Monday, April 30, 2007

Home Based Business

Hello, loving family and friends!

Alex and I have decided to research doing photoscrapped invitations & photo cards - not sure if it would be profitable, etc, but we are going to try. But what I need, are PHOTOS!

Specifically, I am looking for : Christmas, Easter, Communion, Anniversary, New Born Baby Pictures, Wedding Pictures, Bas Mitzvah, Birthday Pictures.


Here are a few of my recent scrapbook pages

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mila Pictures

I have been trying ALL DAY TODAY to post these pictures... still trying!

New Pictures!

Boola is doing about the same. I have to say though, she LOOKS much better, although she says she is still having a LOT of pain in her back, ribs, and head. She also has quite the goose-egg where she hit her head. She also seems to have her sense of humor back - I absolutely saw her teasing her younger brother!

I finally got the desk put together. Robby is totally enjoying painting! I limit him to 1 paper per day so that he learns to use his space ( rather than one drop of paint on the paper, then a new one... ) and he is experimenting well. I force him to use the paintbrush correctly, too. He has a special cup for paint water, and he's mastered " swish, swish, tap tap! " to get the brush clean between paint dips. He takes delight in putting a dot of black in each tub though - it drives me batty! Here are some pictures of the desk from hell, and his artwork.

Mila had her first vaccinations yesterday, which she absolutely, 100% was not impressed with! She cried for the first one, hiccupped pitifully during the second, and waiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllled after the third. She then continued to cry all day. And most of today, as well. Her legs are pretty sore, I think - yesterday she couldn't bear for them to be touched... That makes carrying her in arms rather difficult. In fact, she couldn't even tolerate the ring sling or pouch, so I put her in my homemade wrap ( 16+ feet of fabric, 35 inches wide ) which seemed to help. If I had half a brain left, I would have put her in the Mei Tai.

Mila is also growing! YAY! Her weight is 9.12 lbs, height/length 23.25 inches, and head circumference of 37 cm. That puts her in the 25th% for weight, 50th% for height, and 20% for head circumference. She's a tiny peanut and looks even smaller when I've got her legs folded under in the pouch or RS. She's not even VISIBLE in the MT yet!

Alex is doing okay at work, though it seems that he will be working 6 days a week for a while until new people are trained. I hope this ends quickly because I really enjoy having him home to help out. Raising two littles is tough - I don't know how some people do it with MUCH larger families! I find it hard to believe that at some point I wanted 5 kids. What's WRONG with me???

In fact, Alex REALLY helped out tonight!!! He did ALL the dishes, cleared the table, allowed me to order pizza, kicked the soccer ball with Robby, and got Mila to sleep. Then he made me some soup at night. He's fantastic... I am such a lucky ducky!

I guess you want pictures, hmmm?

Robby's artwork and painting. I did the brown R obviously... But I think he will take after Mommy artistically.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 24

Today, I saw green grass growing through the cracks of the sidewalk. I felt a warm breeze blow through my hair and watched my older child run laughing through last year's winter leaves. I watched as my younger child snuggled closer to my chest and watch the blue sky go by. Today was the first day that I really really felt spring arrive.

I blew bubbles today. I kicked a soccer ball. I laughed out loud and giggled with my children. I saw Robby mature right before my eyes, and I watched Mila's eyes light up as Robby danced for her smiles.

And then I spent THREE HOURS putting together Robby's f**king art desk. Not to ruin the sappy post, but the reason we WENT for said walk was to get away from the desk. 38 parts. 50 little metal screws. Six pieces I put on backwards. Three screws were put in, then removed to add more pieces. Two pieces didn't have letters on them. And one page of directions WITH NO WORDS!

But there is a fresh breeze blowing today!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Robby!

Before I get into Robby's birthday, a quick Boola update. Boola has been moved back to general care and seems to be much better. The docs are now saying it was likely machine error and not really a heart attack. In either case, she seems to be improving. THANK YOU GOD!

