Monday, January 10, 2011



Friday, May 7, 2010

Moving Blogs.....

Please change your bookmarks and rss feeds!  
Ashi and Rami have moved blogging homes to make room for their new baby sister.  
The new blog is called "Two Boychiks and a Meidele" 
and can be found at  
Hope you'll keep watching them grow in their new home!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

 Baby girl FINAL Springtime buds with birds layered for photo wNesi pic FINAL

Back in August, when we first found out that we were expecting a third baby, I went to one of those very very early checkups.  The ultrasound in those early weeks shows a little white dot (the baby) and a little flash (the heartbeat.) 
Every time I had had one of those early ultrasounds in the past, it was so exciting - the confirmation that nothing had changed except this millimeters-long bundle of cells that suddenly, miraculously, had a life of its own, both independent of me and completely dependent on me. 
And that that little flashing bundle meant that, before I knew it, everything would change once again.

I settled down in the chair, excited for the rush of seeing the flash-flash-flash on the screen.  The ultrasound began. 
I waited for the plane of view to land on the little embryo. 

Moments passed.  We saw a sac.  
Moments more passed.  Nothing showed up in the sac. 
After a minute or two, the technician put a hand on my shoulder.  She said, "I'm sorry, ma'am.  It looks like there's no baby." 

An empty sac.  A pregnancy with no baby.  Hopes risen up and then dashed.  A mention of speaking with the doctor about removing the sac, the failed pregnancy, so we could start again.  A follow-up appointment next week.

Over the next few days, I did what any reasonable person would do - I scoured the internet.  I read story after story of families with the same situation.  Most of them ended sadly - there really was no baby.  But every so often it turned out that the diagnosis had been wrong, and there was indeed a growing, healthy baby that somehow doctor or ultrasound had missed. 
That week, I made God a promise - if we found out there was indeed a baby there, that my case had somehow been misdiagnosed, I would give the baby a name that told the story of the wonders God can perform.

A tear-filled week later, I was back in the ultrasound room, for a final confirmation that there was no baby.   I didn't want to go. I didn't want to see the same devastating blankness on the screen.  I didn't want to be reminded, in real time, that I had become attached to nothing.

I settled down again.  Waited for the image to show on the screen. 
Saw the sac. 
Prepared, again, to see nothing. 
Steeled myself. 
Heard the technician say, "....and there's the baby."  
I started to hyperventilate.  
WHAT?!?!?  The BABY!?!?! But there is no baby!  
"Why couldn't we see it last week?"  I managed to sputter.  "I don't know...." the tech said...."you should have been able to...."

Today, thank God, we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Nesyah, which means "miracle of God."  Her nickname, "Nesi," can be translated, "my miracle" - her very existence is my own personal reminder of the very real presence of miracles in our everyday lives.

Jewish tradition is that every person's name should have a story.  Names, from the Bible through to today, not only tell the story of where we come from, but guide us towards what we will become.  A name is a blessing - an articulation of the hopes and dreams that our parents have for us that give us the inspiration and strength to be better people. 

Our blessing for Nesyah is that her name will remind her that miracles are possible, miracles are everywhere, and that her role in this world is to prove that by being a blessing to others.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Big Brother Love

Both of the boys are fascinated with their baby sister after her second full day at home.
This morning Asher laid in bed cuddling with her for about 5 minutes. (awwww...)
She started fussing and I picked her up.
He sat straight up and held out both arms to hug her.
 My heart melted - I couldn't resist.  I handed her over.

This is what ensued.
116/365 - Big Brother

More like an enthusiastic bicep curl.
Or a choke hold. But a loving choke hold.
Gotta start somewhere, right?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First Meeting

"Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

~ Anais Nin


Friday, April 23, 2010

This Girl

From the very beginning of her story,
to her arrival here yesterday,

this girl, hours old, is a miracle.

In the 39 weeks that I carried her
and mere 36 hours since she has been born
her existence, and the story of her life (so far),
has richly grown the gratitude in my heart
intensified my sense of awe
and deepened my belief in the power of The Source of Life.

