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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Holy Day of Yom Kippur

Lucas was the fasting champion of Yom Kippur as he gave
up sleep as part of his atonement
I walked around the park, part of my sleep fast for YK

All of Israel fasts for Yom Kippur and that means no eating or drinking for 25 hours! While it is not recommended that babies fast food, Lucas and I thought we would give up something else so that we could join in afflicting ourselves like everyone else in the nation.

Accordingly, we gave up sleep for the night and day.

My version of fasting sleep was to take a long nap starting from 4:30 p.m. until 3 a.m. Then I woke up full of vim and vigor ready to start the day! I did, however, remain in bed entertaining myself and taking the occasional snooze until about 7.

Lucas was much more holy than me. Lucas went to bed at 9 p.m. resisting sleep as long as possible after his morning nap which had ended well before noon. Then he proceeded to wake up at 2 for a little while and then 4. For the day. Except for a small nap in the morning.

So as far as our fasting, I think we did pretty good and despite the affliction and deprivation of sleep, we were supernaturally charged with energy! It was a miracle. Mommy and abba didn't fare as well, but that is why God created grace - for the parents.

There is another fun aspect of Yom Kippur - almost nobody drives. That means even little babies can walk in the streets! We took a nice walk on a very non busy road and ended up at a park where got to slide, walk, crawl and climb.

Because we did so well in our sleep fast, I believe we are sealed securely in the Book of Life. No worries till next year!

Yom Kippur is now over, but Lucas and I are debating whether to attain even more holiness and continue our fast of not sleeping. The jury is still out...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Part 3 (Farewell Zia Em), Part 1 (Welcome Mimi and GongGong) and a Change of Time

Studying under the tutelage of Zia Em during
her babysitting expedition

Monkey see...

But which one is the originator and who is the copycat?
What would you do if you had an extra hour added to the sleeping hours of the night? As the adults in my life geared up for daylight savings, which just occurred yesterday in Israel, they spoke of that valuable extra hour granted to them at night in which they longed to sleep 60 more precious minutes. But as you might have already guessed, that is not what a baby would do with an extra hour.

Babies prefer to take the bull by the horns. For one, we like to be ready and alert at 2 a.m. to physically change the clock at the exact time it is supposed to technically change. Then we like to wake up at 2 a.m. again so that we can experience the one day a year we get two 2 a.m.'s! Then, since the time change really meant nothing different to our bodies, we awake between 4 and 5 a.m. as if it is any other day between 5 and 6 a.m.

In fact, it is almost like jet lag! It will probably take one terribly exhausting week for mommy and abba as Lucas and I adjust to the new time over here. Tonight we began clamoring for bed at 6 p.m.! Well, who can blame us? The sun was already tucked away for the night and we wanted to be as well.

It has been a week of changing times: We exchanged Zia Em for Mimi and GongGong. Zem spent her last few hours with us nursing a virus that we had probably bequeathed her as a parting gift. At least she had us to herself that one night when she babysat. We entertained her in various ways and left our mark on her. Especially the snot on her clothes.

We showed Zia Em our favorite game:
staring at ourselves in the mirror
Then we had two short nights between visits. However that is not to say we were without visitors. Gavriella needed her Daniel fix (who wouldn't?) and just happened by on what she labeled "gap night" - basically one of the two nights there was a gap in overseas visitors. She had wanted to overlap with someone from the extended family but as fate would have it, she at least entertained us lest we fall back into a non-visitor pattern...

...Because just hours after Gavi's visit, I disembarked from my bus in the afternoon in my carseat - right into the arms of GongGong. Gasp! Sure, mommy and abba told me they were coming, but until I actually saw Mimi and GongGong, it was hard to imagine them being larger than the screen of an iPad.

However, I recovered quickly from my shock and squeezed Mimi with a hug from which Mimi found it hard to extricate herself. Not that she wanted to. Then I shared some hugs with GongGong. They had previously saw Lucas just minutes after their arrival in Jerusalem, greeting him at the park where his class was having "school."

I quickly fell into my role of chief entertainer and tour guide for M&G. And that shall continue for the weeks to come. With my assistant Lucas, naturally. 

My motorcade and I led Mimi and GongGong to the
Old City for authentic Middle Eastern hummus
And I leave you with a video exemplifying Monkey See, Monkey Do:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shana Tova from the Babies!

Lucas HaMatok = sweetness

Daniel HaMatok = sweetness
Shana tova u'metuka - as sweet as me! Have a happy and sweet new year - as sweet as I am. And in that case, it will be a yummy year!

