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Announcement today, approximately 2pm, "Attention B&H employees, there has been a minor Earthquake on the East Side. There is no need to evacuate the building."
As I started frantically dialing Hubby, who was on the East Side with both boys...
"Sorry, Eastern Seaboard. There has been a minor Earthquake somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard."
It was at this point rational thought returned to me and I realized Earthquakes are not confined to neighborhoods. That didn't stop random strangers from the cube farm from inquiring later if I was OK now because they had seen me RUNNING toward my desk to get to the phone.

Oh, anxiety, you are a pal, indeed.

Izzy's words

For the record, Izzy says the following words -
Mommy
Tatty
Hi
Bye
Doggy
Kitty (hickey)
Ball
Amein
Uppy
Baby
Ah-baby
Oobie/Boobie
No
Toy
Cow (Gao)
Shoe (Doos)
Blueberry (Boo-Bay)
Banana (Bamas!)
Apple
Bamba
Cup
Beep
Uh-Oh
Buddi

Mama needs a drink.

I'm going to start this story with:
HE'S FINE.  IZZY IS FINE.
Hubby and I? We're total wrecks.

So, you know how I've talked about Izzy's breath holding thing?  He gets upset, holds his breath, turns blue, passes out, then takes a deep breath and comes right back.  It's totally normal and still scares the crap out of me. 
So, tonight, we were in Moo's room, davening.  Izzy was on Moo's bed and I heard a little thunk.  I looked over at Izzy and it looked like he'd bonked himself on the bedrail and was crying, he went into his pass out cycle. I was holding him and rocking him trying to soothe him, poor monkey.  So he passed out, took his breath and...didn't start crying again.  Didn't do much of anything, actually.  He was breathing, but he was not with it, at all.  He was stiff and his eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn't responding to me at all.  I called his name, I stroked his face, no response.  Still breathing.  But still stiff.  I put ice on his face, I smacked his cheek (only time I've ever hit one of my children), I tried nursing him, thinking the smell would snap him out of it. still stiff, still not focusing on anything, still breathing, yay!  At this point this has been going on for several minutes, so I called Hatzala.  Hubby sent Moo upstairs and cleaned up the house because that's what he does when he's nervous and boy, were we nervous. 
I called work to say I would be late and spent the next few seconds imagining all sorts of hideous situations in which I explain to the people at the Roosevelt ER that they may not, under any circumstances take Izzy into exam room 1.
Within 2 minutes we heard sirens...and crying!  Izzy was back to normal.  And trying to chew through my shirt.  I have never been so happy to nurse him in my entire life.
The EMTs came in and Blueberry didn't want to let them get close to Izzy.  Hubby had to leash her and drag her away.  Izzy cried when they looked him over, which is a good thing, they let him go back to nursing and took his pulse and blood oxygen and everything was normal.  The EMTs said to talk to his pediatrician about this, but not to take him to the hospital.  It appeared to just be an even weirder spinoff of the passing out thing.
As of now Izzy is sleeping soundly and I am making a cocktail in my head.

And in other news -

*My block is part of a marthon route today, apparantly, and people really like to cheer on Marathoners.  Isn't that nice?  They get up super early and line the route, clapping and shouting and...blowing Vuvuzelas.  So, this morning, I got to wake up to HOOOOOOONK at *6:45*.  It's just one guy.  Given my druthers, that guy would be spending the better part of the afternoon with two good friends and a pair of plyers wishing he'd never seen a Vuvuzela. 

*This was my first week of working two jobs!  I started a new job this week out in Corporate America.  It's a big, Jewish company that is super-employee friendly; pays well, great benefits, good hours, no overtime and the people are so friendly.  I was really scared about working days, but transition has been, BH, very easy.  I found a great nanny through an agency.  The boys like her, she takes great care of them, and I come home to an immaculate house.  I get almost two hours at home, and then I go out to my night job.  It's very tiring, but temporary.  I have been drinking caffienated coffee, but it doesn't actually give me energy or make me alert, it just makes me nervous.  Is there anything I can ingest that would do what I wish coffee would?

