Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Back from the U.S. and ...

Photo taken by my mom, Debbie, at the Omaha airport before
we hopped on the first of three legs of air travel back to Israel. 

Oh hello there blog. What? I've been neglecting you? Yes, yes I have. With traveling back and forth to the U.S., work, and raising the fastest growing bundle of cute ever, I haven't been as active here on the blog as I want to be. I've got a bucketload of book reviews (including a few cookbooks of mention), a book giveaway, and tons of pictures and insights about being back in the U.S. to share. It'll take some time, but I'll get it all up. I promise.

The first and quickest thing I have to say?

Flying back into Israel, I always felt a rush of "I'm home!" in the past. Every trip I got the same sensation. This was the first time since 2009 that I saw the coastline and my thoughts turned to, "Is this really home? Is this really where I'm happiest?" I then reminded myself that home is where the heart is, and for me, home is where Ash and Mr. T are. They're here, I'm here, and thus, that's where my happiness can be found (for now anyway).

The U.S. was a time of comfort, a time where I could go to any grocery store and easily find vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free products worth eating. Where convenience foods were just that, and I didn't have to think about cooking something from absolute scratch in order to be able to eat. It seems like a shallow, superficial thing to care about, but with the diet I'm sporting these days (gluten free as always, but now without many eggs, and without any dairy) it's hard to live in Israel.

But more on that later.

Also? Adventures in breast feeding were fun. That's going to be a post, without a doubt.

Time to go snuggle with the hubsters and little one. We're all sick, so we make for good company. Happy company, that is.

Friday, February 7, 2014

That Woman: We're Heading Stateside

We're seven weeks in to life with Ash, and it's magical.


The first few weeks are hard and exciting, then things get rough if and when baby gets colicky, so you try a few things, figure out a plan, and attack. Then baby gets better, happier, and then the cooing and moments-that-sound-like-giggles-but-aren't-exactly start and it's falling in love like the first moment all over again.

I've learned to truly appreciate the Asher Yatzar blessing that Jews recite after going to the bathroom thanking HaShem for the proper functioning of the body. With a colicky baby whose gas and reflux make him a mini Godzilla, you realize the blessing of communication and proper body function. Can you imagine not having the ability to say "it hurts here, please help me" ...? That's a baby's life.

And now, with baby having calmed down a bit, we're off to the United States so he can meet his Grandma Deb and Grandpa Bob, his Uncles John and Joe, his cousins Owynn and Oliver, and his Aunt Jess. And ... maybe, just maybe ... he'll meet another new cousin if she shows up on time.

I'm scared to death of becoming "that woman" on the plane. You know, the one with the screaming child that won't calm down. I don't sleep on planes in any circumstances anyhow, so I don't mind being up and about with Ash while Mr. T catches some Zzzzs, but being "that woman" has always been my greatest fear when it comes to parenthood.

Assuming all goes well and the three legs of the flight go according to plan, we'll be stateside on Tuesday for a few weeks in Nebraska and Colorado. I'm hoping for snow, lots of cold weather, and all of the comforts of being back in familiar surroundings (Target, gluten-free and vegan food out my ears, and the ease and quiet of a life I know well).

I'll admit I'm anxious about going home. The fact that I call it home is enough to get me lashed here in Israel, too.

When you make aliyah to Israel, you are home. Right? But I still refer to Nebraska as home. If home is where the heart is, does it mean my heart is in the U.S.? Does it mean I'm not really committed to life in Israel?

It's stupid that I'm eager to shop at Trader Joe's and pick up the gluten-free food that made life easy and liveable back in the U.S. I'm excited to go to Target where the clothes are inexpensive and fit me. I'm elated to see coworkers I haven't met yet and to spend even half a day working with them in a "normal" work environment for the first time in a year and a half. But at the same time, it isn't stupid. It's just the life I know. The life I've been comfortable with. It's the life I know how to live. Emotionally and financially.

Since Ash was born, I've been scared to death of postpartum depression because of what I've been through in the past. I've been keeping the most obsessive and close tabs on it. Luckily, I haven't been experiencing depression.

But am I happy?

There's something a little askew right now, and I'm worried that going home is going to show me that little bit that I'm missing. That nudge of what I need to feel stable. And then what?

I suppose we'll see what two weeks in the U.S. does for me. Maybe I'll have the reaction of some friends that people in the U.S. are commercially obsessed and life there is miserable. I have an inkling that it will be quite the opposite of reactions.

Either way, I hope Ash doesn't make me "that woman" on the plane. Let's start there.