Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

In all honesty, there were only 2 things that reminded me of the new year - the first was all the administrative stuff I need to do and the second is the fact that they just announced on TV that people aren't allowed to have parties tonight in Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi, Sderot, etc. etc... The first of January here is just that. Kids go to school (except for in all of the above-mentioned places in which school was cancelled, because you can't really have school when there are air raid sirens going off and rockets falling in schools... well, you can, but I'm guessing most of the kids would suddenly seem like they have ADD, not to mention the parents who wouldn't send them in the first place...) and everything's open just like every other day.

In any case, for all of you who do celebrate, Happy New Year.

Let's hope this new year brings some peace and quiet.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I know, I know. Updating this blog isn't happening nearly as often as it should... I think that's because it's going to take some time to get to the Despite Motherhood part of my life. I guess that's what happens when you choose to be a WAHM (work at home mom) to a baby (now 9-1/2 months) and to a few other kids who come home any time between 1:30 and 4 and have busy lives of their own. Next year I'm planning a whole month of vacation (from work) once Yirmi starts going to daycare. But all this is actually not the point...

The point is this. Rockets are exploding all over the place. The last one just hit Beer Sheva. It doesn't scare me, but it's closer to home - Ohad spends a few days a week in Beer Sheva and his sister lives there... It is very strange to go on living normally when so many other people in the country can't.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things I've done (a list)

I stole this from Nancy. You copy the list and then color the ones you've done.

The ones I'm sure about I painted purple and the ones I'm not sure about are green.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (the infamous peanut butter ecoli. Wanted.To.Die.)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (not a long one, but a dinner cruise)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Leave a comment to tell me you've posted yours!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hadas's dorm room

A few weeks ago, we took the whole gang and went to visit Hadas one evening after Shabbat.

Yirmi was asleep in the car, so Ohad stayed with him and the rest of us went to see Hadas's palace...
Her room number is 18 - Chai...

From left to right - Hadas, Matan, Abigail, Lilach and Nomi.
In the background, Hadas's Sesame Street pillowcase.

The room is not so small (according to Hadas) and she likes living there and gets along well with her roommates.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 12, 2008

Teeth grinding

That's what Yirmi, sitting on my lap as I type with one hand, is doing.

With his THREE teeth.

In other news, my mom is back from her trip to Vietnam & Cambodia. Welcome home!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My little Kamikaze

Ohad took Yirmi (just 9 months) out to the swings this morning - and this is what he did:

(Don't worry, Ohad was right there keeping him safe.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


You know it's bad when you've been tagged for a meme, you rush to fill it out and you don't even have time to copy-paste it into a post...

My life is beyond hectic and it's going to have to calm down soon because I don't enjoy living with such high stress levels. I can't say much, but I can say that I've been spending my time having 4-5 meetings PER WEEK with pyschologists, psychiatrists, school staff, social workers, welfare, and professionals who do what they call here psychodidactic testing (for learning disabilities, including those that stem from emotional causes). At least I haven't been to the police station since Rosh Hashana...

Ohad and I are trying to remember what "fun" was. At this point it seems a somewhat distant memory.

But anyway, I was tagged for a meme (ugh, sorry, by now I don't remember by whom) and, as always, the timer's about to go BING and I'll have to be busy with something else, so here it is (from last Monday afternoon):

1. Where is your cell phone? On my desk
2. Where is your significant other? In the park with the three little ones
3. Your hair color? Brown (with a little gray)
4. Your mother? In Vietnam, guiding a Kosher tour.
5. Your father? I don’t know. Couldn’t get him on the phone an hour ago.
6. Your favorite thing? Sleep. (But that’s just now, when I’m sleep-deprived.)
7. Your dream last night? Don’t remember, but usually they’re very amusing.
8. Your dream/goal? To make enough money so that once the kids move out we can just enjoy being together (and traveling)
9. The room you’re in? Our office.
10. Your hobby? Who has time?
11. Your fear? Someone believing anything psycho-ex has to say.
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Less stressed and not tripping on toys.
13. Where were you last night? At home.
14. What you’re not? Overly patient.
15. One of your wish list items? Silence. Or time. I can’t decide.
16. Where you grew up? USA (until age 16)
17. The last thing you did? Designed a screen.
18. What are you wearing? Jeans & a sweatshirt.
19. Your T.V.? CSI, Law & Order.
20. Your pets? Cat and turtle
21. Your computer? Dell Inspiron 6000
22. Your mood? Decent.
23. Missing someone? Time alone with Ohad. And my mom (who’s in Vietnam)
24. Your car? A VW bus - red
25. Something you’re not wearing? Boots. I can’t get the point when it never gets cold here.
26. Favorite store? Anywhere I can find really good bargains.
27. Your Summer? LA was awesome.
28. Love someone? Definitely.
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today, for sure. I laugh EVERY day.
31. Last time you cried? Monday?

