Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's going to be a long Saturday!

It's going to be a long day!

Sami fell asleep around 7 p.m. on Friday evening, after two hours of crying and screaming. She and I have colds and she was miserable most of the day. 7 p.m. is very early for Sami to go to sleep so I thought she would just nap for a little while, but she kept on sleeping. I tossed around the idea of waking her up around 10 or 11 and giving her a bottle, but since she looked so peaceful, and hadn't been feeling well, I decided to just let her sleep. Now I'm thinking that might have been a mistake, because now it's 4 am. and Sami is wide awake. She thinks it is morning and time to start the day and wants to play! I held her and played with her for a little while, and I was just able to get her to keep herself occupied playing on her activity mat with toys all around her, but I know that will only last so long and she will want more human interaction soon. It's going to be a long day, especially because I have the final proof of the magazine due on Sunday morning, and also have to finish editing the appendix for the author's book this weekend. I imagine I will be doing this on very little sleep, while taking care of Sami, who has her hours totally mixed up now.

The house is quiet, and Sami is playing happily (while sneezing often) and Penny is dozing on the couching lightly snoring. Though I'm tired, and stressed at the idea of balancing working and taking care of Sami on very litle sleep, I'm at peace as I watch her play. Yes she has a cold, but she is safe and happy and healthy. It makes the lack of sleep, the challenging schedule and everything else all worth it. I would be happy to stop time in this moment, watching my beautiful daughter smiling.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sami's first party

Sami and I both have colds, so we have both been a little miserable the past couple of days. We haven't left the house since Monday when we met my mom and niece, Lindsey, for lunch.

Work has been going well, and is continuing to keep me busy.

Sami also received her first invitation to a birthday party of someone who wasn't a relative. Sami made a friend with a little girl named Sienna, who is one week older than her, at the Mom's Club I joined. (I've also made friends with her mother.) Sienna has an older sister who just turned 2 years old, and we were invited to her birthday party. There were a few babies there, but most of the kids were around 2 years old. But that didn't stop Sami from having a great time. And she had so much fun playing at the party, that she wore herself out and slept through the last 20 minutes of the party. (I've attached photos here.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oy - Sami is a Jew :)

So Sami is officially Jewish. The morning went really well. I woke Sami up early, and my mom, my sister, Glenda, and our niece, Rachel, came to our house around 7:20 a.m. By 7:30 a.m. we were in the car on our way to the beach. Traffic was terrible, and it took us a full hour to get there. When we arrived, there were a lot of families already gathered together awaiting their big day.

Sami was the first one converted. She was in very good spirits all morning, happy to see her grandmother, aunt and cousin so early in the morning. She had no idea what was coming. She soon learned. I carried her into the water. The rabbi advised me to immerse her completely under water one time, take her out and then he would say a few prayers. After that I was to immerse her two more times. He said that if I blew on her face just before I dunked her in the water, she would hold her breath. So after the first time, she came out screaming and crying. I felt terrible, and after I finally got her calmed down, it was of course time to dunk her two more times. After those two times, she actually didn't cry, just looked at me stunned, as if to say "I can't believe you just did that to me again!"

After that, Steven held Sami for a few minutes while I helped a woman who was converting to Judaism by holding her bathing suit and standing behind her while she went under the water three times. Her husband is Jewish, and their two children are being raised Jewish.

Then, while the rabbi moved on to convert all of the other people who were there waiting, I took Sami to the car and got her dressed. We came back by the beach, where Sami had her baby-naming ceremony. When the rabbi announced Sami's Hebrew name as Schmuela Leah, I began to cry, thinking of my father as she was named after him. I thought about how much he would have loved to be there, and how much I miss him. I hope he was there watching, but even if he was, it's not the same. I am proud that Sami will carry his name. This weekend I plan to take Sami to the cemetery.

So everything I was so nervous about is all over. The rest of the day I spent working while Sami was napping. She slept much more than usual today, maybe because I woke her so early and she had such a busy morning. So I was able to get a little more work done than usual. And any time she was awake, I spent holding her and kissing her, reliving this morning's ceremony. My heart is filled with love today, for Sami and for my father, who I know was there in spirit with us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Awake with nerves for the morning

It's been more than a week since I've last written here. Things have been going really well.

Last week, two people stopped me and said that Sami looked a lot like me! Then that same day, a woman said I looked familiar and was trying to place me. Then she said that her first guess would have been that maybe I was friends with her daughter when I was in high school, but that she was sure her daughter, who is in her 30s, was much older than me. What a great day that was!

Last week was also a big week for family. My sister, Norma, who lives in Texas, became the first member of my family to get her master's degree! We are all so proud of her. And my niece, Lindsey, just returned from spending 10 days in Israel as part of the birthright trip, whose mission is to ensure that every Jewish person visits Israel, so they provide free trips to students up to age 26. I have been to Israel twice, and hope one day to visit there again one day, with Steven and Sami. I would love for them to experience it; there are no words to truly explain being there.

Work has been busy for me, which is good. Sami is doing really well. It's so hard to believe that she is 6-and-a-half months old already. I do not know where the time is going.

Right now, it's after 1 a.m., and although I am so tired, I cannot sleep, even though I need to be up by 6 a.m. I have a huge case of the nerves because Sami is being converted at 8:30 a.m. at the ocean. I will be immersing her in the water three times, while the rabbi recites the prayers. Following her conversion, she will be given her Hebrew name. (We will be repeating the naming again in June at the synagogue.) It's ironic that she will officially be given her Hebrew name, before she officially has her English name. Until the adoption is finalized, her legal name is still "Baby Girl." But after tomorrow, her Hebrew name will be Shmuela Leah, named after my father, whose Hebrew name was Shmuel.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The perfect first Mother's Day & update

Yesterday was the perfect day. I couldn't have asked for a better first Mother's Day.

