chanaleh: (leaves)
2017-09-20 11:00 am
Entry tags:

Rosh Hashanah 5778 prep

Overall I've been too crazed to journal, but today is weirdly slow* at work so I am taking a few minutes.
*(Edited to add: I suspected it was too good to be true. Of course the shit hit the fan on about 3 different projects as soon as I finished posting this, so, we'll hope I get out on time.)

Cards: mostly sent; I ordered 50, and carefully winnowed down my list to that number, but they actually sent me extras so I still have a dozen or so I can send (probably next week; gmar chatimah tovah!).

Honey cake: baked last night.

Challah: 4 small loaves (2 raisin, 2 plain) currently on second rise to bake later today. This year, I used the King Arthur recipe that I printed out last year but decided against for some reason. I made a double batch since it claims to make 1 9-inch round, let the dough rise overnight, and it looked beautiful this morning. Aria was super interested in the dough as I was rolling it into strands for coiling. "Cookie! Pizza! I hold it? I hold it?" I told her she'll be big enough to help me next year.

12lb. brisket in fridge, waiting to prep for Thurs afternoon. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] ablock, I fear my brisket-recipe allegiance is permanently switched! even though the simmered-in-wine version will forever smell like the essence of Rosh Hashanah to me.

Matzah ball soup: also tomorrow (using stock from freezer)

Vegetables:
- brisket potatoes & carrots
- tzimmes (I actually found frozen diced butternut squash at Not-Our-Usual-Supermarket)
- salad

Guests: 1 (maybe 2?) Thursday night, 1 Friday night

Shul: by myself tonight (6:30pm) and tomorrow morning (9am); with Aria on Friday. She saw me put on a skirt this morning (since I'm going straight from work) and said "Mama you go shul today! I go shul!"

Still to review: Shacharit davening for first day (ack) and Haftarah. I went over the davening with the rabbi during Sunday school the last two weeks and it was OK - Yom Kippur is more direly in need of practice, but first things first.

Kittel: try on tonight, bring tomorrow morning.

Shanah tovah u'metukah!
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
2017-08-03 08:09 pm
Entry tags:

24 months, a.k.a. TWO YEARS OLD!

It feels like Little Miss has been "almost two" for long enough already that actually having a birthday is a bit anticlimactic. But now it's official.

birthday week festivities )

Based on roughly 500 more viewings of "Zoe Loves Rocco" (from Sesame Street, about Zoe's pet rock), she has taken up a fascination with rocks. Every time we go outside, she finds a new one that she has to pick up and bring inside. [personal profile] bluepapercup, you will be so proud. She has also picked up "jump in muddy puddles!" from watching Peppa Pig. Fortunately we don't have too many muddy puddles, at least as long as she stays out of the septic drainfield (!).

She has recently reached the toddler stage of Everything is Mine. Sometimes it's a simple descriptive, as in "Where my bunny?", but then as soon as you try to take something away from her, it becomes a protest. "Noooo! MY cup! MY book! MY tabwet! MYYYY toofbrush!" Classic.

The instant she sees me do something new, she immediately says "I do it, I do it, I do it, I do it!" until I let her try. [livejournal.com profile] etrace has also discovered that she can not only identify and open the cookie drawer, but pull out the package of Oreos, open the package, and consume most of a cookie before he even knows she's gotten to it. She is, in short, as smart and determined as ever, and getting more accomplished every day.

And OF COURSE she is also the most beautiful child that ever childed. :-)
chanaleh: (breathe)
2017-07-17 04:52 pm

Self-care, tiredness, and getting things done

I came home one night (a Thursday) a few weeks ago and promptly had a meltdown over the fact that I constantly feel like I'm too tired to do anything useful. That is, I only have one or two half-hour scraps of baby-free time in a day (at least on weekdays), and even though there are surely small pending tasks I could fruitfully accomplish in that half-hour, all I want to do is sit down and stare at the ceiling. Same on weekends during baby naptime: I think all morning about the things I want to work on when she goes down, and then once it happens, all I do is sit and veg.

thinky )

Oh, and, technically I am taking a vacation next week, except that the occasion is a weeklong visit from my mom, so it's not exactly downtime even though it will be fun times! Hopefully some extra downtime for Etrace though, if he can chill at home while we take Aria and go run around/pay social calls.
chanaleh: (mandala)
2017-07-14 05:11 pm
Entry tags:

Eating in

One of the best things [livejournal.com profile] etrace regularly does for me is roast me a chicken (over a bed of vegetables) every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. He's refined his technique over the past 3 years until he has it pretty much perfected. Which means it's kind of a pain in the ass relative to the "throw it in a pan and turn on the oven" I used to do, but he does it because he loves me, and it is fantastic. And while I love everything we do Friday evening -- lighting candles with Aria, opening a bottle of wine to go with dinner -- my hands-down favorite moment of the whole week is sitting down and pulling the beautifully roasted skin off my piece. NOM.

