Late Night Feedings

Tales from the crib: life with Sophie, Lilah, and Jude

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rules (Were Made to be Broken)

Rules and structure are what keep us afloat- especially in my house.  We have daily schedules with pictures that make them easy and fun for the kids to follow.  We have a meal-planning schedule that makes it easy to know what to cook each night and what to buy at the grocery store.  The kids don’t complain about what’s for dinner, because it’s on the schedule.  In fact they are excited to check the schedule and know what to expect for dinner each night.

My most fundamental parenting rule has always been to do what ever is best for me and my child at any particular point in time.

Sometimes, I am so rooted in rules and structure that I forget my most fundamental rule.

Judah, age 15 months, still nurses anywhere from 2-4 times a day.  It was my plan to wean him by the time Shimmy and I leave for our long-awaited trip to Hawaii in March.  By that time Judah will be close to 17 months.  That seemed like a reasonable time to stop nursing.  I had a mental schedule of when to start cutting out nursing sessions.  But now that it’s time to start, I don’t want to.  And I doubt Jude wants to.  I think about it, struggle with it, every time I nurse him.  So I’ve decided to nix my schedule.  I’m going to let things happen organically and hope for the best.  I can reassess when the trip gets closer.  And when I get back from the trip, if I want to try to pick up nursing where I left off, and Jude does too, we can nurse indefinitely. 

Lilah, age almost 4, has been having some sleeping issues.  For weeks, she wakes in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep.  Which means, neither can I.  For the first week or so I did everything by the books.  I walked her back to her room; I reassured her; I made a chart for incentive to stay in her bed all night.  It wasn’t working.  Then I decided to break the rules.  I let her sleep with me two nights in a row when she woke up.  The next night we both slept in her bed when she woke up. A small part of me was worried about establishing bad habits and patterns, but a larger part of me just wanted to sleep.  It felt like the right decision.  This morning she woke only minutes before our established wake up time.  She finally got to put the first sticker on her chart!

For Sophie’s birthday this year we forwent the usual large birthday party.  We had a smaller party with just family.  I brought cupcakes to her classroom on her birthday.  The next day we broke the rules and let her skip school.  We got our nails done, went out to lunch, and went shopping at the mall.  It was fantastic to break with convention and avoid the big party. 

Rules are great, and most of the time, very necessary.  But rules can be broken, and sometimes that is very necessary too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


The trees are bare.
It is dark at 5pm.
It is bitterly cold outside.
Thanksgiving is over.
All three kids have bad colds; one has croup too.

Seasonal Affective Disorder has officially started to set in.

Time to decorate for Chanukah in a feudal attempt to keep the blues at bay.

114 days until Spring.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Decidedly Divided Thanksgiving

One of the reasons I don't make more of an effort to blog more often is because I feel like I keep friends and family up to date on facebook, and I try to tweet my funny mom thoughts.  But something I have recently noticed on Facebook has inspired me to blog.

Over the past few days my Facebook newsfeed has been decidedly divided. Half of my friends are constantly updating their statuses, posting pictures, and sharing articles about the current war in Israel.  the other half of my friends are posting pictures of their children dressed up as turkeys and pilgrims, sharing Pinterest recipes, and updating their statuses to say what they are thankful for. I am also decidedly divided. My heart is in the East and am in the end of the West. I have spent the past few days marveling at the costumes and decor my girls have brought home from school.  I have perfected my menu (see below) and begun cooking.  I have reflected on what I am deeply thankful for.

I have been scared.  I have been sad.  I have contacted friends in targeted areas of Israel to make sure they are safe. I have "adopted" an IDF soldier. I imagine Yehudah Zalman ben Fayge Miriam in a protective bubble of all of the love, prayers, and positive energy I have been sending his way. I have donated money for warm clothes and food for the soldiers that keep Israel safe.

As I bake delicious pies, stuffing, and scones I am thankful to be in my warm, safe home preparing delicious food for my wonderful friends and family. But with every rocket launched (and blown up by the iron dome), news report I hear, and picture I see, I am thankful most of all for Israel, its courageous citizens, and the brave soldiers that keep the country, people, and spirit safe.  May God watch over them and keep them safe.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.  Stay safe, peaceful, and happy; surrounded by the people and things you love!
My Thanksgiving Weekend Menu:

Thanksgiving Dinner:

Oven-roasted turkey
Tofu stuffing
Cornbread butternut squash stuffing
Garlic mashed potatoes
Sesame string beans
Cranberry-apple crisp

Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie

Breakfast treats:

Raspberry white chocolate scones

Friday Night Dinner:

Roasted vegetable soup
Glazed chicken
Rice Pilaf with Edamame

Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie

Saturday Lunch:

Sweet and Sour Brisket
Thanksgiving Leftover Mini-Pies (individual pie shells filled with some of each leftover Thanksgiving Dinner dish such as turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry-apple crisp, etc.- YUM!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Judah Jack!

