5 week update

Has it truly been 5 weeks already?
Also, has it only been 5 weeks?

Time is such a weird thing. On the one hand, it feels like our little Yaeli has been around with us forever. And on the other hand it doesn't feel like it's already been 5 weeks. Pretty soon Rivkah is going to be back at work and we are going to have new routines and (hopefully) the baby will be sleeping through the night. For some reason, this week she decided that she doesn't want to sleep in her bassinet anymore so she's been sleeping with us. Hopefully that won't last very long but our doc said it's too early to let her cry herself to sleep. She said that it should be ok to do that at 6 months but until then we are building her trust and to let her cry endlessly would be a bad thing.

Things are actually settling down. The apartment is getting unpacked slowly. It will speed up when my class is completed. In fact, I am in the final week of my CCAC 'career'. In about two weeks I will be a CCAC graduate and I will be moving on to a bigger and better college. I am still deciding if I want to go to graduation in May. I guess we will see.

There really isn't much else to say. Tirtzah is growing every day. She is starting to outgrow her newborn clothes and she is also going through diapers at an alarming pace. Look for a post from her mommy soon (hint, hint). I'll try to post again soon.


Aaaaand we're back!

Hello out there in readerville! The boat is starting to right itself and life is returning to a new version of normal. That means that posts might start coming more frequently now (but no promises).
And since I got behind there will be an abundance of pictures in this post.

Anyway, this is our little Yaeli Tirzah. She is, as of her last weigh in, 7 lbs 4 oz and doing great! She has 10 uncles and one aunt (blood related) and a Bubby, Zeighdee (jk, it's Zaidy), Grandma and Papa and everyone seems to be fighting over who gets to hold her and for how long. On shabbos we actually had to use the clock and give people time limits with her. It was quite comical actually.
Rivkah has been giving her baths pretty frequently (otherwise she starts smelling bad from spitting up on herself) and she seems to be more and more OK with it with every bath. She is also learning to sleep in her bassinet and has been doing it pretty well since the beginning of this week.
And sometimes we have the distinct pleasure of her falling asleep while cuddling with us. This is my favorite time. Her face is all sweet and at peace, she goes into rem sleep really quickly and I can see when she is dreaming. Sometimes her whole body quakes when she's sleeping. She is just a pleasure to be around and I really wish I could be a stay-at-home dad for her. If only I had a means of feeding her. Well, I guess I will do the next best thing and go to work so Rivkah and I can eat.

Speaking of work, I don't really recall where I left off in terms of telling you all about my new job! I am having a really great time working here at aSa and I really love the atmosphere here. There are so many nice people. They are teaching me a ton and I am even on the Event Planning Committee. In the coming weeks I am going to start getting a lot of work coming my way and tomorrow I am having some one on one training with one of the company owners to learn one of the applications I will be testing. He wrote the original version of the application!
It's Yaeli's first Chanukah and she has already gotten some really great gifts. My favorite is the shirt that my teammate Steve, and his family, got for her:

They also got her a pair of ice skate booties (no they don't have sharp blades!)

Anyway, I need to get back to work. I hope to come back and write at least once a week. Don't forget to bookmark the blog and check it often!


My New Job

As promised, here are the details of my new job.

On Monday, October 25, 2010 I started at a company called aSa. My job title is Quality Assurance Analyst and I am going to be doing quality assurance testing and automated testing on the software that the company provides. It is everything that I have been hoping for in a job. I have my own hard walled cube. I have a fast computer with dual, flatscreen monitors. I have a friendly working environment where I can feel comfortable to ask for help if I need it and where I can truly grow my skills and contribute to the company of a high level. I can feel useful and wanted. Pretty much, if I had to write down what a dream, entry level job for me would look like, it would be sitting right here at my new desk, doing the same thing I am going to be doing.

I want to thank my recruiter, Craig Kumer, from Oxford Solutions (a staffing company here in Pittsburgh), for contacting me about this position and helping me the whole way and ultimately getting me the job. I couldn't have done it without him.

These are the details that I feel comfortable sharing online in a public forum. If you would like to call me we can definitely chat and I will tell you how I'm doing.

Thanks for reading, folks!



Today is my last day at MSA and I am sad. Over the past 8 months I have made some really good friends. Notably Seema and Jaime. I will miss seeing them on a (work)daily basis. Change is always hard but right now it seems even harder. When I leave today I am not going to be coming back tomorrow. I have promised a few people here to try and bring Ike in for a visit but I don't know when that is going to happen.

