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 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


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


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

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

Thursday, October 6, 2011


With Shawn's health being as it is, cleaning has taken a back seat in our lives. A deep back seat. Since anyone who knows us well has merely stepped foot inside our apartment already knows that cleaning sits low on our priority list, it's basically so far in the back right now it's actually hopelessly trailing behind the car as we speed down the highway of life. Yes, mom, I will hire somebody when I have a minute to do so but for now, things are not great. And in some ways that's okay. This summer we were in a family crisis situation and right now we're on the slow, long, uphill path to rebuilding and cleaning is far less important than other things on our priority lists (work, family, gan, therapies, medications, school, exams, future plans, extended family health, etc.)

So that's why I took the initiative to do a double good deed this week. I invited one of the girls' friends from gan over for a playdate on Friday. This means fun for them and a major kick in the butt to make my house presentable to a potential new friend and her offspring. Plus with sukkot looming I really need to deal with daunting tasks like cleaning the porch, anyways.

So far, it's working! We're about T-10 hours from commencement of playdate and so far the bathrooms are clean and the porch is done (yay!). The living room is straitened up and the floor just needs to be washed and the kitchen, well, oy. The kitchen. The plan tomorrow is plant the girls in front of Barney while I tackle that hellhole the kitchen.

In other news, my babies are so grown up! They pick up bags and tell me they're going to the supermarket to shop so bye, Ima! Bracha takes her (leopard print) purse with her to gan and everywhere she goes. They have minds of their own are not afraid to use them (I am so proud!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things you hear in my house

Heard this morning while I was chasing my daughter around the apartment:

"Bracha, come here and I'll give you a BJ!*"

*My kids, who are in love with Barney, identify the colors purple, green, and yellow according to the names of the characters of said colors, despite knowing the names of the colors themselves. This morning Bracha was looking for a yellow gumi (hair elastic) for her kookoo (pony tail) and I had one in my hand. Last week she was all about the Baby Bop gumis (green hair elastics) but this week all you hear in my house is talks of BJs in her hair. This feels so wrong ;)