Monday, August 30, 2010

Awesome day!

Before I begin, let me apologize. I had the camera with me all day but didn't take any pictures. I wasn't trying to be inconsiderate, we were just too busy having a good time for me to think to stop and take pictures instead of being in the moment and enjoying my time with my girls. If this upsets any of you, then come here and share moments with them yourselves! The memories are far better than pictures, anyways.

We started out having a bit of a lazy morning at home. Mondays are family day, something I will miss dearly since I'll soon be going back to work full time and we'll no longer have a family day together. Anyhow, after a slow morning we finally made it out the door and walked towards the pool. The girls have been in small inflatable pools but never in a real one (nor in the ocean, which is Thursday's planned outing!) We had a blast! They were nervous but slowly got used to deeper and deeper water in the kiddie pool and both spent time wearing floaties (thanks, Joey!) in one of the bigger pools. Shawn and I took turns swimming laps in the Olympic-size pool which was really refreshing. I hope we make it back there a few more times.

After that we split with Shawn going to a doctor appointment and the girls and I heading to the mall, where I bought a few surprise toys for the plane ride, things like plastic animals and Play Doh, as well as another pair of floaties an inflatable ring with a seat for the water. They played in the gymboree play area for a while, then we got some dinner and waited for Shawn. When he showed up we grabbed a bus for the zoo and caught the last half hour of a country rock and swing concert taking place on the lawn (the last one of the summer, sad!)

All in all, it was a great day. Kids and parents alike had a total blast. Ahh, summers in Jerusalem!

Be prepared!

Being a mom is a lot like being a boy scout. You must always be prepared! especially before embarking on a 13-flight (!!) journey. That's right, we have thirteen airplane rides coming up, all with two very active toddlers forced to sit in our laps the whole time. So I am stocking up. On what, you ask? Here are my recent purchases:

Snack catchers. I'm so glad I finally bought these! They've been in use for about half an hour and are already proving themselves invaluable. No more baggies of goldfish or Bamba upended all over the living room floor!

Suction food bowl with lid (some no-name brand so there's no link). We already have one but I got a second for the airplane. They'll probably fling their food everywhere but at least I can make the bowl stay put.

Two little cheap makeup bags to be used as quick-change kits, each filled with a mini pack of wet wipes, a disposable changing pod, and two disposable diapers. They'll be kept in the seat storage pocket to make a quick diaper change without needing to dig through our bags.

(For the record, we're travelling very light. Our carry ons will be two backpacks, each packed essentially as a diaper bag with a few personal belongings. We also have two mesh hanging bags for the backs of the strollers -we're taking our two lightweight umbrella strollers, not the double- that can be easily and quickly removed and stuck in the backpacks. We are also borrowing from friends, until we can buy our own, two baby harnesses. I know this is a controversial issue but the kids need to be able to roam around and not confined to their strollers the whole time we're in airports. But since watching two of them and our baggage and tickets/passports/etc. in a foreign city is not always an option, harnesses will allow them to run around a bit while still being kept safe.)

Most importantly, I'm buying new inexpensive toys for the plane. Things without small parts that can get lost but especially things new and interesting and age appropriate to help captivate their interests during long haul trips. Plastic toy animals (Bracha stole a kid's in shul and started playing with it, 'walking" it along the floor. Time at the zoo was well spent!) and a wooden toy with beads attached to colorful metal rods, a mini version of the kid you often see at pediatrician offices, those sorts of things. The kids are also totally captivated by Sesame Street song videos so maybe we'll bring one of the computers or buy a cheap DVD player. I don't like plunking them down in front of "the TV" (we don't have a real TV, just the laptops) but for this trip I'm ready to do anything to keep them calm, which brings me to our next point.

I'm going to ask their pediatrician her opinion on well, basically drugging kids. I don't want to, but I do want a back-up option if I get desperate. And yes, I know enough to test things at home before the trip (because I was one of those who got wired on antihistamines).

So that's what we've got going so far. My MIL will be glad to know that on place trips we dress the girls in matching outfits :) It help get us attention and garner sympathy from flight attendants and fellow travelers.

See y'all soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Picture time

For some reason Eli likes to go down this slide on her stomach, legs first

Bracha sitting at their new dining converts into a teeter totter!

Playing Ring around the Rosy with Bubby and Ariela

Bracha's happy and she knows it, so she's stomping her feet!

Story time with Bubby

More videos of dancing Bracha

Last night my mother-in-law left but before she did we went to the shuk and by chance caught the Balabusta festival, where Bracha decided to crash a tap dancer's stage and steal the show. She was the sweatheart of the shuk and I was so proud to be her mother (as I always am). Enjoy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bracha dancing

Here's Bracha getting her groove thing on at the Gidi Gov concert on the opening night of Hutzot Hayotzer (international arts and crafts festival):

BBQ at the Balofsky's

Recent pictures

Closet shopping

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So many updates!

I have been slow to post lately, probably pretty understandable considering what's been going on in our lives lately.

Shawn is doing well. He came home three days after the heart attack but ended up back in the hospital for a couple more days the next week since he was having some very minor pains and they wanted to make sure everything was okay. It is.

We spent five days at my parents then came home, in-laws in tow, and have all been back home together till my father-in-law left this morning and my mother-in-law will be leaving next week. The girls have gotten used to them and have been very happy being held and played with. Of course we've been out a lot and their sleep schedule has gotten totally destroyed. Plus, Bracha has been extra cranky the last 24 hours and I think my MIL was on to something when she said Bracha is probably teething. After all, they're about due for their canines. I guess we'll need to buy more acamoli (baby tylenol) and get used to lots of crying.

Eliana now says water, abba, and mama. The former she knows exactly what it means, the middle I don't think she really understands yet. The latter, however, does not mean mom at all. It means Bamba. Yes, my daughter's second real word, used with total intention and understanding, is Bamba. She kinda uses it for food in general but mostly for Bamba.

Bracha hasn't got any words yet which may be a concern to the doctors as suggested by her physical therapist but I don't want to rush off to the communications clinic just yet. With the exception of crawling, which she did far earlier and much better than her sister, Bracha has taken her own sweet time in reaching each milestone but once she has, she's done it perfectly. I wouldn't be surprised if she's the kind of kid who doesn;t speak till she's two but then her first sentence is, "Mooooooooooom, Eliana hit me on the head, make her stop!"

(Eli does hit her on the head but to be fair, she really is trying to "make nice". She adores her little sister! It's actually a little problematic since the first thing she does when she wakes up is look for Bracha and then start poking at her to get her to wake up and play.)

On, cutest news of all, something I really must try to get on camera: When singing the Hokey Pokey Eli, and sometimes Bracha, too, will actually "turn herself around," without being shown what to do, just by singing the song!!! It's incredible!

Monday, August 2, 2010