Nine Months (almost): Going International!

My dear Miriam,

You started crawling yesterday, we are so proud of you, and you are clearly so proud of yourself!

I had an idea that I would have time to post a full letter, but we leave in the morning (just a few hours away now) for your first trip abroad, so I will do that when we return.

Suffice to say we can't wait to spend all these days with you. Oh, and you are quite wee, just 17 pounds, 27" long. Which means we'll be able to carry you everwhere!

All my love,

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It's a virtual planetoid!

This week we found out that MZ has an enormous head. While she's holding firm at 25th percentile for weight and height, she's at 90th percentile for head size. No, really!

I've always known that there are big-head babies out there, but somehow I didn't notice that MZ had become one. In fact, it's big enough that her ped measured our heads to make sure it's genetic and not cause for an ultrasound... now there's something to worry about. Even with R's 98th percentile noggin, I'm losing some sleep over this one.

Of course R. thinks its destiny calling to tell him his Mike Meyers impression has a longer shelf-life after all... Piper down!
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You're gonna wanna drop that...

So this is what I found when I walked in to get her up from her nap this morning. The birdhouse activity thingy has been completely removed, so she's been up and at it for a fair bit by this point. I couldn't stop laughing and hugging her with relief, she was so proud of herself, sitting up all by herself from a lying-down position -- in a sleep sack no less! But it's hard not to feel like this was a near-miss, that the next step was to hoist herself right over the edge.

Guess we'll be dropping her crib today...
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A little nosh

Her first bagel! Her first wheat, actually. Still holding off on the lox, tomatoes and cream cheese, but she's all about Grandpa's home-smoked trout. And Tante Judy's matzo ball soup. And Grandma G's chicken noodle soup, so can Grandma S's brisket be far off?

A regular fresser we've got here... Posted by Picasa


On diaper-free babies...

I'm simultaneously working on a couple of draft posts right now while MZ works through a fever we're hoping is related to teething, and I'm feeling like blogging is really not in the spirit of Yom Kippur, but she's sleeping, finally, and the laundry's all folded and the bills are sorted and the table is even set (thanks, Deb!)... and I'm not entirely sure how to observe the Day of Atonement from home, although this brings back memories of bedrest two years ago.

A lot of people have asked me about the NY Times article on going diaper-free. Do I seem like the type of person who would undertake such I thing? I can see where you might think that. And while I am no longer a working mom, I think my friend and fellow Bernal mom said it best, so just read this.



Fertile Heights

There are a few new links on the blog these days. I take it as the highest compliment that these have been shared with us. These are the blogs of new friends from our Bernal parents group, with whom we've been sharing the mysteries and joys of parenting our babies.

We started with Teeny Babies, meeting weekly at a local cafe, and moved into Happy Hours at a local baby-friendly bar, and have graduated to group camping trips, weekly playgroups, and talk of a trip to Thailand! We feel so incredibly lucky to have stumbled on this group. These are the cutest babies in the world, and so different that they prove my belief that there is no one true Parenting Philosophy, that you do what works for your kid, and for you as parents, and if that's not working, I now have a dozen other families to call on to try something new. Posted by Picasa


Yarzheit II


We're still figuring out how exactly to commemorate this day, this loss, but there's something very centering about lighting the candles, taking a moment to remember Avi and Ximena, to contemplate where they would be today, where we are now... Especially as it becomes harder and harder to bring their faces to mind, although I always recall that Avi was a picture of R., Ximena more like me.

Next year, MZ will be old enough to ask about the candles, and we will begin to tell her, in small, absorbable bits, that she is our oldest, but not our first.


Perspective II

Children of the Pumpkins

After a fabulous first try at camping, some neighbor-friends and we visited a pumpkin patch, where we took over 30 photos of Julia and Miriam in the wagon, together and seperately. It occurred to me halfway through (after snapping harshly at Robert, truth be told) that the desire to capture the perfect picture of the babes in the patch had completely overwhelmed the moment, that I was forgetting to actually enjoy MZ's first wagon ride, her first taste of hay (which she could not get enough of), her first Halloween (which she's not even aware of), everything.

It was a sobering moment, and hopefully an object lesson because the photos are only as good as the memories they revive, and if the memory is of running around snapping photos, then what's the point?

Anyway, these two were the hit of the pumkin patch and fortunately the memory I hold most dear is of MZ rocking back and forth to the rhythm of the wagon, with a big ol' grin on her face. Priceless.


A lifelong struggle with addiction

When I was a teenager, I never understood why my parents wanted us all to do things together all the time. Even today, R. and I are sometimes surprised at our parents' willingness to hang with us. But I'm starting to get it.

In the last eight months, I've had MZ on me virtually every day. Granted there were times early on when I'd do almost anything to be OFF each other for a few hours, but by and large there has been a lot of positive holding every single day since she was born. So that now I crave it when I'm away from her, and if I don't hold her in the morning before I go pump, I feel downright needy when I see her again, and have to interrupt whatever she's doing to hold her a bit. In the evenings, when she's fallen asleep in my arms, I drink in her smell and remind myself to cherish this, she won't always want to be this close. But by all rights I still have years ahead of me when I will be with her nearly every day, when our family will be our major source of companionship.

And if it takes 21 days to form a habit, and eight months to form this addiction, I can only imagine how much I'll crave her company by the time she's ready to move out on her own.


L'Shanah Tovah!

MZ practicing to be quiet in synagogue

Wishing you and yours a sweet new year.



Against the grain

I'm going to need to ask you to mince these...

Ms. MZ is flagrantly disinterested in feeding herself. She has now fully delegated spoon duty to us, and refuses to even think about putting something in her mouth on her own, no matter how prettily I dice the grapes, tofu, whatever. She is appalled by Cheerios, brushes them right off her tray.

On the upside, she'll try anything and last night demonstrated a keen enthusiasm for smoked trout. Next thing you know she'll be wanting pho for breakfast (I'm kvelling!).


Tickled, indeed