Saying goodbye sucks. It also is a great time to connect with people and get information to keep in touch. Last days are also a great time for finding out how you have been doing at work. My co-worker Mike came over to say goodbye and told me that I have been doing a really good job and he sees my talent. Mike started working at MSA before I even had my first birthday. I truly respect his opinion and analysis. Thank you Mike.

Most of all, I will miss Bryan. Even though we go to the same shul I will miss talking to him on a daily basis and getting on each other's nerves. His name for me is TroubleMaker and I like it. Bryan and I used to drive to work with each other through the wintry months. We had some good talks and got to be pretty good friends. Bryan, thank you for helping me get this job. It has been the focal point of my career path so far as it has helped guide me to my niche.

To everyone at MSA, I thank you for the time and effort you have spent in training me, helping me, being my friend, and most of all just saying good morning as I passed you in the hall. I am going to miss you all.


Turn and Face the Strange Ch Ch Changes

Boy is life ever changing! We're with in the last month and preparing for it like crazy. I'm making lots of food and freezing a lot, which means that our freezer is fuller than it has ever been in our 1.5 yrs in this apt. I'm writing list on top of list just trying to feel like I am somewhat organized before I forget what the word organization means. Also, I cut back my hours at work so that I could rest and get things done at home. So unlike last week when I cam home every night and crashed, this week I've been cooking and doing dishes and keeping the house neater, and actually feeling less grumpy. Very clearly cutting back hours was the right decision- and I'm only 2 days in!

Yehuda starts his new job on Monday. That is going to be one of our biggest changes. It means longer hours out of the house for him, which means less time for us to spend together. I know you're all thinking "geez, they are such saps" to which I say "you're jealous." Although we've both changed schedules a lot since our wedding we have still gotten to spend a lot of time together. Part of what we are feeling is that with Yehuda commuting so "far" to work, once Ike comes there really won't be a lot of us time. So, like with everything else in our life right now, we are arranging our schedule to accommodate this. I'm a big fan on easing into new situations as much as possible. Many of our new life changes are so that we can settle into a routine before routines become a thing of the past.

We'll see where this leads us, but we are 3 days in to this week and have kept good moods for 3 days straight!

Also, Shayna and Yair are finally engaged! Yair is very much the right guy for Shayna and was nice enough to include us in his surprise proposal. Mazal tov!


I Got a New Job, and Other Stories

Dear readers out in readerland,
I was offered a permanent position as a quality assurance analyst in a company here in Pittsburgh. With Ike's arrival coming within the next month or so this makes me greatly excited. This is my first "real" job. By that I mean that it's my first 8-hour-a-day, 40-hour-a-week, benefitted, 401k'ing, etc. job. For more information about the company you can look it up here.

So, the other stories. I got accepted to Point Park University to continue my education in the pursuit of a Bachelor's Degree. This is very exciting for me because I am going to be graduating in December with my Associates Degree after ___ years at the Community College. I didn't think I would have it in me to keep going to school after being in school for so long. Apparently I did. This brings us to story number three (which then leads into number 4).

Story number three is actually sort of attached to number 1. My new job is located about a 25-30 minute drive away from my apartment in Squirrel Hill in a town called Murrysville. It's also about 35-50 minute drive from my new school.

Story number four: We need to buy a second car already. You see, Ladies and Gentlemen, Rivkah's job recently moved out of Squirrel Hill as well. So, for the past week she has been driving Xavier to work. And since we can't carpool (she works in a different direction, I have to go to school from work, etc.) we need to own two cars. At least we 1) believe we have found one and 2) have jobs that can support two cars.

Speaking of Xavier, I took a picture of the new license plate I bought for him:

Let me know what you think. Rivkah said that for mine I can get one that says "ME GOOSE". I think it will fit very nicely.

I think that is enough for today. My hands are getting tired. If I think of anything else...


I just wanted to let you know that I think I'm going to name my car..."Evander Car".

...I will just have to post again. Thanks for reading.


The Time for Finding a Birthing Class Is Upon Us

This is so crazy. Time has flown. There are only three months left and we now need to take some sort of lamaze class. Unfortunately we won't be able to take the Midwife Center class because they all are either on shabbos or yomim tovim. So I think our options are limited to West Penn Allegheny Health classes.
More to come on what we decide to do.


