Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sharing Simchos!

We were due three days apart but our little girls ended up with a 19 day gap between their birthdays.

My friend "Michal" from my book just gave birth to a playmate for HB this morning! She sounds great even though she's not resting up enough (I am one to talk because I am three weeks down the road and know what she's about to face...) and she's just thrilled to be a mommy.

Her daughter is making up for the 19 day gap by weighing more at birth than HB does at almost three weeks old, so I just know they'll be great friends with a lot in common.

I should really add some of these last posts as a P.S. in the book now that Miracle Ride is going into its third printing. :-). People keep asking me for updates on all the characters in the book- and B"H there's been a lot of happy stuff going on for us.

May we only share simchos!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Small Steps

Taking life day by day gets easier when you remember to appreciate the small things. :-) And it gets better when you remember to smile. Oh, and take lots of cute pictures. :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Of Life and Linen

And Real Life goes on!

Taking it day by day is easier than it sounds. Especially when the last few days have been full of unexpected surprises.

Before this baby came I prepared like crazy- made suppers and froze them, stocked my pantry, prepared the baby room and gear from JB, all that fun stuff. So I wasn't worried about bringing JB back home less than two weeks after HB was born because I knew I could manage.

What I didn't know was...

-JB would cry himself to sleep the first two nights home because he lost his pacifier and because he missed being at his grandparents' house.

-Late Sunday night my boiler was going to conk out on me.

-HB was going to cry all Sunday night.

-HB was going to wake up JB at 6am.

-We would have to spend all Monday at my parents house for the heat.

-The plumber wouldn't be able to fix my boiler.

-There would be no one to call for emergency service because of President's Day.

-I was going to go back home with two electric heaters.

-...That would stop working at 11pm.

-HB was going to wake up for her feeding at precisely the time that JB vomited all over his crib.

-JB was going to puke all over my husband's bed while I was washing his linen.

-HB was going to cry while I did three more laods of laundry and JB threw up on my floor.

-I was going to be listening to Mrs. Himmelstein invite Mrs. Pitkin to her nephew Lemel's bar mitzvah at 4am. (Shmuel Kunda- JB likes to fall asleep to it.)

-I was going to be woken at 6 again for a feeding.

-JB was going to wake me up at 7.

-JB was not finished throwing up.

-JB was STILL not finished throwing up.

-HB was going to wake up while JB decided to throw up AGAIN.

-They were both going to finally fall asleep on stripped cribs and beds and I would be stuck in my freezing house still in pajamas at 1:20 pm wanting to go for a nap, but waiting for my linen to come out of the dryer...

Ah, real life. Feels wonderful to be normal again.

If anyone sees a squishy pink thing laying around or maybe even strolling the streets, I seem to have lost my mind some time ago. I'd like it back. :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back to Real Life

So, HB is almost two weeks old and JB is back home with me and life goes back to normal. Except it's not really back to normal for me because I've never experienced life with two babies. So this is more like a brand new major adjustment period rather than regular life.

I remember feeling something like this after I finished chemo. It was like getting used to life all over again. It was so confusing and scary and maybe even a little depressing at times when I realized that my old life was never coming back. That as much as I grew and gained from my experiences, I still missed a part of whom I was before but I could never go back.

From what I've heard, lots of cancer patients feel that way after getting better. The whole time they were sick they couldn't wait to be back in the real world, get back to their real lives, but when they finally got out there again they discovered that the real world didn't wait. It moved on without them. And their real lives? All of a sudden they have to reassess what that even means.

All day today I was battling some New Mommy Blues , fighting it back as I had my first regular "back to normal" day. I took my kids (feels so funny to say that! My Kids :-) ) to Toys R Us for some baby gear and for a butt-day present for JB. There were a load of screaming monsters all over the place and my son wasted no time exercising his lungs too.

I thought I would go out of my mind or at the very least have a screaming fit as well.

In the end, we left with JB's present of choice- a big 15" ball that cost all of $2.16 (may all his future wants and needs hurt my pocket no more than this did) and with a splitting headache.

I felt like crying all through the afternoon when HB made through three pampers and two undershirts in a row and then through the bath that JB refused to take and then through bedtime which JB and HB cried themselves blue and where I ran from one to the other until JB cried himself to sleep (he lost his pacifier last night at his grandfather's house) and until HB had her bath and spit up some more formula on her (used to be) clean (ten minutes ago) stretchie, and conked out as well.