You will hear the whole story when, Gd willing, she recieves a name on April 29th.
For now, some scenes from her first hours on Earth:

After a causing Ima to hyperventilate with fear
scaring the BeJeezus out of everyone 
having a little bit of a difficult time with labor contractions, arriving on the scene by emergency C-section:

Meeting Ima (who only looked so calm because her face was numb from the anesthesia):
112/365 - Brand New Baby Girl

Bringing our incredible doula, Caroline, back into our lives:

Weighing in at exactly the same size as her big brother Asher at birth (minus the screaming):
IMG_1908modest copy

Looking quite a bit like Rami:

Eskimo kissing a smitten Abba:

A rare moment sitting with Ima without yelling at her to EAT!  NOW!!!

Welcome to this world, sweet girl.  
We've been waiting for you, and we're so very grateful that you're here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"What to Feed Your Child Every Day": A Lesson in Futility

I love Parents magazine.

No, really.  I do. 
I think it's fun to flip through it to see just which article will make me want to throw it against a wall this month.


This month they published a very helpful spread explaining what you should be feeding your little darling every day. 
You know, so they won't turn into sugar-crazed goblins, sociopaths, or, Gd forbid, average academic performers.

See how helpful this is?
 Especially the examples of the gorgeous dishes you're supposed to use to serve your little ones?
I made lunch for the boys today, keeping in mind this oh-so-helpful advice.  Let's take a look at which healthy, delicious, and appropriately-apportioned foods I chose for my darlings:
IMG_1728 closeup textcopy

Now, let's see what they did with them:
IMG_1729 text blog copy

Well, I suppose Parents magazine told me to feed my children these foods. 
Guess it's up to me to figure out how to get the boys to actually eat them.

(Thanks for another down-to-earth, non-preachy article, Parents!
Can't wait for you to make me feel guilty and inadequate in June's issue, too.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bedtime Shema

When Asher was an only, I used to hold and rock him during bedtime prayers.
Now that we sing prayers all together in the big boy room
we've had the boys tuck up in their own beds to sing their bedtime Shema.
Our custom had been for me to sit by Ashi's bedside and rub his back while I sing.
Rami would just lay in his own crib and listen. 

A couple of weeks ago, I started to scoot over to Rami's side of the room 
and stretch one of my fingers through the bars.
He always touches one of his tiny fingertips to mine, 
and, most of the time, giggles. 
A lot.

Oh, how I love these boys. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last-Minute Errand

Asher:  "Oh!  Ima?  Excuse me."
Ima:  "Yes, Asher?" 

Asher: "I forgot."
Ima:  "What did you forget?"

Asher:  "I want to go get a chocolate donut. At the donut store!"
Ima:  "Okay, Asher.  Let's go."*

Asher:  "Oh, okay.  Thanks, Ima."
Ima:  "You're welcome, baby."

*Sometimes, when your little boy asks to go to "the donut store," it's good to just say, "Okay," load everyone in the car, and go.  Not always, but sometimes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Welcome Letter

Dear Abba and Ima,

Welcome to the terrible twos.

(I know that you think you've dealt with the "terrible twos" before.
But, having grown up with my big brother for nearly 17 months,
I can tell you that his easy compliance 
with concepts like "time-out" and "being polite"
mean that what you called "the terrible twos" was really just a bit of challenging behavior.)

That is, compared to what I'm about to dish out.
Prepare yourselves!
for unsolicited yelling,
wild mood swings, 
and temper tantrums that escalate from 0-60 in .7 seconds.

If all goes according to plan, by 2012 or so, I will have redeemed myself with some carefully-timed episodes of pure sweetness.

And remember - 
every time you keep your cool,
respond lovingly but firmly, 
and discipline me gently but consistently,

you're doing a great job.

Ram Ram

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rami's Favorite Passover Breakfast Recipe

1 pc plain matzah
2 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp jelly
Fruity Pebbles to taste

Have your Abba and Ima spread the matzah first with cream cheese, then with jelly. 
Then (and this is important!)
lick the jelly off the matzah,
making as big of a mess as possible. 

Then apply the Fruity Pebbles to the cream cheese to taste. 
(Don't forget to save a handful of cereal for side noshing.)

*We'll be ignoring the fresh strawberries completely, but it makes your Ima feel better if you have the option of eating them.  Also, while she's concentrating on cutting them up, you can probably get a pretty good jelly smear across your face, your shirt, or even in your hair.

Chag Sameach!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Who, Me?

Who, me?
Neglect my blog for TWO MONTHS?*

Oh, you're talking about me throwing 
all of our Passover "dishes" all over the floor?

Yeah, I'm doing that.  
And I'm not sorry.

*I, Leigh Ann, am responsible for that. And I am sorry. Project 365, the third trimester, and other craziness has been pulling me away from blogging for awhile. But I've already put together a new blog for when the chickpea arrives ( and another, different blog is in the works - I'll share that address when it goes live.  Thanks for still following us after months on hiatus, whoever is out there!

Friday, February 5, 2010

It Might Not Look Like He's Playing Hide-and-Seek...


But he is.

Rami's never quite gotten "hide-and-seek."

When you say, "Where's Rami?"
he puts his hands, or his spoons, or his blankie, on the side of his head.
Or the top.

He thinks you can't see him,
and he likes to watch your face while you "search" for him.


He pulls the hidey-things away from his face with such delighted flair,
the seeker is so charmed,
and Rami gives such a nice hearty laugh,
that it doesn't really matter if he knows exactly how to play the game.

Plus, that crooked smile is to die for.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Rami stole Asher's fork at breakfast this morning.

The injustice was so horrific
that even when David got Rami a new fork,
and returned Asher's to him,
the outcry continued.

In a Clinton-esque move, David extended a treaty of extra syrup for the waffles.
It didn't help.

As for me? I just kept snapping pictures.

After all, such incomprehensible injustice really must be documented.
You know, for the greater good and all.

Monday, February 1, 2010

30/365 - "Love-and-Kiss Fest"

When Rami woke up from his Shabbat morning nap,
he was in need of a good snuggle.

I was still napping, so David slid him in next to me for some hugs.

Rami is NEVER happier than when he's cuddling with his Ima.
Pretty soon, our quiet snuggle turned into a love-and-kiss fest,
with Rami cooing, "Ima!" every time I kissed his face.


Just like the good old days,
except now he says my name.

(Oh, how I adore this boy.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Flour + Water + Yeast + Butter + Sugar = Shabbat Morning Love

Parenting Lessons Learned Early:

The way to a boy's heart

is through

his stomach.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

28/365 - Who Needs Toys?

Who needs toys

when you have belts, scarves, and ties?



Ashi and Rami have invented a little game:
Ashi grabs a blankie, scarf, or in this case, Abba's belt.
Rami grabs on to the end.

28/365 - Who Needs Toys?

Ashi runs.
Rami gets pulled along till he falls down.
Rami gives a big belly laugh, picks himself up, and the game starts again.

Given that it involves running ripshot with otherwise grown-up objects,

plus the obligatory roughhousing,

and adds in, of course, belly laughs,

it is an awesome, awesome game.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24/365 - Tackle!

24/365 - Tackle!
Originally uploaded by Leigh Ann Kopans

The boys are starting to play together more and more.

I think it was David who taught the boys to tackle one another.

Rami, (I assume due to his smaller size and slower speed,)

has developed a pretty good strategy for tackling his big brother -

grab onto his clothes,

hold on for dear life,

and hope he falls down before you do.

The spikes running down the back of Asher's dinosaur costume made perfect little handles.

Asher didn't stand a chance.

Normally, the tackle-ee has a look of horror and despair on his face (like in this shot,)

while the tackle-er wears an expression of total glee.

Today, they both seemed delighted to be playing the game.

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