Monday, May 30, 2011


For those of you who don't know what the Hebrew word shalom means, I'll explain it. Shalom literally means peace, although many people use it as "hello" or "goodbye," since you're basically wishing that person to have peace. Ever heard someone say "peace out" as a goodbye? Well this is the same idea.

In any case, I bring this up because I have been offered the proverbial olive branch by the family. They want shalom. They're not angry with me and hope I won't be angry with them any longer...and I think I can do that. All I wanted was to be appreciated and for my feelings to be recognized, and by this I think they get that. Now hopefully we'll be able to go back to how we were before things got out of control. I really, really hope so, because all this stress isn't good for anyone involved.

And on some completely unrelated topics...

The twins are now sleeping in toddler beds! Tonight we made the decision to take the railings off of their cribs because Chana was starting to try to climb out of her crib and we didn't want an accident. We installed a gate over their doorway so they can't get out, and we toddler-proofed their room as best we could. We plugged in the video monitor that my sister gave us for Chanukkah this past year so we can hear and see them, just in case they wake up before we do. Most likely that won't happen, but you never know. They were a bit cranky when they first realized that the railing was gone, but by the time the lights were out, they were mostly ok and Chana climbed right in.

Tzipora started laughing about a week or so ago, and it's so cute. She doesn't do it often, but if you tickle her chin/neck sometimes she'll give you a giggle. What a sweetie!! But she's still not growing as much as the doctor wants her to, and they're urging me to supplement with formula. I'm trying to only supplement her with the milk I pump and so far I haven't needed to pull out the formula. We'll see how this goes! We have another weigh-in in two weeks. *sigh*

I start school tomorrow. YIKES!!! Wish me luck for Microbiology this summer and a continuation of my straight A's. :-D

I have a special note to Auntie Beh who got injured while attacking the weeds outside Mom's house the other day. We hope that the doctor can de-thorn your "paw" and that you stop injuring yourself. :-) (Sorry, but when Shmuel told me you got a thorn in your hand it gave me a picture in my head of a dog or a bear with a thorn in its paw.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm Angry and Depressed...

I'm Angry and Depressed...

because no one would listen to me, and therefore a huge deal was made out of absolutely nothing.

because lashon hara was spread about me that was a lie.

for being blamed for something that was not my idea, my fault or my intention.

because my motives were completely pure.

because I feel (and others who I've talked to feel) that I did absolutely nothing wrong, even if others have misinterpreted my actions.

because some 60-year-old document is apparently more important than my feelings and all the good I do in my home.

because whatever was written in the document was not my fault in the least. I had no idea what was written there before I saw it, and I thought no one else knew as well.

because I called with the document expecting accolades for finding it, and instead I received a virtual slap in the face.

because I feel I should have received an apology saying that they were wrong for accusing me of publishing the document to a public website, when I did nothing of the sort. The document was ALREADY PUBLIC and I put it on a PRIVATE website.

because I’ve been picked on incessantly since Pesach.

because I don’t appreciate people second guessing my decisions about my own children and trying to run my life.

because they think they know what’s best for me.

because apparently being on the computer after going to school, getting all A's, going shopping for food and nursing the baby makes me lazy.

because they expect me not to talk about my feelings to my friends. I make sure everything is completely anonymous – NEVER lashon hara.

And the moral of the story is...

Please listen when someone is trying to tell you something! Read their emails in full and digest what they have to say. Take their calls and speak without arguing. Listen to what's being said, mull it over and then respond. No yelling, accusing or talking over the other person. And always return their phone calls. If they're calling, they obviously have something important to tell you.

Even if you don't think that what they have to say is important...most likely what they're trying to tell you is very important.

Even if you don't think what they'll tell you will change your just might be surprised with what they have to say, especially when they know exactly what the situation is and you are coming in as an outsider.

Try not to react (or overreact) to a situation without full knowledge of what's going on.

Always ask why! (Why did I send the document to X's email? Because X's mom said I should when I asked her. Why did I post the document to the website? Because I wanted the cousins to be able to see it. Why did I go looking for it in the first place? Because the cousins asked me to.) The answers might just explain the entire situation and make you go "Oh, ok! Nevermind, then."

