for a few more minutes of blessed sleep. But by now, the 3 fur balls that ruled the roost before that giggly, grabbing bi-pedal came into the house are aware that the lady with opposable thumbs is awake. So Cougar will come on over near my head and start drooling and purring, Quincy will jump onto my chest and start doing the same, and Juno will just sit on the floor and DEMAND that breakfast be served. NOW.

So I reluctantly get up and feed them, turn on the coffee maker (having prepped it the night before - that's almost the MOST important lesson I've learned in parenthood - PREP THE COFFEE THE NIGHT BEFORE!), make Malka's lunch bag for the day, (which this week is REALLY easy, since the fan in our fridge is broken, it doesn't get really cold in there, so she's getting jars - aka, "fast food."), scoop litter and try to sit on the sofa and listen to, or watch the news for a bit before MP3 gets up again. Sometimes I have a glorious 45 minutes, like this am, since I got up at 5 and stayed up, and now the dishwasher is going, the cats are fed, the lunch is made, and I'm having a bit of leisure time for the internet... weeee!

But back to my day.

When MP3 gets up, we do another diaper change, and there's usually a dookie involved, which in spite of my best efforts, I always must analyze as if I was on CSI, and I ALWAYS, much to Narda's chagrin, share my report. Even if she's still asleep. I don't know, maybe I'm one of those people who can tell the health of a creature by their poop, as I can usually predict when one of the cats isn't doing so well by the same thing.

Then Malka and I go into the living room, where I plop her down with her toys for a bit while I go make her waffle of happiness. She now, however, is aware that she has the power to find me, and she will no longer cry when I leave the room, she'll just crawl with the speed of a cheetah after me. It's rather cute to hear the slap slap slap of hands on the wood floor, truth be told. She'll find me in the kitchen, and either make a b-line for the cats' water dish, or pull herself up by my pj's, which I have to then hold up with one hand while cutting up her waffle with the other. Then it's breakfast time, and she loves breakfast time. She even willingly puts on a bib now (THANK YOU SUZANNE FROM DAYCARE!). After breakfast, it's a bit more of playtime, cat chasing and the like while I go in her room to pick out her clothes and turn off the humidifier, white noise machine, etc. We then get her dressed, and then I'll usually put her in her bouncy seat or the stroller, and wheel her into the bathroom with me while I shower. We then play the peek-a-boo game from behind the shower curtain, and she giggles and laughs with delight. The goal is always to leave the house by 7:30, and in a perfect world, we do just that. But more often than not, someone in this house, be it Narda, myself, Malka, or one of the cats, puts a wrench in the schedule - by puking, pooping in an inappropriate place, oversleeping because someone decided that being up from 2 to 4am is a fun thing to do, or what have you. So most often, we'll leave for daycare between 7:45 and 8:00. Although lately, because Malka's been sick, she's sleeping better (the ONLY advantage to being sick), so we've been able to leave more or less on time. We walk to daycare, and everyone is SHOCKED! It's one mile exactly. And truth be told, it's the ONLY exercise I'm getting these days, so I'm grateful for it. But as it's getting colder, and as you all know, MP3 doesn't "DO" cold, so we may have to take the bus soon, and I'll have to figure out how to get my heart pumping in other creative ways.

At daycare, she really has a great time, and is getting better at not crying when I set her down on the floor in order to put her lunch, etc. away. Suzanne (one of her new teachers, whom we LOVE) has started this thing where she walks Malka to the door when I leave, and they "say" goodbye to me. She wants Malka to learn that it's HER leaving me, not me leaving her - I said: "OK, whatever you think is best," secretly chuckling to myself, but by George, I think it's working! Suzanne then takes Malka over to the sink, and they play with the faucet (hence her new fasicnation with the cat's water dish...).

Then I'm off to work, where the scent of the nearby cookie factory wafts in through the windows on occasion, just to torture me. But I'm liking my job a lot, even though I am missing Malka more and more during the day. I think it's because she's really blossoming into this little person, and she's such a joy to be around and to hang out with. (EVEN when cranky - her little temper tantrums are even cute. Ask me again in a few months, but for now, the throwing herself backwards on the floor, where I gently hold her head and help her down to the floor and then ignore her for 30 seconds is cute.) I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable with a few things at work, which are making some tasks easier. I'm still not 100% mastered in Chaverware, an incredibly difficult computer program, but I'm getting there.

At the end of the day, Narda or I will pick Malka up, and she's actually starting to nap better at daycare. She'll get at least an hour and a half nap, if not more, where she used to just do 45 minutes, so that's an improvement, and it REALLY helps with the getting home part, she's less cranky if she sleeps. (I mean, who isn't?)

