Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eli tells a story

Last night Eliana laid in my bed next to me, took my book and decided to 'read' it to me. Her story is as follows:

"Once upon a time, a boy lived in my house. He played very nicely and ate sandwiches."

She retold the story several times with various additions such that his favorite color was yellow and that his name was, surprise surprise, Eliana (every character in every story she makes up is called Eliana. What a pretty name! I wonder where she got the idea from...)

I love my kids' imaginations!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One last thing

We have to work on their girls' pronunciation. Specifically with the letter S. Sometimes they just skip it, sometimes they replace it with a C.

They do the latter when getting dressed in the morning.

You know what you put on before your shoes?

Yeah...

Marvelous, marvelous girls

My daughters are incredible. Not that I am biased or anything. but each and every day I am blown away by their awesomeness.

Last night after gan Bracha came home with Shawn and Eli and I walked, hand in hand, to the supermarket. She was an absolute pleasure to be with. She helped me remember the shopping list, asked questions about what we were buying, helped me load the shopping cart and carry the groceries home. On the way upstairs she said we should pretend to be Barney characters.

E: Eli be Baby Bop, ima be Barney, Bracha be BJ.
Me: What about abba?
E: Oh, what about abba?
Me: Abba can be Barney.
E: But what about ima?
Me: I can just be your friend.
E: Ima be Baby Bop with Eli. We be Baby Bop together!

Today after gan I took the girls to the gymboree where they played so very nicely, I was so proud of them. They were happy and friendly and shared and cleaned up after themselves. Eli loves baseball so one of our favorite games is she takes a small plastic bat they have there and I pitch and she hits quite well. The girls ate tons of macaroni and cheese (baby Bop's favorite food!) and afterwards we went to run errands and they were such good listeners.

When we got home they played with their kitchen for a bit (they play with it every morning and evening! Best toy ever! Again no bias of course) and had a snack of peanuts (halved, of course). They were so well behaved and were having so much fun playing I pushed bedtime off an hour but when Shawn finally got them into PJs and I asked Eli what time it was she calmly answered bed time but when I said I would take them to bed she told me no! I can't believe it but the girls put themselves to bed tonight! They kissed me good night in the living room, where we said Shema together, then they took themselves off to their room, got into their beds, and went to sleep all by themselves!

Where did my babies go!?!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My daughter the cook

I was wrong, Eli's cooked bananas were delicious!

My daughter the artist

Bracha just drew a bunch on vertical lines on a paper, I mean a bunch, which is very unlike her because usually she tried to draw butterflies which involves lots of round lines, and showed it to me: "Look, Ima! It's raining and pouring!"

Now Eli is singing the nursery rhyme of the same name.

They are in such great moods this morning! They both woke up and played with each other while I stayed in bed until Bracha came to tell me she was poopy. Both were very cooperative during diaper changes, each had two bowls of breakfast (cornflakes and milk for Bracha, bran flakes and yogurt for Eliana) and they're now drawing and sharing markers. Oh, nope, now they're playing with the kitchen to, according to Eli, cook bananas and tomatoes for lunch. Mmmm, I'm glad they're not the cooks!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New kitchen, part 2 (the story)

I've wanted to get a play kitchen for the girls for a very long time. But they're expensive and cost precious space in a small apartment. So, me being the creative person that I am, I decided to make one, instead of buying one, and to save space I decided to take a piece of furniture we already had (a tv stand) but didn't need (since we have no tv), so I wouldn't be addiing anything extra to our space.

I looked online for ideas and inspirations, and to Ikea and the hardware store for everything else. I decided to paint it blue since a: that way Shawn wouldn't object since he has an issue with the girls having too many "girlie" things and b: that was the color of my own childhood kitchen. Thanks to a friend's borrowed jig saw, my father's borrowed sander, and my own cordless drill, I was able to do the construction aspect fairly easily. The problem is I started on that then got carried away with other projects and this one was left on the porch for a couple of months, until the rainy season began and I realized I had better get crackin. So I finished the construction (which consisted of removing the upper shelf, cutting it down and turning it into an internal shelf, reinforcing the base and the various brackets, and creating the oven door by filling in the door handle hole, making new holes, cutting the square for the window and affixing the plexiglass plate, a cutting holes for the sink and faucet), put on a base coat then three cans worth of blue spray paint, plus some black for the burners. I then attached the faucet, sink, burner knobs, and doors, and finally, today, added the toys I've been hiding in the back room.

After I pick the girls up from gan today I'll bring them home and show them their brand new toy. Yes, I'll take pictures and videos. I'm so excited!!

New kitchen, part 1 (the pictures)












Saturday, November 12, 2011

TGIS

Thank god it's shabbat! I don't think our family could have handled a day like today if it were a regular workday, but thanks to is being Shabbat the rest of the week may be easier. So what happened? Nothing major, basically everyone is sick.