I tag everyone who reads this blog (is that 7?)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weaning postponed to an unknown date

Just like the Randy Newman concert we already had tickets for. Having tickets gave us a deadline by which to get Yirmi to drink milk in some other way. Bottles have been a total failure, so we've been working on something that's somewhere between a bottle and a sippy cup. OK with water, but no success so far with milk. Not even with breast milk.

So here's my not-so-new theory. If you care about your baby knowing how to drink from a bottle, start him or her early. Like at 2 weeks, just every 2 or 3 days, but keep the baby knowing how and not completely avoiding it as if you're trying to shove poison down his throat, sealing his mouth with that special baby-super-glue that NO bottle will ever penetrate. You would think one would get smarter about some things as they have more kids, but my first 4 took bottles. It's the last two who haven't. And ALL the kids were breastfed (Abigail for the shortest time - just over 4 months, as she started losing weight when I got pregnant with Nomi). You might think that having Nomi breastfeed for 16 months (and therefore not being able to leave her *ever*) would have taught me a lesson, right? Nope. Maybe it's this: having six kids is tiring. Breastfeeding is a time-out. Since only I can do it, it means I *have* to do it. And during that time I *have* to sit and rest. Sounding less stupid?

Until Yirmi starts sleeping through the night (yeah, you'd think an 8-month-old could do it, when he was sleeping 7 hours straight at around a month, but he doesn't. In fact, most nights he wakes up twice or more to nurse.) I will definitely continue breastfeeding, at least at night. After that, I hope he'll be ready to give it up. After nearly 4-1/2 years of straight pregnancy-breastfeeding (x3) I'm looking forward to my body belonging to me again.

Friday, September 26, 2008

An old friend

When I first started using Facebook, not too long after it started to become popular, I felt like I was way too old for it. It seemed like only teenagers were on. And then Hadas (now almost 15) decided not to friend me :-( making it seem even more like it wasn't my place... [She later ditched Facebook, got back on & decided that adults are OK.] Now it seems like more and more people are on Facebook and this week I was able to get in touch with an old friend. From fourth grade (1977-78 school year).

I sent her a message entitled, "Wondering". And asked if she'd lived where we lived at the time. I got her response the next day. Yes. And very quickly she remembered who I was, including all sorts of details that I didn't (like that she used to love braiding my hair and that we used to hide in the closet to use lip gloss :-)) And I guess that if you grew up in one place and had a bunch of friends for your whole life, that might not be that exciting, even though it's been 30 years (um, yeah, Eema - my mom is still actually in her mid-to-late 20's, so that's really going to confuse her :-)) but for me, having grown up as a US Army brat and having moved away from my friends all the time, this is REALLY cool. My parents have friends who they've kept in touch with all those years, but their kids weren't my friends and I doubt we'd have any real memories together (with one exception I can think of).

It feels like such a gift that someone else is able to piece a part of my childhood back together with me. And as she said, we were so cool back then :-) We really were!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Thank you so much to everyone who keeps checking in despite my lack of posting...

My ISP is responsible for part of it - I had several days during which I wasn't able to log in, so I missed a real time congratulations to Kirby (now over at Children Mentioned) on the birth of her beautiful baby, Abby Rose.

My own Abigail had a bit of a fit when she first heard the name and told me, "I'm SO angry. That's MY name." (she went on with this for about 3 minutes) but as soon as I told her that they were going to call her Abby, she was instantly fine with it. I must admit it was hilarious to hear her go on about it. I guess that's what happens after a long day at preschool...

I'm beyond swamped. What Ohad and I usually do is that we each take on way too many things to do and then we split the work in the best way we can (like I'm doing the html for one of his experiments, while he finds articles that I need for my resesarch) but simple math (which we are both supposedly really good at) would show that it just doesn't work... but then, somehow, we work like crazy people, often until 11 or 12 at night and on Fridays and (today) at 7:30am and we manage to catch up. We're still not at that caught up stage right now, but I hope we'll get there sometime in the next few months... Or that we'll at least find time to drink coffee together in the morning without discussing the table of contents for the user manual I'm writing...

