Monthly Archives: March 2013

Green Toes

I was perplexed when I removed Timothy’s socks yesterday and discovered green paint underneath his toenails. It was a good reminder to clip his nails, on both hands and feet, but how on earth did he get paint there? Isn’t he wearing socks and indoor shoes in daycare?

Today I got my answer:

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Timothy is only 13 months old, but they already are doing team projects 🙂

Sunday Brunch: Crepes (Blinis)

It’s official: spring is coming. How do I know? Well, because next week is a MASLENNITSA (stress the first syllable) week. The week when, in Russian tradition, we cook lots of pancakes and crepes and blinis (which symbolize the sun) to welcome spring.
Like most religious and harvesting holidays (e.g. Easter), maslennitsa doesn’t come on exactly the same week every year – I always have to google it to find out when exactly I am supposed to get that pancake pan going. Sometimes it’s in February, sometimes – in March.
In the good old days in the centuries long gone, maslennitsa was HUGE. People used to eat blinis every day for a week. There was a designated day when a family invites his in-laws, and then hers, and then when everyone went to in-laws, and so on. There were festivities and events like burning an over-sized Winter Figure (which looked like a scarecrow) and jumping over a bonfire.
Well, as the maslennitsa starts off on Monday, I am not planning on jumping over bonfires, but I decided to make blinis.
There are millions of recipes, of course – I chose the one to my liking and slightly modified it.
For about a dozen blinis:
Ingredients:
  • eggs – 2
  • salt – a pinch
  • sugar – 1 tbsp
  • boiling water – 1 cup
  • milk – 1 1/4 cups
  • sour cream – 1 tbsp
  • flour – 1 1/4 cup
  • baking powder – 1/2 tbsp
  • oil
Recipe:
  • Beat eggs with sugar and salt into foamy liquid.
  • Slowly pour boiling water into the mixture, constantly stirring. Don’t worry, the eggs won’t cook 🙂
  • Add milk and sour cream, mix thoroughly.
  • Using a sifter (this is a must!) add slowly flour and baking powder, constantly mixing the dough.
  • Add a bit of oil (not more than 1 tbsp) and stir.
  • Now, it is best to use a shallow non-stick frying pan with thick bottom. Like this.
  • Heat up the pan (I set the stove to just above 5 out of 6). If your pan is really good and non-stick, you can go ahead without using the oil (the amount you poured right into the dough should suffice).
  • I personally prefer using a refillable oil sprayer that I bought some time ago (like this).
  • Anyway, spray a bit of oil into the pan. You want to keep your distance while doing that: if your pan is as hot as it should be, the oil might spit around as it comes into contact with the pan.
  • Pour a ladle of dough onto the skillet and turn the skillet to let the dough spread evenly into a thin crepe.
  • When the edges become slightly dry and golden, flip it. When it’s done – slide onto a plate. While you’re baking the rest of crepes, keep the cooked ones covered with a pot lid and towel to keep them warm.
Enjoy!

056-066

Wow. With all the sickness, I’ve really fallen behind with my 365! I was taking pictures, but not sharing them. And, as it turns out, there was one day when I didn’t take a picture… I was way too sick. Anyway, here it goes:

056 – Feb. 25

Timothy is not feeling well, his right eye started producing unpleasant yellow gunk, we kept him at home.

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057 – Feb. 26

A quick visit to the pediatrician revealed and ear infection that spread and infected Timothy’s eyes. Timothy’s staying home for now. He upped his stacking technique: now anything can be stacked, it’s not limited to his buckets!

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058 – Feb. 27

Now I got really, really sick. Spent the whole night coughing. Timothy is still unwell, so I couldn’t catch on sleep during the day. Here’s a pic of Timothy in a walk-in clinic where I went to see if perhaps I needed some antibiotics, too (nope).

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059 – Feb. 28

No pic. Timothy went back to daycare, and I was completely wiped out after two consecutive nights of 3 hours of sleep and 6 hours of cough 😦

060 – Mar. 1

Daddy amuses Timothy with spinning buckets. These buckets are magic. There’s so many things to be done with them!