This made me think of one of my favorite lines from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
[Phoebe is in labor]
Frank Buffay Jr.: Hey. I came as soon as I heard. 
Phoebe: Hey. Where's Alice? 
Frank Buffay Jr.: Oh, she's in Delaware. But, don't worry, she told me all about the lamazda training. 
Yes, that would be if you get the babies out by the end of the month, you get 2% financing. 


The JetBlue Misconception

JetBlue flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to New York. Sounds like a regular old flight right? Wrong!

It was on this flight that Steven Slater pulled out a submachine gun and killed 40,000 passengers before chugging a gallon of vodka and blowing up the airport.
Uh, I think that sounded like I work in the media all of a sudden. OK, here is the real story as experienced by me and Rik.

It was a normal Monday morning at Pittsburgh International Airport. The weather was fair; planes were taking off and landing with regularity. But somewhere, trouble was brewing. DUN DUN DUN!!! A routine flight headed to JFK International Airport in New York was boarding and, as usual, a passenger was not happy. She had an over sized bag that just wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment. As his job description dictated, Mr. Slater approached the lady and told her that she will need to check the bag underneath the plane and will get it back when the plane lands. Well, she didn't like what she was hearing but she had no choice so she violently yanked her bag out of the overhead and caught Slater right on the forehead with enough force to cut him. When Rik and I boarded the plane (we got on later because we were in row 5) I mentioned to her that the flight attendant was bleeding. I thought it was really strange but when I saw him again it seemed to be taken care of.

Throughout the rest of the morning our interactions with Mr. Slater were very positive. He was very nice to Rik and even let her get up to use the bathroom when the seat belt light was still on. So it came as quite a shock that night when we got to our hotel room that night and saw, in our email inboxes, an email from JetBlue apologizing for the inconvenience. Here is an excerpt from the email:

On behalf of the 12,500 professional Crewmembers here at JetBlue, we appreciate the opportunity to extend a sincere apology for the situation you experienced on August 9th, on JetBlue Flight #1052. We appreciate your patience and understanding as events unfolded. This situation is absolutely not what you have come to expect from JetBlue. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation in connection with the deployment of our emergency slide.
As a gesture of goodwill and apology for any inconvenience you may have experienced, we have issued a credit in the amount of $100 in your name. These funds will be placed in your JetBlue Travel Bank within seven (7) days and may be used in the next year towards the purchase of travel on JetBlue. You will receive communication confirming the credits via email.

What the hell happened? We took off on time. We landed on time. The flight was a little turbulent (in the regular sense of the word) but JetBlue had no control over that. Why were they giving us this money? We just dismissed it and figured we would get an email saying that we received that email in error and no money was actually being deposited. Anyway, we forgot all about it until my father called me the next morning while we were roaming around Chinatown. He said something along the lines of "so, I guess you were on the flight yesterday". And I said "huh?". Which is when he proceeded to tell me about the guns and explosions and all that other stuff that the news was broadcasting as fact. So, we looked the story up online and started hearing about it on the news and were really intrigued. How could we have missed this? Did this really happen while we were on the plane? We really couldn't figure it out. Then, a few days later, we start getting calls from JetBlue, TSA, and JFK airport security. They all wanted to know what really happened. So we told them that we had no idea. We saw Steven bleeding but nothing else. Then, after we answered all of their questions, I asked a few of my own. What happened on the flight. What have they found out from asking people who were actually on the flight? And this is what I found out: while the flight was boarding, a female passenger was trying to cram and oversized bag into the overhead compartment. Mr. Slater advised her that it was too big and he would check it underneath and have it returned when the plane lands. She got upset and angrily hands her bag over, swearing and then accidentally hitting Slater in the head and cutting him. Slater, obviously tired of the horrible treatment, spent the flight upset at being antagonized again! Then, as the plane was taxiing into the terminal, several passengers started getting up and getting their stuff. Slater got on the PA system and told those passengers that they needed to take their seats and wait until the seatbelt light turned off. So, everyone sat back down and everything continued as normal.

Then, when passengers were de-planing in New York, the original passenger apparently kept harassing him and complaining about her bag not being there when she needed it. Slater, finally fed up with it all, got on the PA system and let those passengers who were left on the plane (JetBlue said there were only about 15 passengers that actually witnessed it) that enough was enough, and pulled the emergency slide and had some fun on the way out of a 20 year career. See, pretty harmless. I don't know what all the fuss was about. The man had a bad day and probably had a concussion from being hit in the head. And the country wants this man arrested and fined as if he were some sort of terrorist.