*Speaking of ending my night job.  Next week we scope out neighborhoods.  We have a few on our radar, but we first have to find a school with space for Moo, then we'll check out the surrounding neighborhoods.  I'm actually really excited about the fresh start.  I feel like in the last couple have weeks I've gotten over Manhattan.  The noise, the rush, the dirt, I'm ready for something a little simpler. 

*Izzy is just so unbelievably sweet these days.  You know, when he's not screaming.  He LOVES to give kisses and hugs.  He turns my face to his and plants one on me and I could just eat it up.  Then, he lays his head on my shoulder and squeezes me tight and says "aaaah."  He's also prone to giggling fits if I look at him too long.  So delicious. 

Best.Day.EVER!

Today I had the boys all to myself until 5, so I asked Moo what he would like to do for an adventure.  His first choice was to go for Bagels.  We started there and had a great time.  Such a great time, in fact, that I forgot to pay (they also forgot to ask for my money, so it's not all my fault.)   I realized it when we got to the cleaners to pick up the stroller.  I wrote down everything we had so I can go back there and pay up.  I'm in there like 3 times a week, so it's more funny than a crisis.  ANYWAY.
After that, we went to the Central Park Zoo.  Moo had a great time looking at and learning about the animals.  It's amazing to me how his Zoo experience changes as he gets older.  3 years ago he just wanted to run through the rubber curtains and look at the fuzzy things and call them all "Psh, psh."  Now he wants to know which ones are mammals.  Speaking of little ones at the Zoo.  Izzy woke up halfway through the visit and was very upset that I wouldn't let him jump in the tank and play with the sea lions, which he called "Boo-biyi."  Because, according to him all animals are dogs, and all dogs are Blueberry.  Unless they're cats.  Then they're "hickeys."
Then we went to the Tisch Children's Zoo and Moo fed all the animals and pet them and Izzy thought they were just awesome to look at, but got a little nervous if they came too close.  Both boys had a ball on the spiderweb and in the eggshells and stuff and once everyone was shvitzed out and tired, we headed back to the west side.
We dropped off the stroller and went to Noi Due for milkshakes (frulattas, whatever) and french fries.  It was at this point I realized I was having the most delightful day with two magical little boys who make my heart sing. 

Happy birthday, little girl.

Tomorrow is Shiny's third birthday. We had bereavement support group, AKA, Dead Baby Club this morning, so my head is already in it. I feel restless and sorrowful. I want to shop and decorate and eat cake, but she's not here to shop for, though I imagine cake would be appreciated all around. Moo is still under the weather, so we're not going anywhere. Izzy hasn't been to the playground since Sunday, so he's just tearing the house up. And I'm wringing my hands. I'd LOVE to do an art project, but not a chance with two little monkeys in the house. I'm staring at my newly organized craft supplies longingly. I know the minute I take them out, though, there will be little hands infiltrating all my bits and baubles and notions.
I'm taking the night off work and Hubby is taking the day off tomorrow. We are going to Shiny's kever, the Ohel and out to lunch. If everyone is up to it, we might go berry picking or do something else fun as a family afterward.
This is just the worst day of the year and there's nothing for it.

Look for a post on TheShinyProject.com later for a little bit more of an uplifting tone. I'll keep the mopefest here.

And in other news -


*I have applied to six jobs.  TODAY.  One of them seems very promising.  I had a job interview last week that seemed to go very well, but I haven't heard back.  I called today and left enthusiastic messages on the voicemails of two of the people with whom I met (there were 4 in total, that's a good thing, right?) so, I imagine I've done all I can, I just have to wait.  In the meantime, I'm cruising craigslist like a cat lady on OKCupid.

*Moo woke up this morning with another mystery fever.  It was 100.9 when he woke up, then 103.6 at 2:15.  I gave him Tylenol (I almost typed out the generic name, but screw it) immediately, and it's come down, but he still doesn't feel well.  Other than being tired and feverish, though, he's asymptomatic, so I'm treating with tylenol, ibuprofen and Disney movies.  He's currently asleep on my desk chair watching Mickey and the Bean Stalk.  Poor little monkey. 