Hadas seems to really be enjoying her new school. If there's any kid who would do well in a place like the school she's going to, it's Hadas. She's very independent and confident. She's always been responsible about doing her schoolwork without being reminded and she really loves to learn. She gets along well with her roommates too. We're still learning what having her home on the weekends means - we want her to be happy to come home but to still feel like part of the family in terms of responsibility, so we let her sleep late, but asked her to help clear the table. It seems to be going well.

Oops. That was just Hadas on the phone. Her cold isn't getting better and she wanted to know what to do. Hard to be a long-distance mom :-(

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm going to be that kind of mother...

It never occurred to me what I'd be like when my kids left home and it always seemed like it was about a million years away - until Hadas got into IASA, which meant she'd live on campus, in Jerusalem, starting this fall (i.e. last week).

On Thursday, after she finally finished packing her things, we drove to Jerusalem, got the key to her dorm room & went to set things up. Then there were about 4 hours of really interesting speeches (seriously) that made me totally jealous that I'm not going there (I'll omit the part about having to spend quite a lot of time keeping Yirmi from screaming) and then ate a dinner that looked much better than it tasted. And it didn't look that good. Hadas said they'd made a special effort for the parents and that the food she'd had when she spent 3 days there in April was actually worse. Maybe I don't need to worry about her gaining weight there...

I cry really easily. Perhaps I can blame the pregnancies, but maybe I was just always really emotional... in any case, when I drove off on Thursday, we just hugged each other and said goodbye - no tears. Hadas called before she went to sleep and then I've spoken to her every day since. She still feels like she's in summer camp, is getting along amazingly well with her 3 roommates (in their very simple, small room) and seems happy. When I talked to her on Sunday, we talked about food and she said she misses real food - so today I made her rice and chicken, with her favorite sauce and packed it up for her to take to her dorm. That's the first thing I've done that makes me feel really old.

She came home today to be at the scouts (she has a group of 5th graders) - about 1-1/2 hours each way - and she got to spend a total of about 20 minutes at home. The older kids go away a lot anyway, since they spend time with their dad, but it's so different - she doesn't really live here anymore & when she comes home, it will be to visit us. It's hard to get used to the idea. I'm really happy for her and I know the school is a fabulous opportunity - she's going to get the kind of education most people can only dream of. But I kind of miss having her around.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Olympics are almost over

Note: Cross-posted on FertilityStories

I have really enjoyed watching the Olympics. Abigail (Guli) claims they're boring, but then - she's 3 and she'd rather watch Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever (a great video really, but it doesn't outdo the Olympics, at least not for me - and BTW, what is that insane pricing???). I remember watching in the middle of the night, while feeding Matan and Lilach, in 1996 - with the time difference (7 hours earlier there) it worked out great. I am already waiting for 2012.

In the meantime, Gwendomama, who I met at the BlogHer party in Macy's awarded me a Kick-Ass Blogger award (yes, that's the one and only time you'll see that word in my blog, I'm sure, as it's not one I ever use...) So - first - thanks :-) My blogging has a long way to go, but I do believe it's going to get better someday soon...

In the tradition of such awards, I'm supposed to pass it on to 5 bloggers:

Kirby, who doesn't blog often enough, but, when she does, she makes up for it. She's expecting her first baby any day now and still joined us on a yarn-spinning, goat-milking, archeological tour on Wednesday. How amazing is that?

, who is a career mom and a very real person, one who's not afraid to say how she feels - even when it's far from easy.

Topcat who is a recovering addict, an infertility survivor and now dealing with her husband's cancer. And she's still got a sense of humor & plenty of attitude.

Doc Grumbles who grew up in a very screwed-up family that provides her with plenty of things to write about. And despite it all, she's so cool...

Sara who lives in Korea with her husband and daughter. I always look forward to reading her posts & I've particularly enjoyed the ones about life in Korea recently.

It's hard to stop at just 5... There are a lot of really great bloggers out there :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wonders never cease

Psycho-ex just proposed to his girlfriend (at Lilach's bat mitzvah celebration, which we did not attend) and she said yes...