Don't make judgments about people you don't know.

And, most importantly, don't ever speak lashon hara about anyone else. Even if if you think you're telling the truth, it still could be a lie. When in doubt, ask a rabbi and have the rabbi speak to the other party as well to get the full picture of the situation. If the rabbi only gets it from one ear, then he'll have a biased opinion and answer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thank You

Thanks to all of the commenters for supporting me. That's why I have this blog, for support. Writing in a private journal is one thing, but a private journal can't give you a hug and tell you that you're right for feeling this way and that others are really being unrealistic and irrational. I've had requests from the previous parties mentioned to stop posting about the family, but I cannot and will not withhold my feelings from supportive parties. Yes, I get great support from my mom and my husband, but I need friend support as well, especially when things get really rough around here. I made a point not to use names or even to disclose what side of the family is causing this. Could be anyone, really! Could be first cousins, second cousins, or third cousins even! But I will not let anyone else tell me what to do or how to run my life. When I was told "get rid of your nanny," I put my foot down and said no. When I was told "get rid of that document," I acquiesced even though it was pointless, just to make them stop badgering me. (Didn't work...still got badgered!) When I'm told "stop posting about the family," I say don't read my blog if you don't want to know how I'm feeling. You don't read and absorb my emails, so why bother reading my blog? The point didn't get across in either way...

Anyways, I appreciate so very much the support from you guys but I would appreciate no name calling of my family in your comments. As angry as I am at them and especially knowing that they do read my blog, I can imagine it would really hurt their feelings to see some of the things you guys have called them. Thanks a million! The comments are like virtual hugs, and I need a lot of them right now.

The plus side is that all of this stress is causing me to lose weight...over 2 lbs in the last few days!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Hate Spreads...

Imagine my surprise when I get a call from the cousin's father...chewing me out. Complaining that I had found and posted this document. I explained to him that it was private, and he finally got it. Apparently X and X's mom BOTH think that I posted it on a public domain, expressed that to him and GAVE HIM MY FLIPPING PHONE NUMBER to appeal to me! Nevermind the fact that I took the document down last night... I've been sitting here fighting back tears/crying since he called. I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life. And all because X refused to read and understand my emails. So now I'm basically the black sheep of the family, except to the cousins who think I'm G-d himself (herself?). But at least he listened to what I had to say and said he would pass on the message to X and her mom, since they obviously won't listen to me. And by the end of our conversation he understood why I did what I did and how it wasn't as catastrophic as X made it out to be...although apparently I've now "created a maelstrom" in the family, to use his own words. What a disaster. I seriously want to crawl into my room and not come out for a month...

Family Feud - Take Two

Just when I thought things were all back to happy and normal, once again I'm treated like the problem child...

I love to do genealogy, and my family tree is quite large (with a few famous cousins, I might add). I work on a specific website where you can link up with other trees and such. I invited several of my closer family members to the website so they could help me build, one of them being the person who isn't happy with me lately. For simplicity and anonymity sake, let's call her X.

A few days ago I linked up with some cousins on X's side of the family. These cousins and I have been emailing back and forth about a specific person on that side of the family (long since deceased) who they wanted more information on. I didn't readily have the information, but I'm very good at this kind of research and within the hour I had found a pretty incredible document which basically filled in the missing pieces. I was so excited about it that I called up X's mom and told her about it. She then told me I should email it to X. BIG MISTAKE! I also uploaded the document onto my genealogy website, but I did this privately, so that only family members with accounts on this website could see it. Keep in mind that I found this document on a public website within a half hour...

I get an email from the cousins practically kissing my feet. They were thanking me up, down and sideways about how amazing I am and how they're so happy we're connecting the cousins again, etc. etc. I felt all proud of myself that I had helped out the family so much.