I can't speak for anyone else but, if he were the flight attendant for me again, I would feel safe and not have a problem with it. We all have bad days. Let's stop overanalyzing his.



Well, it only took us a little over a year but we are finally going on our honeymoon. Maybe it can be called a babymoon too but we are just calling it the honeymoon. It still doesn't seem like it's been a whole year since we got married but, I guess it has. Anyway, as with all vacations, this weekend is going to be crazy hectic with preparing food, clothes, last minute stuff, and also researching where the birth centers are in all stops of our trip (just in case). You never know, hopefully that baby stays inside but if Ike decides he/she wants to see New York, we will be prepared.

Our first leg of the trip is the actual honeymoon. We are staying for three days and two nights in midtown Manhattan in a nice hotel with a pool. During that time we will be attending Mary Poppins on Broadway and doing other touristy stuff; Empire State Building, Chinatown, going out to eat, and of course visiting Justina. She is the only person who we are going to be meeting up with in NY. With all of her recent stuff going on plus the fact that we haven't seen her since the wedding, we really need to see her. Not to mention the fact that we want to visit her.

After NY we are going to take a train up to Fairfield to visit Rik's old hometown. Last time we were there I got really sick and didn't truly get to experience it so this time I told my tummy to behave. We are going to see a few families and I think we are planning to have lunch there. After Fairfield we are going to New Haven to spend the night with the Roffmans and I think we are even going to get to see Mindy and her family (now of 4).

Next stop is back to NY for a late night flight to Washington DC Dulles airport. Our flight gets in at 10:40 PM so don't expect us to be very talkative. We are staying with Robyn and Leon and Basha Chaya and Liora Ness. We are staying in Potomac for shabbos, spending a great deal of it with the Frankls who are in from Israel. I can't wait to see them. Haven't seen 'em since I left the holy land in 2006. It has been waaaay too long. Then, on Saturday night, I am going to play pickup hockey with my cousin Adam somewhere in Maryland. I am not sure yet where. And of course, on Sunday we are going to try to get together with family for a brunch somewhere.

Well, that seems to be it. I gotta get back to work.

Have a great shabbos!

Our First Car!

So, here is how it all went down, because it happened really quickly. On Wednesday, my co-worker and good friend Bryan told me about a friend of his selling a car. I was interested as we have been looking for a car to purchase for a while now. We have been iffy about being able to buy one but when Bryan told me about this one I had a feeling we had found our car.

I called the Rik and told her what I had learned and she told me to call the owner and get some more information. I called the owner and found out more about the car and everything he told me seemed to be exactly what we had been looking for. 4 doors, check. AC, check. Small, check. Low mileage, check. Low price tag, check.

That night I went to test drive the car and I really liked it. It drove nicely. It was raining out and the car handled really well. The wipers worked great and no water was leaking in. Well, we got back to his garage and we spoke about pricing and stuff. Then he drove me home.

Rik and I talked it over that night and decided that this was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up. At the moment we can't really afford to insure and register it so we decided that we will just buy it and keep it behind her parent's house for now until a time that we can pay to use it.

Yesterday, I called the owner and told him that we were going to buy it. I asked my manager for permission to leave work for a few hours and she said it was fine. I left work at 10:00 and went straight to the bank. Had a banks check made out to him and then met him at my in-laws. We parked the car in the back and took off the plate. It read "DAY-3930" in case you were curious. From there we went down to AAA and transfered the title to my name. After that I took him home and that was it. Not even three hours. I was back at work at 12:45.

So, Rik and I are now the proud owners of a 1997 Honda Civic EX 4 door sedan. It has 66,841 miles. Power windows. Power locks. AC/heat. A sunroof. Fabric interior (which we preferred, hate those leather seats in the summer). Everything we really needed in a car is in it. Now all it needs is an HD radio!

Coaching From Experience

This past winter (that of 2009/10) I helped a friend out with coaching a youth ice hockey fundamentals class. It was there that I realized how much fun it is to coach kids. Now, with Ike on the way, I am really excited to watch my own kid get involved in sports, eventually of course (I doubt they make 0-6 month old ice skates or baseball gloves), and maybe even coach them.