Yesterday, my first baby turned three. He's officially become a kid, in my eyes. I delight in him every day - from that first, happy " Good MORNING, mommy! I'm AWAKE! " to the " Come lay with me! " at bedtime, my day is filled with moments where I just stare at him and ask myself - I gave birth to that?Thats *my* son? Sometimes these are happy moments, like when he shushes his sister and kisses her to make her stop crying. ( Awwww ) And sometimes these are frustrated moments, like when he jumps off his windowsill for the 23974397 time after I've asked him not to ( Arggghhh! )

Friday night, Robby had his new little friends over. They had such a good time! The parents really got to enjoy some adult conversation while the kids played in Robby's room. They made SUCH A MESS!!! Robby was also gifted with an adorable Max doll with buttons, snaps, ties, etc. Its so soft! There were also bubbles in there... I have those hiding thank you very much!

I am such a sap sometimes - I really truly believe that kids cakes should be homemade with love whenever possible. At Robby's first birthday, the storebought cake was so terrible.. and the one I made " just for him " was eaten all up !!! His second birthday I spent HOURS making that cake and decorating it - my first double layer cake! This year, I was determined to do the same... and here is the comparision. And yes... I sat there and placed sprinkle pieces by hand. For an hour.

I will post more photos etc. later!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Insert Generic Title

First off - and most importantly BY FAR - please, please pray for Boola. The physio got her up and walking a few steps today. Shortly after, it was discovered that Boola had a mini heart attack and currently has a blood clot in one of the aorta's. Her blood pressure is 210/100. This is bad. Very very bad. She has been moved to the Cardiac Care Unit and is in VERY serious condition. I don't care who you are or what God you believe in, but please pray that her pain disappears. I won't ask you to pray for her survival or her recovery - while those are my deepest and fondest desires right now, all I am asking is that she find comfort, however that may be. She is an inspiration, having lived through WWII in the Ukraine - a very hard time in history. She lost her husband, and moved with her daughter & family to a country where she would couldn't even speak the language. She stayed home with Alex when he refused daycare. She has battled illness before and is fighting it now. All in all, she is a miraculous woman and does NOT deserve this pain that she is in.

On a more happy note : I finally got over to the ASAC and picked up the errant diaper bag. First, I left said diaper bag at the La Leche meeting. Then I left it at the BabyWear meeting. Hopefully, I will get my act together and not leave it anywhere else where it is not easily accessible!!! The Diaper Free Baby meeting was interesting - not sure if I will attempt it any time soon, but I do understand the way it works. However, I noticed some wet spots on the couch as we were leaving.

Also at the meeting - Jamie the wrap fanatic! She helped me " wrap " Mila. It was interesting. She was nice and cozy while sleeping but the MOMENT she was awake, she started to SCREAM. She did NOT like the position.

However, in said diaper bag was my TS carrier. Chrystil and I were discussing the pros & cons of the TS 2.0 - buckle waist and shoulder straps. The pros, of course, are that it is MIGHTY easy to use - no worries about tying or loosening knots. Great for older children. However, one of the biggest cons is that because of the open side design and LACK of tie ability, there is no real way to snug an infant into the carrier - and that becomes a safety issue. Rolling up the bottom does help a great deal to bring the infant up into the proper position high on the chest. I prefer Mila to be just about kiss level - if I look down at her, I can kiss the top of her head. However, because of the open sides, once she was asleep, she kinda sagged into a ball.

For reasons I have been forbidden to discuss, I decided to try to "ruck" the shoulders instead of crossing them in the back. This would allow me to cross them in FRONT, thereby securing Mila in as if I had tied her, with two straps going across, negating any big gaps in the side. But I couldn't get the "rucked" shoulders to stay on. For reasons I have been forbidden to discuss, I also had the straps WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYyy looser than I needed them... and then, it hit me!

I crossed the shoulders in back, and because the straps were insanely long, I also was able to cross them in front. Hence, the TS double cross! She is VERY securely in there, at EXACTLY the right height, with zero falling hazard. The *only* issue I see with this carry is that the shoulders do ride up a bit - however, with slightly wider straps <> that wouldn't matter at all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Being in Canada has been really hard. Even though I've lived here for 9 month or so, I had really only been able to make one friend - Chrystil. My one true Canadian friend.

Then we moved to Edmonton. And then I had Mila. And then I had pnumonia.

And then... It happened. I made a friend!

