Friday, September 29, 2006

The orange hat

I don't normally post pictures of my kids, but since a) you can't see much in these, b) the hat is cute (I made it) and c) I did promise pictures ages ago, here is Barak, modeling Iyyar's new orange Koigu hat. You can see our orange-and-yellow kitchen in the background.

Note the shaping on the top. I didn't use a pattern for this one--I made it up as I went along, modeling it on a hat I saw briefly on a passing baby on my way to work. I like how the cables come together in some kind of explosive orange flower on top.

And here is Iyyar, in a rare moment of sleep. This picture was taken at least a month ago. He's now outgrown the bouncy seat (as well as those pants he's wearing there), and now that I can't put him in a vibrating nest in front of the dishwasher, he's decided to go on sleep strike. But I think I may have mentioned that already.

And yeah, I know that the picture of the hat is overexposed and terrible, and the picture of Iyyar is, well, sideways. What do you expect? I haven't slept through the night since January!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My new favorite blogger

You might not have guessed it from reading this blog, but I have a few unusual habits. (Stop it with the snorting. Please.) No, really, I do.

For one thing, I like Finnish folk music. Twelve years ago, living in DC for the summer while interning at a stuffy magazine that is usually seen in stacks in people's attics, I heard an interview with Varttina on NPR. I went to Tower Records the next day and bought two CDs. (Very unlike me. I am too cheap to buy music.) I listened to those CDs all summer long, only turning them off when my roommate got home. (She was too polite to complain--instead, she would suddenly invent urgent errands if those CDs went in the player, and I figured it out fairly quickly.) At the end of the summer, we (roommate and I) had a friendly chat about how even though we were very unlike each other and would never have become friends, we had been perfect together as roommates (which was true). She then paused. "Except for that song." What song? "That Finnish song that you played over and over and over. You know, that one track that kept repeating. I thought I would lose my mind." That song? That was two whole CDs, twelve songs on each! To her, they all sounded the same, and equally irritating.

Well, I liked them. Sing it with me, now:

Miun sisoini somaiset,
neijot nuoret naapurista.

How could you not like that? How??

Beats me. Moving on...

Today, one of my coworkers stopped by my desk to ask for something. He is from Uganda. We both speak English, but just for fun, I greeted him in Swahili, and ran through the whole greeting exchange in Swahili. How are you? How is your work? How is your home? How is your family? etc. (The answer to all of these questions is always, "Fine." If the honest answer is that things are un-fine, you say, "Fine, but..." So, if you are asked, "How is your family?" you might reply, "Fine, but my wife was eaten by a mountain lion last night.")

I know this little tidbit of Swahili because a friend studied in Kenya for a semester and taught me when he got back. Thirteen years ago. I remember it. I also can spout strange tidbits of Mandarin, Kikuyu, Japanese, Polish, Lithuanian, and a bunch of other languages, along with the four or five or six languages I can more or less speak. I like languages.

I also like knitting. So when I was reading the latest issue of knitty, and followed a link to a knitter's blog, and started reading said blog of said fellow knitter, it did not strike me as strange that there was someone else who liked to knit. I mean, there are a lot of us these days (even though I WAS KNITTING LONG LONG LONG BEFORE IT WAS COOL. In fact, I knitted in the days when it was downright geeky to knit. And I revelled in my geekiness, and am slightly irritated that knitting is now cool. I mean, really, what's next? Will everyone else be drop-spinning on the bus too? Pfff.)

But this knitter also likes languages. Preferably strange ones. I realized I was onto something when I found that she also listens to Finnish music. That was enough for a bookmark on my computer's browser, right there. But then I read on, and discovered that this person had also been pregnant in an environment where being pregnant was considered about as socially acceptable as walking around with visible nose hair coated in big goopy boogers. And she probably has a collection of reference books at least as big as mine. Because she... writes the dictionary.


Okay, so, my new favorite blog is here. But I'd start by reading this post.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I really should be working

But I just wanted to post this, to get it off my chest.

First: I have a new double jogging stroller. (I bought it before they increased the price, fortunately--it's been in a box in the basement since last winter.) It rocks. It was not cheap, but since I don't have a car, and my stroller is how I get my kids everywhere, I can't deal with junky strollers. I had the same model single stroller for Barak, originally, and it was the best stroller ever. (Those of you familiar with the Stroller Curse narrative--this one got stolen.) It powered over snowbanks, broken sidewalks, anything, and rolled with so little friction that it came with a wrist leash so it wouldn't get away from you. And you needed that leash, too.