Starting at around noon, we had family come over for lunch. We got bagels, lox and cream cheese, and I made tuna salad, egg salad and pasta salad. And my sister and brother-in-law, brother and mom showed up with some great desserts. The house was full of family including my mom, my sister Glenda and "brother"-in-law Jay, niece Rachel, brother Michael and niece Sydney and nephew Aaron, and Steven's grandmother and Aunt Ruthie. It was really a full house. Unfortunately, Sydney and Aaron didn't stay too long because they are terribly afraid of our two dogs, Penny and Java, even though they are harmless, so Michael drove them home, and came back on his own. The last guest left around 9 p.m. Spending the day with family was exactly what I wanted. It was so nice to just spend a relaxing day with everyone, talking, laughing, eating and watching Rachel play with Sami, who was of course the center of attention.

Steven got me one of my favorite perfumes, in addition to the little girl pendant I picked out, which I wanted ever since I knew we were going to be having a little girl. He also got me beautiful roses. I felt very spoiled. :)

Next Wednesday on May 18, Sami is going to be converted to Judaism. She will be dipped in the ocean three times, followed by the rabbi saying a prayer. She will also be officially given her Hebrew name that morning, although we will be repeating that part on June 18 during synagogue services when family and friends can be there to watch, even though we learned that her actual naming will be at the ocean when she is converted. When the rabbi confirmed the conversion with us on Friday, we also learned that we are permitted to have a few people with us at the conversion, and my mother and sister are planning to join us. We know we can't ask out-of-town family to travel twice in two months; we are just so happy that so many people will be here on June 18th to join us for the naming in the synagogue.

The conversion ceremony should be very interesting. We had picked out a bathing suit for Sami to wear, but the rabbi informed me on Friday that Sami needs to be dipped in the ocean exactly as "God made her." Sami will be tagging along with a large group of people, mainly adults, who had taken Judaism courses planning to covert to Judaism. Sami will be converted first, before the group. From what I understand, the adults will be converted in pairs, with a towel held in front of them, as they must go under water nude, as well. It should be a sight to see!

This week is a busy one, as I am moving along editing an author's book, and getting more involved getting the next issue of my magazine completed. Steven is also working hard, as usual. We are also making the final arrangements on the baby naming by tomorrow, as far as a lunch for our guests after the service.

On Friday, I spoke to our attorney and although we hoped to have the adoption finalized in May, it looks like it wont be until at least sometime in June. The attorney reminds me that we have nothing to worry about, and it's just a matter of "when," not a matter of "if," but it still weighs heavy on me, and I just wish it was official already.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

six months old already

It's so hard for me to believe that Sami turned 6 months old today. Time is already flying by way too quickly. I feel as though I could stare at her face 24 hours a day, sometimes not even needing to sleep. I am so in love with her.

This Sunday will be my first Mother's Day! How exciting! We are having family over on Sunday for lunch, including my mother, my sister, brother-in-law, my brother, two nieces and two nephews, Steven's grandmother, and Steven's aunt. Last Mother's Day we had family over also, but this year feels even more special, because Sami is here.

Sami is doing so well. She is so close to crawling now, eating so many foods, smiling and laughing and interacting, and reaching for toys to play with (it's already obvious that she is right-handed.)

As for me, I am surprised how much I am enjoying my newest gig as editor of a business magazine. The publisher has pretty much handed it over to me, as though it is my baby. I am talking often with the writers and art designer, and really feel as though I am in my element once again. I am also still editing a book for a real estate developer who has written a 300-page text about becoming an entrepreneur. It's interesting at times, yet boring at other times, but on a whole I'm enjoying that work, too.

It's also been a great time in news for me, between watching everything I could find about the royal wedding (I became a bit obsessed with it) to then becoming glued to the news about Osama Bin Laden. I am a news junkie, so this is also keeping my mind occupied.

Sami continues to sleep well most nights, and naps very little during the day. My mother has come over a few times recently to watch her for a little while during the day so that I could be available for work-related conference telephone calls. It's been a huge help.

Last night, Sami did the oddest thing. I woke up at 5 a.m. to the sound of her "talking" and laughing. I didn't want to go into her room because I knew if she saw me she'd then start to cry to be picked up, and she sounded happy so I let her be and just listened by her door. She was laughing and talking off and on until 7 a.m. I'd like to believe that someone was in her room visiting with her, perhaps my father. She then fell asleep peacefully for a little while and then cried that it was time for her to get up around 7:30 a.m. It was one of her shorter nights of sleep, considering she didn't even fall asleep until almost 10:30 p.m. that night.

On a lighter note, Sami has a new habit. Spitting. I'm not kidding. I'm not sure where she learned to do this but she collects her saliva, and spits at us now making this loud spitting sound. And then she laughs. I am trying not to laugh when she does it, and I am telling her to stop. But it's not working out so well. She also is starting to drop her rattle, let me pick it up and hand it to her, then drop it again, let me pick it up again, etc. etc. etc. You see where this is going. :)

This week, I am hoping to confirm a date for Sami's baby naming. I am so excited about the visits from the family members that have not yet gotten to meet Sami. My sister, brother-in-law and niece are driving here from Texas, and Steven's parents, and hopefully Steven's brother, our sister-in-law and our niece and nephew will also all be coming from North Carolina. I am looking forward to spending time with everyone.

We are also still anxiously awaiting for a court date to have the adoption finalized. I will feel a great deal of relief when that finally takes place. It's still a huge weight on my shoulders waiting for it to be official.