Bebe update: Nine months.

Bebe. B. B-face. Beatrice.

Let’s start with this tidbit: You’re not a huge fan of the ballpit I so excitedly prepped for your brother. That’s fair, most people aren’t keen on dozens of balls in their face. But you’re more interested in picking apart the bigger picture; deconstructing the ball pit, plastic orb by plastic orb, and of course, sucking the life out of each before tossing it to the side.

A little dramatic? Sure. But then again, why not just play in the ball pit?

So you’re not into swimming in plastic, but you do love your baths… Before, during and after. It’s been like that since you were born, but I have to say, lately you are a lot more expressive about the liquid love. You’re practically climbing into the tub, and once inside, you’re actually climbing out of your safety seat. I’m trying to keep you safe, lady!

When I put you straight in the water last week, you couldn’t be happier, except when your brother poured a cup of water over your face. Then you were simply ecstatic.

Yup, add your brother to the bath, and you’re in heaven. The two of you have not only discovered each other, but you now play together, talk to each other, and even – gasp – commit a little sibling rivalry here and there. A jealous act here, a smack there. Ok, it’s one-sided, but you take it in stride. And you’ve greatly improved your hair-pulling technique.

And two more milestones I live for: Clapping and Peekaboo. And you do both with your own little Bebe flair and gummy grin. You clap at the sound of music, you clap at the sound of singing, and you even clap at the sound of me singing supposed music, which is really very respectful of you. And the peekaboo – your little hands lifting a sheet, a towel, a scarf, and playing with me… Can’t get enough of your face.

And, inevitably, you’ve discovered the stairs. You’re not climbing Mount Everest yet, but one small leg lift for baby is one giant leap for oh-crap-we-forgot-to-close-the-gate. So, there’s that.

Probably, most importantly, you’ve got me really thinking this month. Thinking about my mother and me. Our nearly three-decade-old mother-daughter bond, especially as for us it was among the family remainder of boys. What we did together. What we said together. What we still do. What we’ll always be.

And I get to have that again, flipped, with you. Your goofy humor, your chill ease, your cuddly nature. Talking together, travelling together, consulting together, hell, even sparring together.

I am so looking forward to having mother-daughter moments with you.


Baby Shape ‘Happening’ tomorrow in Jerusalem.

Thought I’d share an opportunity for moms and babes tomorrow, June 5, in Jerusalem. Baby Shape is a YMCA program designed by Rachelle Oseran (whose childbirth Lamaze classes I’ve plugged before). Hebrew and English friendly.

Check out the free class:

Moms with babies in strollers are invited to our Baby Shape “Happening”: a FREE Mom and Baby Fitness Class followed by a lecture on “How to get your baby to sleep – teach your infant healthy sleep habits” by Amanda Goldman, Certified Infant Sleep Therapist. The lecture is FREE to participants of the Baby Shape class that day.

WHEN: Sunday 5th June at 10.00 a.m.
WHERE: Gan Hashoshanim between Pinsker and Dubnov near the Jerusalem Theater.
WEAR & BRING: Sneakers, your baby in a stroller, a towel, a hat, a bottle of water and your energy!

Baby Shape is a fun, outdoor fitness program for moms with babies in strollers. Babies have fun while moms lose their pregnancy weight and regain muscle tone. See our website. For more information, call YMCA/Great Shape at 02-6258436 or e-mail.

It's all about the boobjamins.

Long day. I returned to the office today after a two week (work-themed) hiatus. When I got home at 4:30pm, my husband was on the couch and Koala was on the floor next to him, eating a dreidal (standard fare, really).

I gave Koala a big hello to which he smiled, and, like a really slow bolt of lightening, he came crawling towards me. It was the  fastest I’ve seen him crawl so far. He was determined. It felt so good. My heart filled with squishy mommy-pride and I bent down and opened my arms for him.