Anyway. Yesterday afternoon, MHH and his father put it together for me. Barak played in the box (actually scaring me slightly, because I didn't see it when he got in there, he pulled it shut after him, he was very very very quiet, and for a minute I really didn't know where he'd gone). This was at around 4, after MHH had come home from school (early dismissal because of the fast day).

At around 4:30, Iyyar started yawning and rubbing his eyes. I took him into the bedroom, nursed him, and tried to get him to sleep.

Let's just skip over the next three hours and say that at 7:30, Iyyar was STILL not asleep after three hours of effort on my part. Exhausted wailing, red eyes, but every time he was almost asleep he'd snap out of it. And howl. "Wait a minute! I know what you're trying to do! You're trying to make me SLEEP! AAAHHHH!!!!"

My nerves were, shall we say, frayed. And MHH and his father had to go to maariv. And I had to put Barak to bed. And I knew I could not deal with two howling children. Fine, I said grimly. We will take the advice of Grandma E. We will go for a walk. I bundled everyone into pajamas, supplied them with blankies and pluggies as appropriate, and asked MHH to take the stroller down. At which point we discovered that it did not fit through the back door (which is the only way to get from our apartment to the outside world with only one door). He and his father managed to get it out the front door (which means out three doors), turned sideways, with a lot of grumbling and banging. I buckled a still-howling Iyyar and a very excited Barak ("No night-night? No night-night, Imma, 'kay? Go trip? Go innair stroller?") into the double stroller.

Ahh. This stroller is great. This stroller rocks. This stroller also rolls! It is absolutely effortless to push, even with two kids. I can move! I can walk fast! Okay, there is no basket to speak of, so I can't do much shopping with it, but I can move again! Woohoo! Imma's mood starts to lift considerably, despite all the screaming still issuing forth from the rockin' stroller.

I follow MHH and his dad to shul. I walk up and down the main shopping street. I go into the kosher grocery to check that the stroller fit through their door (and once inside feel compelled to buy something, namely, a diet coke.) And then I figure, well, what the heck. It's a gorgeous night. Let's walk to the supermarket.

The supermarket, ladies and gentlemen (do any men read this blog besides my husband?) is two miles away. I had already wandered around for about a mile. I decided I might as well get some exercise, and started walking fast. I walked all the way there, bought a couple of things, walked all the way back. By the time I got home, it was after 9:30, and I had walked five miles and change.

And they were both still wide awake.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


1. I was wrong when I told the doctor that the cut on my hand hurt worse than anything since childbirth. The yeast infection I got when nursing Barak hurt worse than the hand. Just for the record.

2. You know what to do with limp celery, don't you? Cut off the bottoms and put the stalks in a glass of water, like flowers. Doesn't everyone know that? I thought so, but a big eater of celery did not know this so maybe it is a secret I should share.

3. Iyyar has not had a bath since Thursday. He smells like cheese. He smells like very smelly cheese.

4. Barak pooped in the potty yesterday. That part was great. The part that wasn't great was that he started pooping in his room. Without a diaper. Then he realized that he wasn't supposed to poop on the floor (my screaming "NO! NO! NO!" probably had something to do with that) and started running toward the bathroom. Pooping as he went. (How is that possible?!) By the time I got him up on the toilet, there was poop on the floor in his room, the floor of the hall, on my shoe, on the bathroom floor, on the side of the toilet and all over him. And oh yeah, it was Shabbos, so no hot water and no baths. By the time I got it all cleaned up (and bleached, and had changed out of my only shabbos outfit that fits, because I sure as heck wasn't wearing it anywhere) I was thinking dark thoughts indeed. That was when Barak slid off the potty, pointed inside, and proudly announced "Poop potty! Cookie please!"

What could I do? I gave him a cookie.

