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December 11th, 2013

03:27 pm
So...Yair Moshe (that's Baby #4's name, by the way) is now 7 weeks old. Shai will be FIVE next Tuesday. Niv had a birthday and by the math he turned 7, which is inconceivable, and time is just flying and flying. Yair is cute. He's fussier than I remember my other guys being, but it could be selective memory. He's also big, like his brothers were at this age.

My YouTube channel is growing rapidly because I made a video with boobs. Well, okay, I made a video explaining how to express milk using hand expression, and it shows my boobs, and now lots of random men are subscribing to my channel so they can see my boobs. Which...well, I never thought I'd be a masturbatory aid, but it's also generating lots of views and ad revenue, so it's hard to complain. And some women are watching it in order to learn about the technique, and that's why I made the video, so, again, hard to complain. But still creepy. There are lots of other videos there that are not boob-ful, and they are also good.

I also officially launched my breastfeeding counseling business by giving a stack of business cards to my OB and asking that she refer local moms to me if/when they need help with breastfeeding. She was happy to do so. I also made a website, jessicaonbabies.com. And I'm going to give more cards to the local pediatrician. Now I just sit back and wait for people to call me, right? Haha.

Still blogging away, and still running the Facebook page, and starting to try to Tweet more, too.

Shai will be going to preschool two days a week come January. Hooray!

Are there any of you who still read this journal? Are there any of you who are not friends with me on Facebook and therefore didn't know this stuff yet? :)

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October 24th, 2013

07:22 pm - Welcome Baby!
  For those who haven't heard, Baby Boy #4 made his dramatic appearance early Monday morning!

Check out my birth story: http://jessicaonbabies.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-fourth-birth.html#.UmmHqXA2bTo

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September 3rd, 2013

09:38 am - Your September Update
Oh gosh, it's been a while, eh? So, we're settled in, moved in, living life in El Granada, California, just north of Half Moon Bay, which is about 25 miles south of San Francisco on the coast. I think this is just about the coolest place to live. It's a small town - <4000 people in El Granada - we don't even have street mail delivery from our post office, but fortunately we and a few other lucky streets get mail delivery via the Half Moon Bay post office (I don't get it), so I don't have to pick up my mail or anything. Niv's school has fewer than 400 kids, and it's one of only three elementary schools in the district. His 2nd-grade class has 23 kids, and there's one other 2nd-grade classroom, also with 23 kids. There's one grocery store. Shopping is a bit of a challenge. Not so easy just to run to Target for something - Target's about 30 minutes away - but this place is just so awesome. It's beautiful, and the people are SO NICE and friendly.

The house we're renting is nice. It's 4 bedrooms, all one story, and big. The kitchen goes on forever. One of the bedrooms was already converted into an office, which is fine because we were planning to use it as one anyway. There are only two bathrooms (first world problems, much?), since it's a one-story. I kind of wish there was a powder room for guests, but that's a minor thing.

The weather here is incredible and weird. It was COLD in July, like, needing a blanket, turning the heat on cold at night. Now the sun is coming out every day, but this area is known for basically just being foggy. I'm told "summer" here is in the fall, which seems to be coming true. I'm also told it could be in the 80s in December, which will be odd for me. We're maybe a mile from the ocean, and I get to drive along California Route 1 every day right up the coast to take Niv to school. The views are stunning when the sun is out. The ocean, and the hills, and the farms. So pretty. Never gets old.

Our next door neighbors are really nice. We're becoming friends, I think, and their oldest daughter is about Shai's age, so that's working out well. She's already helped me out so much, taking Shai with her when she takes her kids out, hanging out, and just knowing I have someone to turn to for help is comforting.

We seem to have found a Chabad, in San Mateo, which is about 30 minutes away. The community is about the size we were after, and I really like the rebbetzin. We'll be going there for the high holidays, and have been to three Shabbats there so far. There isn't really anyone closer or more available to us, so we'll stick with them for a bit and see what happens.

To my surprise and delight, Niv's teacher at school is Jewish! There aren't a lot of Jews on the coast, but we're around, as we're everywhere, and it's certainly no worse than Oceanside! Getting kosher food isn't really any easier, unfortunately, but we're making do.

So, we're pretty happy. Most of you are FB friends, so you've probably seen my pictures and stuff. We've really been out and exploring. There's lots to do here, and you don't have to travel far to get out of "civilization" and see something new.

As for this pregnancy - I'm 33 weeks today. This kid kicks like crazy. I'm kind of sick of being pregnant but scared of having a newborn. Classic third trimester anxiety for me. FOUR BOYS. Holy crap.

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June 30th, 2013

11:45 am - Moving!
So, most of you who are friends with me on Facebook know this, but just in case, and for those who are not...my husband got an awesome new job at EA, up in Redwood City near San Francisco. We're moving up there. Next week. We don't yet have a house, nor have we yet rented our house. The company is paying for the move, including having our stuff packed, giving us some spending money and providing a hotel for a month, but it's still crazy and stressful and nuts and happening REALLY fast. Like, early June we found out about the offer, and he started June 17 (he's already up there and started work). I mean, this is a major relocation in less than a month.