Fast forward a few months. I am at the library looking for books on hockey history to read in my spare time (I highly recommend "Why Is The Stanley Cup In Mario Lemieux's Swimming Pool?" and "Best in the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions") and I came across a book titled "Coaching Kids For Dummies", a how-to book that covers a variety of topics and aspects that parents should consider when coaching children. I am only midway through the second chapter and I have already learned a lot from it. From the first chapter though is where I learned a lesson on my own experience in sports.

As you know (if you read my previous post) I am on a hockey team that is doing terribly. We signed up for the wrong league and are all getting really frustrated, as well as having a great time. Our captain, who happens to be the guy I did the fundamentals class with over the winter, is looking into other options for us to play next season in a league that is more suited to our level of play. In the last post I mentioned that getting beaten every game is a lesson in humility. Well, after reading this book, I realized that my perspective had been all wrong to begin with. The whole point of this league is to have fun and to compete. I was putting way to much pressure on myself to excel in a situation that didn't allow me to. I was having fun but not allowing myself to be satisfied. What I need to do for the last three games is just go out there, have fun, and work on my skills. That is what it's all about. There is no prize for winning. No trophies or plaques or anything. It's all about having fun and I can see that now.

Before, I said that I am going to ditch my team at the end of the year but after one of our more recent games I spoke to one of the referees who had worked two of our games. He recommended that I move down a level and continue playing with my team. There, I can be one of the better players in the league and really get a chance to work on my skills. I should play two or three seasons at that level and then move up with the confidence and skills that I have been building. That was really good advice. I am still looking into both options but for now I want to stay with my team.

As for coaching, the experience I am having of losing every game of the season and still having a great time is the first thing I will tell any group of kids that I am assigned to. "Listen up, a few years ago I was on a team that was shut out in 5 of our first 7 games and lost all 10. But every person on our team had fun. That is the point of playing and that is the only thing I expect from you guys. Winning, statistics, great plays all mean nothing. We are all learning. As long as we have fun the whole season then, win or lose, we are winners. This is your time! Now go out there and take it!"


Fear, Doubt and Insecurity

As I have mentioned before, it has come time to move on in my career. I need to find a full time job and I am really quite apprehensive. I have already had an interview with a company called CIBER, Inc. and I think I did well in it. Today I got another call, this time from a recruiter, about a position that is pretty close to Squirrel Hill. I spoke to him for a few minutes and the job sounded promising and then he sent me an email with the job description. I freaked out and probably ruined my chances of even getting an interview. I read the details of the job and it seemed to me that it would be way above what I would be comfortable doing; project lead, B.S. degree required. So I sent him an email back saying this:

Dear Dave,

I am wondering if you sent me the wrong job description? This position seems to be above my qualifications. I would love to work on a QA team but I only have 5 months of work in this field and do not feel qualified to be a project lead. Furthermore, the job description states that a bachelors degree is required and I don't have one. If there is a job description for a more junior position I would be glad to apply but I believe this one would be too challenging as my first full time job in the field.

He responded with this:

That is the right position.  They looking for someone who is Junior level.  If you feel that you don’t have enough experience to pursue this position it is ok.  I can contact you for other positions that I think you would be a good fit for. 
Thank you

To which I replied:
Hey Dave,

Would it be ok to ask for an interview to get a better sense from the company of what my exact responsibilities would be? I would be ok with going in and presenting myself. I don't want to rule myself out of anything without knowing more about it.

Now I am freaking out at my desk that I totally screwed this whole thing up. I didn't think I would be qualified for the job I am working right now and I did a great job at the interview and am doing a really good job at work. Why couldn't I have just kept quiet and listened to my gut. 

Have I ruined my chance at this job?

Update: Apparently I didn't blow my shot. This email was waiting for me in my inbox when I got home:
Yes, we can send your resume to our client and see if there is any interest on their end.  I will also keep in you mind for any other positions I have that I think you might be a good fit for.
Thank you


Moving Forward in my Hockey "Career"

The "Net Crashers" (the name of my hockey team) now have 4 games in the bag. We also have 4 losses. We are definitely the worst team in the league, thanks in part to some bad information about the level we would be playing in and also because we just had no idea. We still go out there and have fun but in the 4 games that we have played we are outscored by a total of sixty-something to three. I had one of those three. It was a completely individual effort goal and was unassisted. We have six games left and then I will be a "free agent".