5. How am I supposed to have a spiritual experience on Rosh Hashana? Please tell me. Does anybody out there with little kids manage it? Shul is out of the question. You're lucky if you get to hear shofar. It's all about cooking, cleaning, trying to keep the kids entertained and presentable, and cleaning up after everyone too young or too, er, distracted to clean up after himself (um, I meant, themselves. Not pointing fingers at any particular gender or anything. Besides, the only female in the house is the cat, and to be fair, MHH deals with the litterbox, because he's holy that way. If distracted.) Where was I? Oh yeah. Does anybody out there with little kids, but no kids big enough to help with them, ever actually a) make it to shul, b) daven or c) devote any significant time or spiritual energy to, oh, teshuva or anything? Do you?

6. The ants are out of control. I need to get traps down. I got a few but they make me nervous with the kids. I have to figure out a way, because after we ate in the living room on Shabbos and I did not sweep till this morning, there were SWARMS of them on every crumb of challah. It was vile.

7. This is the cute thing Barak did after Shabbos lunch. Our guests, their kids, and the rest of us (me, MHH, his father and our kids) were all milling around the house, having benched but not quite moving on. The table was still set up, but mostly cleared. The basket of benchers and the kiddush cup were still there. Barak, quietly, so as not to draw attention to himself, climbed up into MHH's seat and took the kiddush cup. Looked at it intently. Opened a bencher, and intoned, "Shabbos. Ad'nai elokainu. Amen."* Then he slid down from his chair, ran off, and yelled, "Gotta go to shul!" I guess that's the kitzer version of his father's Shabbos, so far as he's concerned. (*Jacque: That's "Sabbath. God. Amen!")

Thursday, September 21, 2006

And I was supposed to be doing what during the month of Elul?

Last year, I was prepared. I cooked ahead. I froze. I planned menus. I had stacks and stacks of disposable aluminum pans in the basement freezer, all manner of paper goods, grape juice and gefilte fish bought on sale and pulled out when needed. It was calm. It was organized. It was good.

This year, I have a baby and I had stitches in my hand. Nothing happened ahead. And Marika Neni is back in R0mania, and her friend who was supposed to come yesterday did not show. Nothing has been cleaned. There is nothing in the freezer. Nothing nothing nothing.

So today, the day before Rosh Hashana, I woke up, thought about what I'd like to cook, went to the store, bought some groceries, came home, and cooked. I had already done the chicken soup and one batch of challah (okay, almost nothing happened ahead). I made two pans of stuffed cabbage, a big pot of rice and barley and onions and mushrooms for my macrobiotically inclined father in law, franks in blanks for the non-macrobiotically inclined children who will be here for Shabbos lunch, a bowl of bean salad, and, um, another batch of challah. Tonight, I made carrot salad. That was it. I had both kids here, and, well... it was one of those high-volume days. Meaning, a lot of screaming. Iyyar refused to nap all day, and since he wasn't kvetchy about it and I simply had too much to do to spend the whole day trying to get him to sleep, I let him stay awake. With the predictable result of complete hysterical meltdown by 5 pm. He was so exhausted that even when he finally did fall asleep, he would jerk himself awake crying every few minutes. I spent the hours of 4 till 7 trying, completely futilely, to get him to sleep (at least half of that time with him crying alone in the crib or bouncy seat, because he was just as hysterical in my arms and there seemed to be little point). Misery. Miserable baby, miserable Imma.

I tried everything I could think of, and then remembered something a friend had told me once. Sure, it's weird, but I'm desperate. So I ran a warm bath and got in there with him. Magic. He splashed, he wiggled, he thought, hey, this is fun! He pushed his feet around experimentally in the water, looked at me, watched for my response, snuggled into the water and into me. Maybe it's like the womb? All those tense little muscles melted. Happy baby. I changed his diaper, put on his pajamas, got into bed with him and nursed. Happy happy. And he finally... fell... asleep. And I put him down. And walked away. And he stayed asleep. And I exhaled. It was eight o'clock. Still time. Still time to send MHH to the store, still time to pull it off. Still time to do everything I needed to do before my FIL was expected, sometime around 10:30, and I could no longer reasonably expect MHH to be swabbing floors. Then I could finish cooking, and if MHH could clean in the morning when I'll be at work, maybe maybe, I think we can just swing it, I think...

And then...

The doorbell rang. And there I was, totally not dressed to open the door. And it couldn't be my father in law, because we weren't expecting him for HOURS. But it was. So I had to buzz him up. And we have the loudest buzzer on the planet. I closed my eyes and hoped, and buzzed, and


woke up the baby.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pretend you don't know me

Hey, it's post number 201!