Hilariously: A few weeks ago he made a roast beef on some other weeknight, using the same pan he roasts the chicken in. And when it was done and Aria saw it resting on the counter under a sheet of tinfoil, she said "Candle time! Candle time!" No, lovey, I know it looks a lot like a chicken, but it's Tuesday!

Shul friends D (the lawyer) and R (also a lawyer) passed along some toys to us last weekend that their youngest grandchildren had officially outgrown... one of them being a little wooden Shabbat set: pretend candles, wine cup, and bread board with two loaves of challah "slices". I thought, Aria will get a kick out of the first two, but it's too bad I never make challah! Maybe I should get in the habit, just so she can have the full experience. Anyway, but we'll try them out tonight and see how it goes.

Shabbat shalom, y'all.
chanaleh: (leaves)
2017-07-11 08:11 am
Entry tags:

High Holidays

My two favorite friends from synagogue are MH, the president, and EHF (hereinafter SCO#4), the chair of the ritual committee. Between them, they have been talking to me for ages (since I was pregnant with Aria; possibly even before that) about training me up to lead High Holiday services.

notes from the life of an amateur cantorial soloist )

I figure, if I memorized the entire Hamilton soundtrack in less than 2 months, I can do this. It's just Shacharit, right? Right? #17tammuz #tishreiiscoming
chanaleh: EVERYTHING WILL BE AMAZING (amazing)
2017-07-06 05:08 pm
Entry tags:

Wonder of wonders

We didn't actually go see Wonder Woman last Sunday when we had the babysitter. The morning of, as we were getting ready, Etrace said "I don't think we're going to be able to enjoy a movie if we're listening every instant for the phone to ring," so we shifted smoothly over to Plan B and went on a lunch date in the courthouse square in Crown Point (barely 5 minutes from the babysitter's house).

There's a fancy steakhouse we'd been wanting to try, but Google said they didn't open til noon and we had arranged to drop Aria off around 11am. So we first tried to go shoe shopping (also closed Sundays, alas), then went for donuts and coffee at the local donuts-and-comics shop, like ya do. (Etrace: "Dessert first?" Me: "This is breakfast! Then we'll have lunch!" They were quite good donuts, especially when surrounded by Star Wars and Marvel paraphernalia. Would nom again.) Next, a nice grownup lunch where we actually got to chat about things other than our child in a leisurely fashion. And then we browsed the Antique Mall next door for another 20 minutes, until I got too antsy and we headed back to get her.

We got back there right around 2pm, and all of them (mom, kids, and Aria) were playing contentedly with blocks on the living room floor. Aria jumped up and ran to the door calling "Mama! Dada!" and then remarked, perfectly calmly, "You came back!" Amanda said Aria was perfectly fine the whole time and never got anxious in the slightest. Really good to know.

The next few weekends are pretty busy (nephew J's birthday and, oh yeah, we should try to hold a garage sale one of these Sundays), and then my mom will be here July 22-29. Maybe *she'll* be willing to watch Aria solo for a couple hours one afternoon/evening....

ETA: While I'm here, I should note that Tuesday was July 4, and after a quiet day at home, we went over to Etrace's cousins' house (also in Crown Point) for a small toddler-friendly cookout and fireworks. Aria was way more interested in the swingset, sand table, playhouse, and toy cars (the ride-in kind) than in the fireworks; maybe next year. Myself, I had never seen home fireworks that actually go *up in the air* and explode like real grownup fireworks, so I was impressed! I said to Etrace that we never had anything like that growing up, all we ever got were the little ground works like snakes and sparklers and smoke bombs and camellias; he said "That's because that's all that was legal in Indiana until 2006." That explains that! We bailed out at 9pm to take Aria home to bed, but driving home we could see other people's home fireworks displays all around us. It reminded us of arriving home from our roadtrip honeymoon 3 years ago on July 4, seeing fireworks all along the horizon for the final several miles as we drove north up I-65 at twilight. <3
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
2017-06-30 08:03 am
Entry tags:

23 months

I measured Aria at 34" earlier in June. My mom keeps reminding me that projected adult height is twice the height at 24 months; mine was 35" and I turned out almost exactly 5'10", so I'm betting she'll be right about there on both counts. So we'll see what the official doctor recording says next month.

verbal and social skills )

I put up a sign at my work the middle of last week inquiring for babysitters for occasional evenings/weekends. I would have been happy with someone's teenage kid, but instead I got an inquiry from a woman in the next department over from mine, Amanda. She's maybe in her early 30s and has 2 little kids (girl aged 6 and boy 3.5), but used to be a nanny and would be happy to watch Aria for a few hours here and there, either at our house or theirs (in Crown Point less than 15 minutes away). I took her over there last Sunday afternoon for a quick meet-and-greet, and the 6-year-old took a real shine to her and showed her every toy in the house. I had to tear Aria away after 45 minutes. :-) We're planning to use this resource to go see Wonder Woman this Sunday -- the 11:45am show so we can retrieve her by naptime. A 3.5-hour outing might be ambitious for the first time out, but I feel like she'll be in good hands.

My mom is coming July 22 to spend Aria's birthday week. We don't have a super firm plan of what to do for her actual birthday (Wednesday the 26th) -- last year we just had a sandwich platter and a cake for us and the 3 grandparents in the afternoon. I think I would like to take her over to the county fair to see the animals. But I should call my dad and see what he's up for joining, too. That week's already kind of filling up; I feel like it's practically over before it's even here.
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
2017-05-29 08:51 am
Entry tags:

22 months

Etrace says Aria is getting steadily... not what you could call "worse", but more of a handful, more rambunctious and wanting to get into everything and create chaos. He is worried she's bored. I don't think it necessarily means she's bored just because she suddenly likes to methodically dump out every one of her toys (or books from the bookcase, clean diapers from the basket, etc) onto the floor and mess them around. That's a way of entertaining herself, right? Better than endless hours of Elmo videos (which she will beg for if not distracted by sufficient mess to create).

Basically, the operative principle nowadays is "what can we do to tire her out today??" Read more... )

I took Aria to shul this past Shabbat, and when we pulled up I said "Do you know who we're going to see? Danielle!" (her adorable little buddy, age 3.5) They weren't there yet, since we actually arrived close to on time, but then every 30 seconds Aria said "Where Danel? Where Danel?" SO CUTE. Danielle's equally adorable mom J (who is also the Hebrew school principal) commented approvingly on how well Aria is suddenly talking. She also mentioned they have a Sunday morning synagogue preschool class -- separate from the Federation weekday preschool which is never going to be practical for us -- and they normally start at age 3 but she thought Aria would do fine if we wanted to sign her up this fall, especially since Danielle will be in the class. "Oh, and it's drop-off!" MAGIC WORDS. Anyway, they have a sign-up/meet-the-teachers day in August, so we'll see how that goes.
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
2017-05-01 07:59 am
Entry tags:

21 months, and our CA trip

I would have liked to make this two separate entries, but don't really have time to split them out, so here it is all intermingled, gentle readers.

Obviously the biggest thing that happened in Aria's life this month was losing her Grandma Elsie on April 2, which sadly she won't even remember. But the second biggest thing was her first plane trip, to California to visit her other grandma, April 22-28. Her 21-month birthday was Grandma Bobbie's 74th birthday, April 26.

travel notes )

While we were in CA, we measured her at 33" and 26 pounds. (Edited to add: Checking back entries suggests that this is the same height the pediatrician measured at 18 months, which seems unlikely, with a 1lb weight gain, which is plausible. Next official measurements aren't until her 2yr visit in July.)
chanaleh: (breathe)
2017-04-09 03:50 pm
Entry tags:

Passover Almond Torte

I owe a significant update about the past week, but right now I am baking for tomorrow night's seder, and since I had to go looking for this yet again, here is my go-to recipe:

Almond Torte )

Also, I plan to make the brisket recipe that [personal profile] gnomi posted last month, to wit:
Put brisket in pan, fat side up. Slather it with chopped garlic and sliced onions (I do the onions in rounds). Bake it uncovered at 350 for an hour. After that hour, put in potatoes, carrots, and up to a cup of water (depending on how much brisket sauce you like). Cover it tightly in aluminum foil and bake for an additional two hours. (You can turn the oven down to 300 for the last two hours of cooking, but it's not necessary.) Remove from oven, slice, and eat.

Second night, we are going to the community seder at the Reform temple (Beth El) that is right near our regular congregation. So hopefully that will be fun.