When he arrived at his destination, I scooped him up and basked in the notion that he sorta kinda ‘hugs’ now… or more likely, holds on for dear life. I’m ok with that, though. All I knew was that my home right at that second was filled with puppies, rainbows, butterflies and cupcakes. Rainbow Brite may have made an appearance.

But, alas, I know the truth. Right on cue, Koala burst into tears and began clawing at my shirt.

I heard his cries loud and clear: Ma, I want boob!

Hebrew vocabulary for new parents (הורים).

I’ll soon be coming on five years of Israelihood, and of course every day I’ve added new academic and obscure Hebrew to my arsenal. But expanding vocabulary is more than just learning new words; it’s about knowing what even the most familiar words mean in new contexts.

For instance: being a mom.

Here is part of a growing list:

לידה – birth: a new life is born, an older life is freakin exhausted.

טיטול – disposable diaper: the only carbon footprint you don’t give a crap about.

מטפלת – nanny: the ‘other’ woman.

פרות – fruits: what your nanny loves to feed your kid by the bucketful.

עצירות – constipation: what happens to your kid after a bucketful of fruit.

שלשול – diarrhea: what happens to your kid after a bucketful of fruit.

רוק – drool: nature’s toy disinfectant.

שיניים – teeth: cute little pearls of evil.

אמא – momma: a name by which I am automatically able to make tears dry, monsters disappear, and someday buy Rated R movie tickets for my 15-year-old.

Babies need stuff.

Tada! In a feat I could never have pulled off on my own, we have managed to choose and order and place a deposit on a baby package consisting of furniture/stuff/things. That, about a week after we first became traumitized when taking a commerical peek at what we were in for. 

To answer a few questions: 

What is a baby package?

Instead of ordering everything separately and possibly spending more than you’d need to – and also (possibly) to make it waaay less overwhelming – they bundle a standard package which you can add on to and choose from within. It includes a crib, dresser/changing surface, stroller, infant car seat, bath, and a whole bunch of little things to get you started (and, yes, to get you hooked on baby-scented name brands). 

What is Motzizim?

Well, for starters, motzetz (מוֹצֵץ) is the Hebrew word for pacifier (or dummy as my husband says it, or binky as my family referred to it, or sucker as the store owners probably call it).

Motzitzim (מוצצים) is a big baby store chain that probably resembles the closest we’d get to an American baby superstore. They have branches across the country. I can’t speak for other branches, but the one in Talpiot, Jerusalem was probably the finest customer service I have ever had in this country. And really, no wonder: the baby business is big business, especially in such a family-friendly country as Israel.

While I’m at it, shout out to Ruti, who totally rocks and didn’t play on the first-time parents stereotype too  much. 

There are other baby stores around Jerusalem, and some of the others we visited in Talpiot were Dr. Baby, Shilav and the back of Bizaar Strauss, but the prices weren’t any lower really and the selections were lame. Others would agree. 

How do we get the goods?

After I easily and wonderfully and painlessly deliver the child, tired husband calls the store and let’s them know we are ready for the – second – delivery (ok, fine, only one of those action items actually take place). Within 48 hours they are meant to come to our apartment and set up the furniture. 

So… that was definitely easier than I thought. And it didn’t hurt our budget too badly. On to birthing class!

Only classy chocolate for the little one.

Here’s what you get when your OB-GYN is a French-Israeli: 

“Basically, just make sure you’re feeling movements. Check when you are relaxed and at peace. Make sure you feel some in a half an hour’s time and if not, after an hour, give it some Brenner*… <insert us laughing here> No, really. Give it Brenner because you don’t want to give it the regular stuff, you don’t wanna ruin its taste for chocolate with that.”

So, there you have it: An OB-GYN for worrying about movements. A Frenchman for worrying about quality of chocolate. And an Israeli for suggesting Max Brenner, of all brands. 


*Max Brenner, that is, or ‘chocolate by the bald man.’ Max Brenner is an Israeli who has his own gourmet chocolate line and has opened up shops across the world.