I have a knitting buddy on the other side of the planet with whom I email, er, let's say rather frequently. It helps that we both keep funny hours and she is 17 hours ahead of me. Every so often, maybe once a year, the question will come up: how much money would we have that we now do not have if we had never learned to knit (or spin or weave or...) The answer is usually something along the lines of "it doesn't bear thinking about," followed by, "besides, if we didn't knit we'd probably have found some other, equally expensive hobby."

I can't help but wonder: how much other, more necessary stuff could I have gotten done if I weren't spending time writing this blog? It isn't really bothering me--I like writing it, MHH likes reading it, and it continues to fulfill its primary purpose of allowing me to write something while not pretending to be someone other than myself. Besides, I'd probably have written half of what's here in some email or another anyway. Because my scores of daily readers (well, almost scores--usually about 37) are mostly people I know. Except for the person from Owings Mills, Maryland who spent more than an hour reading this yesterday, in the middle of the night. Who are you, and why weren't you asleep? I can't possibly be that interesting.

Anyway... about the title of this post. Could you, please? You might know who I am. You might have gone to school with me, you might knit with me, you might be the father of my children. (Hello, dear.) But in the comments section, could you please try not to post anything really really identifying of who I am or where we live? Because, you know, our jobs are such that it would be a lot better if you didn't. Thanks for the understanding and so on.

Okay, I'm going to go to bed now. Really. Because Iyyar is asleep, and Barak is asleep, and I must take full advantage of this.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The third thing

I just got out of bed, site of far too little sleep, and came back to the computer (if my husband were awake he'd kill me) to say that I remembered that the third thing that made me think of Jasmin was this movie. Which I enjoyed, even though the only words I understood were baba (daddy) and salaam aleikum (shalom aleichem), courtesy of a friend with an Iranian husband.

Okay, back to bed now that I've got that off my chest. Oh, and one other thing. This morning, I was kneeling on the floor of Barak's room, my mouth full of bobby pins, trying to affix his new kippa, adorned with 'cairy dinosaurs, to his head. And I feel like there must be something to say about that, but I'm not sure what. Except that his new word for the day is "terrifying!"

Good night.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

As promised

So, over the last couple of weeks, three things have made me think of Jasmin. Her blog is the reason I started this blog. I've never actually met her, but she is a friend of a friend and now my friend as well, via email and mail and that kind of thing. She speaks lots of languages, she has a little boy, she likes chocolate--you know, my kinda woman. Unlike me, she's in the National Guard, on post somewhere in the middle of the desert--the American desert, not the Iraqi one, fortunately.

Anyway, here's the list.

1. The finger. Jasmin is currently working in the ER on post and at one point posted something along the lines of, If you find yourself with an urgent medical problem, go to your doctor or call an ambulance. Don't go to the emergency room if you can possibly avoid it. I was thinking this as I stood in my kitchen, dishtowel clamped tightly over hand, blood dripping on the floor. It was not a big cut--maybe an inch and a half, but it was deep, and definitely was going to need stitches. So, I thought, what on earth do I do now? Iyyar's in the bouncy seat wanting to be picked up (no way), Barak's in his booster seat finishing his post-nap snack, it's three in the afternoon and my husband won't be home for another three hours. And I can't use either of my hands. What do I do??

What I did, after some panicked blank looks at my kids, was call my husband's cell. No pickup of course--he was in class. Then I called my friend Chana across the street. No pickup, but she has a lot of kids and almost never picks up her phone during the day. I can't believe it--I'm going to have to call 911 over a stupid little finger cut. Just as I was about to feel like the biggest idiot in the world, Chana called back. She came over, and then I called the school office, and they pulled my husband out of class and sent him home. He took Barak over to Chana's house where they waited for her older kids' bus, and she put Iyyar in the carseat and took us both to the ER. Where we waited for HOURS, while Iyyar flipped out wanting to nurse the right way, and I could barely hold him at all. Maybe 911 would have been better? But I would really have felt stupid calling an ambulance over a three-stitch cut. But let me tell you, walk into a busy ER with a small hand laceration and oh BOY are you on the bottom of their list, along with the sore throats and sniffles. Starving baby or no starving baby.