When we get home, it's dinner, playtime, bath, slather, bottle, brush, book, bed. On days where she doesn't nap at daycare so well, she's practically falling asleep during the bottle. She has her good days and her bad days with the toothebrush, and I'm open to any suggestions for making it more fun for her - I pretend to brush mine first, and even make squeak squeak noises with it, which she giggles at, and I let her hold my finger and guide the "brush" (it's a baby brush that slides over a parent's finger), but she just doesn't want me to do it some days, and the mouth will NOT open. She's really great at actually going to sleep, and will roll over and fall asleep the moment I put her in her crib.

By this point, I'm pretty exhausted. And it's only 7:00pm. So I'll grab something to eat, and take a small break to watch a bit of tv, chat with Narda, read blogs, upload pictures, etc. But I really need to not get so pulled in by the internet, as by the time I realize that I'm really tired, it's 9:00, and I still have to prep the coffee, load the dishwasher, feed the cats, prep Malka's food for the next day, and tidy up the kitchen. If I did all of those things immediately after Malka went to bed, I'd then have the rest of my evening to myself. it all makes such logical sense on "paper," but when in the moment? I'm zonked, and I just want to chill out for a bit.

This morning, however, I chose to stay up after she was up at 4:50am. I got ALL of my chores done, and have had time to write this post, while drinking my coffee. Tonight will be about packing, as we leave at 10:15am for Chicago tomorrow. (Narda left yesterday). I'm kind of stressing out about it, but I TRULY feel that the Lexapro has taken the edge off, my edges are rounding out a bit, and for that, I'm so grateful. So VERY grateful.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We should have paid better attention in math.

Malka Palka Pooka Palka had her one year old visit at the doctor today. We were told to start introducing milk. Doing the half and half method. Malka has two watered down bottles at daycare - 1 scoop per 4 ounce botle, making 4 ounces of formula in 8 ounces of water. We just spent a hysterical (picture the scene - two over-tired 36 year old ADULTS, who can't do the math, in laughing fits of hysteria, with one of them on the kitchen floor, doubled over in fits of giggles) 20 minutes trying to figure out HOW ON EARTH TO SPLIT THAT EQUALLY WITH 2 OUNCES OF MILK. We did the old math, the new math, and finally came up with a physical solution to the problem. I made one 2 ounce bottle of milk. I made one two ounce bottle of formula. I poured them both into an 8 ounce bottle. I then added 4 more ounces of water and then split them between two 4 ounce bottles.


So to review class? That's 6 ounces of water, 2 ounces of milk, and one scoop of formula. Her morning and evening bottles are MUCH easier to split, as they're "straight up."

That's WAY too much math for this theatre major. My head hurts.


Cake, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

SO much to blog about, SO little time. Since Malka and I will be in Chicago for 10 days, leaving on Friday, I have a lot to do at work to prepare, plus at home, and Narda leaves on Wednesday, and I'll be a single mom for January (so you are ALL invited to come over and hang out with us, and cook with me and share some great wine...hint, hint, nudge, nudge wink, wink)

But all of this to say, I promise a blog post soon, and I need to do a post about Malka's first birthday party, having a genuine, bonafied grown-up date on Saturday night, (all thanks to grandpa who babysat), Janet's diagnosis and so much more. I'll see what I can do a bit later on in the week...

Friday, December 15, 2006

love and light for the festival of lights

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, the festival of lights, a time of renewal, of recognizing strength, of being aware of overcoming obstacles, of healing and of light.

Kristen, from An Accident of Hope, one of Julia's mom's is in need of some love and light right now...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

You are invited to get LOST

go here - play - put a post it note on the subway with your invitation number.


Monday, December 11, 2006

It makes me just a little verklempt...

So today, we met with Malka's Birth Mom. "Birth Mama V." as we refer to her with Malka. Her "Tummy mommy," and we are her "heart mommies." Malka grew in Birth Mama V's tummy, but she also grew in our hearts. It was to hang out with them both, and with V's friend J, who is one of the few people who knew about the pregnancy.

V gave Malka this neat doll, which she promptly (as if on cue) kissed. The doll then said "I love you." In a cool, yet, eerily odd "Chucky-esque" way, complete with kissing sounds... I hope the doll continues to be a source of joy for Malka, and if the batteries ever start to fade, I hope I can replace them. Because the LAST thing we need is for this doll to start saying it in a weird, 45 on 77 speed kind of way. But it IS really cute, and it's a non-white doll, and just the right size for Malka to "smoosh" and give Nisheekot (kisses) and Hebookim (hugs) to. She also gave her an ADORABLE Elmo and Zoe sweat suit outfit, and a darling dress. We can't WAIT for MP3 to walk, as she'll really look MUCH cuter in her clothes when she's walking.

