Contact Daniel

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Raia - 365 days minus 2 months!

Happy birthday Raia!
First official piece of cake

It is official - Raia has passed her 365 day mark as of yesterday. And yet she still has two whole months to go until she was supposed to make her appearance. And what a grand appearance it was (fodder for a future blog - the "two months early" is the least of the adventure that occurred).

The fact that she has now passed the 365-day mark is special because it means that mommy and abba can know specifically how many nights they have not slept through the night!

Nevertheless, Raia continues to astound the world. Preemie no more, she weighs the same as Lucas did when he turned 1. Nothing less than a size 12 months will fit her rotund tummy. Her cheeks have blossomed to kissable proportions.

But most of her milestones are due to the tutelage of her older brothers. Of course! We have not sat idly by and watched her grow. No, instead we took her under our wings (as soon as she was more than 4 lbs.) and taught her all sorts of important things such as:

  1. Where the electrical outlets are located
  2. How to climb the children beds, chairs and mini piano
  3. That the best toys are TV remotes and cell phones 
  4. That the squeaky wheel - or the loudest baby - gets the oil (or whatever they want.need)
We have recently taken up other valuable lessons as you will see in the following (ridiculously cute) videos:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Silent Nights? Not Quite

Two beds! Anywhere you want them!
As if we were known for our peaceful nights, our parents just made our night times even more celebratory and raucous and theirs ever more busy and much less peaceful. We now have not one but two beds with which we can hold our nightly gatherings. Two mattresses to remove and disrobe! Multiple bed slats to wrest from the bed frame and wave around like wooden swords! Two beds to move around the room to use to scale the other remaining furniture in the room!

This is false
This is true
Our new sleeping arrangements are due in part to an urgency to get (poor) Raia out of a pack and play (finally) and into a real crib before she turns 1. Three weeks and counting! So Lucas got a new bed and the crib will be passed down to Raia.

As you can see, Raia can sleep anywhere
Who needs a crib? Like Moses,
she is happy in a basket!
These last few weeks have been busy. To say the least.

First of all, I started a new school this year. I am an official Pre-Ker. The first two weeks were wrought with screams, tears, hunger strikes, and finally pneumonia thereby causing my parents to flog themselves with self doubt and loads of guilt for daring to mainstream me into the jungle of Israeli public education. But the pneumonia was short lived as were the tears and, suddenly, I adjusted to my new school! I made friends, I gave hugs, I blew kisses and I got my own personal assistant and was even invited to a birthday party!

Then just as soon as I adjusted, the holidays rolled in.
of holidays.

Days on, days off. Until finally 12 days in a row and I was at home as were Lucas and Raia.

Mommy swears that our apartment turned into a frat house. Discipline of time or behavior evaporated into thin air. Nobody ate on time or ate well. By the end of these two weeks, we could've had ice cream for breakfast and no one would've cared.

But as a bonus this was the same time that (drumroll) Mimi and GongGong came here to visit! Here's how it went:

Reunited and it feels so good!

Yes, we are doing the twist.


Always exciting and very colorful!


Getting Raia accustomed to a crib

Waking up GG from his nap!


A good way to spend some energy

A little bit of Mozart at the train station

And now that the holidays are over, so is the fun. And the frat house. And Mimi and GongGong, who headed back to NY. We go to bed pass out at respectable hours. We eat at set times for the most part. And we head out the door every day for bootcamp, I mean school.

On a positive note, however, maybe this means I will have more time to write! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And We Have Breakthrough

Raia laughs off her beauty sleep!

Nearly a month after this recent post, Aria of the Teething Baby, was written, enamel has emerged from one of Raia's bulging gums on top. Just on one side and just a smidgen, but finally, some breakthrough.

I suppose that means we can rest in peace at night for awhile now. Oh wait, no we can't! Because Raia is cooking up another tooth! And because I, despite a mouth full of ivories, impede my own respite. And have confounded the medical world as to why I do not sleep through the night.

Despite this being the Middle East, this is
not what you think
Okay, maybe not confounded completely. But we must wait three weeks for a report on this recent debacle:

  1. A night at the sleep lab. 
  2. The eve before the first day of school. 
  3. At the hospital. 
Three strikes.

So there was me, somehow laced with about 2 dozen wires protruding from my head, legs, neck, chin, chest, etc etc. There is really no explanation for how I managed a short and disjointed 5 hours of sleep that night at all (10 p.m. to midnight, then 3 to 6 a.m.).

