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Monday, December 23, 2013

Twas the Night Before the Night Before

Today Lucas heralds Christmas Eve with his own celebration - his second birthday! And boy did he milk it. Absent from the spotlight of me or Raia, Lucas was treated to a party at his school where he was King for a day.

First his teachers lavished upon him kisses
Before he could even take off his jacket
He tried on his throne for size
And then tried on his crown for size
Everything fit to a T
Then the king's subjects, er - classmates, paid him homage
(And I thought I was the only one who scored at school!)
They lined up to kiss him
And he was so shy Lucas had to be
restrained in his throne, at times!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Knocked Out!

Guess what I'm about to do!
You wouldn't be able to tell from the photos since I appear so chipper and nonchalant, but I was about to go under the knife. Well, perhaps that was a bit too dramatic. Truthfully there were no incisions or knives. But there was a hospital and general anesthesia involved.

Fun and games at the hospital
And now I am supposed to hear better. Thanks to the esteemed ENT Dr. Nazarian, I now have microscopic tubes in my ears and a lot less gunk. And a lot fewer adenoids (or one less adenoid as supposedly we only have one). What that means though is that I can no longer fake my talent of selective listening. Next to open heart surgery (click for link), this was a breeze.

So improved is my hearing already (the surgery was Wednesday) that mommy and abba are treating me as their new toy. They enjoy saying my name from different distances and varying decibels to see if I respond. Then they get all excited and ask each other, "Did you see that?!"

But unfortunately that also means they know I heard them say "no" or "don't touch," etc.

As you can see I was happy going into the ordeal. But coming out was another story. I've been called a "bad drunk" based on my drop from sugar highs (click here to see the ice cream debacle). Coming out of anesthesia was no different. When I awoke from the fog I moaned and thrashed for awhile. But a subsequent nap, this one not induced by anesthesia, brought me back to my old self quite instantly.

Like nothing happened. Here's me just
four hours after the surgery.
Raia joined our little outing, the first time she left the apartment since coming home from the hospital. And lucky for her, her first trip out was to another hospital. The only problem with her coming along was that her unique (tiny) size and cuteness garners her as much as if not more attention than me. I'm not sure I appreciate the competition.

Monday, December 16, 2013

La Principessa has Arrived!

She is mostly quiet, peaceful and, thus far, not very opinionated.
That makes her a favored one among us three.

On the day it deluged for the first time in Jerusalem this season and the weather took a decided and definite turn toward winter, Raia was escorted home in her princess chariot and her princess outfit.

She came into this world like the tempest. She came home with one.

And one thing has become instantly clear: My and Lucas' status as cute and cuddly babies is at risk!

But at least we finally had proof of the existence of our sister, which was merely an allegation up until then since child discrimination banned us from the NICU. I was safely at school that morning, so I sent Lucas, who had the day off, on a reconnaissance mission to the hospital. We found it does very much exist and even has a NICU replete with all sorts of electronic and necessary life-saving equipment we would love to play with one day. And it is stocked with nurses, doctors and even babies.

Forget the baby and the mission - Lucas, my little spy, was
shy in front of the pretty nurse
But when he regained his composure he finally met Raia
He was a little excited, wouldn't you say?

And at home:

Raia was just "34 weeks" when she was released to go home, meaning she was still supposed to be tucked away in mommy's tummy for six more weeks. Technically though she was just over two weeks and 2 kilos when she was allowed to go home. She had removed the feeding tube from her mouth a week before then and never looked back, accomplishing the amazing milestones of bottle feeding and even nursing before she came home. Next up: the Jerusalem Marathon on March 21, 2014!

Due to the novelty of mommy and abba of having three actual children and then that followed by five consecutive snow days - in the Middle East of all places - meaning all three children were home at the same time (panic!!), blogging has been a scarce and rare commodity.

La Principessa arrived 10 days ago. And then just a few days later, storms such as the Middle East has never known before plagued us and we were - and remain - somewhat under siege for several days now. We haven't left the increasingly tiny apartment in six full days and we are beginning to crack under the pressure.

But it has been a good time to get to know our baby sister and for mommy to practice being a mother to three babies who all have distinct, separate and immediate needs. Mommy believes that is a feat which is technically impossible or at least very much above her pay grade.

 In light of the holidays, we term this moment "Peace on Earth:"
a rare moment when all 3 of us babies were behaved and
controlled allowing mommy to feel momentarily successful
- and to even snap a photo 
Raia has made herself at home
This is after four days at home, diagnosed with "Cabin Fever:"

Please, God, melt the snow and ice so we can all be free once again!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

High on Ice Cream

Can you read the excitement on his face?
Because it was nearing GongGong's last day with us for a couple of weeks, and because we had been such angels, mommy allowed GongGong a dream come true: to feed us ice cream!

In between spoonfuls of ice cream, Lucas allowed the sugar
to bolt into his bloodstream

I don't always open this wide. But for ice cream...

This happy dance followed each bite

While the beginning of the expedition was adorable and cute, it soon unravelled into a sugar rush that manifested into a literal rush and then ultimately further unravelled into kicking and screaming all the way home.

But it was so worth it!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Different Strokes for Different Babies

Innocent faces, especially after sugared jelly donuts! 
Raia is looking forward to her first taste of jelly donuts.
Or chocolate. Notice: no more feeding tube!

All babies are not created equal. Meaning, we are all different and accomplish all of our milestones in our own timing.

That is not to say that one is more advanced than the other, just vastly different. Case in point: Lucas and I happened upon the preparations for a Hanukkah celebration and brought an equal amount of disruption and potential disaster into the situation. Yet we both were drawn in different directions - I joined the dance troupe and Lucas joined the stage crew.

Surprisingly, Lucas actually resisted the spotlight of being on a "stage" of sorts and preferred to help the men who were breaking down dangerous equipment and packing it away. Needless to say, there are no videos of that since it is 1. boring and 2. dangerous enough to require a parent's two hands, neither of which should be holding a camera during such a moment.

I, on the other hand, was drawn to the spotlight and attempted to steal the show from a teenage girls' dance group that was practicing for a performance later that night. They actually welcomed me into their circle and treated me as one of their own. I believe I have a future in show biz.

While Lucas shunned the spotlight at this public place, he confidently took part in his school play. Well, "took part" may be a stretch, but he did stand in the center. Confidently.

Lucas with abba

Lucas with mommy

Abba and mommy rightfully left me at home with Grandma knowing that I would've probably stolen the show from these poor kids

So Lucas got to be king for a day, or at least for an evening

And he got to eat even more donuts! Gotta love the holidays.

All of this has taken place with Raia still in the safe refuge of the NICU. It seems incongruous to be out and about, carrying on as normal and even having fun while the new member of our family remains incognito, still unknown to most of the world. We still have had little evidence of Raia's existence except for these photos and mommy's dwindling stomach. But the word is we may meet her soon!

Despite missing out on donuts and baby fun with Lucas
and I, Raia seems to be happy here in the NICU