Oh, well, I don't need to tell the whole saga, but it turns out that I just nicked some very sensitive nerve (the cut was at the base of my first finger, between finger and thumb--right across the side of my hand) which was why a cut that looked like it should have been nothing hurt more than anything I've experienced short of having a baby. That sounds melodramatic, but it's actually true. It derailed my entire week--I couldn't do anything, and I was constantly jumping out of my skin when one of the kids bumped or kicked it. The stitches came out yesterday, but it's still taped up and still pretty uncomfortable. Oh, and because I haven't been able to get it wet, and haven't been able to use it much, I have not even started cooking or cleaning for the chagim. Which are in, um, six days. Right.

2. Barak had his own balloon heartbreak this week. We went to Trader Joe's, where of course he got a nice helium balloon at checkout. It was yellow. I tied it to his wrist. (You can see where this is going, right?) He didn't like that. I moved it to his overall straps. He liked that less. So I tied it to something else--I forget what--and a moment later saw the balloon sailing up, up past the extended roof of the store, up up up into the sky and away. Barak was hysterical. "Bawoon! Bawoon up! Bawoon!" I asked him if he wanted another one, and he didn't. "Is the ballong going up? Is it going bye bye? Bye bye balloon!" He waved at the balloon, not wanting another one but still distressed--I think because in his mind, things do not get lost in the direction of UP. Things do not fall UP. It was a violation of nature, more than the loss of the balloon, that seemed upsetting.

Fast forward a week. We were walking down the street, Iyyar in the sling, Barak holding my hand. It was a gorgeous day. Barak looked up and said, "Sky blue!" Right, the sky is blue! Pause. "Sky white?" Right, the clouds are white! Good job, you know so much! Pause. "Balloon lellow. Balloon go bye bye sky. Up up sky. Sky blue!"


3. Oh my gosh. There were three things. There WERE. What was the third thing? Um. Uh. I can't remember. Okay, when I remember I'll come back and add it. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


In an act of incredible stupidity and flagrant disregard of fundamental rules of knife safety, I gashed my hand on Thursday. Three stitches, and it seems like it shouldn't be that big of a deal--but it still hurts, a lot more than I would have expected, and it's pretty hard to type right now (let alone change diapers). So probably no real posts till the stitches come out (Friday, I hope).

Just letting you all know. Next up: three things this week that made me think of Jasmin (yes, Jasmin, that would be you. And yes, the emergency room trip was one of them.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We're back

An hour earlier than scheduled--I made it to the airport so early (I was worried about Boston rush-hour traffic and left much more time than I needed) that we were in the departure lounge two hours before our flight. Early enough that I heard the final call for the flight preceding ours, and managed to get on that one. We had a row to ourselves each way, and I got to take the car seat on. It was quite relaxed as these things go. Total travel time was 18 hours. We left at 4:30 and got home at 10:30. Not bad at all, really.

Iyyar was amazing. Really. It's not that he didn't cry, but he cried so much less than I expected. And he did a lot of cute smiling and flirting and, I hope, some cheering up of my friend. In addition to the shiva visit that was the purpose of our trip, we also saw a few friends very very very briefly--a former coworker, a former neighbor, another friend. It was nice to see them, although obviously I would have preferred a longer, happier, more relaxed visit. Maybe another time.

Iyyar is asleep now, after a nice bath (he loves baths. He also is the only baby in the world who loves diaper changes. Really.) And after I have a quick snack, I intend to be asleep too.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The curse of the sleep-resistant males

It is 3:20 pm and my nerves are shot. Totally, completely shot.

I have spent the last four hours trying to get the boys to sleep. It is finally qu**t. I don't dare type the word, lest one of them wake up. Or both of them.

MHH is a resister of sleep par excellence. Before we were married, he had three roommates in a one-bedroom apartment. Two guys in the living room, two in the bedroom. For a naturally sleep-resistant person, this is hopeless; someone is always up, there's always something going on that one might miss by going to bed. He regularly went to sleep at 2 am or later. Next day, he'd fall asleep mid-sentence, or over a book, or sitting on the subway. I don't think he ever consciously put two and two together on that one. Really. He told me, very earnestly, that he just didn't need as much sleep as most people. His roommate said that he didn't understand how anyone survived on so little sleep, and that if he (MHH) ever got any sleep, he'd probably have superpowers. He (roommate) didn't seem to be aware that he (MHH) regularly fell asleep all kinds of places he shouldn't, without really realizing it. You know, like, in shiur.

