Sunday, December 18, 2011

At home...

It has been just about a week since we came home. Alisha is adapting well, liking all things more or less except for diaper changes.

Zach spent the first couple days whining but has since warmed up a bit, enough for a photo anyhow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The new baby: Alisha Pam

Friday, December 9, we got to meet our daughter, Alisha. As with newborns, she came out cute, but looking like she'd spent too much time on the stove cooking. The picture below was taken on the morning of the 10th. (Mount Auburn Hospital provided the hat.)

Zach came by to meet the new intrusion on his life Saturday (thanks, Justin, for the family photo):


On first meeting he proclaims her "good" (which lasts about till she comes home and he realizes that things are going to be different).

And Sunday we headed home, Alisha engulfed in her giant car seat. 

Her birth was so uneventful it was both surreal and almost boring. I was induced on my due date, because of the potential medical risk of her small size. This was based on a tape measure to my belly plus ultrasound measurements that put her in the 13th percentile for weight. Well, she came out at  7 lbs 13 oz - perfectly normal in size. I wasn't super excited about the prospect of being induced, but was honestly scared of going into labor in the middle of the night or at work, given how quickly things happened with my first birth. So having the whole thing scheduled for a Friday morning gave me the peace of mind that Zach could be taken care of and there would be no ambulance involved. I started the pitocin around 11 am, started active labor at 5:45 and delivered Alisha at 7:02.

Alisha is named for her Aunt Jenni (Jennifer Josh's sister) - her Hebrew name. (Elisha, which is a boy's name - we think it was intended as Aleeza, but was mixed up in her hazy post-newborn days.) As happy as I am to honor Jenn with a namesake, it startles me daily -- that we have a daughter named after Jenn. Her middle name, Pam, is in honor of Josh's Aunt Pami, who passed away 2 years ago. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lilia's 4th



4 year old girls... princesses. With a break for Steve to demonstrate how to perform the limbo to a pack of preschoolers, with a large penguin and a drink.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Plum Island, again

My father is lucky enough to live a few minutes from this place, and it is perhaps one of the most perfect places on earth, especially when it's just a bit too cold to be crowded. This time we took on the tall grass of the marsh before heading onto the world's largest sandbox, where I could park my pregnant behind on a large drift-log while Zach filled his bucket (and shoes) with sand.





Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Snow





Aside from the snow-covered pumpkins and leaves, I now understand the implications now of heavy snow on top of full unfallen foliage: Our yard and driveway are a mess of giant maple branches and show-dropped shrubs. Last night our street was blocked by a down tree. Neighbor's VW was impaled by a limb, into the engine. Power out in much of the town, though ours has mostly been on.

And... the cleanup crew:


Friday, October 21, 2011

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Topsfield Fair (2011)

Rides (we sent the kids on their own this year):


The giant pumpkin:


Waiting for more rides:


And... a corn dog, bunnies, sheep, baby chicks (we got to hold one, even), duck races, saw milk extracted from a cow, a blacksmith heat iron, bees making honey, tractors... the usual stuff.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Tashlich in Concord

As an atheist-Jew, there are certain rituals I enjoy. Tashlich is one of my favorite - throwing sins (or, as we explained to Zach, "bad decisions") of the past year in the form of bread into the water, to be consumed by scape-fish. Zach has apparently been telling the folks at daycare that "mommy has a baby in her belly so she yells a lot" (true story, I'm sad to admit) so there were a bunch of bread crumbs thrown on that count. Our co-Jews, Jer, Sha and Lilia joined us with some old rye bread at the Old North Bridge in Concord.





Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Free-Range Peacock

At the Franklin Park Zoo. Thankfully, peacocks no longer instill mortal fear in my son, as they did when he was 2.

Monday, September 12, 2011

100 years

Levie van Dam, crossing the century mark.

Levie is my stepmother's father. He still walks and manages his paperwork, though not quite as briskly as he did at 90. Outliving all your friends may have its downsides, but nonetheless, think of all that has passed and changed over the course of those last 100 years.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sharing a deck chair

Sydney (with the blue toenails) and Zach.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Mustard" (the cable car)



Canon Mountain, Franconia Notch, NH, with the added bonus of a lot of rain, cold air and almost no visibility. Zach and Sydney were willing to take on the "hike" at the top anyway (it's only about 10 minutes around).

Zach was convinced that the mountains that had clouds on top of them were volcanoes (thank you, Dinosaur Train). But, going up into this mess was a useful lesson in how weather happens.

Mustard is the nickname of the yellow cable car. There's also a red one, Ketchup.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zach and Sarah in the lake




Preferred activity: making "muck" soup.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur. It started mid-July with an incongruous string of text messages from Josh. I got to work, I think it was Friday 7/15, and first saw a message with a picture of fancy butter from his dinner the night before (he was in California, working). This was followed immediately by a note stating that his sister in the ICU with a high fever and blood pressure problems. Their parents had been in transit to Australia for over 24 hours so far, where they were supposed to spend a month.

That night I dropped Zach off at a campground in Carver - 2 hours from our house. Just as I was arriving, Josh called to tell me they were transporting Jenn to DC because her condition was so critical and they needed a more specialized cardiac team. So, instead of instead of staying with Zach to enjoy the weekend, I left him at the campground, in the care of his buddy, Ryan. I headed back home to wait for Josh, and pack up for a 6am flight to BWI. Andy and Estee, upon arrival in Adelaide, realized they needed to turn around. They took a walk, bought some mints and waited for the next flight back to Sydney.

Mid-morning Saturday we found Tim in the basement waiting room, half asleep in an uncomfortable chair, holding Jenn's purse. Once they let us see her, Jenn was lying, sedated, in the emergency cardiac area with all the blood in her body being pumped through a heart-lung machine. Later that day, after more surgery, she was moved upstairs to the cardiac ICU. It seemed like a good sign.

But, as you probably know, things did not improve. After 11 long days - of vigilant hope and multiple trips back and forth between Boston and Maryland - she was taken off the life-supporting machines. I got word from Josh on Tuesday just after I had heated up my lunch, which I never ended up eating.

7/27 - We drove together to the hospital Wednesday morning in silence. Watching Tim prepare himself to give the final ok for this was the most heartbreaking thing I've witnessed, stating simply, that he would always want more time.

After that there was a hazy period of time that started with 3pm lunch at the Chinese restaurant across the street from the funeral home, where Estee explained to the poor waitress what had just happened. Then a funeral - where the girls talked softly to their mom in her wooden box. The traffic-halting line of cars. And the 108 degree burial. The dirt. The flood of people and food at Andy and Estee's house. The long drive home.

At this point, Josh and I have returned home and have settled back into our "normal" life. It's easier from 500 miles away to get back into our routine. The details of my life are more or less the same. Estee, Andy, Tim and the girls are having to figure out a whole new normal. Sydney is 10. Sarah is about to start kindergarten. I can't imagine starting kindergarten without my mother.

The snapshot below was taken on June 19.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ice cream indecision

At Carl's in Fredericksburg, VA, just before Zach demonstrates his lack the skill in getting to the bottom of a cone of soft serve in 85-degree weather.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Space Cadets

At the Udvar-Hazey Air and Space Museum. First pic: overlooking the retired space shuttle, Enterprise, with Sarah in full astronaut attire. Second pic: running/stopping, on the catwalk. If you're out by the lovely Dulles Airport near D.C., it's worth checking out. Cool stuff, even if you're only marginally interested in airplanes.