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061 – Mar. 2

Timothy now likes to stuff his face. It’s not enough to pick one cheerio at a time – he grabs a fistful – with each fist – and then stuffs the whole content of his right fist in his mouth. And forgets that he has something in his left fist. Sometimes he would finish eating, and still hold that first fistful in his left hand 🙂

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062 – Mar. 3

Timothy started walking! Very short distances here and there, but so, so proud of himself!

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063 – Mar. 4

The following days I didn’t take any pictures of Timothy, but I took pictures of my imaginary creatures that I drew.

064 – Mar. 5

065 – Mar. 6

066 – Mar. 7

Timothy is 13 months! His walking gets better every day! His daycare caregiver asked me to send more food for Timothy – he is hungry! Timothy is almost over his cold, but he still wakes up at night, crying. I suspect separation anxiety. He’s hard to quieten – he screams, not even cries! It takes 5-10 minutes for him to quiet down, slacken in my arms, lean on me and then cuddle and doze off.

He’s also often quite cranky at the end of the day. We figured he’s too hungry – so I now give him a snack when picking him up from daycare; and the first 30-40 minutes when we get home is quality one-on-one playtime, and only then I go make dinner. I got these advices from my mom group – and it seems to be working, Timothy stopped being cranky 🙂

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Infertility. Illustration Project, Part 1.

Infertility is an awful thing. It’s a beast, that grows all that bigger because it’s hush-hush. People don’t talk about it. People label you. People misunderstand what you’re going through.

I had a very brief run-in with this beast. I did have problems and did have fears, but my problems got resolved with (relatively) minor invasion. Relative to what so many women have to go through – like surgeries, multiple IVFs, injections, procedures, and so much more.

While I was still out there, immersed in uncertainty as to how long will it take me to get pregnant (IF I will be able to get pregnant), I started reading blogs. Numerous blogs of other women fighting with the same beast. For some the beast turned out to be rather small, like mine. For others, they were (and still are) ugly multi-headed creatures with bloody fangs.

Not to mention my real-life friends whom I’ve watched dealing with the beast for months and years.

Even as I got pregnant and gave birth to my healthy boy, and celebrated his first birthday – I didn’t stop following the blogs of those remarkable women. So strong. So fragile.

This topic has been with me for the past years on almost daily basis. And that’s why, when I had to choose a subject for my illustration project, I knew immediately that this was going to be my theme: infertility.

Now, this blog isn’t about infertility, nor is it about illustration, but I feel the need to share it with you.

Here’s the first frame (out of three) for my themed project “infertility” (which I also posted on my illustration/creativity blog):

This woman has just found out that yet again, after so many attempts, she’s still not pregnant… or maybe that she’s infertile and will never be able to conceive… or maybe she has just discovered she had an early miscarriage… she is paralyzed. She is defined now by this emptiness, this void, this disability that is cocooning her from the world around her.

Very close to walking!

First of all, thank you for all your well wishes! I hope we both get well, soon. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Of getting only 4 hours of sleep a night – due to my cough, not due to anything to do with my son. Timothy slept through the night today (although he woke up at 5:45 am :/)

Anyway… what I really wanted to talk about today is that Timothy is sooooo close to walking!

He’s been making tiny steps here and there for the past week or so, but I saw a lot of conscious attempts to walk yesterday. He would go along a piece of furniture and then let go, swaying  precariously, and then… step one, step two, step three, maybe even four – then fall down on all four or crouch.

He did this at least 10 times yesterday evening – after I brought him home from daycare. So within a couple of hours. I think walking is just around the corner!