In honor of the Jewish civil new year, which begins this evening (Sunday), I thought I would create a list of  New Year's Resolutions for mommy and abba. So here is a list of suggestions in the form of questions that Lucas and I crafted for our parents hoping they will make the coming year even brighter:

  • Why are plastic bags not okay to play with? Resolution: Stop taking them away from us!
  • Why must you prevent us from playing with cords and wires? Resolution: Give us free reign over these items, incidentally our favorite toys!
  • Why do you insist on wiping our noses with tissues, which annoy us immensely? Resolution: Allow us to use your shirts or pants, which are much better options.
  • Why do you get to play with computers and phones but we don't? Resolution: This year, we would like to have computer time even if that means our drool washes the keyboard. Let us touch the expensive electronic devices!
  • What is so wrong with us sprinkling soil from the flower pot all over the balcony? Resolution: Please allow us to enjoy our homemade sandbox even if we do drag dirt everywhere around the apartment.
  • Please allow us to share pacifiers and bottles. They taste better that way.
  • Please allow me the right to come up with more, whenever we devise some new vices.
And we part on this serious bit of cuteness:
(and the continuation...)

Happy New Year everyone! 

Zia EM's Visit, Part II in a Requested Three-Part Series

Zia Em takes a momentary break from simultaneously feeding
two babies to snap a photo of this life-changing experience

I'll give it to her, she does deserve another blog after last night. During her vacation here in Israel, Zia Em took on the monumental task of babysitting two babies for hours upon hours while mommy and abba flitted off to a wedding in Jaffa - not around the corner and far enough away to make this a very serious endeavor.

Admittedly, we eased up on full-on baby trickery for Zia Em's first solo sitting expedition, but we did throw in a few challenges in order to keep things interesting.

One of our specialities is demanding to be fed at the same time. That is a challenge on several levels:

  1. Food preparation. Lucas and I can't always eat the same food so good luck preparing two meals - at the appropriate temperature - to a cacophony of impatient screaming.
  2. Two bowls. That requires keeping things distinct and separate plus keeping two bowls rather than one away from the roving hands of babies. Even an octopus would be challenged!
  3. Two spoons. These also must be kept separate because of germs. Never mind that we probably already traded cheechungs (pacifiers) and stole swigs from each other's bottles countless times the same day.

All of this must be performed to the tune of moaning, shrieking or all-out crying: "Feed me! Feed me!" It can be quite stressful.

But Zia Em navigated the challenge with only a modicum of stress and eventually settled into a pattern relaxed enough to enable her to take some photos!

The desperate looks of hunger staring down Zia Em

If you don't act fast, we will!

Success: Happy babies and an empty bowl
All in all, it was a pleasant aunt-nephew bonding experience. And, I believe we successfully tricked Zia Em into thinking she can handle us and even offer to babysit again.

But then we will pull out all the stops. Wink, wink!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Welcome to Zia Em! (Finally)

We are smothering Zia Em with our love
Wherever one of us, the other is sure to follow
The pundits may ask whether "finally" means that finally Zia Em visited us in Israel (she was last here two weeks before I was born), or whether I finally wrote a blog since her arrival more than two weeks ago.

But either way, while this blog has been dormant since school started, I have been anything but. For starters, I brought home a welcome-back-to-school virus that I kindly shared with whole family including Zia Em. Then of course we had all sorts of distractions, visits and good times with Zia Em in a prelude to Mimi and GongGong's visit just days from now and hours after Zem departs.

Zia Em and I sharing good times at Tal Bagels.
Ah, the good ol days!

Lucas and Zia Em sharing a cuddle at The Colony

Zem is still here for a few days so we must have as much fun as we can. In the meantime, here is a little peek into our good times:

AND, here is a blast from the past, never before posted on this blog, of a visit in May from Uncle Matt and Aunt Majda:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Last Shall be First on my First Day of School

Yes, I was just a tad excited to be starting school again.
Or at least to see Nechama as she snapped the picture!
Lucas seems about as happy as I am at school
Mommy appears to be over this "first day of school" business already. Embarking upon my second year was not accompanied with all the fanfare of my first first day of school (see this link for delicious photos and a stroll down memory lane). For one, mommy forgot her camera. Also at issue was the problem that Shalva started during a week of lots of appointments for all of us and I only went to school one day anyway. And last but not least, Lucas also had his first day which, apparently, needed some recognition.

I felt better though that at least mommy also forgot her camera for poor Lucas' first day as well. In fact, with babies occupying all arms these days, the truth is there is no room for a real camera in our lives. Only phones with cameras.
Ella with "Pepito" as he is called. We know him as El Nino.
Here is Lucas with one of his French friends
My new school year, even after just one day, has already presented mommy and abba with another conundrum: what to do with all my "crafts" that I create. Some have been graciously magneted to the refrigerator while the majority of my artwork has been relegated to a to-be-determined pile. Sentimentalism is at war with reality: most of my work consists of stickers, lines and dots (not quite Impressionist dots), so a verdict has yet to be rendered whether this pile is worth saving.

The optimist argues that these objects could be very valuable one day and even hold a room in a museum somewhere. Hmm. Think about that one before cleaning house!