I feel bratty about this- like I should be so thankful that I have this wonderful family but instead I'm just wishing to go back to two weeks ago when I was in charge (mostly) of my hormones and to when I could sleep 8 hours (if I took Tylenol for the lower back pain) a night, and to when I had an excuse not to wear heels on Shabbos.

I felt bratty after chemo too- I knew I had to be thrilled that I was well again, but it took a long time until I got settled enough to be able to look back and appreciate it. Those first few months were awful. Yes, I got engaged and married in those months, but daily life was hard. I struggled to get used to the world where it was when I rejoined it. And it was hard after having missed out so much.

So even though some will say that I'm just hormonal (just not in front of my husband please, he hates that word...) and I have no qualms about agreeing with you there- I will also say that I am adjusting. And that adjusting is just as hard as dealing with mood swings. And that adjusting WITH mood swings is harder. And that adjusting with mood swings AND sleepless nights is a killer. So bear with me world. I'm catching up as fast as I can.

But I'm learning. Or at least remembering. That the great things in our lives come at some sort of price. But not in a bad way. Just in a way that makes us appreciate them even more once we get past the rough spots.

One day down, and we'll keep doing it one day at a time.

Or one night at a time- kids are sleeping finally, so that's my cue. Mommies of newborns are allowed to go to bed before ten p.m. It's the only way they stay sane. Or at least partly so.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Name

I might as well start from the beginning if I'm already going to tell you my daughter's name.

We'll start with JB.

JB of course is only a nickname. When he was born he was so tiny that we joked he looked like a jellybean all curled up in a little ball. So we called him JB for a week until his bris and the name kind of stuck.

But his real name is Shimon. For R' Shimon bar Yochai. He was not born Lag Ba'omer time- JB's birthday is actually this Shabbos, but my husband's grandfather was named for R' Shimon and he requested that anyone named after him should never add a second name because it wasn't his name to pass on- it belonged to R' Shimon. So JB in his other offline life is also called Shimi. Or Monster. Or Stinker. Or cutie-patutey. Or if he's really misbehaving, SHIMON HALEVI "CATON"!!!!!

JR's name is Hadassah Bracha.

Hadassah is for my great grandmother whose real name was Esther Malka. We couldn't give Esther Malka because we already have another family member by that name. So because of the Purim story where Esther HaMalka is also called Hadassah, we chose to remember her by that name instead.

Bracha is her second name and it's after the woman my great grandfather married when Esther Malka was niftar. She was a quiet person, a very special soul, who never had any children of her own. I felt very strongly about giving my daughter her name because she was such a fine person and because she deserved to be remembered even though she had none of her own children and grandchildren to pass on her name.

Another reason I felt strongly about the name Bracha is because of the timing that my daughter was born. 5 years and 5 days off chemo- a week into my life out of remission. She's really a bracha to me at this time- just a sign that my life is going so well, and that every day that I am well and the fact that I have a husband and two beautiful kids is a gift from Hashem.

So there you go- another big peek into Tzipi Caton's personal life...

And for the poster who asked why I never put up pictures of my husband- Well he's shy. And because he agreed to be MY husband, not Tzipi Caton's. So I need to respect that this is my story that I chose to tell, not his. But I'll tell him he's being asked after- I know he'll get a kick out of it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Meet JR!

Five years may have passed, but I still hate hospitals, so I'm home a little bit early and back with pictures to show you all.
They're not especially great, but that's what having a new baby is about- a bunch of messy pictures taken by overwhelmed husbands and excited grandmas.
So Jellyring (no name until Shabbos) weighed 6lbs 6oz (2 oz more than JB) and came in an inch shorter than him at 18".
She's so far really cute and quiet and lovable and I'm really looking forward to getting to know her and being her mommy.
JB is thrilled with her. He keeps trying to give her a pacifier and a bottle and was very taken with her little fingers. He giggled when she cried, he thought it was hilarious that something so tiny can squeak. It's his birthday this week and he is sure that Mommy and Tatty bought him this baby as a "Butt-Day" present.
Wait till he finds out that this present can't just go back in the toy bin when he's bored of it!
Thanks everyone for the Mazal Tov wishes! IY"H simchos by all of us!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Adding to the Nosh Cabinet....

Not a very well written post but a good one still...

We get a mazal tov!

JB has a sibling- a little baby sister. We'll call her JellyRing for now, JR for short.

Details will come when I get home and can post from something other than a BlackBerry.

IY"H only oif simchas by all of us!