It's exciting, too, and good. I'm sure it's good. Just crazy and stresful and nuts and happening REALLY fast.

Like, whoa.

And I need a local home for Ari, my cat. We aren't taking the cats with us. Anyone local that can make room for a sweet kitty?

Also, anyway looking to rent a house in Oceanside, ours is really nice (really!) and in the Ivey Ranch Elementary zone. :) Great school! http://cpmteam.com/property-listings/homes-and-condos/405-Dakota-Way-Oceanside-CA-92056-1279/

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June 4th, 2013

05:20 pm - It's a...
It's a...

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May 28th, 2013

02:46 pm - Boy or Girl?
I have my big ultrasound on Thursday! So exciting! Feel free to take a guess as to whether it's a boy or girl! :)

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March 5th, 2013

11:18 pm - Gil is 18 months!

Gil is 18 months today (holy crap!), so in the interests of record-keeping, what's he up to these days?

Well, about 26 pounds and 32", I think. Ha.

Still nurses a LOT. At least two or three times in the day - once for his nap - and then to fall asleep and go back to sleep, oh, three to four times in an average night. (I'm TIRED, y'all). Sleeps in a twin bed in the same room with Niv and Shai, and has done so since mid-January.

Spoken words:
Uh-oh (VERY eloquently, with different inflection for different situations)
Hello ("awow", into a phone) and Hi!, sometimes
Eyes (quite clearly, actually - also uses this to indicate that he notices letters - every letter is "eyes!")
Up ("Muh!")
Frog (when prompted, "wogaga")
Button ("buh!")
That (both this and that generally in relation only to pointing to which YouTube video he wants, but I think he's starting to understand how these words work)

Nurse (roughly the sign for "more", actually, usually with accompanying "uh uh uh")
Bye-bye/I want to leave (waves)
Night-night (also waves)
Water/drink (taps lips with index finger)
I want to wash my hands (raises hand into the air while miming pulling his sleeve down - he came up with this sign on his own)
I want to watch (something) - used to be exclusively Gangnam Style, but now it's more general (waves arms up and down like the Gangnam Style dance)
Shakes head No

Points very expressively, usually with accompanying "uh uh uh"

I can't think of any others. I feel like there's another one.

Understands a LOT. Follows directions like "go get your shoes" and "put that in the trash" without visual prompts. Likes to take inventory of my face, find his ears and belly button. Likes eyebrows for some reason. Claps, gives high fives.

Motor skills:
Been walking since 11.5 months. Starting to run a bit.
He throws things.
Feeds himself, sorta, with fork or spoon, definitely fingers, very messy
Can drink from a straw, open cup, or sippy. Often spills when using open cup, but understands the process
Starting to understand how to put together pieces of a wooden train track

Likes to be read to. Favorite book is "One Duck Stuck". Also likes "26 Big Things Small Hands Do" (has the alphabet in it - likes to point to the letters)
Loves to watch "Gangnam Style" and certain Food Network videos on YouTube

Loves ketchup, french fries, pasta, some veggies. Likes to eat off my plate. Doesn't want to eat something different from what everyone else is eating.


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January 29th, 2013

08:11 pm
Niv just lost his second tooth. He said to me about 45 minutes ago, "I think my tooth that's very wiggly will fall out soon." I said, "Great. Go to sleep." About five minutes later, he shouts, "Mommy!!" "What?" "My tooth came out!" Haha. I'm relieved, because the permanent tooth is growing in behind that tooth, and it was almost all the way in. I have the feeling there are braces in our future with this one. Hopefully, the tooth will move forward. I was almost ready to call the dentist to have them pull the baby tooth. Also, his brown tooth on top is wiggly. I'll be so happy when he finally loses that tooth!

I was featured on BlogHer's front page again (that's the fourth time). It's quite validating, really. Now, if I could get them to pay me...

Tra la!

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January 22nd, 2013

09:40 am - Sinus Infections, Breastfeeding, and Kudos to Kaiser Once Again
I have a sinus infection. It started Thursday. After we took turns having the flu a couple weeks ago, I guess it didn't quite all the way clear out. Fortunately, it's not too terrible, and I went to the doctor yesterday and got antibiotics, so I should be feeling better soon.

I just wanted to say kudos to Kaiser for their breastfeeding support. At the intake with the nurse, they noted that I was breastfeeding. When she asked how old my baby is and I said 16 months, she said Great! I mentioned it to the doctor as well before he told me which antibiotic he was giving me, and he said amoxicillin was fine for breastfeeding (which I knew), but that I should probably stay away from decongestants (which I also knew), but that Benadryl was fine if I wanted to dry up some of the mucus. He mentioned it might make the baby a little drowsy, so maybe just take it before bedtime anyway.

