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Thursday, June 28, 2012

God Bless Me!

I can now sneeze quite proficiently.

And in Hebrew no less. (apchee vs. hachoo)

In fact, I apparently have no desire to reign myself in, as you can see. I like to savor my new skills and milk them. For a long time. Plus, as an added bonus, each sneeze nets me a blessing. "God bless you!" So why not keep it up till the blessings overflow?

Ah, the things I learn at Shalva. I suppose sneezing is an important thing to learn as a class since we shared so many happy times - and germs - this school year. I suppose!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Love Language

I may be a baby, but I am fluent in the language of love. I know how to give kisses in both English and Hebrew. Surely Italian and Armenian are not far off.

(Translation: Give Noa a kiss. Bravo!)

Not to mention, Noa is wearing pink! Pink speaks my language. She is also about Lucas' size, therefore I call her buba as well. My little (live) doll.

Happy Father's Day, abba! I love you too - even if you don't wear pink.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What Happens on the Shalva Bus...

... stays on the Shalva bus!

Me and my cheechong are not easy to part. Though Lucas
managed to wrest it from my mouth once. I let him.

There is a reason it is called a "pacifier."

One week I ended up with my girlfriend's eyeglasses in my car seat. And another week I added some more mystery and spice to my ride home from school!

There isn't much to write here because I refuse to tell exactly how it all transpired. But the end results were thus: One afternoon last week, I emerged from the Shalva bus with a bright yellow pacifier securely riveted between my lips. A pacifier that I do not happen to own.

My parents were duly perplexed if not a bit nervous about whose germs I was now partnering with and what possible medical issue would follow.

Abba asked the driver how I got this particular cheechong. The driver responded that I boarded the bus with it.


A call was placed to Shalva immediately to mommy's spy on the inside. Rather than solve the mystery, Gavriella, equally perplexed, only added to the puzzle. She reported that I left school with no pacifier and she can confirm that because she personally buckled me, cheechong-less, into my car seat. And to further confound us all, none of the Shalva kids use pacifiers. I am unique in this habit.


So, from whence did the yellow pacifier come? From whom did I swipe it? Or did someone share it or lend it to me? Was it a gift? Was it another girlfriend and is pacifier swapping a sign of going steady? Did an angel fly down from heaven to pacify me in my moment of need when I couldn't locate my own cheechong?

I cannot unravel this mystery for you. The Secret Code of Babies, remember? But I promise to write a blog post in the future revealing the mystery of this strange word choice for "binky." It can never be simple with me, can it?

Ephraim and I practicing "synchronized sleeping" in
advance of the upcoming Olympics

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Say What?!

I love her, but "hippo" comes first. And no, that is not
my term of endearment for mommy! She assures
me that would be just cause for punishment.
Despise not humble beginnings. Even if that means your first repeated word is "hippo."

So yes, that was the word that I repeated for mommy and abba whilst pointing to a decal of the large animal during a diaper changing. I knew something exciting happened due to the sudden stop in action followed by a flurry of clapping and positive reinforcement.

My parents weren't expecting that I'd aim for the stars and pronounce two syllables along preceded by the h sound for my first English word. Thus the shock. But to ensure that it wasn't a fluke, they repeated this little game a dozen times and I dutifully complied repeating hippo repeatedly and wondering what all the excitement was over a 6,000-pound mammal.

It isn't my first word per se. I have a cadre of words in my own language that mommy and abba are finally learning, language for things I need. For example, mam-mam, simply translated is: "FEED ME NOW - I'M STARVING! And it better be something I like!" And then there is the famous buba, my word for Lucas.

Nevertheless it was fun to see their excitement at my mention of the animal. I know that mommy gets caught up in those nature shows, especially Discovery channel's Frozen Planet special. So perhaps that was the reason for their thrill.

But after the dust settled, mommy set out to look for some deep meaning to my first word. Surely if you refuse to start with mommy or abba, but stake out instead with a random and insignificant word, it must have some hidden meaning. Not content to believe that my first repeated word could be as unrelated to daily life as a hippo can be in a Middle Eastern city, mommy searched the scriptures for hippopotamus in order to add some significance to this randomness. Many people believe that the behemoth mentioned in Job 40 is a hippopotamus!
“Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly! Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit. Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron. It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword. The hills bring it their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. Under the lotus plants it lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it. A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth. Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?" Job 40:15-24 
Not a bad choice for a first word as you can see here. My first repeated word ranks first among God's works! Perhaps not such a random choice after all.

My next word just might be behemoth. I'll work on that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Three Wise Babies

Moi. Hallel. Ephraim.

We came, we saw, we conquered.

I do realize that there is not a specific mention of three wise men in the Bible, just three gifts. But in this case, there most certainly were three wise babies. And this is their story.