I got some REALLY Great pictures, but for privacy purposes, I won't even post them on Flickr. So you'll have to stop by the house to see them, or ask me to send you one the old fashioned way - via the post office.

We could have hung out with V and J all day, but time eluded us. We get to see them at our home agency now, instead of at the Long Island office, which is great, and SO much closer. We'll see them again in March.

We can't wait.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Apparently, Malka does NOT "do" cold...

So the other day, the coldest one of the year thus far, I'm walking Malka to day care - she's all bundled up, even with a blanket over her, and the wind guard in place. Half way there, she starts SCREAMING at the top of her lungs, full on tears, the works. I sing to her, laugh with her, stop the stroller and check on her, give her half of a rice cake (which stops the crying for a few seconds), and decide to carry her for a bit, so I pull her out of the stroller, where she CONTINUES to cry - this NEVER happens. She then does this weird thing where she curls her tongue and inhales short, quick gasps of air, all while still crying. I'm now thinking that I'll have to use daycare as a base while I wait for the ambulance to take her to the ER. I'm TOTALLY freaking out.

We get in, Malka's screaming, and the director says, "Oh, she must not like the cold." I say that "there's something wrong with my baby." In a slightly agitated tone. I get Malka out of her jacket and outerlayers, and bring her into her room, still thinking I might have to bring her into the ER. She's still crying, but is at least crying a bit less. I whip out her bottle, sit down, and give her the bottle. She calms down enough to drink it, and I stay there until she finishes it.

About halfway through the bottle, she looks up, and giggles and grins. Her cheeks have regulated to room temp.

The director was right. Malka does NOT like the cold. I went and got a snow suit for the ride home. She was MUCH happier.

I quietly apologized to the Director for my tone...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

For Blitz...

K and W, I'm so sorry for your loss...

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to
someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are
meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they
can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water
and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to
health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made
whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our
dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and
content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone
very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one
suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes
are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to
run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs
carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend
finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to
be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your
hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more
into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your
life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...

Author unknown

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bring it on down...

One wonderful thing the ER told us was that due to, erm, Malka's "healthy" size, we could actually give her MORE ibuprofin than we had been. When we actually gave her the appropriate dose, her fever was down within an HOUR. Baruch Ha'Shem.

Her fever has settled in at a comfy 100.4-101.2 level all day. She is, however, still miserable, and STILL hates doctors. We have a stethascope at home, so I brought it out for her today to play with before we went to the doctor's office. I put it in her ears, and kept saying "I love you," into the amplifier part. She'd take it out, but not after being intrigued. She also found that chewing on the amplifier part was pretty fun, too. This really helped us out at the doctor's office, as it made her a little less screamy when the doctor's stethascope came out. She got another dose of antibiotic shot, one in each leg, at the same time, and took a decent nap when we came home.

She's eating, and drinking, but she's also just as worn out from all of this as we are. We are all pretty pooped. She was ready for bed at 6pm, but I was able to hold her off until about 6:30, poor thing. I think I'll be shortly behind her, just after I do dishes, feed the cats, scoop the poop, and catch up on a bit of work that I thought I'd be able to get to today, but didn't, because I had a sick, clingy baby all day...

We'll have the culture results tomorrow, and our doctor will call us with the results, but the snot started today. I don't think I've EVER been SO happy to see snot and mucous! Basically, this just affirms a stronger potential for "just a nasty viral cold." We'll take that ANY day over the other, scarier possibilities...

Monday, December 04, 2006


Ugh - I'm at work, Narda just called, Malka just woke up, and her temp is 104.8. She DID take her bottle, and her motrin. She's off to the doctor anyway at 2pm for her next antibiotic shot, but oh my goodness, there's not much more to send an eemah's heart into a panic spin than a temp report of 104.8!

She's currently sitting in a diaper only, windows open, and will head for the bath soon if she doesn't take her waffle. (she LOVES her waffles...) But she's been really good about taking fluids, and she's getting congested, so G-d willing, this is just a bad, bad, viral cold, and nothing more - I pray, pray, pray that this is the case...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back from the ER...

So after Malka woke up from her nap, at about 3pm, her fever went up to 104.0 Erp. So off to the ER we go. (Per her doctor's orders).

I have two words to say to ANYONE that has to go to a hospital: "Teaching Hospital." And for those of you that live in NYC? NY Presbyterian - associated with the Weil Cornell Medical College. There's a hospital two buildings down from us, but truth be told? There's something to be said for a teaching hospital that has its OWN Pediatric ER. We got there by 4pm, and were being seen by 4:15pm.

