Category Archives: Blogging

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I don’t really need all my fingers anyway

You know your addicted to blogging, tweeting or FBing when you’ve got the blade of a blender stuck in your finger and your thinking of how you will blog it later. That was exactly what I was thinking when my ambulance was stuck in traffic on the way to the ER, with the blade of a handheld blender firmly lodged in the first finger of my left hand. Sorry, no photos. I don’t have a 3G phone yet, otherwise I promise, I would have snapped at least one shot.

It all goes back to the mushy food issue. I was trying to blend rice and corn to mix with crumbled hamburger for Matan’s lunch. I love my handheld blender. It’s so convenient and easy to use. I have a food processor I’ve never used because taking it out, attaching the components, and later washing all of them, is usually too much of a chore for me. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but while I was trying to get stuff out, my finger was inside where the blades sit, when it started whirring. Somehow I managed to turn the thing off but couldn’t pull my finger free easily.

What do you do when you’re stuck in your home alone with a baby and your finger just got chomped by a blender? I ran into our hallway, holding the blender with my right had while my left was attached to it, and yelled out for help. Luckily, a neighbor two floors down was home and heard me. He ran up, called the ambulance and then kept me calm by feeding Matan while we waited for ambulance and DH, who I somehow managed to call and who arrived along with the ambulance.

Mostly, I’m surprised I wasn’t in hysterics. But Matan thought it was all a game, so I pretended. I just knew I couldn’t look at my finger, otherwise I knew I’d lose control. The neighbor told me he was a medic, which also calmed me down. Medics in this country mostly got their training in the IDF, so it’s easy for them to keep calm when it’s only a finger in a blender.

Apparently, I’m very lucky. The blade came out without much work on the part of the ER orthopedist. Not even a broken finger, much to their surprise. The doc said it looked like the machine probably had a safety feature that meant it stopped spinning if it hit something hard, like bone. They cleaned me up, bandaged me, and sent me home, warning me to have it checked in 2 days for infection.

I blame the Ukrainian Dept. of Social Services for making the kids eat mush for so long! And yes, after I got home, I broke down, cleaned the blender that the ER staff had kindly put in a plastic bag for me, and ground up some yummy mush for Matan’s dinner.

Angel to demon

Someone stole my little angel and replaced him with a demoniacly kvetching toddler. Having a suspected lung infection or pneumonia may have something to do with it. He’s constantly tired and whining. He want’s to be held all the time, but usually tries squirming away just as you begin to find a comfort spot. At least he’s eating any mush I put in front of him. Chicken soup with LOTS of vegetables tastes just great for lunch and dinner. Blended gives him all the vegees that Karen won’t touch. Consomme only for my little girl.

Poor Matan has been sick since last weekend, when he first began coughing. On our third visit to the doctor this week, and after Matan had shown a low fever, we finally got a ‘script for antibiotics. His cold symptoms and fever began disappearing within 24 hours of the first dose. Karen’s been carrying on her coughing, but with no other complaints. Her inhaler helps a bit, and so does sleeping on a raised pillow.

I hope to announce some exciting news regarding this blog within the next few days.

The return

Ahhhhhh, such a soft landing. My inlaws re-arranged the apartment, stocked our home with food, and Matan is wonderful, such a good and happy little boy.

I’m still in a “zone” stage. I just take care of him, and my husband runs all the errands to get our life back in place and complete the paperwork we need here for Matan to get health insurance, etc. I haven’t even called work yet (note to self – to do).  Karen went back to school today.

Karen has a lot of celebrations coming up.  We missed her birthday while we were away, so now she’ll be having birthday parties once we get settled in.  Her ganenet is giving her a surprise, welcome home party from the kids at kindergarden.  She also just got a boxload of late Hanukka gifts that my mom sent last month, but which didn’t arrive until the day after we left.  So she’s the one getting all the gifts.  I don’t actually need any gifts for Matan at this point.  Anything he plays with makes him happy.  I hope this attention keeps her from feeling  much jealousy.   She enjoys playing with him some of the time.  She is still a bit rough with him, and is always trying to pick him up, but she also feels responsible for him.  This morning she said to me, as if explaining to a child, “But Ima, he just doesn’t understand”

We are all getting used to this new life. I’m very, very lucky.  It’s sunny and warm, feels like spring outside. Poor Matan’s eyes have rarely, if ever, seen direct sunlight, and it totally disorients him. Photos too come.