Despite our ineptitude in this league we still are managing to laugh, learn and find some humor in our weekly spankings. This past game I found a tooth on the floor of our teams bench. It was an awesome sight. I've also been learning and putting into practice the art of drawing a penalty better. That has never been a part of my game but in a non-checking league especially it is a great way to get a man advantage opportunity. This past Sunday, while chasing a loose puck in the corner, I was neck and neck with a guy on the other team. He managed to lose his stick so I positioned myself between him and the boards. When we hit the wall where the puck was I "fell" onto my knees and the checking penalty was called. It would have been nicer if my teammates knew what to do on a power play. See, while they are all growing in their knowledge and skills of the game, the finer points of hockey such as icing, penalties, offsides and other such rules are beyond their skill sets right now. I mean them no ill will, I was a novice too at one point and it really is great to see the weekly improvements of many players on the team.

I do feel that this is a good point in my playing "career" to surround myself with players that are better than I am. I would like to stay in the league I am currently in but on a different team that provides me the opportunity to be competitive. I really will miss the teammates I have now. Some of us have been playing together for almost two years and we have a great locker room report. We are like a big dysfunctional family.

This season has been, and continues to be, a humbling one. Above all it is teaching me that hockey is really a team sport. Personal skills can only take a player so far. In the end, it is the power of the team that wins or loses a game. I plan on showing up for every remaining game of the season and competing to the best of my abilities. I am going to give it my all because I made a commitment and I honor my commitments. However, this is my stepping stone to the next level. This is where I take the step that most benefits me. 

This is my time.


22 week Birth Center Appointment

For some reason I have had a hard time remembering Birth Center appointments. I haven't missed any as Rik is an excellent secretary, but I think I asked her about 5 times this week what we were doing on Monday afternoon. So when she and her parents picked me up from work and turned right (towards our appointment) instead of going straight (towards home) I was confused. Oh well. C'est la vie.

Anywhoozles, we had the appointment. We got to show my in-laws around the place and I got to see some of it for the first time too (I thought I had taken the full tour but apparently I was wrong). Our midwife today was Ann and we had never met with her before. You know, just when I thought the midwives couldn't possibly get any nicer, we met Ann. She was my favorite so far. All of them have really shown that they care about us and little Ike so much but if I had my choice right now, out of the midwives we have met so far, I would want her to deliver Ike. Just saying. Needless to say, the in-laws liked the Birth Center. I kinda expected that as they were the ones that gave us all the initial information about it.

Well, it seems I have run out of things to say right now. Ike is kicking a lot for Totti and when I stayed up until midnight to celebrate the very beginning of my birthday, Ike kicked up a storm as Rik wished me a happy birthday. Babies seem to be so intuitive.


Update on the Kicking

Thank G-d Ike won't stop kicking. I can't describe how it feels in words, but each time it happens it surprises me, like a hiccup. Hiccups always surprise me, even when I'm having a hiccup attack (usually thanks to Yehuda).

Yehuda has been able to feel Ike kick a few times already. Yesterday he put his hand on my belly to try and feel, and I think Ike knew it was Totti's hand because there was a HUGE kick for Yehuda to feel. It's incredibly special sharing this with Yehuda, especially because the kicks are so sporadic. I never know if they will happen in sets so Yehuda can feel.

Anyways, I imagine that fairly soon everyone will be able to feel Ike, and even see little feet or hand popping out. So stay tuned.


Don't Kick Mommy

I think I'm feeling kicking! I'm resting after an exhausting day of working while still sick. It feels like my lower tummy has rolling burps. Kind of a weird way to put it, unless you're me and your Ike has decided burping is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

It's really special to feel Ike kick. It's a connection to my baby. There aren't a lot of connections to be made while Ike is inside the womb so feeling my baby kick is amazing. It's a sign that everything is going well. We are healthy and more than halfway to having a happy yummy baby.

I really can't wait to share the kicking with everyone else. For now though, it's my special feeling. Although, if I have to go through all of this I deserve to feel Ike kick first!

Update: Hey, it's Yehuda here. I just felt Ike kicking! It was so so cool! The kicking was really faint and Rik probably felt it better but it was almost as cool as seeing Ike on the sonogram screen. We saw kicking and we even saw the heartbeat that time but this time we felt it. Thanks for tuning in.


Jobs n' Worries n' Money n' Stuff

For the past 5 1/2 months I have been working as an intern at a consulting/software development/data analysis company called Management Science Associates, Inc. I have gotten really comfortable there but the internship is scheduled to end in the middle or end of August. That means that I need to start looking for a new job. UGH!