Then I get an email from X, basically telling me that the document I found should never have been found, it's offensive and could ruin my life and my children's lives...and therefore I need to immediately remove it from the genealogy website and stop nosing around about this deceased person. I emailed back saying I was sorry I had offended her, but that I was just helping these cousins and that I wasn't nosing around any more. I found what they wanted and that was it. I also informed X that the document I uploaded was completely private and could not be found by anyone without having been invited by me to see it. Her response? Just remove it...and do it cuz the rabbis said so. She either hadn't read my email or had completely ignored what I had written. I removed it not because she asked, because removing it was completely useless if she's worried about people finding it, but just because I didn't want her emailing me complaining about it - and she did thank me for taking it down. I then proceeded to block her on the genealogy website so that maybe now she'll understand the meaning of private. Maybe when she realizes she can't see anyone's information in my family she'll get it... Now she can't edit any of the profiles that I manage, but unfortunately it also means I can't edit any of the profiles that she manages. Luckily I had already done my research on them and probably won't need to edit them.

Anyway, the whole thing was just completely ridiculous. The way she reacted to this document was so out of line. Yes, it had some disturbing information in it, and I can understand how it would have upset her, but so far she's the only person that's reacted at this level. Anyone who says their family doesn't have at least one skeleton in the closet is lying or in denial. And seriously, outside of the family who cares what happened to someone over 50 years ago that's not even a direct ancestor??? The cousins had no problem with it. They accepted it and moved on, saying they were going to say kaddish for him (that's a prayer for the deceased person's soul) and would dedicate a memorial plaque in their synagogue for him as well. They also want to try to find his grave so they can pay their respects directly.

So now I'm back to square one. I cancelled my special phone plan so that I could call X (and so that she could call us for free). She never used it to call before now, so it was really pointless in the first place, but that's beside the point. It's just so sad because this is a person I was willing to do anything to help get pregnant. I was willing to do a special IVF cycle and donate my own embryos to her, but the rabbi said it wasn't allowed. But now I'm wondering why I put in the effort.

If she's acting this way because she's jealous that I have children and she may never have children, I totally get that 100%. It's how I would feel in her situation. I'll tell you a little story to prove that, too. Back before I had the twins one of my good friends got pregnant with her 4th baby. I was so jealous that I was seeing green! I stopped going to her house on Shabbos, didn't call, didn't visit, etc. I just couldn't face her because I was so jealous that she could get pregnant so easily and I couldn't. I was afraid I'd say something or act inappropriately because of that jealousy. And I knew if I did go to see her and saw her big belly, I would go home and cry about it, bemoaning my childlessness. When she had the baby, I brought over dinner for them and met the little cutie. I even held her for a bit. Doing that started to chip away at the jealousy, although I was still pretty green. A few months later is when I got pregnant with the twins and no longer had anything to be jealous of. I was an awful friend to her during her pregnancy by being absent, but hopefully I've made up for it over the past 2 1/2 years.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I understand if she's jealous but would rather her be completely absent with no communication rather than have animosity thrown at me when I try to be helpful. It's sad, because she always used to tell me how much she loves my kids and how much she misses them, but by alienating me she's risking her relationship with them! It's not like I'm going to fly my family halfway across the world to see her (it's crazy expensive anyway). And if she's reading this, I hope she realizes just how sad this whole mess has made me, but if I get stressed out and insomniac every time she emails me, I don't know what else to do.

(If you've read this whole post, I'm very impressed!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quick Post

I just wanted to post something really quickly before Shabbos. According to one of the family members involved, no one is angry with me. Now, no one has called me since this all went down, but she relayed a message to me that basically said that she hoped I wasn't angry with anyone and that no one on her end was angry with me and it would be a shame for me to be upset. I have no reason not to believe her, but I think I'd feel a bit better if she'd call me like she used to.

In any case, nothing about the day care situation was mentioned, so I'm hoping that they've moved past it. I guess only time will tell. Have a Gut Shabbos!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Early Intervention Update Et Al

First of all, I want to correct whoever commented about *my* parents causing the disturbance. My mother is 100% supportive of me in this particular situation, and if my dad was still with us I'm sure he would be too. Just wanted to clear that up so no one thinks bad of my mom. She's awesome. :-)

