Category Archives: Parenting

Purim photos posted at:

We will be celebrating Karen’s 5th birthday this Friday. Theme is a pajama party for 10 girls. I hope to post photos and/or video over the weekend. All new photos will be posted at, see you there!


Moving house

One reason I haven’t been a posting machine lately is that I’m in the process of moving my blog to my own domain. Yes, yes, mistress of my domain. Please save the jokes and any other Seinfeld references you may think of. It’s probably too early to leak this, but my new home will be at:

A lot is happening, really, but I have so little time to think through and analyze any of it since it feels like I’m on a fast moving train most of the time. Next Friday we are throwing a small pajama party from Karen. It really warmed my itty bitty little heart when I started calling the parents of her closest friends, and they were all so excited and happy for their daughters to attend. In the not so distant past, we have had complaints about Karen fighting with other girls, and I know at least one mother who is completely afraid for her daughter to be around mine. Since I’m never sure which parents have had issues with Karen in the past, I was afraid the response wouldn’t be quite as warm and excited.

We had a wonderful Purim, and Karen’s costume, which she first described as Queen Esther, but later advised us that she was in fact dressed up as Vashti, the evil queen in the Purim story. Now I need to worry about her identifying with the “bad guy”, great.

So, I’m very excited to be moving, and I hope some of you will provide feedback on my new site. A friend is creating it for me, and one of these days I hope to be able to post more about the creation of the site and the positive spin it puts on the issue of peace in our region.


This weekend we begin celebrating Purim with costumes, parties and parades. I hope to have some great photos by early next week.

In the meantime, a photo of Karen and Matan with him still in his baby bed.

Best Friends!

Yesterday we put up a bunk bed for both of them and they are thrilled with it.

It's great being part of a real family, finally!

The second one is a family shot. Of course, I’m the one behind the camera. Just us hanging out on Saturday.

We’ve got Giardia! (warning: poop ment.)

I was trying to decide if it was ok to write a post on the singular topic of my son’s GI system. Well, actually if we look at it historically, then it is about my son and daughter’s GI systemS. I decided it’s my blog, so I can talk about their poop all I like. I just hope that this post is lost in the outer web sphere in 10 years time, when they may actually begin looking up what I wrote about them early on.

Happily, Matan seemed in much better shape than Karen when it came to poop. It took us a whole year to get her diagnosed and treated. This time, I asked our pediatrician to do a FULL workup, not the several tests he did on Karen that showed no problems. I specifically requested Giardia and anything else that Flagyl kills, since we never got a firm diagnosis on Karen, just found that after the Flagyl, her poop became “normal”. When we were getting her tested, the dr. suggested that what I saw as diarrhea was actually just mushed poo, which is how all poo looks if it’s been sitting in a diaper.

Today I picked up Matan’s lab report on recent blood work. Seeing the results, I decided to quickly drop in for a surprise visit to the pediatrician. Positive for Giardia explains why his poop smelled so rank, and why it looked like regurgitated dinner. Granted, Matan doesn’t chew yet, and is eating mostly mush, but anything semi-solid seemed to come out looking almost completely undigested.

The good news is that he’s gained at least a kilo since we brought him home, and he’s also grown 6 centimeters, at least, based on the numbers we got from our doctor who examined Matan at the baby home. The size of his head has also increased by 1.5 cm. I was so excited to learn about the increase in hight, but then DH reminded me that some growth would have occurred naturally, even at the baby home. Still, it is almost a month since we brought him home, and I’d like to think that we are having a positive affect on his growth. Based on how much the kid is eating, it’s gotta be going somewhere, and not ALL of it is coming out his butt.

The boy loves touch

One amazing thing about Matan is his strong desire to feel, and sense any new thing he comes across. Part of it is his stage of development, but he seems to take a huge amount of pleasure in simple sensory actions.

Matan picking pieces of grass for further sensory exploration

He loves walking in the park. His favorite part is getting out of the stroller and trying to walk in the grass, up and down hill, and putting his face directly into a clump of grass that looks particularly lush and green. Sometimes he just likes to sit in the grass and select interesting greenery for further examination.

One of his favorite activities for me to pick him up and hug and dance around with him and then dump him on my feather bed. He likes me to tickle him by running something soft and furry around his tummy. We have a fur collar that has officially become his tickler, but if it’s not around, he’ll be happy enough if I just blow on his hair and tickle his belly lightly. Sometimes he just lies back and pulls up his shirt, pointing to his tummy and indicating he wants me to tickle him there. This is a great activity to do about an hour before going to sleep so he doesn’t get too over excited by the tickling to fall asleep, yet is still able to take those great feelings to sleep with him.

Breaking out of his shell

Matan at a playground with sand

Now that he’s beginning to feel better, and has become acclimated to our home and immediate surroundings, Matan seems like an amazingly happy little boy. His needs at this point are pretty simple and straightforward. He needs healthy food and lots of one-on-one affection and cuddlies.

Exploring our park

I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but it amazes me how much Karen and Matan seem to love each other. It seems that Karen would rather come home and play with Matan than spend time with girlfriends. She wants to show him off to adults, but gets jealous if her friends pay him too much attention. I’m not sure if she’s jealous of the attention he’s getting, or that other children are taking up his attention span when she would rather he focused only on her. She even seems to want to prove that she’s a better mother than I am. She would be thrilled to take over his feeding and changing and bathing and all the other activities she associates with caring for him.

Matan has lots of toys and books at different levels, gratis Karen. He is calmer than Karen, and I’ve been able to sit with him for up to 5 minutes with a board book. He especially likes one book with animals and fuzzy fur that he can touch. He loves rubbing his face in different textures. When we go for walks, he likes to look at the grass, trees and shrubs. But what he really enjoys is putting his whole face into a leafy bush or directly against the grass so that he can feel the textures. I took him to the playground yesterday. He liked the swings and carousel, but best of all, he loved playing with dried leaves that had accumulated on the ground. He also loves touching sand. Luckily, we have a lot of sand here.

And now for some photos

Karen's first day returning to preschool after Ukraine

Karen and Matan, as she leaves in the morning for her birthday party at preschool

Matan opening gifts from Grandma and Grandpa in the US