One of the best things about this is that he's moving away :-) (Unfortunately, the kids will still have to go there and she really doesn't like 2 of them and said - just last week - that she would never move in with psycho-ex again because she can't stand them - yes, she said this to their faces...)

Monday, August 18, 2008

One more thing down

I just sent out the first draft of the screens for a new security system for which I'm designing the user interface (the company draws up the specs, I make screens that people can use, a graphic designer makes it pretty and a programmer makes it work). The fact that I am able to do this between fixing up my seminar paper and having 6 kids home surprises even me.

I also wrote a speech for Lilach's Bat Mitzvah party (one that her father is throwing for her, that we're not going to). Her father's girlfriend had hit ctrl-c > ctrl-v from Wikipedia (in Hebrew) and then just deleted the "mother" in the thank you's section (actually, it was much worse than that, but I'll try to get to that in another post) and with Lilach having a difficult enough time reading things that she does understand, I thought it was really unfair (not to mention the fact that it seemed as if she had been born via immaculate male conception which was just weird). She loves the speech and since it includes a lot of bible passages (which are difficult to read correctly), Hadas is going to read those out loud for her. They practiced together today and it sounded great.

I even called my ex-sister-in-law yesterday to wish her happy birthday and to thank her for the powerpoint presentation that she made for Lilach (apparently she put in lots of pictures of the little girls too :-))

OK, back to the Olympics (at least I get to watch while I feed Yirmi :-))

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Met with my advisor

First of all, she's really nice, which makes everything easier. I have a lot of work to do, especially in terms of statistics, but nothing really has to be reworked, which is cool. I am going to ask for an extension, though I haven't quite figured out yet how to do that... As for the results, which my advisor agreed are very interesting, I will only post them after I have turned in the paper (as she instructed me). It makes sense to me anyway...

In other news, for anyone who missed my update yesterday, Nomi can now eat eggs! She is still allergic to sesame seeds, bananas, kiwis and almonds (as far as we know) and is not allowed to have any nuts or peanuts until she's 3, but the two biggies (milk and eggs) are behind us. I think neither of us see it as a huge relief, because we've found so many ways to work around it that it really didn't make things difficult for us and we were never really worried that she had a dangerous allergy. On the other hand, it will be really fun to see her able to eat things that we've had to tell her to avoid for so long.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's for dinner?

We don't know yet, but it might include eggs...

Results sometime in the next 2 hours.


After nearly 2 years from discovering Nomi's allergy to eggs, she passed the first part of the test tonight. If all goes well through tomorrow then she's no longer considered allergic! She was rubbing one of her eyes tonight, so we're still not certain it's OK, but at least, even if she is allergic, her allergy is very mild.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Yes. I did. I really did. I hope my advisor's comments won't be too bad. I'm meeting with her on Thursday.

What did I send? The first draft of my seminar paper on women's estimation of their chances to conceive during their first year of trying and comparing those estimates to actual chances, at set points during that first year. (OK, re-reading that, that's quite a mouthful... Perhaps I should try again... I did research on how women estimate their chance of conceiving during their current cycle and overall during the first year (and some points in between) and then I compared that to the data reported in academic research of time-to-pregnancy.) Feel free to ask questions...

The results are really interesting. I have to find out if/when I can post them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Woman and person

I may claim to be both, but gawrsh time is something I have way too little of.

In the meantime, Erin wrote this fabulous post... Women are and have to be more than moms. Being a mom is incredibly important, a lot of hard work, very time consuming and sometimes rewarding, but (at least for me) it's not the only thing I want to do and being a mom is not all I want to be.

Back to my paper... (it's going to be done someday soon, it really is)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New blogroll

It's up and it's on the left (scroll down some). What do you think? Too much information about each blog? Just right? Want me to add your blog? Leave a comment...

Monday, August 4, 2008

How Muppets Work

Check out this page.

I think it will really interest bigger kids as well.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More silliness than you thought possible

And hi to Elizabeth who appears in the background - I actually think it's great :-)

And, Grover, if you ever get to reading - Ohad can't believe you forgot to say hi... (BTW, this was the real Grover.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

History - Part 5

I really didn't mean to leave you hanging... (OK, well, I didn't mean for it to be that long)

I didn't like Ohad much, in fact, I thought he was kind of aloof. Several months later, I did the documentation part of a project that he was working on. Later I moved into his group - the GUI group (graphical user interface). It was a very long time after that that we even started to communicate about anything but work. When we first started to date, I knew almost nothing about him and each time I learned more about him, I found we were so much more similar that I thought.