My beautiful boy is 1 :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Day of School

Before the first day of school this year I had a terrible case of nerves.  I worried all day. I couldn't sleep that night.  Not because I was nervous about school (though I do remember that feeling all too well).  Not even because I was worried about how the girls would fare.  I was anxious about how I was going to pull off the morning routine on my own.  I do not usually do the morning carpool.  That is left to Shimmy, who drops the girls off on his way to work.  My job is to get everyone up, dressed, fed, bags packed, and waiting by the door for their ride (aka Daddy).  While this is harder than the task of driving them to school, I can do it all in my pajamas with a big mug of coffee in my hand.  After I see them off, I clean up from breakfast, tend to Jude, and get on with my day.  I like the way this works.  Unfortunately, it was brought to my attention on Tuesday afternoon that I would have to do all of my usual morning jobs, plus get Sophie to school at 8:00am and attend Lilah's orientation with her at 9:00am.  And bring Jude along and keep him happy.  That is when the nerves set in.

And, yet, it was fine!  Despite my lack of sleep, the morning played out like a well-orchestrated symphony.  We even had time for our traditional first day of school picture:

I made it to school, with all three kids in tow, on time.  We took Sophie to her classroom, hugged her goodbye, and walked down the hall to the lobby, where we camped out for the next 45 minutes or so.  I fed Jude his breakfast, and then we all read books.  Someone took a picture of us and we made it onto the school's website:

We had a great time at Lilah's orientation doing crafts, having a tea party, and making new friends.  Then it was time to leave!

When we got home, I set Lilah up with a snack, and I put Jude down for his nap.  After surviving the morning I had so fretted over, my initial instinct was to change back into my pajamas and get back into bed.  Which is exactly what I used to do after the first day of school (and any other hard day) right up through graduate school.  I guess coping mechanisms die hard.

A couple of hours later, I changed back into my clothes to greet our old babysitter who is back from her year abroad!  I headed out to run errands I had been unable to run during the past two and a half weeks (no camp, no school, therefore no extended trips to the grocery store).  Then I picked up Sophie, who had a great first day!  Thankfully, I had a great first day too.  Although, the second day, with both girls in school from 8:00am-3:45pm was even better :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Opposite Sides of the World

For a week this month, our family was divided on opposite sides of the world.  Shimmy and Sophie went to Israel for a week to celebrate our nephew's bar mitzvah.  Lilah, Judah, and I stayed home.  While Shimmy and Sophie were taking in views like these:

View of Jerusalem from the porch
The desert, on the way to the Dead Sea

We were going about our regular activities:

Lilah, joining my workout session
 Our family had never been divided this way before.  It was a little odd.  We missed each other.  We missed out on some of each other's milestones:

Sophie lost her first tooth

Jude turned 10 months
But, it was also nice in some ways.  Lilah began to see Jude as a playmate, which she had not really done before.  They interacted with each other and played nicely.  It was a great bonding experience for them.  My relationship with Lilah benefitted as well.  She was suddenly my oldest, so she became my helper, confidant, and buddy.  We really enjoyed each other's company.  Without the noise (both enthusiastic and argumentative) of the two girls, the house was a lot quieter.  It was peaceful and pleasant.  We had fun playing at home, and also went out on some fun outings.  We missed our other two-fifths a lot over Shabbat.  I had not spent shabbat apart from Shimmy in nearly ten years.  It was reported to me that Sophie had a hard time with the separation as well.  Early Tuesday morning we were all reunited and happy for our family to be in one place again!  We spent the day together catching up.
Reunited and enjoying a picnic in the playroom

Thursday, August 23, 2012

People of Walmart

It's that wonderful time of year again- back to school.  While I am excited beyond words that school is resuming, I do not care much for the back to school shopping.  I understand the need for some extra items beyond what is supplied by school (notebooks, pencils, and the like), but I don't really understand why the school (or the state) cannot provide my children with boxes of tissues.  So, because each of my girls has a sizable supply list, and because we are in that horrible camp-is-over-but-school-hasn't-started-yet time period, I decided to take all three kids back to school shopping.  And because I already spend more on tuition for my kindergartener and preschooler than my parents spent on my college tuition (state school- GO TERPS!), I decided to forgo my usual store of choice (Target) and get me some bargains at Walmart.  Except, GOOD GOD, I hate that place.  The school supply aisle was a mob.  Halfway through our lists, we had to abandon our cart for a bathroom trip.  The bathroom was disgusting.  I won't describe it.  However, as a PSA: Please leave your stall the way you would want to find it.  And a friendly reminder: if an automatic flusher does not flush, there is usually a way to flush it manually so that the next person doesn't have to deal with your mess.  Ugh!  Then we resumed our shopping only to have to settle on items that were similar enough to the ones on the list.  These teachers are crazy specific.  I mean, do they even go to the stores first to make sure they sell the items they tell us to buy?  I refuse to go all over town to find a six pack of assorted colored dry erase markers that have low odor.  There was not one pack that met all of that criteria.  I ended up paying more for something like a 14 pack.  And the only 64-crayon box I could find was not Crayola brand (as specified on the supply list), so we bought an (gasp!) off brand.  Once we were making good headway, another bathroom trip was requested.  But this time we got there too late and I had to leave Sophie outside the bathroom with Jude and our cart, while I cleaned up Lilah.  We fought through the masses of people to finish up our shopping.  When we checked out, our cart full of items (school supplies and other things too) totaled less than $100.  That was more satisfying than I thought it would be.  I am fairly certain I would have spent double that at Target.  But it may have been worth it.