She shares my name and spells it right. She's got two boys and a girl ( who has a VERY sad medical condition, although it seems to be - knock wood- under control at the moment ). She uses the F word. She threatens to spank her children ( and like mine, they laugh ). She's normal!

I am thrilled to death to have a friend here, in no small part because my friends in Florida & PA do NOT call me anymore. I understand that I am far away. I understand that it costs $$$ to call here. I understand, for the most part, that they have other lives and other friends. But damnit, one sided friendships suck.

Robby loves his new friends. He adores them. We've been over there a few times and each time, he passes out in the car afterwards, head tilted to the side, snoring away. They play well together, although last time Robby gave the older child a black eye, and then recieved one himself. Funny how that works!

Mila doesn't care that I have new friends, LOL. She just cares that there are boobs involved.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Mila's colic continues althought it was slightly better last night . I have cut out caffiene and have terrible withdrawl headaches. However, I did get her calm by 1:30 am instead of 3am. That is an improvement.

Boola has pnuemonia and is very sick. Please please pray for her.

Robby is great and enjoying his new friends! More on that later.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Update

Boola is still in the hospital and we are not sure when she will be able to return home- she is running a fairly high fever and is in quite a lot of pain. We visited her briefly last night and she does not look well. We were not able to stay long as the nurses insisted the geriatric unit was being put to bed and made us leave. At least we were able to bring the children in a for a quick visit.

Mila continues to scream for hours at night. It is driving me insane, but it does seem like the text book version of colic.

:Colic is one of the mysteries of nature. Nobody knows what it really is, but everyone has an opinion. In the typical situation, the baby starts to have crying periods about two to three weeks after birth. These occur mainly in the evening, and finally stop when the baby is about three months of age (occasionally older). When the baby cries, he is often inconsolable, though if he is walked, rocked or taken for a drive, he may settle temporarily. For a baby to be called colicky, it is necessary that he be gaining weight well and be otherwise healthy.
The notion of colic has been extended to include almost any fussiness or crying in the baby, and this may be valid since we do not really know what colic is. There is no treatment for colic, though many medications and behaviour strategies have been tried, without any proven benefit. It is admitted that everyone knows someone whose baby was cured of colic by a particular treatment. It is also admitted that almost every treatment seems to work—for a short time, anyhow. : - Dr. Jack Newman, world renowned lactation & breastfeeding specialist

Needless to say, however, that the lack of sleep, lack of showering, and the lack of "me" time is slowly wearing away at me. We have tried all the "typical" solutions - rocking, slinging, swinging, shhhing, feeding, bathing, rubbing, massaging, cuddling, walking, medicating, everything. Despite our best efforts, she continues to scream for a minimum of two hours each night - usually from 11 to 1, 2, or 3. We do NOT let her cry it out - she is small enough as it is, and crying uses up all of her "growing" energy and causes stress hormones to rise dramatically. These stress hormones can make her more edgy and more prone to crying. Therefore, crying = more crying.

All I really want right now is a nap, and a shower :-)

Don't get me wrong - I am NOT suffering from PPD. I am *not* feeling resentful towards my daughter, just frustrated that something is bothering her enough to make her scream, and i can't help. Very frustrating for an AP parent. We've discussed it with her Ped and he says colic may be a sign of an immature brain, and that it works itself out as she gets older. As long as she is eating well ( she is ), eliminating well ( she is ), and gaining well ( she is ), there is NOTHING to be done if it is truly colic.

Robby is doing well although he *is* showing some jealousy at this point - which is understandable considering his sister screams all night. He has several times asked me to put her down to play with him - usually after she's been crying for some time. When I am home alone at bedtime - unless she is sleeping, i cannot lay with him which he really enjoys. I wish I could do more.

Friday, April 13, 2007

We've been BUSY!!!

I'm sorry I'm sorry!!! I haven't posted in forever because - get this - I've been BUSY! YAY for me! Unfortunetly, it was NOT always a "good" busy.

First there was this. Robby went flying after tripping on Mila's

blanket and managed to hit the corner of the leg of the chair that

was pushed against the table - and caught his head. No, thats NOT a scratch - thats a "blood" bruise.. Horrific, isn't it? I was freaking out because he did honestly hit hard enough to warrant concern about a concussion.. and I didn't have the car. ( Here's the caveat with that though.. Alex is TWO MINUTES away. Literally. We timed it! ) If he had thrown up even once, we woulda headed to Emergency to have him checked.