About a week after we got married, when I discovered this about him, I (I thought reasonably) started suggesting he maybe try to go to bed a little earlier. (I was a 10:30 girl myself.) You'd think I had suggested he sleep naked on a park bench covered in peanut butter. It was the most freakish and disturbing suggestion anyone had ever made, and I was clearly just trying to get rid of him. Oh-kay, I thought, not the way to start on the right foot with the shalom bayis. I'll just keep quiet on this one. But a few months later, he had a job that required him to get up at 6 am at the absolute latest. He started having to get to sleep earlier. We had a few gentle wifely chats about this and he seemed to get it. He asked me, earnestly, to please try to make sure he got to bed every night by 11 at the absolute outside. He promised, bli neder, not to get mad at me for attempting to make sure he did not stay up all night, thereby falling asleep in front of [his own] shiur, losing his job, and impoverishing his new family. Etc.

Every night--every single night--I'd try. And fail. It didn't matter how tired he was. He could be literally falling asleep at the table, in his chair, walking around the living room staggering off course with fatigue. He didn't. Need. To. Sleep. Not tired! No!

I only really realized what I was in for when his father came to visit for Rosh Hashanah. And despite the exhausting trip, and the fact that he was almost too tired to talk--he didn't go to sleep. I came out into the living room in the wee hours to find both of them passed out on the couch in identical poses--heads back, books on chest, bare feet on floor next to four discarded socks. The same way MHH falls asleep every night, if he has the chance.

Then I realized. It was genetic. I was doomed.

And then Barak was born. Barak, whom even the pros at daycare despaired of getting to nap. Barak, whose most oft-repeated phrase is "no night night!" Barak, who discovered power naps at the age of two months, falling asleep after hours of refusal, sleeping for ten minutes, waking up bright-eyed and perky, and then screaming in exhaustion (again) twenty minutes later.

Iyyar is exactly the same. Exactly. Our babysitter, who started taking care of Barak aged seven months, says it over and over. "He hates to sleep. He fights it tooth and nail. He's just like his brother. It's spooky. He just... hates to sleep." And he does, except even worse than Barak--he won't fall asleep in a stroller. He'll scream himself silly first. No stroller, no carseat. NO NIGHT-NIGHT! Of course he can't say that yet, but you can hear it in the howling.

Today, playgroup started. Iyyar was asleep when we needed to leave, having nursed himself into a stupor about half an hour earlier. Rashly, I tried to transfer him into the carseat. No dice. He woke up, and started to howl. We got to playgroup with a distraught and, naturally, now starving baby, and I sat there nursing him and trying to calm him down. Eventually he did settle down, and watched the goings-on, wide awake. But then he started to peter out, and when I put him in the evil evil carseat for the five-block return trip, started to howl again. And howl. And Barak started to rub his eyes, and asked to be carried. Fine, I thought. It's noon. Barak didn't sleep much last night (he jumped around in his crib till 9:30 and woke up at 7). He could do with an early nap. So I put him down. And closed the door. And-

Barak fell asleep half an hour ago. That would be three in the afternoon. He just fell asleep. He was crying with tiredness, but would not sleep--he was climbing around his crib, asking for books, talking to himself, singing, playing, etc. I ignored it, until I heard "Imma change diaper!" I changed his diaper, which needed it, and tried to explain to him that he was dooming himself to an entire afternoon in his crib with his antics. "No night-night!" Sigh.

Meanwhile, Iyyar was fighting the good fight in our room. The eyes would droop. He'd be almost out, snuggled against me with the soft blanky on his cheek, being rocked, sung to, nursed. And then it would hit him. "Wait a minute! You're trying to make me sleep! AAAGGH!" And he'd be up again. After an hour I did get him to sleep--long enough to fold half a load of laundry. Then he was up again. And happy for ten minutes. And then he started to rub his eyes and cry. Again.

I'm sure there are fifty things I should be doing right now--I'm going to Boston for the day tomorrow for a shiva visit--but I don't even want to make the noise of walking around the apartment on our creaky floors. I think I'll just sit here and knit. Very very quietly.