I'd had a crazy summer, with a horrible, ugly, scary divorce (even worse than I'd feared) and Ohad had also just gotten divorced. We let our boss know that we were going away together and we flew to Paris, drove to Normandy and then Brittany for the most amazing vacation ever. 8 days. No kids. Fabulous scenery. And, most importantly, we loved being together.

Ohad, in Etretat.

A year-and-a-half later, in March 2004, we got married (this is the only picture I could find, but I'll dig up more later).

And in March 2005, Abigail came along...

And that made four. Kids, that is.

More soon...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back from BlogHer 08

Wow. What a trip! I have so many things to write and after having been awake from 11pm to 3am last night, I'm going to put off most of it for the next few days.

I met fabulous people at BlogHer (and plan to mention all of them here in coming posts) and had an amazing time.

We started out Saturday night - our plane was delayed about half an hour, but it turned out that it was because the weather conditions were better than expected, so the flight was 'only' 14-1/2 hours. I don't like flying. I'm not scared of flying, but I really don't enjoy it. Even the gourmet meals* they serve don't make me like flying... Yirmi was incredible on the flight - I mean, he made a few sounds when he woke up, but he didn't cry even once. An idiot woman shushed him angrily. Fortunately (for her) I couldn't find her...

We landed in LA a little after 6 and I managed to squeeze in a phone call to my parents who were flying to Seattle to go on an Alaskan cruise (or whatever it's called). They'd left their rental car with 3 days on the rental in the parking lot - within an hour, I'd picked it up and was off to my SIL's parents' house (where we stayed in their guesthouse). I really never thought I'd see the west coast at all and had no idea what to expect.

Friday, July 11, 2008

15 and a half hours and two little boys

Should be fun (I pray). We're leaving tomorrow night for Los Angeles & then I'll be going (with Yirmi) to San Francisco to the BlogHer convention.

Hey, the way home is only 14-1/2 hours...

If you're going to BlogHer, I really want to meet you!

And please, no babies while I'm away.

p.s. we survived the playroom and it's actually pretty nice :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Building a playroom

Our house is too small. When we bought it, we had 4 kids and didn't know yet that we were expecting another. Since then, we have been lucky enough to have 2 more kids. Our house is not keeping up and as soon as we move Yirmi into the little girls' room, we'll have 3 kids in the same not-so-big-to-begin-with room. So, since we didn't buy a house with lycra walls (though, personally, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to give walls a little stretchability) we've been trying to think of ways to make things a little less crowded...

Our staircase was high and the wasted space was driving Ohad crazy...

So we decided to build a floor:

It's not so high (5 feet - and I'm 5'4") - this is Matan showing us his lack of fear of heights... (though Ohad and I were both standing there and helped him get down).

It's L-shaped and not terribly large, but big enough so 2 kids could sleep there comfortably.

This is the little girls' room from the inside - from here, we opened the wall...

This is the same wall, after it was opened. We're also painting the room a shade of peach.

Tomorrow they are going to do all the finishing touches, including a banister, a ladder, the painting, etc. We plan to have a ladder to go up and a slide to come down. Right now, the electrician is making a heck of a lot of noise drilling into the wall to pull electricity in - we need a light fixture and a socket. I believe the mess will be worth it :-)

Funniest commercial I've seen in a while

I generally hate commercials, but this one is really cute:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

History - Part 4

Hadas was born in 1993. I remember being so surprised at her blue eyes, sitting and just staring at her when they brought her into my hospital room. I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to do with her and she seemed so calm that I didn't want to disturb her. When I brought her home, I was equally clueless. Was I supposed to entertain her? Read her stories? How often was I supposed to change her diapers? Her clothes? Breastfeeding went fairly smoothly and I loved being a mommy. Hadas spent almost all day awake. She'd wake up early in the morning and go to sleep late at night, seeming to want to soak up everything there was to learn. I remember the sudden understanding that my freedom was pretty much gone. That from then on, I'd have to plan things, I'd have to take her with me everywhere... that I had a huge responsibility.