*In good news about Moo, he now uses the words, "random," "perhaps," "including," "actually," and "particularly," on a regular basis, making him a rather erudite 5 year old, K'AH.  Conversely, yesterday he laughed himself to hysterics telling me a story about chicken farts blowing up the world.

*As much as my attitude may have improved regarding what may be to come in our lives, it recently occured to me that even if moving is the most financially prudent option, first and last month's rent plus security deposit and movers is WAAAAAAY more money than we have.  So, when my salary cut goes into effect, we're basically screwed.  See what happens when you go into community service, kids?

*Izzy get SUPER jealous when Moo takes up my physical attention.  I just went upstairs because I heard Moo crying in his sleep, he was saying "My mommy is lost!"  It was so sad.  So I put Izzy on the floor and picked Moo up off the desk chair.  Izzy shrieked.  Then I put Moo down to sleep in the big bed.  Izzy let loose the non-verbal equivalent of "HOLY HECK WHAT ARE YOU DOING PUTTING HIM IN MY BED!?!?" After I picked Izzy up again, he refused to get down in my room again, lest I use my arms to (the horror!) pick up his brother.

*We've been inside all day and as such, the house is a mess.  I pick something up, Izzy throws it on the floor, so I pick it up and...it's a vicious cycle.  Izzy has also discovered the joys of "take all the books of the shelf" game.  Hopefully he will learn to find "hurray for putting them back," to be just as satisfying.

Rough Week

Monday night, we davened.  Tuesday night we were up late davening more.  Wednesday night we were all up late crying.  When Leiby went missing, thousands of people searched for him, the Jewish communities in New Jersey and upstate sent busloads to join the search.  Those of us not searching davened and said Tehillim.  Moo and I recited Perek 20 together, he said every word with kavana and we gave tzedaka.  Together we searched and prayed for Leiby, and together we cried for him.  We lost one of our own and now we will pull close the ones we have left.  We put everything into preventing this from happening again.
All week we've been quizzing Moo, "What do you do if a stranger asks you to get into a car with him?  Even if he is a Jew?  What do you do if he tries to make you?"  No matter how many times he responds, "Keep walking, run away, yell for help, go to a police officer," we just won't be satisfied.  Monday and Tuesday we satisfed our urge to act with prayer, now we do so with education.
And once our children are in bed and we havbe done all we can to protect them today, our hearts turn to questions we ask of G-d.  "How could You let this happen?"  And no matter how many times we ask, His answer is hidden from us. 
That, in itself is an answer.  We are living in a time of concealed G-dliness.  We live in a world of brutality and visible evil.  It is a world far from G-d's Hand.  Even as G-d's Chosen People, we are far from Him. 
Most of the time, though, it's a fine place to be.  A world that meets our needs, sustains us and even inspires us.  But it is not the world G-d wants for us. 
The murder of Leiby Kletzky has shaken us awake to the harsh reality that G-d does not dwell in this world.  But He could.
Leiby's disappearance inspired amazing Jewish unity, uncountable mitzvos - all steps to bring closer the world G-d wants for us - Geula.  This cruel reminder of G-d's distance could be the darkness just before the dawn of his ultimate closeness to us, when we finally create a dwelling place for Him on Earth with the coming of Moshiach.  In Leiby's Zchus, we have elevated so many sparks, bringing glimmers of redemption to this world.  Our momentum could permeate the world with Divine Light. 
The day after the Kletzky family gets up from Shiva is Adelle Shayna's third birthday.  The next night would have been the first time she lit Shabbos candles and brought Light down into this world in a very real way.  Instead, she is sending Heaven's Light down to Earth in ways we cannot see.  We must use our power to do Mitzvos to reach up to her and bring down that Light.  Now that she has company in Gan Eden, we have yet another reason to turn our faces up and ask another question, "What do You want from me?"  It is one question to which we know the answer.
Moshiach Now.  It's in our hands.  Do one more Mitzvah so that we can all be reunited.  Only with Geula will Am Yisroel truly be whole again.

Laid low by Dread Pirate Blue Eyes.

I just found myself bereft my right arm with a perforated kidney for my trouble thanks to a dastardly 5 year old swashbuckler.  Oof.  There goes my liver.  And then he popped my sword, too.