Then we got a call at 9am yesterday that Sophia's mom - the very much adored " Boola " had falled down the stairs and an ambulance had been called. Alex *had* to go to work because of issues that I will explain later. He did, however, pop over to the hospital and reported home to me that Boola was awake and coherent, albeit in extreme, debilitating pain. So far, we know that Boola has broken ribs and several spinal "mini" fractures. Please pray for her as she is elderly and not in great health to begin with.

Here is Boola holding Mila.

We also had Mila and Robby to the Ped for their checkups. Robby is 50% for weight and 50% for height as well, so he is perfectly average. He's a smart cookie as well. He does need to get his eyes checked, so we'll be doing that as well. He weighs 31 lbs and is 37 inches tall.

Mila is a 9 lbs 1 oz. She is in the 20th percentile for weight - they didn't check her height but I assume she's just fine there. She has officially lost all the hair on her head. Dr. Raffi said she has GREAT head control for being 7 weeks old, and she tracks very well with her eyes. The nightly screaming is likely colic or reflux - or both. I continue to carry her in the sling most of the day and part of the night as it seems to comfort her.

I also ordered two new slings!

The first one is a light blue linen with silvery accents embroidered on. I am hoping it softens when washed as it is a touch stiff right now. However, its LOVELY fabric and linen has a great reputation for summer wear as it is very breathable. The sling will have silver rings... I can't wait!!!!
The second will be my " dress " sling. Its a beautiful copper color that shades to black. It has a lighter copper color design on it. I have NO idea what its made out of so it will have to be dry cleaned. I believe it will get black rings. YAYAYAYAY I can't wait to get it!
Other news : There are three people who work with at Alex's gallery. Alex, A, and K. A & K got into an argument and K attacked A. I don't care WHAT was said and I don't care WHO started it, but what kind of immature @$$e$ do you have to be to jump over a counter and STRANGLE a co worker? I don't CARE if he let go right away, who the H3LL does that???? Now Alex has to work 6 days a week instead of 5 AND has to pick up another closing shift. That means we lose another dinner :-(
So needless to say, it has been very busy.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Take a Walk

Last night, Robby scared me pretty bad. He threw up from coughing at nap time, and then started sounding really croupy and was having coughing fits that were turning him purple and lasting a few minutes. I made Alex come home - I didn't know if Robby was going to need to go to the ER or not... but Alex took him to the Medi Center and it turns out that Robby has a bad double ear infection with fluid draining into his throat :-(. I feel so bad for him - I've heard that ear infections hurt mightily! He's on ezythromicin, which I probably mangled in terms of spelling.

Mila continues to have a snotty nose, although she hasn't thrown up again, thank you very much! She does, however continue to scream for several hours each evening. We are working on that though. Tonight, I am going to try giving her a bath when she begins her screaming.

Even though Robby wasn't feeling well yesterday, the weather was so beautiful that we decided to go for a bit of a walk! Apparently, unbeknownst to us previously, there is a paved sidewalk path that runs for over a KM behind our building. I'm so glad that Robby will be getting a bike for his birthday - it looks like a GREAT bike path. We walked from our apartment all the way to the mall, across the street from WEM's entrance to the Fantasyland hotel. I carried Mila in her sling... This thing is a godsend!

Mila is just a tad small for it, but she is able to wear this fuzzy pink thing that Christina and Mike gave us. It was perfect - warm but not so bulky that she wouldn't fit in the sling! Isn't it cute?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Screaming Banshee Baby

First things first :

Sophia is unwell and I am asking for good wishes and prayers for her. It looks like she has the flu.

That being said, things here at Casa de Kagan are good. Alex took me shopping for my birthday yesterday and we bought :

A leather jacket
Black Leather shoes
Black Slacks
Black Dress Shirt
4 Lace trimmed t shirts
2 lace trimmed tank tops
6 pairs of black socks
A mouse for the laptop for scrapbooking

I feel really special in all my new clothes :-)

Robby is doing well although he's coughng. Mila continues to have a stuffy nose and gags occaisionally, spewing milk all over me. Its always on ME. Why can't she puke on Daddy?