In 1995, I found out that I was pregnant with twins. I was happy that they weren't my first. I can't imagine how people cope with twins when everything's so new and confusing... Matan and Lilach (b/g) were born in June 1996. They were very demanding babies and I had to set my goals very low. To shower and get dressed each day, to eat at least one meal while sitting down for more than 2 minutes, etc. I exclusively breastfed both until they were 5 months old & continued until they were 9 months old. I remember realizing suddenly one day that neither of them had nursed for an entire hour... I quickly checked on them to make sure everything was OK. I never asked my ex to get up for the kids and he never did. Not once. One night I decided to write down how many times I was getting up during the night - I quit when I hit 14... I was so incredibly tired that I remember almost nothing from then. When they were 15 months, I decided it was time to go back to school, time to start doing something for myself. So when they napped, I studied. I successfully took (and passed) 3 courses that semester. When they were 18 months old, we moved to Modiin and I signed them up for daycare and started reclaiming my life. I stayed home for another year, taking as many courses as I could, and spending the afternoons alone with Hadas (after school). Matan and Lilach stayed in daycare until 3:30 or 4.

In February 1999, I lucked upon a job that ended up opening a lot of doors for me. I was hired to learn technical writing and do odd writing jobs in the office. Everything in hi-tech was booming and I had incredible opportunities, just because they needed the manpower and I was willing to jump in. Within less than a year, I'd moved into the GUI group (graphical user interface), where I found that the work was much more interesting and challenging. The most amazing thing was that I could depend on the people I worked with. It also made me realize how bad the emotional abuse in my marriage was.

In February 1999, Ohad started working at the same company, exactly a week after I did.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No time for writing so...

My boys (aka my travel partners to Los Angeles. Yirmi will be flying to San Francisco with me as well.)

Abigail (Guli) in the pool yesterday, eating watermelon. (This is what I meant when I said my camera is on the blink.)

Yirmi wondering why I never stop taking pictures of him...

Ohad playing with Yirmi (really short and a little noisy)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We interrupt this history for a few pictures

A few recent pictures of my kids...

Nomi - 2 & 3 months.

Nomi with her driver, Matan (12).

A picture from Matan and Lilach's (12) graduation from elementary school.

Abigail (3 & 3 months) and Yirmi (3-1/2 months). Abigail adores Yirmi (and he adores her too :-))

Matan and Lilach decorating their birthday cake with a little help from their sisters (Hadas -14-1/2 in the background eating sprinkles)

Abigail and Nomi eating fruit at their little picnic table.

More soon :-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

History - Part 3

Second semester ended and for the first time in my life, I applied for a job in the admissions office at the university. I was really surprised when I got the job. It seemed like everyone was desperate for cash... I spent that summer working and took a peek into my file, finding the summary of my interview. Everything the woman who interviewed me wrote about me was good. She recommended that they reject me based on the fact that she thought my parents didn't really want me to go... (I wonder why my mom drove me 4 hours each way to the interview if she didn't want me to go). Toward the end of the summer I typed my own acceptance letter - to nursing school and biology. I chose nursing.

In my senior year in high school I loved physiology, which was one of the reasons nursing seemed so appealing. The material was hard and the course load was intense (~40 hours a week). I n the beginning of the second semester, I came down with a really bad case of mono. It was so bad that I wasn't even required to attend the required courses and I missed most of the semester. We didn't study from textbooks and I didn't take notes from anyone, but I got the syllabus and was able to make up the material by studying in the library - it was enough to pass all my courses, including biochemistry (of which I remember almost nothing) and to get into second year.

After my first year in nursing school, I got a job at the university again, working on a database (dbase 3+). It was a great job - I learned so much and I was able to do things that no one else knew how to do, so they really depended on me. That summer I also met my brother's flatmate, who I ended up marrying a little under 2 years later. I could write about half a million posts about my first marriage (and most of them would probably be fascinating) but I decided that I'm going to pretty much ignore that part of my life in my blog. I don't want to relive it and I've already analyzed the whole thing to death, reaching a single conclusion that the marriage was an extremely poor choice. Part of my belief is that everything happens for a reason... and if I had to go through everything I did to be where I am today, it was all worth it.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I've got about 5 minutes before we go light them, but since Lilach just turned Bat Mitzvah, this is the first Shabbat that she will light her own candles.

Lilach means lilac and purple is Lilach's favorite color.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

History - Part 2

The interview was great. It seemed that the only obstacle was my age. It wasn't clear if they'd accept me at 16... I don't even remember how I felt when I got the rejection letter. Maybe I was even a bit relieved at not having to be that far away from home so soon... and going to Cameron College (University?) would probably have meant being at the top of my class, which didn't sound too bad. My parents and I went for a meeting there and it seemed as if I'd be able to live in the dorms and that somehow they'd work out kosher food for me. I even thought my parents would get me a car.

