Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Avital Miryam: Hebrew Naming Ceremony

Last Friday evening, we had Rory's Hebrew naming ceremony at Temple David, which we just joined a couple of months ago. It took a lot of finagling in schedules to pick a day (between the rabbi, us, and family members, it was very difficult!) but gladly some family and friends were able to attend.

Rory got all dressed up in a pretty pink and green dress that was a present from a relative at my baby shower and wearing the crocheted hat we bought after she wore it in her newborn photo shoot. I love this picture of us right before we left the house, simply because most of the pictures I have of Rory are of her smiling. She does not always smile but I don't usually have the camera handy when she's screaming because I'm trying to get her to calm down. This photo amuses me. :)

We got a lovely cake from Allegro Hearth in Squirrel Hill for the oneg afterward. It was delicious! Chocolate cake (very moist and heavy but so good) with a raspberry icing that even I enjoyed. We even had a little left over to take home and snack on.

I don't have any photos during the actual ceremony (but we do have video!) but it was thoughtful and sweet: welcoming Rory into the Jewish covenant by having her touch the Torah, readings and blessings performed by the rabbi and our family members, and explaining how we chose her name. I could've also explained at that time why we chose her English name but I kind of forgot to do it. :) Her Hebrew name is Avital Miryam. Since I had a heavy hand in choosing her English name, I told Justin he could choose her Hebrew name. He liked the name Avital and that was that. Recent Ashkenazi Jewish tradition is that you name a baby after a deceased relative. We originally opted for just the one name and it's not after any relative.

After a little bit more thought (and a week before the ceremony!), I liked the idea of giving her two names (Justin and I each have two Hebrew names) and naming her after a living relative, my mother-in-law. Justin was on-board with the idea and the rabbi (after pointing out that Sephardic Jewish tradition names babies after living relatives but not Ashkenazi), went along with it. We honor Miriam with the naming and know that she will have a strong role in Rory's upbringing, will help provide a Jewish education, and will share with Rory her compassion toward others and giving nature.

After the ceremony, the rabbi presented us with this beautiful naming certificate which has a Noah's ark theme. Just gorgeous. And later, Gammie Miriam and Pappy Rob gifted Rory with a mezzuzah for her door frame with a Noah's Ark decoration. Perfect! I'll have to get a photo of it when we're hanging it, hopefully this week. (I'm now reminded of a beautiful hand-carved wooden Noah's ark set I saw in a boutique in Ligonier...I wonder if it's still there).

And then party time! Lots of sweet desserts and chatting with family. Mazel Tov, Rory!

The rabbi holding Rory.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Return of Happy Rory!

Today, finally, Rory seems to be returning to her usual self. I'm sure at any point her little personality could change. But for now, she tends to be pleasant and curious, not screaming. Thankfully, her teething symptoms are gone after about a week, so I don't know what was growing in that tiny little mouth but it's stopped for now...
Tuckered out after splashing around in the kiddie pool.

Her naps continue to be fairly short (except her morning one, still at about 2 hours) and her exercise gym now occupies her attention for at least 15-20 minutes each time I lay her on it. She loves the lights, the music, and best of all, the dangling toys she can kick kick kick! Rory is not so much into grabbing things yet, but the kicking....oy! We were at the kiddie pool yesterday and I was swishing her in the water and making her kick and splash a little. Another woman there was commenting that she should be a little swimmer since she apparently has toes that are turned down and perfect for the breaststroke. And she was born right around the summer Olympics, of course!

We also went for a walk later to pick up our dinner and Rory is adjusting more and more to the Baby Bjorn, especially since I let her face forward now. She's still a little short for it, but she has good enough head control and DEMANDS to see everything. How can I deny that cute little face?
All ready for her walk!

Tomorrow is her Hebrew naming ceremony and we're so excited for her. There's a surprise or two and I'm *really* hoping some of her cute dresses fit her. So far she's been swimming in them and this is the perfect time for one to fit!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Small but mighty!

Those were the words of both the pediatrician AND the nurse (separately mind you) at Rory's 2 month check-up last week. She's still hovering around the 10th percentile in her height (21.5 inches) and weight (9lbs on the nose), but her muscle tone is FAN-tastic. The pediatrician commented that she is acting like a 4 month old with how well she holds her head, bears her weight on her legs (she loves to stand), and sits up. Because apparently the 4 month old crowd is WAY cooler so she's trying to fit in. So much so that now I suspect she might be teething. (Early I know, but they just get into trouble younger and younger these days. I'll have to sneak into her room to see where she hid her diary. I'm SURE someone has been secretly showing her how to walk) Well, she has to wait TWO more months before she can try rice cereal and consider attempting regular formula again, so she is just going to HAVE to be patient. :)

She did NOT enjoy her shots, of course; the oral vaccine with its sweet taste was also unexciting for her (although it would be disappointing if she didn't have the sweet tooth Justin and I both have, it will be MUCH healthier for her!). My happy little girl would smile like usual until she moved her legs and realized how sore they were. At one point, she was smiling and crying at the same time, trying to be chipper!

Sucking on her WHOLE fist, prior to gagging herself.
And then the fussiness started a few days ago. Nothing too serious, but enough to notice that something is off. She wakes up and INSTANTLY starts screaming before you can even get a chance to make the bottle. Nap times have been cut short to cat naps. Normally, Rory loves to have her diaper changed and is all smiles and giggles. Now, you have to work hard for those smiles. She is one unhappy, whiny, confused little baby. I also thought at first that she had finally found her hand (she's been sucking on it like crazy) but I'm noticing how she tries to shove the WHOLE thing in to chomp on, gags herself, and drools the entire time. Combined with the low fever she's been running here and there, plus the ear pulling/massaging while she chomps on her fist and the dwindling appetite, means something's up. And that something sounds like teeth. Perhaps she's just starting to feel some and it will be months yet before any teeth are cut.

But knowing my daughter thus far, I wouldn't be surprised to see a tooth in a week or two. Sigh.