Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nu? Where is the Baby?

So my due date was on June 12, but I am still sitting here by myself. I’ve started getting those emails and comments from people along the lines of, ‘nu? why are you still around.’ Rest assured it is pretty normal to go past the due date by a week.

Besides I don’t think I will be by myself for long. My body has given indications and my doctor highly suspects that things will be underway very soon–how soon, I am not so sure, but that is the mystery of nature.

The fun and anxiety in waiting for a baby is that you don’t know when it is going to happen. You just let nature decide what that will be–and usually it is spot on. It makes you realize how miraculous this entire process is. Why labor actually starts is still a mystery to science, but it does for most of the time, otherwise we couldn’t have lasted this long on the planet.

In other news, I was following Netanyahu’s speech at my university on Sunday. To me his rhetoric wasn’t surprising, and nor was the response from the Arabs or rightwing MKs. He’s managed to piss off both groups, although knowing his positions, I don’t know how could not have.

The fact that Netanyahu has been insisting that Arabs recognize the Jewish nature of the state of Israel hearkens back to my blog entry about the 20% Arab minority here. Perhaps it is a stupid thing to ask because Netanyahu realizes Palestinians will never concede it, but I don’t know. In acknowledging that Israel is a Jewish state, Palestinians claim to endanger the situation of the 20% minority and the possibility of refugees returning to Israel. Which makes me wonder, will Palestinians ever recognize the current facts on the ground even when a two-state solution is reached or will they continue to root for a secular democracy–which is essentially a binational state?

Lastly, here is an article from the Wash Post that demystifies the Israeli arguments about the settlments. Everyone should read it! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061203498.html

I may not get to write for a while depending on whether I go to the hospital today. I’ll keep you posted.

Still Here

Haven’t given birth yet. Not worried. The days are flying by quickly and I’ve been keeping busy. Today was very unexciting–I did some yoga, made lentil soup, wrote letters and ate a Belgian waffle with ice cream (that last one was more of an indulgent than a task on my list). Tonight and tomorrow I need to put together a baby announcement list–that is as long as I haven’t given birth yet.

I heard some of Obama’s speech and was impressed as well as cautiously optimistic. More on that later.

Preggers Update

So I am less than 2 weeks due now. It’s amazing how the first few months of pregnancy seemed to stretch out, but then things started to accelerate and now it’s coming so close!

I know my body is getting ready because I’ve had this mini-contractions/cramps called Braxton Hicks. What kind of name is that? It sounds like the name of a country swing band–The Braxton Hicks Band! Anyway, they’ve kept me up a couple of nights, partly because they aren’t so comfortable and partly because I’m wondering, is this it? is he coming?

I’m more excited than anxious these days. We have almost everything we need, although I am sure when the baby comes we’ll realize we still needed a few more things. I think I’ve made the last round of drugstore errands.

I’ve made some lasagna and meatloaf and stored that in the freezer so we have something to eat for a little while. Tomorrow I’m planning to make some soup to freeze. You could say that my nesting instincts are in full force.

If I could only keep more focused on my school readings! I’m trying to read up as much as I can now, but I am having trouble keeping myself disciplined right now. Perhaps it is my mind’s way of preparing me to switch my focus to other things–mainly to a cute and cuddly critter that cries, poops and pees and has marathon feedings.

Both Eric and I have had dreams of baby animals, although Eric’s dream was much cooler. He dreamed he was in a restaurant with a baby mammoth whom he said smelled like me and who asked him when the food is coming. I think the dreams are an indication of our getting psychologically ready for a huge shift in our lives.

I know that bonding with baby can take time, but I am pretty sure that I have difficulty refraining from cuddling and kissing him–which will be a good thing to counteract the new challenges of being a parent. I am lucky to have family and friends both in Israel and the U.S. who will be able to offer perspective about this process.

Grateful for the Little Things

As I was coming home from university today, I took the opportunity to look around my neighborhood and consider myself lucky. Although I am 10 minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of main street Kfar Saba (i.e. Weizman Street) my hood feels far removed from all of that balagan.

I live in one of several apartment buildings that encircle a small park/playground with some of the loveliest and tallest trees in Kfar Saba. During this time of year there is a certain tree that bursts into purple blossoms (I wish I knew what it was called!) so parts of the park are splashed with this vibrant color. In the mornings and afternoons you can hear clear, melodious bird calls. As afternoon becomes evening and on Saturdays, the park rings with voices of children and parents. One of the best parts about this apartment is that it affords a view of all of this local, quiet beauty so I never feel far from nature and community.

Whoever decided on the street where my apartment resides couldn’t have picked a better name. It’s Hashalom, and shalom, as you probably know, means peace.