And yes, I do want to keep blogging.  This has been a great experience.

Karen, before going to gan this morning


Matan meets my Safta


It feels like we just returned from an extended military mission.   Unbelievable what my in-laws did with our apartment.  They TOTALLY reworked our furniture to work with the two-kids-in-one-room situation.  It looks like a brand new apartment!

The fridge is full, both of daily necessities, and delicacies prepared by my mother in law.  There is a welcome home cake on the table, and a welcome home sign when we walked in.  The apartment is covered in welcome home balloons, the kids are ecstatic!

Our apartment was full of little things DH’s parents, brothers and sister did to make it the best possible use of space and design.  They rock.  I can’t picture a more wonderful family to have married into.

And we also love our dear friends, Tal and Sagit, who helped us keep the faith from beginning to end.  I hope they know how much we love them.  They even called us on our Ukrainian cell phone as we were waiting to board, to give us a final pep talk.  We would pep for the short, but challenging flight ahead.  More on that later.

And also our neighbors, the wonderful Breznik family, who were always happy to provide support and encouragement.  They also decorated our apartment with balloons so the first thing both kids saw when we walked in was bunches of balloons and a “Welcome Home” sign.

Actually I thank every one who commented, emailed or who I just knew was out there – without all of you, I’d have no reason to verbalize, and that was a most cathartic part of this process.

We love you all!

Classic Mustang, aging chassis

That was what I dreamed about last night, after we completed our escape from Lugansk.  The full body ache of carrying Matan, all 8.5 kg of him, from Lugansk all the way to Kiev was not something this old body is used to.  
I know Tamar warned me, again and again, but a stroller would just have been even more of a hindrance.  I can’t imagine climbing the slippery stairs from tarmac to plane and back down again with anything more than we already had with us.  DH took responsibility for Karen, and all hand baggage, and it was almost more than he could manage. 
It seemed almost like a military mission.  We got the passport, not before a final attempt to convince us it would take another week.  A call to our agency, and we got it same day. 

Goodbye Babyhome


Thursday afternoon we picked Matan up from the baby home.  The caretakers all gathered around to wish him goodbye.  I thought I saw a tear or two.  It was clear they were both happy for him, but sad to see him go.  They were happy to take a group shot. 

We spent one last night in Lugansk with him, and flew out of there at 6 am.  To my surprise, Matan managed to sleep, and we made it to the airport, even though our facilitators told us they were worried about us flying in “terrible weather”.  

We were pleasantly surprised by the fact that our 1 hour flight (instead of 16 hours by train), was on a decent sized jet and the flight was smooth as silk with clear skies and a good pilot and crew.  The view was fantastic, white fields as far as the eye could see and a beautiful sunrise. 

View from above - approach to Kiev


I think it was an Ebraer jet, and belonged to a small, Ukrainian charter company called Dnieproavia.  Great flight.  But this old body isn’t used to carrying 8.5 kilos for 5 hours – to the airport, thru security and and somewhat against his will while waiting to board.  He really wanted to walk around, but was so tired he was falling all over the place, and putting his mouth on everything, so in my arms it had to be.  

I wasn’t able to update or access Internet from the time we got Matan’s passport until just now.  Everything happened so fast, and we had to quickly pack up 4 pieces of luggage, get the kids, and ourselves a few hours of sleep before leaving.  

Sergey, our driver, met us at the airport and took us to the same apartment in Kiev that we spent or first week in.   Unfortunately, we only got the modem late last night, and it didn’t work.  Needless to say, I was in serious withdrawal, plus I knew family was waiting to hear from us via Skype, this blog, or email.  We had no way of communicating with anyone outside of Ukraine.  

Early this morning, our adoption family buddies, Tal and Sagit, called us, and with some encouragement from them, we managed to get the modem connected.  Bad wires mean we could lose it anytime, so I’m uploading this and will give more details shortly….if it’s still working.  I love you all and miss everyone so much.  We can’t wait to come home!  

In case this was keeping you up nights – how cats spend their day

What does your cat do while you’re not at home? It’s a question that has riddled cat lovers since the dawn of time.

Cats with cameras reveal how they spend their day: Gazing out windows 22%. Interacting 12%. Playing 5%. Eating 4%.   Kind of sounds like the pre-parenthood me on a Sunday!

via @factlets Cat camera focus group study of how cats spend their day.