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Sunday Brunch: Grilled Sandwich

Uh-oh. I don’t have eggs. I have just enough milk for 2 cups of coffee. I ran out of fresh fruits. That’s what happens when you go to out and forget all about groceries. So what on earth am I supposed to cook for breakafst with no eggs and milk?!
It turns out there is a solution – if you have an indoor grill. I do. So I made a grilled sandwich – I used to love them when I lived in Israel. Back then, I had a grilled sandwich machine which was impossible to clean for the fear of being electrocuted. Now I have an indoor grill machine with removable and dishwashable plates. And there are plates for Belgian waffles, too. But that’s not the point – today I’m making grilled sandwich!
Ingredients:
  • bread (toastable)
  • deli meat
  • cheese
  • ketchup
  • butter
  • tomato
Recipe is simple:
  • Turn on the indoor grill.
  • Place the bread slices in the toaster set for 1 or 2: you don’t want to toast it, just warm it up.
  • When it pops out, put some butter on one side of it – thinly. It will melt since your bread is warm.
  • Flip the bread and spread ketchup on the unbuttered side.
  • Add tomato slices, deli meat, and grated cheese.
  • Cover with the other piece of bread, unbuttered side in.
  • Stick the sandwich into the grill and keep there until it browns and the cheese inside it melts.
Serve immediately.

On All The Sickness

I am pretty tired.

On Monday, Timothy’s right eye started to crust up so we took him to the doctor’s on Tuesday morning. Turns out he had MASSIVE ear infection – it was so bad that it spread into his eyes. In fact, the skin under his eyes got red with infection – which got the doctor concerned. Here we go – antibiotics for Timothy. Thank you daycare. Luckily, they started to work almost immediately. Timothy’s been getting better and better.

And I am amazed by how tough he is. I mean, he had a MASSIVE ear infection and still was a happy boy during the day, although waking up 1-2 times a night, crying. Stupid parents thought he was teething (he did, indeed, cut two more teeth). Nope. Ear infection!

He’s been almost non-stop sick now for 3 weeks. So am I.

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The same day, Tuesday, I started feeling worse in the evening. I woke up at 3 am: my throat hurt so badly that I couldn’t sleep. I took ibuprofen, but still wasn’t able to fall back asleep due to lovely dry hacking cough.

I barely remember the day following the 3 hours worth of sleep. Timothy was at home, so I couldn’t catch up on my sleep. Hubby came home early in the hopes of letting me go to sleep immediately – no such luck. The f…ing cough didn’t let me fall asleep until 9 pm. And then it woke me up at 3 am. And that was it. Luckily, Timothy felt well enough to go to daycare, so hubby took care of changing-dressing-administering antibiotics-packing lunch-etc. and took him to daycare. I kept trying to fall asleep. I finally fell asleep around noon, for a couple of hours. I just coughed and coughed and coughed from the 3 am wake up till noon 😦

In the evening, again, the f…ing cough kept me awake for a looong time. I was beyond exhausted. I had massive headache. Ibuprofen didn’t help. I fell asleep around 11 pm and – again – woke up at 3 am. This time… wait for it! – a visit to the bathroom hinted that I got a UTI. Just kill me.

4 am, streets covered in a 2-inch layer of slush, more wet snow falling down, I am driving myself to emergency. I guess the weather was so yucky and the hour so obscene that the emergency was empty. I was in and out in an hour. They tested me, confirmed UTI and gave me a dose of antibiotic and prescription. I stopped to buy the drugs and got home shortly after 5 am. Again, tried to fall asleep. Again, managed to fall asleep long after hubby and Timothy left.

This night was marginally better. It went like this: 2 hours of sleep, 1.5 hours of coughing. 1 hour of sleep, 1 hour of coughing. 1.5 hours of sleep, 2 hours of coughing. You get the picture. But at least I slept. I opened the window right next to bed – hoping to let the humid winter air in. It seems to have worked.

I am somewhat better today, but the cough attacks me in waves. My lungs actually hurt – I guess they are getting bruised from the ribs – from all the intense coughing.

I gotta learn to keep myself healthy while Timothy picks his viruses. Wear mask. Wash hands all the time. Drink lots. I don’t know what else I can possibly do… These past 4 days were horrible. I was in a haze, I barely even remember these days – even though I had no fever…