The Occasional blogger

Well, she fooled us again. We tired her out so much in Chicago over Thanksgiving that she slept one night for 6 hours and one night for 7. I thought – perfect! Just in time for me to go back to work this week. The good news is that I know she won’t starve if she sleeps that long. The bad news is that she hasn’t done it since. We thought we’d successfully transitioned her to the crib and then last night I think she slept with me most of the night (just don’t tell the pediatrician!). She wouldn’t stop eating!

A friend told me that with her kids she just let them cry it out one night and then they slept through the night after that. I’m not sure if Avital is too young for that or not. I’d consult one of my baby books, but every time I read those I feel guilty and inadequate! Better to just talk to friends. J

My first week back at work was really energizing – well, except that I was literally dizzy I was so tired. Adrenalin is the only thing that kept me going. I’ve heard of places where they specifically made you feel like you were NOT missed, but I definitely did not feel that way. Everyone was very welcoming. It was funny to meet the interns on their last day when I hadn’t even met them once before. One of my work colleagues said of my return, “I can hear their sigh of relief all the way from here in Ohio.” Very sweet!

I slid into one of our work events this week on Thursday morning. It was a Leading Thinkers panel (sponsored by Foundation for Defense of Democracy) reporting on a recent fact-finding mission to Afghanistan. Like everything else the United States does, I’m optimistic that there may now be a new approach and that it will be resourced appropriately. Everyone worried that Iraq would turn into another Vietnam. But Afghanistan is turning into that one step forward, two steps back, ground fighting mess because there aren’t appropriate resources there. Not that it will be easy, even with the appropriate resources, but there is no excuse for simply ignoring the situation and allowing the Taliban to regroup.

One of the panelists said something I found quite powerful, especially in the aftermath of the horrifying Mumbai attacks. I can’t stop thinking about “Baby Moishe” as the news is calling him, crying out for his Ima (mom) at the funeral. For an entire two days I felt like every newspaper I looked at, every computer screen and news show was forcing me to watch and experience his pain.

Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl said, “There are worse things than war. I’ve been in a couple of them and they’re pretty bad, but there are worse things.” He said that when he was in Afghanistan, some Taliban threw acid in the face of girls trying to go to school. He said, “I’m not willing to live in a world where this happens. They need to be removed. I’m not in that business anymore but I know plenty of people willing to do it. They just need resources and support on the ground…These aren’t people you negotiate with.”

What a way to get back into the DC scene! Chicago was great though. For some reason I still think of everyday life there as reality, and DC as some alternate universe. There is just a gritty, blue collar aura to Chicago in the winter that some find depressing, but I just find REAL. Avital didn’t wake up to see it, but she was in her first Chicago snowstorm. Luckily we got out of Midway in a couple of hours. Miraculously it was only micro-climate in the area that got less than three inches of snow. Scott was laughing that the news was covering the storm (up to 8 inches in some outlying areas), but wasn’t exactly in panic emergency mode like the DC news when half an inch is predicted. I was happy to have him experience a non-emergency snow storm. I keep telling him they exist. He kept telling me to be careful because it had been a long time since I’d driven in that weather. I thought it was fun!

Of course the whole family ate up Avital for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was so fun to show her off! It used to be that when I went home I wanted to hit all the bars, clubs, etc… Now I’m thinking about what places and activities will be the most kid-friendly to meet my friends and family and their kids. That’s okay. I’ve been out and about enough for two lifetimes. Now I’m happy to just enjoy her.

My father-in-law (he’s a Cantor) has been asked to sing at a local memorial for the Mumbai victims, organized by Chabad. I hope I can stand it. It’s just so painful. When Chabad called for revenge by doing good deeds and mitzvoth, I thought of what Golda Meir said. The idea being…they have to want their children to live, more than they want ours to die. I say, let the world see the way the Jews respond. I’m quite proud of it.

I know this was too long for a blog entry. But that’s what happens when I stay away too long!