Just one year ago, the three wise babies congregated and celebrated Hallel's first birthday. It was here that we formed our own version of the Fellowship of the Ring. Hallel, the siren in the pink glasses and pink dress, was the first of the wise babies to reach one year. Just weeks before that, I was the first of the wise babies to undergo open heart surgery for an AV canal issue. Hallel soon followed me and then Ephraim rounded out our very exciting - and harrowing - year with his own OHS in April.

The Fellowship one year ago.
Same bat place, same bat time, same heart surgeon.

Getting a bit vaklempted, Hallel's mommy noted that this time last year, the specter of surgery was still hanging over Hallel and Ephraim's heads, casting a pall over the festivities. And yet, here we all were again, on June 5, 2012, gathered to celebrate Hallel's arrival at 2 years old! And this time, we all bring to the table new hearts, even as we turn the hearts of many with our overwhelming cuteness.

The paparazzi just can't get enough and it was no different on this day (despite the fact that mommy forgot her camera! Thank goodness for "smart" phones).

Ephraim all spiffed up in 'business causal' attire

Is that Marilyn Monroe I see here?
Look what the cat dragged in

Ephraim making a move on Hallel behind my back!

When the bean bag got boring,
we headed for the slide

And it was here where Hallel
made her move!
Come and get me!


Ephraim gives his mommy, Dassie, a kiss
(I'm taking notes in the background)

Hallel and her mommy, Gaby, share a hug

I gave mommy some love too.
And my trademark smile :)

Stay tuned for next year's Tale of the Three Wise Babies

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dan Juan Strikes Again

This headline will probably be a recurring theme in my blog. And life. I mean, I'm cute. Or so I've heard. If I lack for anything, it is not positive reinforcement. So I will continue to use the cute super powers in my favor.

But all cuteness aside (or precisely because of it), in an unmitigatedly cute twist of fate, Ahuvi and I wore Mickey and Minnie t-shirts to school one day. That sent the girls who work with us into fits and squeals as they propped us together in the satellite dish spinner and the paparazzi lined up and clicked their cameras.

I got comfortable in the spinner
Note the progression in the photos: I go from cute accomplice to suave player in the second picture. Ahuvi looks a bit taken aback by my slickness. Then I take matters into my own hands and try to put my own spin on the situation hoping that Ahuvi appreciates my initiative.

The lady's man in action!
And more action on this video:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hi my Name is Lucas, but You Can Call me Bob!

Happy Birthday Zia Em!
(I wonder where Lucas got this nifty shirt?)
Today was an auspicious day. No, not just because it is Zia Em's birthday or Hallel's erev birthday (eve). It was important because it is that day of the month when mommy comes to Shalva to participate with my girlfriends and me in the Ani v'Imi (Me and my Mommy) program. Of course, having nowhere else to go, Lucas accompanies us on this journey.

But, in honor of Zia Em's birthday, happy birthday, Zia Em! Just for you, we were going to work on "Zia" in speech therapy, but we settled for buba (boo-ba) instead, which is Hebrew for doll and which is Daniel for Lucas.
Here's Talia and I deciding from flash cards what
next to do with the dolly which I will then
implement at home with Bob.

Yes, I call Lucas my little dolly. It makes sense if you think about it. In school I learn to give the dolly a bottle, feed her, change her diaper, play with her and then toss her when I'm bored. I either watch or I do all the same things with Lucas - yes, including throw (or try to) - so it stands to reason that he is a doll, my very own buba.

Most of the time I just call him Bob for short.

Zia Em was mommy's dolly I suppose since she came after her. But somehow she was called Sasa instead of buba. I'm not certain how that came about.

That said, it is another buba's birthday tomorrow: Hallel! She beats me to 2 by just over two months. I will be enjoying a piece of cake with her and Ephraim will be on hand as well to round out the Three Musketeers tomorrow.

As for the mommy and me program today, let's just say that a little bit of teething, some exhaustion and a major lack of concentration all conspired to impede any worthwhile photos or videos. Not to mention, Lucas was on hand, so mommy had even fewer hands, especially in physio when I was nearly climbing the walls (not an official part of my session) and Lucas needed to be rocked and rolled to sleep in his stroller.

Speaking of hands, here is me washing mine
under the supervision of the very patient and
energetic Gavriella who just endured a
particularly messy meal with me

As for Lucas, his biggest conundrum today is to decide whether being in my wake for the day is dreadfully boring as he is dragged, folded into a stroller, from therapy to therapy. Or is it beneficial from an educational point of view? I mean, if he is talking and walking in a few weeks, it is probably due to him glomming off of my therapy sessions free of charge.

Might as well make the most of it, Bob.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Best Medicine

If laughter is the best medicine, I must be a rather healthy baby!

And here is a series of my belly laugh displayed while splashing in a pool of sorts during my school day at Shalva:

Yes, happy and healthy. That's me.

"A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." 
Proverbs 17:22