Secondly, I still can't get through to the parties involved and I'm beginning to think now that it's actually an underlying problem with *me* - which is causing them to look for things that I'm doing wrong. For example...complaint #1 is I'm lazy and won't take care of my own kids. Lazy, eh? How have I gotten A's in every class I've taken over the last year? Has anyone else in this house gone grocery shopping without me in a year? (Excluding the hubs going a few times for a singular forgotten item, but I don't think he's done the full load in a while.) Who's been taking care of the baby? Am I allowed to have a few minutes on the computer to do something relaxing (like genealogy)? The rest of the time on the computer I'm generally doing reviews (which is better than getting paid because it's not taxable). And I don't consider going to school in order to become a nurse laziness. It just hurt my feelings so badly to have someone think I don't want to spend time with my kids. I'd love to have the time to do that! But I'm not the kind of person who can watch kids all day... Honestly, it's not what's best for them because I'd go stir crazy and there's no way they would make any progress in their development. And it surely wouldn't cover the amount of money I'll need to be saving in order for them to go to private Jewish day school when they're ready. But going to nursing school will (IY"H) be able to provide that once I graduate.

And finally, what you've been waiting for, is their Early Intervention update...which further proves that I know perfectly well what's best for my kids (ie being with Malka all day and not me). :-)

Early intervention tests the kids in several different areas: fine motor, cognition, expressive language, receptive language, social/emotional skills, feeding, toileting, dressing/hygiene, and gross motor. (Feeding, toileting, and dressing/hygiene scores are later combined to form the "self care" category.)

Here is how the twins progressed from last May to this May. Their first evaluation was 5/14/10 (13 mos old), second evaluation was 11/12/10 (19 mos old) and their final evaluation was 5/12/11 (25 mos old). At 13 months they needed to be at least 3 months delayed (so less than or equal to 10 months), at 19 mos they needed to be at least 5 months delayed (so less than or equal to 14 mos), and at 25 mos they needed to be at least 7 months delayed (so less than or equal to 18 mos).

Fine Motor Skills
Dovid - 8 mos -> 15 mos -> 23 mos
Chana - 10 mos -> 17 mos -> 22 mos

Dovid - 10 mos -> 15 mos -> 21 mos
Chana - 12 mos -> 17 mos -> 23 mos

Expressive Language
Dovid - 7 mos -> 15 mos -> 27 mos
Chana - 12 mos -> 18 mos -> 29 mos

Receptive Language
Dovid - 10 mos -> 16 mos -> 23 mos
Chana - 10 mos -> 17 mos -> 23 mos

Social/Emotional Skills
Dovid - 8 mos -> 21 mos -> 31 mos
Chana - 10 mos -> 21 mos -> 34 mos

Dovid - 10 mos -> 12 mos -> 19 mos
Chana - 11 mos -> 14 mos -> 19 mos

Dovid - 11 mos -> 11 mos -> 23 mos
Chana - 11 mos -> 11 mos -> 23 mos

Dovid - 11 mos -> 15 mos -> 31 mos
Chana - 12 mos -> 17 mos -> 31 mos

Average Self Care
Dovid - 11 mos -> 13 mos -> 24 mos
Chana - 11 mos -> 14 mos -> 24 mos

Gross Motor
Dovid - 13 mos -> 19 mos -> 27 mos
Chana - 13 mos -> 18 mos -> 30 mos

As you can see, the areas that needed the most work have improved so drastically that it amazes me. In many areas they are now above age level, and many times they gained 7+ months of development in 6 months time. (For a note, we did not start working on self care until after the second evaluation, which is why there was little improvement there between the first two evaluations. Also, the twins did not begin with Malka until August of 2010, so she only had them for 3 out of the first 6 months of Early Intervention.)

My son, who was so desperately far behind in expressive language last year is now at a higher level than his age! He also gained two years of social/emotional development in one year and is now well above his age in that skill. Chana has the social/emotional skills of someone nearly a year older and also developed two years in one. I attribute that social/emotional success to having the chance to be around other kids in day care. But the other skills, expressive language most obviously, came from having excellent child care from someone who obviously knows what she's doing. Thank you, Malka, for teaching my Twinners how to talk! Every time they call me Mommy or beg for "Up! Up! Up!" I think of how they were completely silent until they started with you. (No offense at all to Ziva, who was amazing, too! The twins ask for you by name now!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Really Depressed

I'm really depressed about something that's been happening lately, and even though I know the people involved read my blog, I just need the support right now regardless.