Mila also seems to have colic. She screams for several hours at night, generally inconsolable. The witching hours seem to start whenever I say " I am going to bed " and end when I say " The coffee is ready "... so she screams from about 11-2am. The sling is very helpful but there is only so long that I am willing to walk around the house in circles after midnight.

I have resorted to the AP method of calming MYSELF since I cannot calm HER. I say, quietly into her ear " I cannot force you to stop crying, but I can hold you so that you don't cry alone ". And THAT, dear readers, helps the most.

Friday, April 6, 2007

NINO meeting

Today the kids and I hit the NINO meeting. What a great group of women!!! I think at the next meeting I might " borrow " a ring sling with very wide fabric to see what I might get for my next sling. Yes, there will be a next sling.

I will have to say though, its official that I have no brain. Last month, I left my diaper bag at the La Leche League meeting. Today I left it at the NINO meeting. HOpefully they'll be open tomorrow even though its good friday. At the very least, I want to call them and tell them I will come and get it Monday or something! I have learned my lesson though - keep an extra diaper bag!

Here are some photos of Robby and his new haircut. I don't care if you like it. We like it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


I did it! The turkey turned out wonderful - at least, no one has complained that I have poisoned them. The potatos, which I did not enjoy, were a giant hit. No one ate the green beans but me, but I think they were wonderful. The gravy was delectable if not perfectly smooth - matzo flour thickened it but retained some of its " grain-y-ness " if I can make up my own words to describe it.

The salad was - as usual - completely gone. The fruit salad - yummy by those who ate it.

All in all, it was great. The breast of the turkey was done WAAAAAAAAAAY before the leg was, but I did manage to get the leg / thigh temp to standard before drying out teh breast. In fact, the breast was very very moist - probably the " butter deep basting " it endured. I won't buy a turkey with it again - I found it had a slightly greasy after taste.

All in all though, it was a great night. I was gifted very generously and will be buying myself a new wardrobe. I will learn to love this body shape while I attempt to fix it - shirts and such that fit now will fit later as well, but a few more pairs of jeans will round out my wardrobe. And new shoes. I need new shoes!

For those interested in buying Robby a gift : He will be getting a bicylcle from one grandmother. Other things on our wishlist : an art easel for painting outside, painting supplies ( paint, paper, smock, brushes ) a helmet for the bicycle, and clothes in 3t ( 4t for t shirts is fine as well ).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

More Pictures

Don't worry - I didn't forget the kitchen bouquet. Or the garlic salt. I do remember how Mom makes it.. but I have a thermometer instead of a pop up in the turkey. How high tech. Since I'm a moron with a thermometer, I got a digital instant read one. It even has a diagram of where to put it, and a " yes / no " function that tells me, quite simply, if my turkey is done.

Yes... my turkey. I didn't see a fresh chicken that I was impressed with. In fact, I'm not impressed with the " pre basted " turkey, and I hope it doesn't ruin the kitchen bouquet skin and flavor. Or the gravy. If its even POSSIBLE to make gravy with matzo flour.

Tonights menu : Roasted turkey with pan gravy, stuffed with aromatics. Pan seared garlic green beans with a slightly sweet soy ginger honey glaze. Roasted baby red skinned potatoes with rosemary and garlic. Fresh green salad with tomatos, cucumbers, baby corn, and carrots. Fruit salad with cantelope, banana, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears, and pineapples. Sophia is bringing her delicious passover cake.

Here are some more pictures from the baby shower.

Happy Birthday ME!

Its been a few days - Sorry!!! Things here are wonderful at Casa De Kagan. Yesterday was the first night of passover. We went to Alex's parents and had a great meal - including a delicious, light and fluffy passover cake. YUMMY! She also made my favorite - cutlieta ( spelled terribly ) and mashed taters with fried onions. YUMMY YUMMY!!!

I'm still attempting to write thank you cards. All 23847394873 of them.

The weather is atrocious. Its snowing. IN april.

Tonight we are having the seder at our house. It will be very informal. However, I'm raosting my first ever chicken / turkey totally on my own. I hope I don't kill it.