My graduation was in the end of May. It happened to be on Shavuot & I didn't participate in the ceremony (probably the source of tens of years of nightmares about being forced to stay in high school to finish some additional requirements, despite having several children who live in a different country (hey, it evolved)). On June 4th, we arrived in Israel on vacation. My older brother had moved to Israel the previous year & we all flew over to visit. During our trip, my mom took me over to the admissions office at Hebrew University to discuss what I could do during the coming academic year to increase my chances of getting in the following year. We happened to speak to the head of the school who asked a few questions and then accepted me on the spot. When my parents went back to the US, I stayed here. It was surreal...

So, there I was at 16, living in the university dorms on my own, with my parents 7000 miles away, in the days before cellphones and internet. I shared a POB with my brother, wrote letters almost daily and checked my box several times a day. My mom must have been really busy writing letters that year (good preparation for her blog?) because there was almost always a letter waiting for me.

It was a great year. I met lots of great people and we hung out together. Movies were really cheap, so we'd go out for movies two or three times a week, even though we were all on crazy-tight budgets. My favorite course that year was chemistry. I didn't mind calculus either, since the teacher had an amazing Argentinian accent in Hebrew. I dragged myself out of bed to be in class 3x a week at 8am because I liked listening to him. It was too bad that I didn't understand a thing (probably a stupid choice to take calculus in a foreign language when you're 16). I got a 24 on the final and a 21 on the retest. That was the end of calculus for me. (In retrospect, no great loss...)

Monday, June 16, 2008

History - Part 1

As a little girl I dreamed of two main things - being a mommy and being independent. I was thrilled when my parents let me go away to school when I was just 12, boarding with a family who didn't really care that much, where I could get away with being as independent as I wanted to be. On weekends, I sometimes chose not to come home, preferring to spend time with friends. I walked to a synagogue that was far away, alone, because I liked it better than the one that was nearby. I liked the quiet time with my thoughts and I'd often make up stories in my head, as if I were planning a book. Being in Atlanta brought opportunities that I never had before - volunteer work to organize things for a charity event, participating in youth group activities, skipping school to go to the library (maybe I only started doing that in 9th grade, I'm not sure). I loved being able to do things for myself and not having to depend on anyone else.

I graduated from high school just after I turned 16. I skipped kindergarten because I read well, loved math, and begged my teacher to let me stay the whole day - I was in a combination K-1 class and the little kids went home before lunch, while the first graders stayed the whole day. I sort of remember her challenging me to ask the principal, but it's such a distant memory that I'm not really sure what happened. I got my full day and my mom bought me a lunchbox. About 5 moves later, when we moved to Oklahoma, I was in 11th grade. At the counselor's office, when I was choosing my courses, I realized that at the end of the year I would have enough credits to graduate, so I had them move me to 12th grade. It could have been a bad choice had I been in a place where I could have had some sort of positive social interaction, but being that it was Lawton, Oklahoma where I felt so different from everyone else (after having just moved from Brookline, Massachusetts), it was really much better.

At 15, I sent out college applications and my mom drove me down to Dallas to interview for Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel. Now, that would be far. Very, very far.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm Rachel. 39 years old, living in eternal summer camp with my best friend, Ohad, whose biggest fault is that he doesn't let me keep him up the whole night talking to him. Together, we're raising six children - Hadas (14-1/2), Matan & Lilach (12), Abigail (3), Nomi (2) and Yirmi (3 months) - the first three are from my previous marriage.

I started out blogging over at FertilityStories, but I think that with 6 kids, it's kind of hard to be an infertility blogger. Sure, I have the experience of infertility (IUI, IVF, FET, the works), but my story isn't an interesting one to follow in that sense. We don't plan to have any more children and since I have another way of helping people who want my advice, I'm moving on...

Being pretty deep into this motherhood gig (a total of about 44 mommy years!) I know just how easy to get lost in it and to forget that being a mom is just part of my life. For the first few years, I let being a mom completely consume me until at one point, a little over 10 years ago, I realized that there was no me left. Since then, little by little, I've worked at reclaiming and redefining my identity as a woman, one who really loves and is devoted to her children but feels it's important to have an identity beyond them too.