We had a resident, a doctor, an intern, and then when our lovely resident had to leave for the day at 7:00pm, but didn't walk out until well after, because she wanted to finish up testing for MP3, she was replaced by another lovely doctor. The nurses were all spot on, and actually listened to ALL of my panic-filled questions, and the doctors took their time with us. We had a private room in the ER. Which may have actually been for the benefit of all of those IN the ER, because, well, MP3 has a really really really good set of lungs. And now, sadly, if you wear a stethascope and come near her, she'll show you just how good they are. We do think today may have ruined her for doctors in white coats with stethascopes. If you do NOT have on the white coat, she may not scream. But add the white coat AND the stethascope? And it's screamsville.

They took blood, and the poor boo had a cathetar put in so they could take urine. I kept telling Malka to do one of her famous pishies like she does when I change her diaper at home, you know the one - where you undo the dipaer, and wooooosh! - But she wouldn't listen. So mommy and I had to hold her down - me on the upper half, Narda on her lower half while they inserted the cathetar. Narda and I were singing to her, but it really didn't do much other than to calm US. She was VERY clingy to me, and had a few more bottles than normal today, but my GOSH is that kid a trouper. She'd settle down for a bit after someone was done poking her, and she even gave a smile or two to a few folks who were smitten by her cuteness.

After they took blood and urine, we had to wait for about an hour while they checked it out. We dimmed the lights, and tried to get Malka to go to sleep. She did snuggle for a bit, and snooze, but only for about 35 of the 75 or so minutes we waited. When they came back, I started to feel my panic and anxiety sweep over me like nothing I've ever experienced before. It felt like a burning sensation sweeping over my chest, and was only diminshed when the nurse came in and REASSURED me that there was a LESS than 1% chance that it was a blood infection...

So they ruled out RSV and pneumonia, but her WBC (white blood cell) count was 20,000 - a bit higher than they like, so they are also doing a culture of her blood and her urine, to make sure that there is NO bacteria in there. (It was the Possibility of a blood infection that sent my panic and anxiety in motion to full speed ahead.) I asked in as many ways possible HOW she could get a blood infection, what it means, etc. But it was the nice nurse lady who later said it was really rare, but since it was dangerous, they were giving her the super antibiotic shot. Hell, I'm all for that. After the antibiotc shot, we had to wait around for another half an hour, just to make sure there were no side effects or reactions, and then they came in and confirmed what we had suspected - that her fever had broken, thank G-d! So we came home. She fell asleep in the cab, and is happily sleeping now, a bit drunk on a little excess formula.

So Narda's home with her tomorrow, and taking her to our doctor for her shot follow up, and then if she's fever free tomorrow, she can go back to daycare on Tuesday. Or I stay home with her if necessary. And we get the culture results back on Tuesday, too.

Just keep her in your thoughts, OK? OK, this tired Eemah is off to bed...

You give me fever....

Ugh. The last time MP3 had a fever, it was an easily diagnosed double ear infection.

Poor boo has had a fever for 2 days, and it JUST spiked at 104.0. The doctor thinks it's a viral cold - I PRAY that's it. I just got it down to 103.3, but it's still getting me freaked out.

I'm glad I started the lexapro yesterday, because even though there's only a tiny, eensy, weensy bit in my system, I am just slightly aware that the universe isn't going to actually self implode right over our house.

I'm still freaked the fuck out, much to Narda's chagrin (she now has the dual responsibility of not only her own worry about Malka, but now she gets to worry about me worrying...), but I'm not as freaked out as I could be.

If that makes sense.

I have felt a bit "loopy" about four hours after taking the lexapro in the am, but with Malka's recent fever issue, I'm not as in tune with my body right now, because I'm so in tune with hers...

Friday, December 01, 2006

It all starts tomorrow...

After finding the courage to ask my doctor for it, and after finding the courage to blog about it, I wanted to let you know that I start Lexapro tomorrow. 10mg, once a day.

I'll keep you posted as to how loopy I get, and when I say it's making me crazy and I want to stop, please just remind me to ride the wave and let it do it's job, and report back to my doctor after 30 days.

Anything to remove the anxiety that sits on my spirit like an overweight cartoon anvil falling at 100 mph destined to make a hole in the sidewalk. I need my spirit to soar again, instead of being squashed by useless fears.

It doesn't help that Malka's working on her incisors from hell and keeping all of us up from about 3 to 6 every morning, the poor boo. I can't WAIT for them to come in.