Chag sameach, everyone.
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
2017-03-29 12:11 am
Entry tags:
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
2017-03-05 11:36 pm
Entry tags:

19 months!

[backdated a bit out of shame]

Look, a new userpic!!

I forgot to note last month that she was just starting to grow out of all the 18-month size clothes, right on schedule. Read more... )
chanaleh: (crow's nest)
2017-02-24 12:08 am
Entry tags:

February adventures in Chicago

President's Day weekend I had the opportunity to go into Chicago twice in three days, which is practically unheard-of.

Saturday night )

Monday afternoon )
chanaleh: (Default)
2017-02-09 07:15 am
Entry tags:

18 months!

A year and a half! It's already mindboggling that two years ago I was pregnant and one year ago we already had a sturdy infant in place of a tiny newborn.

Pediatrician says: height 33" (85th %ile), weight 24lb 14oz (60th %ile), head circumference 90th %ile. Everything looks good.

We are finally seeing that first real blossoming of vocabulary. food, clothes, shapes, and the requisite animal noises )

We really ought to take more video of her at this stage, but it's hard because when I bring in the iPad -- or even the regular camera -- she immediately grabs for it and wails if you hold it out of her reach.

I feel like there were some other developmental things I meant to note, but I can't think of them. She can drink water from an open cup now, when she wants to; but I only give her an ounce at a time because (a) she has trouble regulating how much to tip into her mouth without choking herself, and (b) most of the time she's more interested anyway in dumping out the water and smearing it around her tray, and/or piling bits of her food into the cup. Apparently she's our little raccoon.
chanaleh: (Default)
2017-01-22 09:41 am

Year in review, year in preview: 2016/2017

Apparently it usually does take me 3 weeks to get this posted, but down the line I won't care how belated it was, so here it is. :-)

10 goals from 2016 )

more things that happened in 2016 )

10 goals for 2017 )
chanaleh: Snoopy and Woodstock, celebrating (birthday)
2017-01-07 09:06 am
Entry tags:

Seventeen (and almost a half) months

We celebrated Aria's 17-month birthday on Dec. 26 by... getting a babysitter and going to the matinee of Rogue One without her. X-) Oh well! She freaked out for a few minutes when we both went to her room at the same time with our coats on to say goodbye (rookie mistake) but did fine after we left.

Toddler progress report )

She's just about 32" tall now. Still holding to 85%ile height and 65%ile weight. Next update will probably be after her 18-month pediatrician appointment, which is not until Feb 2.
chanaleh: (move to nyc)
2016-12-15 07:46 am
Entry tags:

Teleportation

So, [livejournal.com profile] jessruth and her lovely L are getting married, and the original plan was to have a big formal wedding in central PA (where L is from) in June of 2017. We were planning to roadtrip out there; all was in the works.

However, then the election happened, making things highly uncertain for same-sex couples. And also various medical issues in both their families that are going to make traveling difficult over the next several months. SO, they decided to have a City Hall wedding in NYC on Tuesday, Dec. 20, with assorted celebrations in NYC/PA to follow as planned next June.

So I got an idea, and I looked at tickets, and I emailed JessMom, and I talked to [livejournal.com profile] etrace... and we determined that I could manage coming out by myself on a SAME-DAY flight out and back. 11 hours of travel for 11 hours in NYC, more or less. (This squeaks in under [livejournal.com profile] ablock's rule of not visiting anywhere for less time than it takes to get there and back.)

It's on SpiritAir, which is nervous-making, but hey, I am basically their ideal passenger for this because it's the one day in my life I can get away with NO luggage. I would have taken the United shuttle, but their latest return flight was at 8pm and Spirit's is at 10pm. (If it doesn't get delayed or, chas v'shalom, cancelled. But we'll just have to see.)

The thing about the City Hall wedding is that you can't schedule an appointment, you just have to show up (with your festive wedding party in tow if that's your jam) and wait in line until they call you. They open at 8:30am. But the earliest flight lands at 9am (LGA) and it'll easily be 10am until I can make it all the way downtown. JessMom said, "Look, if we get up to the front, we'll let people ahead of us!" I was thinking at first of trying to make it a surprise for Jess, but decided it's easier on logistics if it's out in the open -- plus then she gets the fun of knowing for the last week and a half that I will be with them.