What’s Wrong with This Picture.

I am in the midst of studying for my Israeli Society exam, a killer of an exam because most of the material is in Hebrew and tends to be fairly academic. I feel that once this exam is over I’ll be able to breathe somewhat easier.

Even though I should be studying right now, the ridiculous state of Israeli politics is leading me out of my seclusion to speak out against the infuriating tactics of Kadima.

After Netanyahu attempted to bring Kadima into his coalition several times, giving Livni 2/3 major posts as well as full partnership in government, she has refused. And the reason: Netanyahu hasn’t caved into Livni’s demands to declare support for a two-state solution. She claims that there is another way of doing politics (I guess one that doesn’t involve compromising on issues like this).

Of course I don’t like Likud’s stance on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. And I think it important to stand up for one’s principles. But I feel like Kadima is using the Israeli-Palestinian issue as an excuse. Since when did they get so peace-loving? It’s not like they did that much during their rule of power to further the peace process along.

Furthermore, while I understand the importance of sticking to one’s ideals, I see the pragmatic ramifications of Livni’s refusal to be catastrophic for Israeli politics and society. In fact I think the refusal borders on selfishness and a lack of vision. Instead of separating herself from the usual politics, I think she has done more to show herself as yet another Israeli politician without long-term, strategic thinking. Her actions demonstrate that she is not keeping the interests of the Israeli people in mind.

The thing that worries me most is that now Likud will be forced to create a narrow right-wing government compromising all of those groups whose policies and principles I do not agree with. A government which the Israeli electorate did not choose and which will grant disproportionate power and resources to undeserving parties. This coalition is an insult to the words ‘representativeness’ ‘responsiveness’ and ‘accountability.’

Kadima’s taking part in the opposition will do more to aggravate Israeli-Palestinian relations. If the party had become part of the government they could have played a moderating role. In addition, in order to bring some of these smaller right-wing parties on board, Likud may end up turning a blind eye to increased settlement construction if not outright encouraging it. Oh and did I mention that Lieberman is vying for the post of Foreign Minister?!

Moreover I fear that this government will enact domestic policies which fly in the face of my ideals. More money allocated for families having more children, more authority and legitimacy granted to right-wing religious streams and further delegitimization of alternative religious streams of Judaism.

People who don’t live here tend to think of Israel in one dimension–the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Well I have news for you. The domestic problems (particularly government accountability, corruption, governance) are JUST as important as the conflict. So yes, I do think about the peace process, but I also have to worry about these unpalatable domestic issues which we will now face because we are dealing with a very narrow-interest oriented government. Furthermore if the domestic problems are not addressed, they will hinder solving the Israeli Palestinian crisis.

This country needs to go through some serious changes. If we are to survive we have to create a new vision for what this place should be, a vision that is devoid of personal politics and instead addresses long-term and collective interests

It’s a boy!

I could ruminate intellectually about the Gaza withdrawal and the U.S. elections, but at this point I’m not in the frame of mind to do so. Instead I’ll focus on some recent news about the little sabra.

I’m more than halfway through the pregnancy and the idea of bringing a child into this world is becoming more real. Which means that I am becoming more scared 🙂 I really want to be a good parent, and the task ahead is humbling and overwhelming. I would ruminate more about this, but I really should be going to bed soon. Okay, I promise more thoughts later.

Two weeks ago, Eric and I went to our second trimester ultrasound and the baby definitely looks bigger than the last time I saw him. Him. Yes, we found out that it’s a boy! I think finding out the sex made it that much more real. It also means that I get my nephew’s baby clothes, which is an added plus.

Thank goodness everything looks okay and we’re on track with everything. I am also on track with my belly growth and weight gain 🙂 I’ve had to start adding a few items to my wardrobe to account for the burgeoning.

And this past week, I started feeling the baby kick! It felt like little bubbles and stomach grumblings at first, but I know now that it is actually not my body but somebody else who is making all of that movement. I remember he was especially active during my statistics lecture. Weird!

The Bigger Picture

I read an article by Gershon Baskin this morning that put some of Israel’s handling of the Israeli Palestinian conflict into perspective. I was specifically struck by this paragraph:

THE WAY that governments over the years have dealt with the Palestinian issue is not different than the way that our governments deal with any other strategic issue. We are always in the midst of a crisis. Our governments deal with crisis situations usually when it is too late to make an intelligently planned strategic change. Our governments are always “putting out fires” and only rarely invest the time and resources to develop a vision and long-term plans for reaching that vision.

Maybe someone should study the ME Peace process from the organizational behavior/public administration perspective, eh?

Check out the article here: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231866575327&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull