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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Getting my Groove On for Mimi and GongGong

After just two weeks I was treated to a much awaited reunion. Mimi and GongGong just can't get enough of me. They are already here! Their trip to Israel was planned long ago despite the fact that the pack and play would still be warm from my recent departure from New York.

Nevertheless, it was cause for great joy. I actually even started dancing, I just could not contain myself.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bocce Ball and Swings

Me back in the day. This is Mimi and I in NY.
A whole month ago.
Since the turn of the year when I made that magical transition from counting my age in months to being able to use the word "year," much change has taken place in my life. In fact, this one month has brought more change with it than perhaps any of the previous 12.

I cut four teeth with five and six on the way. I made my debut on Italian soil (just the airport). I ordered my own plate of gnocchi with bolognese sauce. I ordered my own ravioli. I ate ice cream for the first time. I invented my own version of crawling. I met tons of new friends while in the US. I experienced a hurricane. And I swung in a swing (video of this experience in at the bottom of this post).

But most importantly, after one full year of lulling my parents into complacency, I've adopted the entertaining sport of whizzing at them during every single diaper change. Without fail.

All during my first year I rarely anointed my diaper changers with the infamous weewee shot that boys of that age have mastered. I led them to believe that I was a good boy, a better boy even than all the other boy babies. My parents stopped using the wee stopper and they got lazy.

That's when I made my move.

It was a year long strategy, but it has paid off. The esteemed changers of my diapers were out of the habit and thus had lowered their defenses. When I turned one I thought it would be time to test my plan. It always plays out like this: I lie in wait until they are ever so close to whisking the new fresh diaper under me then I make my move, my poker face revealing nothing. I love to watch the looks on their faces as they realize they've been had. Because it happens every time. There they are, no soiled diaper at the ready any more and a still folded clean diaper then being used to block and defend from the onslaught.

Because I held off an entire year with just maybe a handful of incidents, my parents are surprised every time. After a month of soakings they still haven't learned to distrust me when my weapon is unsheathed.

In some ways though it has had its benefits. Mommy and abba have honed their bocce ball skills. My discarded diapers are usually rolled from the changing spot, be that on the living room floor or on a bed somewhere, to a central location where diapers are collected in one bag and then tossed. The goal of bocce is to roll the game balls as close as possible to the boccino, the first ball rolled. In case you never heard of bocce, you can read more here. My great grandfather, Silvio Schiavi, was a bocce ball champion of sorts.

My favorite visiting times with Nanni and Popi, my great grandparents in NY
Accordingly, my parents have made sport of the diaper toss and it looks like an ongoing game of bocce in our apartment.

Now I understand that I skipped several weeks of juicy blogs while transitioning from the US back to Israel. But have no fear, every delicious detail and photo shall make the blog. It won't be in real time but memoirs never are. And one is never too young to write a memoir as even the sitting US president has.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And Then There Were Three

Teething math: One


Four fingers.
New York really is the city that never sleeps. Since I've been here I've had not one. Not two. But THREE teeth.

Of course that has slightly disrupted my festivities here with a little bit of grief and moaning. But in the end I've been rewarded with wincing adults who are still finger feeding me food and chance upon my sharp kitten incisors.

But since the first miserable one came through, the others that followed were a lot easier to handle and haven't caused as much angst among family and friends, not to mention my own mandibles. As you will see in an upcoming post, these teeth have come in handy from pizza to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

My Very First Hurricane

Me braving Hurricane Irene
Despite living in another country, many of my significant "firsts" have occurred during my short times in America. And many of those have involved natural disasters.

For instance, when I was in New York in December, I experienced my first blizzard. It seemed to be an ongoing snow storm that began the day after Christmas and dragged temperatures to a permanent below-freezing level with ice lining the streets the entire rest of our duration in the US.

Accordingly, we planned to return again in the summer, not in the winter, so we could actually visit people, shop and even leave the house every so often. So in August we sojourned to the Big Apple for our annual visit.

Then came Irene. The hurricane taught us an important lesson: There is no safe time to visit New York.

Not that we were in danger of anything but boredom. We were fine, except for losing electricity for 36 hours. And, just like the blizzard, I was sort of oblivious to the consequences of the storm. I was still fed and entertained as per usual. I didn't succumb to the same boredom as others, like my parents and Zia Em who rely on internet for their livelihood, since my toys are mostly battery operated. Not to mention, I slept through the heavy winds and rain which came inconspicuously overnight. For me, there wasn't anything of which to be afraid.

And after that night of rain, we all ventured outside to view the devastation that befell the neighborhood (again, minor except for a few unfortunate cars). It was my first time out in post-hurricane conditions and what a photo opportunity it was. Though this was a few weeks ago, the photos made it a noteworthy event to revisit.

Zia Em and I surveying the felled trees

Here we are on Mimi and GongGong's block

Another view of downed trees

The only remains of Hurricane Irene were
her footprints on my head

Abba traded in a shovel for a rake on his vacation

Picking up sticks is better than shoveling hundreds of feet of snow.
But it is not the preferred way to spend your "vacation."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Partying in New York

It is hard to blog when you are on vacation. My days are consumed with kiss-starved family and friends who monopolize my cheeks rather than allow me to write, not to mention my requisite naps and enormous Italian meals which seem to stretch on ad infinitum. Nevertheless, I found a few moments to break free from all this and go back in time to post some photos.

Let me go back to our first weekend. On Saturday, GongGong and Mimi threw me my first New York party, a small backyard soiree involving many cousins from both sides of my Italian family. My birthday party, however, coincided with some mad teething days and I had moments of being in a bit of a mood that made me want to shy away from the crowds and moan in private. I felt safest on Nanni's lap with Nanni and Popi watching over me.

Then came the dreaded cake moment. Though it was a cute lion cupcake, I still didn't want to touch it. It has been a year and my parents still don't realize one thing about me: I do not like to eat with my hands.

They always trick me into touching food.
But in the end, they feed me properly - with their hands, not mine.
Even this gets a bit awkward.
They finally smarten up and do it the right
way - with a spoon. Simple manners.
End result: Mess. And...
... and sheer chocolate happiness.
The paparazzi couldn't get enough of me 
Cousin Jake had no problem grabbing the cupcake.
I had a chance to hold Cousin Leah's hand.
Then I deejayed at my own party!
But more importantly, I received a special gift:
An accordion from a famous accordionist.
Popi will be giving me lessons so I too can be famous.