Have I told you our Vegas story? It’s a really good one in which I thought I was dying and committed to make a scrapbook conveying all the life lessons and memories I wanted my daughter to most remember after mom was gone. You see, we drove to from Houston to Vegas after Kobi and 4000 of his best friends were laid off from PriceWaterHouseCoopers when the US hi-tech bubble started to burst. We sold our ice cream trucks, bought a pop-up trailer, and loaded our 3 month-old only child into a car seat that she would end up spending ten hours straight screaming in. Actually, due to our little road trip and our unrelenting determination not to drive an inch without her bucked in, she would turn instantly hysterical at the site the car seat. And, of course, after doing all the normal comfort-your-baby-stuff that didn’t work, we’d turn the radio waaaay up and try to unsuccessfully drown out her misery.
Our road trip, The US in Twelve Minutes compared to our RV trip nine years later, turned lopsided when an application Kobi had filled out 7 months earlier changed everything.
He was the last college graduate in the University of Houston’s Information Systems’ Department to get offered a real job-job, and they even hired him before he had graduated. The signed contact promised that he would begin upon graduation. Sweet! Back then, we didn’t know to recognize how the Universe and God was bringing us endless gifts. Today, we know.
And when my mom insisted that Kobi go through this ridiculously detailed, arduous application process, we equally insisted that he had gotten a really good job and would never need to use her so-called ‘safety-net’. And still, somehow, she convinced him to do it, and we could never be more grateful. The application was for the DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration, and right after we hit the road, living off of Kobi’s severance packet, he was offered a government temp job paying $60 an hour, with a two-story full-kitchen pool-side villa suite.
I know! I know! I know!
In Which I Did Nothing All Day In Las Vegas
So, he’s listening to drug dealers day and night, and I’m hanging out with my new born baby and an overly optimistic allusion that I will read the ten books and sort through the 5 pounds of paper work I’ve lugged for our trip. Nope. I do pretty much what a new mom would do all day. I take care of my off-spring, sleep, eat too much, get sad and hormonal, and talk to the adorable gay manager and my mom (who arranged this dream job for us) about why I dress baby Dahnya in bland clothing and not the cute frilly dresses. I tell him, “I’m waiting for a special occasion for those nicer clothing.” He answers me with gay wisdom and tact:
“Sweetie, today is a special occasion, and so will tomorrow be too. If you keep waiting for something more special then this, she’ll grow out of all those outfits without even wearing them once“.
So, I did the new-born mommy thing where Kobi comes home and says nice things like, “I love seeing you in that robe at this hour” and other kind things he should have said according to this genius chart someone posted in Facebook:
We’re not the gambling sort at all. In fact, besides playing Bingo and where we talk about it here, we don’t believe in wasting the money we don’t have on odds that are exponentially against us. If only I had know about things to do in Vegas other than gambling, I would have had a ball. But since I didn’t, I went to the pool, Walmart, and the emergency room, which is about when I thought I was going to die.
In Which I Almost Died In Vegas
So, right before we got the job job with the DEA, we were parked outside of a 24 hours Walmart- I love Walmart! I had gotten up pre-dawn, crying, for I knew I was dying. I still remember the stillness of the world that morning, the drab gray of the sky.
All my hair was falling out, not just some, but huge chunks every time I’d brush my hair or so much as touch it. I was terrifying, I was hormonal, and I had long since stopped reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting since the part about them vacuuming the baby out of your uterus freaked me out. So, Kobi promised to shave his head (this is back in the day when Kobi still had beautiful hair), and my mom said she’d buy me all these cute wigs that I could have a lot of fun with. So, if I’m going to die, we said we’d make it as up-beat and joyful as possible. Shame though for Kobi, having to be a single father and all.
So, we go to a Vegas emergency room. We do some blood work, and wait. I’m inside, Kobi and 3 month old Dahnya are waiting outside. Kobi’s miserable, Dahnya’s eating her fingers.
In Which I’m Not Dying Of A Very Life-Changing Condition I Do Have
So, nice black lady with those little white nurse hats that I never did get how they keep atop their heads comes over.
“Your blood work is back. You are not dying dear. You are pregnant. Congratulations!”
I was breast-feeding and with a three month old when I became pregnant with baby number two. In fact, baby #1 and baby #2 were born 357 days apart. Our children were born in 2002, 2003, and 2004. You see, God did not give us triplets even though we dearly wanted them, like our heroes, so we decided to make them as close as possible ourselves.
In Which Kobi Freaks Out At The Campfire
With Dahnya we found out the gender when she came out. It was one of those “It’s a Girl!” tv-perfect moments minus me wanting Kobi to shoot me in the head. Orazi’s sex was a surprise that the gynecologist delivered to me in a sealed envelope. I asked him not to tell me what the results were. My father-in-law helped me put up a tent and set up the entire campsite out in the woods while Kobi was working in a mall booth selling Dead Sea Products for the Christmas season. (Remember, he had been laid off the with hi-tech bust and the DEA project was closed down. So, we made it back to Houston and he worked in the mall and later as a diamond dealer salesman until he found he next job-job.) So, we handed baby Dahnya over to her grandparents, blindfolded Kobi, and took him camping. At the campfire, I handed him the envelope.
“In your hands is the gender of your unborn child.”
He freaked out, ran around the fire, and threw the envelope into the flames, yelling, “I can’t handle knowing this!
I freaked out from his actions and from not knowing the gender….
Needless to say, while he was running around the campfire, he opened the envelope, stuck the ultrasound in his pocket, and threw an empty envelope in. Kobi, he’s a great magician and comedian. So is his son!
Just for those curious about the name:
We made up Orazi’s name before he was born. Or in Hebrew means ‘light’ . Raz means ‘secret’ and was the name of Modi and Anat’s last child. They really did have a huge impact on us.
And so, so, so tell us your pre-birth stories and the last time you thought you were going to die. Always fun moments, no? Bring it on, spill it out…. We’re leaving Vietnam in day after tomorrow for two more months in Cambodia with the Koh Rong Dive Center (yeah!). Done any cool things in Vegas other than gambling? Gambled and walked away a millionaire? Do tell. While we wait for your comments, we’ll keep on digesting our over-priced, under-sized thick-crust Vietnamese Italian-labelled pizza. Good night!
Image courtesy of Damian Brandon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Las Vegas – Bellagio)
Image courtesy of Susie B at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Las Vegas At Night)