So, I had my usual pre-job hunt, freak out. No, wait. I didn't this time. Instead I updated my resume and applied to about 10-15 jobs. That was not easy but I feel really good about it. I am obviously not done as I don't have an offer on the table but it was definitely good inspiration to continue the search. Within the next few days I will probably search several more jobs.

A big motivation for getting a better job is that when I do, we will most likely be able to afford a car and a slightly larger apartment. Those are two things that we are really in need of for when Ike joins up with us in November. Those things are really helping me keep my head in searching for a job in this difficult process.

Rik, thanks for always having my back when I do get scared. I wouldn't even be at this job without your encouragement.

If any of you reading this post know of any jobs that I might be interested in please shoot me an email or give me a call. pittgoose@gmail.com.


Half Way There

I'm 20 weeks. We're half way through. While the time has flown, another 20 weeks seems so far off.

It's the second trimester "feel good" time for me. People are telling me my tummy has finally popped, but as far as I'm concerned my tummy popped the day I found out I was pregnant, so what do I know? I've only felt Ike kick a few times, but I know that soon enough I'll be up all night wishing for respite so I can finally sleep.

Today Yehuda, Ike, and I were extras on the set for Agent Emes (due out late fall or early winter or something- right in time for Ike's welcome to the world). It was quite fun. I felt bad as I yawned a few times. The best part is Ike is in the credits! I can't wait to see it. The Agent Emes films are absolutely adorable. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to walk around dressed like Agent Emes.

That's all I've got for now, plus it's dinner time.


The Midwife Center: Our Experience Thus Far

For those of you who don't know yet, Rivkah and I are using The Midwife Center for Birth and Women's Health in the Strip District near Downtown Pittsburgh. Now, when we first started talking about where we would be going for care, my immediate reaction was "Magee Women's Hospital of course. That's where everyone in Pittsburgh goes when they are pregnant." However Rivkah, and my mother-in-law were adamant that we check out the birth center. I was VERY apprehensive of it and kept insisting that we go to the hospital, as I have never experienced alternative care like a birth center. Well, we went for an orientation session and I think I was whining the whole way there but I tried to keep an open mind. One hour later, maybe an hour and a half, I was sold!

The ideas and values that they base their practices around were so amazing. Practice number 1) they never take the baby away from the parents unless there is an emergency. Practice number 2) they hand you your chart upon signing in for each appointment. You never need to ask for it and if you have questions they answer them very happily. Practice number 3) they have you meet each of the midwives during the course of the pregnancy so that no matter who happens to be on call when the baby comes, you have met her and established a relationship with her.

So far we have had 4 or 5 appointments and each one has been really personal. The midwives take the time to really answer every question we have. This week was our most recent appointment and Rivkah had a list of questions that she wanted to ask. The midwife, seeing the list in Rivkah's hand said "are those questions that you need to ask" Rivkah:"yes" Midwife:"Ok, let's start with those today." It's little things like that that make me so sure we are doing the right thing by choosing the Center for our care.

Just some numbers to note:

-Rivkah is now 19 weeks pregnant.
-The baby is about 5.5 inches long from crown to rump.
-Weight is about 7 ounces.
-Ike's heartbeat is at about 144 beats per minute.


Our Growing Family and My Growing Belly

So, it's baby time in our little family, and we couldn't be more thrilled! And, apprehensive, and cautious, and worried. All the usual good stuff of first time parents. My mother wants to know what I'm so worried about, why I'm so paranoid. I'm an anxiety driven hypochondriac, of course I'm going to be worried.

But, if I wasn't worried, I'd be worried that I wasn't worried, so this works out well for me. Worry drives me to be healthy. I'm careful with sweets because I don't want to have gestational diabetes on my hands. I try to walk a lot and do other pregnancy exercises because it's good for me. Worry is inspiration to me. I'm not sure what I would do without it. Definitely not all the research I did about becoming pregnant and being healthy.

On the bright side for our little Ikey (gender unknown), I'm the 3rd of 8 kids and am used to babysitting wild indians, so I should be a fairly relaxed mother. Plus, I'm practicing on Goose.

All worry aside, we couldn't be more excited to be first time parents. This excitement is made greater by the wonderful support and happiness of our friends and family. The next 4.5 months are going to feel so long and going to pass by so quickly. It's the next page in the adventure book of our life. We're looking forward to starting the next chapter.