I was super-impressed. It's one thing to get good breastfeeding support from the OBs and pediatricians. That should be expected (but doesn't always happen, unfortunately). But the fact that the general practitioner was informed as well was really impressive. 

I mention this because there was an article on Kveller a few weeks ago that pissed me off. (http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/i-had-to-stop-breast-feeding-and-im-relieved/) Basically, she had a sinus infection, and the ENT told her she couldn't breastfeed on the medication he prescribed. She admitted to being relieved to have an excuse to stop breastfeeding, because as she nursed each of her four children, it became "more difficult to work breastfeeding into my family’s increasingly complex interlocking schedules". Okay. The reason the article pissed me off is not that she stopped breastfeeding because of the medication. What pissed me off is that she felt the need to write an article justifying why she was relieved to stop breastfeeding. Also, it's entirely possible that sh didn' "have" to stop breastfeeding, or that there was some other medication that would have been compatible with breastfeeding that the ENT could have prescribed instead. The point is, she wanted to stop, she stopped, and now she's happy about it. If she hadn't gotten her "excuse," would she have kept going? Maybe. Or would she have found some other excuse to stop? I'm not sure how old the baby is, but I think about three or four months. Look, if you don't want to breastfeed, then don't. You don't need an excuse. You don't need to write a whole blog article about why you're happy to stop. You don't need to justify it to yourself or anyone else. But you do need to be honest with yourself about it and not spread misinformation. First of all, if she's nursing her fourth baby, she should know that those few months of it being "more difficult to work breastfeeding into my family's...schedules" are fleeting and will pass. She should know that breastfeeding becomes easier and more enjoyable and less burdensome as time goes on. She should know how beneficial breastfeeding is to both her and her child. And she should know that just because a doctor says she can't breastfeed on a medication doesn't mean it's true, and she should double check or ask for a breastfeeding-friendly alternative. There are plenty of antibiotics out there.

So I was tempted to facetiously post on Facebook that I have a sinus infection, and maybe the doctor will tell me to stop breastfeeding while I'm on the antibiotic! Haha. But I was very pleased that they took the breastfeeding into account and gave me correct information with regard to safety and suggestions for what medications I can take for relief. He also suggested using a sinus rinse, which I was already doing, but I liked that he proposed a non-medication option! He was also really nice. 

Hm, I sense a blog post in the works.

Speaking of which, I want to write a blog post about an experience I had on Saturday, but I'm not sure exactly what I want to say. Also, some of the people involved read my blog, so I'm not sure how to express myself without offending them (they're friends). Basically, we went to shul Saturday morning, and I was coughing and a little stuffy - I'm still getting over the vestiges of the flu from a few weeks ago. A couple people had their young babies there, including my friend whose baby starred in my YouTube video about buckling a newborn into a car seat. I wanted to tell her that the video has over 90 views, so I sat down next to her. She promptly jumped up and said, "I'm sorry. I can't sit next to you when you're coughing." She felt that in order to protect her son from sickness, it was a good idea to stay away from me because I might cough on him, or something. Anyway, I said I'm not contagious, I'm just getting over stuff and it's just clearing out. She said, "But I don't know that for sure. He's only 3 months old. G-d forbid, I don't want him to get sick."

It's not that I don't understand wanting to protect yourself and your kids from illness. It's just that it made me feel like an outcast. If I thought I was really sick, I wouldn't have gone to shul. Two weeks prior, I stayed home because I and Niv were feeling pretty crummy, and I didn't want to subject anyone to my misery. But I also didn't want to be isolated all the time, and we'd finally come out of our little bubble of illness and were on the mend, and I wanted to socialize. Some people didn't seem to mind my obvious cough and were just as friendly and sympathetic and so on as they always are. Others ran away from me whenever I came near. I'm trying to be understanding, but it's hard not to be offended. I didn't ask to hold any babies, I didn't help prepare food, I tried not to touch anything communal, and I used lots of hand sanitizer. You're not going to get sick from sitting next to me. You get sick by transferring droplets to your mucus membranes and allowing the virus in. If there's no virus, there's no contagion. Just sitting next to me is not going to be dangerous.

So I want to write some kind of blog post about trying to protect yourself from sickness, your kids, and then the flip side, about trying to protect others from you when you're sick, and how to find the balance between isolating yourself and being impolite about exposing others. Also, where are you most likely to pick up germs, how are colds and flu transmitted, etc. And how impossible it gets when you have a kid in school! The mucus. Oh my, the mucus. Niv has 26 kids in his class, and one day last week, NINE of them were absent. It's just impossible! Niv missed two days the week before that.

Okay, I'm done rambling.

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November 7th, 2012

10:56 pm
I'm so tired. This election stuff was exhausting on so many levels, and even though the race is over, the arguments continue, and I just don't want to hear it any more. Here's a straw: suck it up.

Also, baby isn't sleeping at night. As if that's anything new.

Also, I think I have a cold.

There are dishes to wash and laundry to fold and I don't care.

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