First of all, the woman who takes care of the twins on a daily basis is one of my best friends. I love her to pieces because we are so similar, so it's almost as though she's an extension of myself. When something good happens to her, I'm as excited as if it were my own happiness. And when something bad happens, it's as if it happened to me as well. But here's the problem... For some reason some family members got a bad impression of her during a visit to us, and they want me to stop using her as my "day care". At the moment she is doing this "day care" out of my home and also watches 1-2 other kids during the day along with the twins. In Massachusetts there is no problem with this and it's really like having play dates over rather than a true day care. (Actual day care is defined in Massachusetts law as 6 or more children.) These kids' families are also friends of ours, so it's not like she's taking care of strangers. These family members became concerned that we're liable if anything should happen to any of these children (or the "babysitter") since day care is held at our house. This idea is preposterous to me, since we are all friends and would you ever sue a friend because a kid fell down and got hurt at their house? Of course not! Kids are kids and they get hurt. When Dovid hit his chin and needed to go to the hospital, did I blame anyone? Of course not! He's a toddler and he's going to injure himself. And the babysitter is a grown woman. She can take care of herself and would never blame me for her own injuries - unless the ceiling caved in.

Updated to add: I just checked my homeowner's policy, and I'm covered for $300,000 for personal liability (per occurrence) and $1000 of medical payments to others (per person), should something happen in my home. But in Massachusetts, everyone is required to have medical insurance so that $1000 really doesn't matter.

Anyway, I think you have the picture. I'm completely distraught over this because I love my best friend and I love these family members as well. I don't want anyone's feelings to get hurt, and I certainly don't want to put my best friend out of a job for no reason. I think she does a fantastic job with my kids, and in one of my next posts I'll tell you about the twins' early intervention assessment from last week. In an nutshell, they've made so much progress over the last 6 months that they no longer qualify! I attribute almost all of that progress to my friend's amazing teaching skills. Why would I want to give that up and lose a perfectly wonderful friendship to boot? But on the other hand, I don't want to lose this family either. Without their support, I don't know what Shmuel and I would do. I've been crying about this, and my stomach has been in knots for days. It's just too much stress for me, and I don't know how to handle it. Someone please wake me up from this nightmare!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cuteness of the Day

First of all, Tzipora rolled over two more times over Shabbos, so now we know that her first time wasn't a fluke. :-) She's getting much better at tummy time, and doesn't cry as much as she used to.

Now for the super cuteness. Dovid is getting so much better at speaking and even uses full sentences. But who knew that he was bi-lingual!? He sneezed this evening and afterwards said "gesuntheit" without prompting. LOL I always say "gesuntheit" instead of bless you, so it's not like he's never heard the phrase before...I just never realized he had learned it. Yay Dovid!

The twins have their next Early Intervention assessment on Thursday, and I don't know if they're going to qualify for another six months. They've made such amazing progress in everything! I'll make sure to let you know.

Now, for the *real* news. If you've read this far, you get a nice "surprise." Now get your minds out of the pregnancy sphere...I am *not* pregnant...not even a little bit. But I am OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED INTO NURSING SCHOOL!!! Yay! :-D

Monday, May 2, 2011

She Did It!

My little baby rolled over during tummy time on Shabbos! I had put her on her stomach and stood there. Within a few minutes, she had flipped herself over. When I put her back on her stomach, she didn't repeat the feat, but at least now I know she can do it. What a big girl! And she's also getting much better at holding her head up during tummy time.

As for her weight gain, I've been weighing her before and after feeds, and so far she's averaging about 2 oz per feed (excluding the first two feeds of the day which are much larger). Today she took about 21.5 oz total! So that's pretty good. She also seems to be gaining. At the doctor's office on Thursday she was 10lbs 6oz and today she's about 10lbs 9oz. So that's fantastic, and exactly what we were hoping for. I'm planning to start a medication to boost my milk supply and to drink lots of Milk Maid Tea, and hopefully that will make me nice and full so she can get bigger feeds. Yay!