Once I booked the ticket, I noticed a surprising depth of feels around this... I think I'm perfectly calm but it's really more like paralyzing excitement. :-} I'm nervous about the travel logistics (and about being on the run for most of 22 hours), but not as much as I would be if, say, I were trying to bring the fam along. And, while I don't normally think that I miss being in NYC, the prospect of actually walking on its streets for a few hours is mindblowing. But then, it's not like I will be there to Do Things, or see any people other than the JessClan. (Though anyone who's down around City Hall midmorning on Tuesday, you can find me there. ;-)

Plus, I've never used a teleporter before!

Plus, [livejournal.com profile] jessruth IS GETTING MARRIED OMG OMG!
chanaleh: EVERYTHING WILL BE AMAZING (amazing)
2016-11-27 09:53 am
Entry tags:

Sixteen months old

Aria turned 16 months yesterday!

New words: Besides "Hi!" and "Bye!", "baw" (ball) and "baba" (banana), she now sometimes says "haaa" (hat), "cah" (car), "kaka" (cracker), and "Tsuts" (Church, the cat). In the last day or two we suddenly started hearing "Uh-oh!" and "Go-ga" (Coco, Grandma's goofball German shepherd who lives downstairs but bursts in up here all the time).

New skills: Besides getting better with the fork and spoon, she suddenly resists having any grooming tools used on her -- comb, toothbrush, nail clippers -- because she wants to grab them and "do" everything herself!

I am way behind on pictures, but maybe I'll try to download some stuff off the camera this afternoon.
chanaleh: (scream)
2016-11-13 07:48 am
Entry tags:

Obligatory Election 2016 commentary

I duly wore my pantsuit on Tuesday, and I voted around 7:30am CST, before work. #pantsuitnation

At lunchtime I said to Etrace, "I think there needs to be heavy drinking tonight." "By you?!" he said. "Are you really that concerned about the outcome?" "Hell yes I am concerned," I said. But nailbiting notwithstanding, deep down I never really doubted that Hillary would get the landslide she deserved.

Well, it turns out we all got a surprise. :-/

Between dinner (Taco Tuesday!) and baby bedtime, I didn't really see any election results in progress until about 10pm Central. By which time the map had tipped heavily Trump. And then I would have liked to start drinking heavily, but I also felt too nauseated to start. I got into bed and sat with my iPad obsessively refreshing Facebook until well after midnight.

Maybe it will come around overnight, I thought. They're still tallying.

But no. Wednesday morning I woke up to our national nightmare. I felt numb. I actually cried on my drive to work.

If I haven't said it here before, my mom (who lives in northern CA) has been a big Trump supporter, and in fact so rabidly anti-Clinton in her Facebook comments and reposts that I've begun to wonder of late if she's actually coming a bit unhinged. We have basically agreed not to speak of the election.

Her younger sister though (who seems to show some distaste for Trump, but has been rabidly anti-Obama, so it's all of a piece) commented on Wednesday "I survived 8 years of Obama, you'll survive 4 years of Trump." I wanted to say "Yes, but FYI, not everyone will." But I didn't know how to get into it without spiraling off into futility.

I have many, many thoughts, but a week later here's what seems to have shaken out:

(1) No one actually knows what Trump himself is going to do while in office. He's talked big, but that was on the campaign trail. We all know the guy's full of nothing but hot air, and changes his stance to whatever his audience wants to hear. In a way, that's almost comforting.
(2) However, the people he's surrounding himself with (you know, to DO HIS ACTUAL WORK while in office)... scare the everloving shit out of me. Starting with Mike Pence, who is if possible the one person I would less like to see in the presidency than Trump.
(3) The "anti-PC" climate that says "This is Trump's America now, so we can be as hateful as we've always secretly wanted"... ditto.

I would add corroborating links to the above, but it's too depressing. :-/

So, what to do? For starters, I will keep supporting my top causes: reproductive rights (Planned Parenthood of course, Medical Students for Choice, and the Center for Reproductive Rights) and civil liberties (the ACLU). (Amazon shoppers, remember that if you shop via smile.amazon.com you can designate a charity to receive a percentage of your sales. I chose Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.)

Beyond that: Be strong. Support education and social programs closer to home. Show compassion. Stand up for truth and justice (and, not for nothing, the real American Way).
chanaleh: (sleeping)
2016-10-26 09:17 am
Entry tags:

Fifteen months old

I've backed off the monthly updates because Aria's baby book only has month-by-month pages for the first year! but I really should try to keep some notes here.

We now have a toddler rather than an infant )

Of course, now that I'm writing, there are a hundred things that I want to note. I need to make shorter and more frequent entries. :-}