Monday, November 09, 2009

Counting down

37 weeks tomorrow. For the record, I had Avtalyon at 37 weeks 1 day--he was born early in the morning, too.

I started having contractions on Shabbos that, by motzai Shabbos, were an ominous 6 minutes apart. Even though I was, as I insisted, NOT HAVING THE BABY. I drank a lot of water, took a hot shower, went determinedly to bed, and woke up the next morning to nothing. They've been starting and stopping ever since, sometimes getting stronger and, so far, always petering out. They are petering out because, as I think I just mentioned, I am NOT HAVING A BABY yet. Because I can't until tomorrow at the earliest, because that is when the pediatrician who has promised not to discharge a jaundiced baby comes back from vacation.

Got that, baby? Yes? Good. Glad you can read Blogger from in there.

Oh, and a poll--what are your favorite (Jewish) girl names? We have boy names settled (I think) but girl names are eluding us. You'd think by now we'd have a backlog stashed but no. With Iyyar I knew I was having a boy so never picked a girl's name; the name I had in mind when Barak was born I don't really like anymore. So... yeah. Open to suggestions here. MHH doesn't like feminizations of male names and I don't like the standard Bais Yaakov ChanaChayaBrachaRinaMiriamChavaSoraRivkaTovaShifraEstherMalka. And I'm hoping to figure out a name that won't instantly peg the bearer's position religiously in Israel. This is turning out to be a taller order than anticipated. Name your kid Yocheved? She can never leave Bnai Brak. Modern Israeli name? Ah, chiloni. There aren't a lot of names in between that aren't, well, ChanaChaya &c., and many of them we had to ding for other reasons (already got one, too similar to a sibling's name, etc.)

Now that's out of the way...

What else is new?

Avtalyon has a funny bump on his heel--it looks like a big callous, it's peeling very slightly, and I think it hurts a bit but not enough to cause major problems. I can't imagine what it could be--how does a baby get a callous an inch in diameter? Could it be a plantar wart? He told me about it yesterday by coming up to me and informing me, "Gock. Ow." What? Sock ow? Your sock... oh... oh your foot hurts!

Clever, isn't he? Saying "my foot hurts" without knowing any of the necessary words? He'll do well with foreign languages. His favorite thing lately is calling family roll from his high chair. "Imma! Abba? Abba? Aya? Eddie? Aya Eddie Imma Abba? Meow!" Then you try to get him to say his name. "Baby! Imma Abba Aya Eddie baby!" When you try really hard to get him to say his own name, he just giggles. Other cute Avtalyonisms include the comical look of shock (mouth open in a round O of surprise, hand pressed to check, then to top of head for variety) and telling you what sound an aleph makes (wide open mouth, nothing coming out--he got that one from Barak).

Barak is doing better with aleph-beis and his morah mentioned to me that he really knows his English letters well, which is great, although truth be told Iyyar knows them better at this point. Grandma E sent us a couple of fabulous board books--Mig the Pig and Pug the Bug--in which you turn each page and combine a different first letter with the same second and third letter to make new words (P-IG, D-IG, F-IG, J-IG etc.) It was great--I saw some light bulbs going on. There's no question that Barak is more motivated to learn to read English than Hebrew right now, which isn't surprising. I'm steeling myself for the parent conferences tonight. Remember last year's? These shouldn't be so much of a surprise, since I've talked to his morah and his rebbe a couple of times already, but I'm still expecting... something unexpected.

I let Barak stay up insanely late playing little Lego on Shabbos, this week and last week. I feel a little guilty letting my 5 yo stay up until the last adult falls, but he needs the processing/play time more than he needs the sleep. So I left the light on in my office over Shabbos and let him just play in there for hours--from when Iyyar went to bed at around 6:30 until... well. At 10 I was on my way to bed, and I told him he could play Lego until Abba started falling asleep and then he had to go to bed; half an hour later I came back there and saw Abba completely passed out with a sefer and Barak trying to make himself as small and quiet as possible. So I waited up a little more. What can I say? He gets home at 4. It's already almost dark. He walks in the door and is accosted by little brothers, then it's dinnertime, then bath and bed and he doesn't ever get any time to play by himself. He needs that, so we have to find the time somewhere.

Iyyar is still fine on the tummy front (tfu tfu), and although he is definitely three and a half I don't find him as challenging behavior-wise as I remember Barak being at this point. Maybe I've mellowed, maybe he's easier, most likely it's a combination. Wonder how he'll react when the baby comes. Even though school is only till 1 for him it's still a lot at his age and by the end of the week he's had it. This past weekend we never even left the house, despite the gorgeous weather. Nobody wanted to. They just wanted to hunker down and play, which was OK with me.

Oh, and I finished the shawl I made my midwife. Picture is rotten, shawl is lovely. Trust me on this one. Note attached i-cord, please.


miriamp said...


Umm, is it bad if 4 out of my 6 daughters have at least one of those names, and 1 of them has 2 from that list? (Oh, and I'm on the list too, of course, and I hate having an over-used name, so why did I do it to my daughters?) But some of them were family names!

The remaining names we used (each daughter has 2): Devorah, Hadassah, Shira, Nechama, Liba, Tehilla and Temima. And I don't believe in name-stereotyping -- I like Yocheved as a name too. And Michal, even if it's doomed to always be pronounced as Michael by non-Jews. Shoshana might also qualify as overused. Do they have to be Hebrew, or are Yiddish names available as well?

LC said...

More names:
Leah, Deena, Tziporah, Elisheva,
Batsheva, Elana, Menucha, Penina,

all the ones that sound different in Israel: Basya, Yehudis,

less common:
Zohar, Tanya, Talia, Ruchama,

b'sha'ah tovah u'matzlachas and without jaundice or any other health issues!

Anonymous said...

Yaakov suggets for Basya (Batya?) and Aviva

Rocheli suggest Aliza

I support Devorah (she was quite a woman in her time...) and I like the name.

sara said...
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SuperM said...

I had terrible trouble coming up with names all 3 times, but here goes. (I don't know anything about the politics of names, I'm mostly pulling names I like from my children's classmates).

Adina, Maya, Rachel, Gavriella, Yardenah, Haviva, Yael, Yaffa.

My younger son would have been Tziporah if he'd been a girl, but he wasn't :). There do seem to be an awful lot of Mayas running around the school, but I still think it's a lovely name.

OneTiredEma said...

Yael is a name that I don't think has every gone out of style here because it appeals to everyone (from Tanach but also with a modern Hebrew meaning). Ditto Tamar.

Shira is nice. Orli. Meirav or Meital. Naava or Naama. Elana/Ilana. Talia/Talya (though this was extremely popular in my neighborhood in NY, so much so that I never would have considered using it...or Ariella, for the same reason). Hallel.

Re: Aviva, my Israeli SIL tells me it was a name created in Ch"ul (as was the name Yonina). Like real Israelis use Aviv (for boys or girls).

There are names here that are equally acceptable for boys/girls religious (not charedi, probably, but dati leumi)/secular, like Shachar, Hadar, Yuval, Ariel. A little *too* Israeli for me, except for the last one, but thought I'd put them out there.

Miss M's name :), which is one of my favorites. I hear it's unisex here in Israel, though I only know girls with her name.

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