Shawn's depression is acting up a bit more, probably due to his major upcoming exam. And he wonders why I insist taking the year off school is a good thing!! Mood-wise he's pretty fine but he's sleeping more, which is his biggest tell. Meanwhile I'm not as actively ill as I was but still close enough to it that if I don;t get enough sleep I wake up really feeling worse for the wear, and a day full of drop-offs, pick-ups, work and errands really doesn't help. The girls, however, are nice and sick. Nothing nasty, they're not in pain or throwing up, just mild fevers that tylenol is helping and occasional bouts of the chill. Halfway through last night it looked like we were really in for it but after a round of tushie medicine (and the discovery of an awesome new position for holding Eli in which she doesn't even realized someone shoved a suppository up her rear) and a move from their own room, in which the heater and humidifier was running and both girls were snuggles under two blankets, into ours (I have to draw you a diagram of how this works), they moth slept in until the merciful hour of 10am (!!!!!!!) It was awesome! Of course we were way behind getting the apartment organized for lunch but thankfully Joey and Rona were our only guests and they're very understanding. After lunch the "kids" all went back to bed and I got to sit on the couch and read. They're still all asleep and I'll probably regret letting the girls keep sleeping but if there's one lesson I've learned in motherhood it's that, unless you need to for medicine, and only then I mean really need you, you NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING SICK CHILD.

Here, I just whipped up a diagram for you on Paint. Blue and green are us adults, pink and purple are the kids. I think if I were ever asked for one piece of advice I would ever offer other parents about to have twins is would be this: invest in a great bed. Get a king size bed, the best mattress in the store and at least three waterproof mattress covers. But king size is key. And no, a queen won't cut it. Unless you really like my diagram. And unless you really like sleeping next to your husband's feet.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Visiting Uncle Joey part 4

After having so much fun the girls were pooped! So they had a short nap then we met up with Rona for dinner and dancing and had a great time.





Visiting Uncle Joey part 3

We also had fun just playing on the sand, of course!




Visiting Uncle Joey part 2

Joey took us to the beach near his house and took turns going into the water with the girls. Eliana is wearing a blue hat and Bracha is wearing a yellow hat.










Visiting Uncle Joey part 1

During chol hamoed sukkot the girls and I took a trip out to Tel Aviv to visit Joey and Rona. Here are pictures from that trip. This first installment is from our train ride out. The girls were awesome about it! They were so excited about taking the train and behaved wonderfully which I was grateful for since I was a bit nervous doing it on my own. The girls ate some granola bars and watched some Barney but mostly just hung out and enjoyed the ride.





An Eli-ism

Eliana constantly surprises me with the various words she knows that I have know idea how/where/when she picks them up. Her latest is 'floppy.' Now don't go getting excited, I don't mean floppy the known as in a floppy disk drive. I mean she was getting herself dressed the other day (with help) and after getting her head through her shirt she had trouble with her arm and said the sleeve was all floppy.

Eli, for the record, regularly speaks in full sentences and man does she say the cutest things!

As promised

Night time sukkah pics!



Sunday, October 30, 2011

A day in the culinary life of the girls' diets

I thought I'd share a sample menu of a day in the girls' lives. This morning they woke up and Shawn gave them cereal (cornflakes with 1% milk, which comes enriched with vitamin D). Before they left for gan they had crackers (whole wheat extra bran crackers, the only ones we ever have just laying around) with peanut butter (unsweetened, again the only kind we usually have laying around the house these days).

At gan they got yet another breakfast which on Sundays is usually bread and spreads and fresh veggies. They had lunch there which on Sundays is usually vegetable stew with beans. At gan they also baked chocolate chip cookies for Rosh Chodesh so they each had one and they had cut apples as a snack near the end of the day.

After gan I gave them shoko (chocolate milk) and PB&J sandwiches (Barney's favorite food!) and later, for supper, they had yogurt (unsweetened 1.5%, the only kind we have at home) with raisins and later brown rice (with chicken and veggies, but they weren't interested in those) and melon balls.

So that's a sample menu. Pretty good I think. Of course, there are some days they don't eat much more than granola and pizza. Anybody who thinks I have any control over what my children eat obviously doesn't have kids themselves. But they're pretty good about making decent choices, especially since we don't keep junk at home. Even juice they have on average of maybe once every two or three weeks, if that. Shoko, on the other hand....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Bracha-ism

Bracha and I were playing catch today while Eliana was napping (what were we playing with, you ask? Why, a fake pomegranate hat is part of our sukkah decorations, of course!) Bracha missed a catch and it hit her nose (very gently) and she said, "Oh, on my nose!" (she was smiling). She missed another which accidentally landed on her forehead. Her response? "Oh, on my keppie!"

And yes, she was still smiling. And no, she was not the only one.

Way past midnight

I don't know what is going on with my girls but they simply won't stay asleep tonight! It's nearing 1 am and I am still awake because every ten minutes I have to go tend to one child or the other. It's driving me nuts!

But while I am already awake, let me share with you one of the funniest things they have ever said. This story starts off kinda sad, sorry.

There's been a dead butterfly in our stairwell for a while. On the third-to-bottom step. The girls don't get that it's dead or just don't care and look forward to seeing the butterfly every time they leave the apartment. Well, today we came home late and saw that someone must have stepped on it or nature just took it's course because while it was still there, it was no longer, how shall we say, whole.

How did the kids respond? "Ima, butterfly got broken!!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

One more quickie:

Thank goodness I have finally found a feature-length animated film the kids will happily sit through! They used to like Nemo and Madagascar, and for a while Cars, but then Eli started getting really scared of, well, pretty much anything. So we were limited to episodes of Barney and, now Angelina Ballerina. Not that they watch TV all that often but when they do it's usually because they're sick or I need them out of my hair long enough to cook, and having to reset an episode every 20 minutes just doesn't cut it.

But now they have a new love: Rio! Yay birds!

A few quick updates

Winter is finally coming! Well, autumn, at least. It's still warm enough to wear t-shirts during the day but it's getting chillier in the evenings and mornings. Last night we slept without the ceiling fans on and the windows partially closed so that gives some idea as to how it's changed in the last few weeks (just for frame of reference, about a week and a half ago there was one night we left our bedroom a/c on all night it was so hot). This morning the girls got up and got dressed in pants, shirts and sweaters.

I know, I know, a joke for all of you in North America.

I am constantly amazed at how grown my daughters are. Eliana regularly speaks 6 (or more!) word sentences and surprises me on a near daily basis with new words I didn't know she even knew (armpit, tripped, iPad, container). She doesn't just do things, she constantly makes commentary on them (while eating: "I like the rice! Oops, fell on my pants. Picked it up! It's cold! Very good!") Bracha talks too, of course, and she's enunciating more clearly with each passing day, but she is generally quieter. Well, let me clarify that point. She doesn't talk as much as Eli, but she's definitely not quieter. She can make quite a racket at times!

Thanks to blurb.com I am trying to write the girls a little book. I have been typing out stories I've been making up for them (about two princesses) and illustrating it with pictures of them. I've been telling them princess stories for over a year now so I can't remember them all but I am writing out the ones I do. I suppose, theoretically, I could draw real illustrations and make the book available for public purchase on the blurb bookstore. In any case, whenever I am done with this one I will let you know and anyone who would like a copy can probably order one. At the very least it will be a cute photo album of the girls.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My kids are walkers!!

As in, they walk well, not that old people stuck tennis balls on their legs and lean on them.

Today I wanted to take the girls to see the biggest sukkah in the world and I decided not to take the stroller. They don't like sitting in it in the bus anyways, plus it costs a whole extra adult fare for it if I leave it open, and if I close it I figured it's less of a hassle to just get the girls on instead of them and their closed stroller. So we headed out early in the morning so Shawn could spend most of the day studying and as we walked to the bus stop the girls were pointing out all the other sukkot we saw (Eli said: There's a sukkah! There's another sukkah! There's a baby sukkah! Woah, big sukkah! See lots of sukkahs today!)

The bus ride was easy and uneventful. We got off behind the municipality and walked through the grounds to their giant sukkah. But the girls seemed unimpressed. It was still early, and the sukkah was closed, so I think maybe they just didn't realize it really was a sukkah.

So we walked past it to Jaffo street then up towards Kikkar Zion (sorry if you're not familiar enough with the area to understand the local landmarks), stopping somewhere first to get a little breakfast to eat in a sukkah along the way (because Jaffo street was filled with them since just about every restaurant, bar, yogurt shop, and cafe had their own) then we walked through the midrachov. I bought the girls cheap little toy shofars (but made out of real horn!) which they were thrilled with! First they held them up to their lips and said, "TOOT!" before I showed them that, thanks to a little plastic tip in the end, they could really blow into the end and actually make noise.

Then we walked back down Jaffo towards the giant sukkah again, which was now open and elicited much greater excitement from the girls. We sat inside and had a little snack while enjoying the pictures of buses and trains on it (the sukkah's theme this year was transportation and in addition to the required tinsel decorations there were also inverted traffic cones decorating the whole ceiling). Afterwards we headed out to the train stop just outside the municipality and caught the light rail (which was running very efficiently today. While we had been walking through town we stopped and waved at every one that came by and there were a LOT!). A nice young man gave us his seat and we enjoyed the train ride all the way to Beit Hakerem.

After picking up some pizza then stopping at Saba and Savta's to collect the mail we walked to the bus stop where we caught another bus home. We got off it a little early so we could stop at a nearby fruit stand (they had real canteloupe!) we walked the rest of the way home then stopped in the playground downstairs for a bit before coming up.

All in all we were gone over four hours, almost five, and the kids walked the whole way, the whole time! I am awed and amazed and so incredibly proud of those two little troopers! They really did so wonderfully. I can't believe how big my kids are!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reunited

This is not exactly about my family, but this post is about another family who is, just about at this very moment, holding their son for the first time in over five years.

Gilad Shalit, welcome home.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sandwiches

This falls under the "my kids are so freaking cute" category.

I just made the girls some cream cheese sandwiches. I usually cut each sandwich twice on the diagonal, making four triangles, which the girls love.

Bracha just came up to me holding her 'triangle' which is basically what they call sandwiches these days, and this is the conversation that ensued:

B: "Ima has triangle?"
Me: "No"
B: (after thinking for a moment) "Ima has square?"
Me: (laughing) "No, honey, Ima doesn't have a sandwich."
B: Thinks for another moment, then offers me her sandwich to eat

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daytime pictures of our sukkah, including the girls' "secret passage" between one wall and the edge of the mirpeset (porch) as well as a picture of beautiful sukkahs they made in gan that we're using as decorations. I'll take nighttime pictures so you can see all the lights on, it's very pretty.

Joey and Rona came over for lunch yesterday and we had a very nice meal in the sukkah. We all did netilat lulav (Rona's first time!) and even the girls did it. They much have done it in gan because they were awesome at it. I'll try to catch and post a video of it next time.





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Me woman! Me strong! Me build hut!

This morning began early with errands to the supermarket, kolbo (a type of store that sells everything from art supplies to men's underwear to patio furniture. The name means literally "everything in it"), and the hardware store. The mission: to buy missing ingredients for our sukkah and our meals. Outcome: successful. The sukkah is up, built by yours truly. Since the kids helped pick the decorations there are sparkly blue butterflies (mom, those are for you. They're out tinsel this year in your honor) and heart-shaped christmas lights. I'll put pictures up soon.

In other news, Eliana is finally getting over her yuckiness, which she caught from her sister, who is all better. Shawn is sick now and since he wallows in it I'm sure his will last longer than the girls' 48/24 hr colds. But we're all home for the next week and a half so he has time. But what I really want to share with you is how hilarious Eli is.

When the girls are sick they get either baby tylenol or baby ibuprofen. We have both meds in two forms: oral, which we call mouth medicine, or suppositories, which we call tushie medicine. I know it's not nice to think of but the girls have a bad tendency to get so upset when being given meds that they make themselves throw up. I know the tushie medicine doesn't feel good going in but it's quick and when it's done it's done. Obviously they don't like it, Eli even guilts me by telling me, in tears, that it hurts her (which I am sure it isn't comfortable but I do get her lubed up and am very gentle, not to mention she has poop pieces like five times the size of the suppository, so I doubt she's in that much pain from it). Anyhow, in addition to telling me it hurts ("Hurts me, Ima!") she outright lies and tries to weasel her way out of meds and I find it so funny!!!

Case in point: when she was first sick and woke up in the middle of the night burning up I pulled out the tushie medicine and when her crying about it didn't stopped me she decided to change tactics and suddenly sat up, broke into a huge grin, and said, "All better, Ima!" Well, poor girl, I didn't fall for it, so the next day when I again was about to give her another dose she said, "Give Bracha instead, Ima!" I wonder what Bracha would have to say about that?!

Oh my lord that child is funny!!

Speaking of tushies, Eliana pooped in the potty for the first time on Monday!!

Sorry for all the tushie talk. Chag sameach, everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

My kids being cute

video

My poor sicko princess

Bracha is home sick. Poor girl developed a fever over Yom Kippur and it kept getting worse till it reached 40.3 early Sunday morning. We finally got it down and took her to the pediatrician who said she has a contagious viral infection. So no gan for her and no gan for me. Rinse and repeat today. But she is looking better so maybe with any luck she'll be able to go in tomorrow, the last day before Sukkot vacation.

Meanwhile Shawn is studying and I've started building our Sukkah.

Oh, and in other wonderful news, what's the one thing you don't want to have happen to you, well, ever, but certainly not the day you build a weird ritualistic hut on your porch and completely block off all access to your laundry drying lines?

Yeah, our dryer is busted. And this a few month or two after our hellish two months without a washer (though I would MUCH rather be stuck dryer-less than washer-less).

In good news, I did manage to clean the kitchen in time and we had a nice weekend in an actually clean and tidy apartment!

Here are some pictures of the sicko:


Watching (what else?) Barney


Come on, Bracha, give us a smile!


Napping on Ima's chest yesterday