And since I dismantle my own bed at home every morning, it is an indescribable miracle that 1. I did not dismantle the hospital bed and 2. that I did not pull out every single wire attached to my body. Only three were pulled out. But on the other hand, some glue is still stuck in my hair.

Can anyone really sleep like this? Let alone a baby?

Now if only they could read my thoughts as well...

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Milestone for the Baby Book

In order to survive in this family, one must be heard
- and sometimes being seen with a hard core
pout is tantamount to being heard

This pout is classic theatrics. Good job, Raia!
Raia's 8th month was a turning point in her life. She just started ticking off the milestones like they were simple bullet points:
  • Sitting up unsupported: check
  • Transferring from all fours to sitting: check
  • Eating properly from a spoon: check
  • Grabbing spoon and feeding self (in the eye): check
  • Crawling(-ish): check
  • Pouting: check
  • Holding own bottle: check
  • Discovering and then eating own feet: check
But the most important milestone occurred on Raia's last day of 8 months, which was Aug. 17. This milestone is unique to a third child and is one you won't find in standard baby books. But it is vital nonetheless:

MILESTONE ALERT: In a swift and deft move, Raia swiped a piece of bread from an unsuspecting Lucas and instantly shoved it into her mouth, proceeding to nosh the entire chunk.

Lucas dropped to the floor in a heap of tears. And Raia chomped, unaware of his theatrics but fully confident of one critical fact: She will survive as the third sibling. 

When Raia was born 9 weeks early, we were told to lower our expectations by 2 months, so that Raia's developmental age would be adjusted for her early birth. But that was a deceptive and covert bit of information that lulled us - her brothers - into complacency.

Raia can now hold her own. In fact, at her last weigh in, the nurse declared that she was completely normal for her chronological age. And with thighs like those, she would certainly give pause to any sumo wrestler.

Now we, her brothers, must also begin to learn to give respect where it is due. And we will guard the food in our hands with fervor!  
I am the glue that holds these sibs together.
And they both get their drama from me. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Aria of the Parents of Teething Babies

Who is the real victim here...
The teether or all those who surround her?
Ask any baby and they will tell you
the correct answer: It's the baby.

Lately mommy has been insisting that those swollen pink bulges on Raia's top gums will manifest in teeth in a matter of seconds. Mommy actually holds Raia's lips up so she can watch as those fresh ivories finally poke through. (Which they have not.)

In fact, she's been insisting for days now that the tooth would definitely emerge "tomorrow." And the "matter of seconds" that she so readily threw around has become innumerable. And yet with full faith - or hope - she continues to say that the tooth will pop out tomorrow. And then, she hopes, that she and abba will begin to see some semblance of sleep.

In the meantime, Raia shrieks in pain. And mommy just sings.

Mommy's Song

The tooth will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
there'll be a tooth.
Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs of exhaustion till' there's only some

When I'm stuck in a day that's frazzled and whiney
I just stick up my chin and grin and PRAY oh...

(...Please God!!)

...The tooth'll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on
till' tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're only a tooth away!

When I'm stuck in a day that's weepy and cranky
I just smear on the ora-gel and grit (my teeth) and PRAY oh...

(Repeat Chorus)

Raia doesn't just seem innocent. She is!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Three, Three and Three!

Even at 4, th world continues to revolve around me!

I must interrupt my lack of blogging to allow mommy one last chance to brag about something she can only claim for the next hour: She and abba have three kids, 3 years and under. Three in diapers. And this "feat" lasted for almost 9 months.

In just minutes, I will be 4. And to celebrate I am making my parents' claim of hardship much less glamorous. Saying they have three children 4 years old and under is not nearly as impressive nor does it evoke as much sympathy.

As part of my second 4th birthday party - the first was on another continent a week prior - my classmates at Shalva took turns coming up to me to congratulate and hug me.



Even Mommy came to celebrate the festivities

And give hugs

As did my Nechama

We played under the tent

And I danced

My forever dance partner/teacher: Nechama!

Esther and I came back for seconds :)

And 20ths. 100ths. Etc. 
And that was just party #2. The first party I had was bestowed upon me in New York surrounded by friends and family of a different kind.

Lucas made a good friend - Jonathan.
At this party, Lucas and his new friend Jonathan policed the proceedings. After all, what are the three staples of a birthday party? 1. Balloons 2. Cake and 3. Presents. Until those three were enacted, Lucas and Jonathan made their presence known in no uncertain terms.

The sugar rush before the sugar

I posed and was posed for many photos

Raia was swept up by Gracie who made sure
the girls were taken care of 

Enjoy this view. Only in America.

The cake at birthday parties 2 and 3 will not look like this.

A near life-size Thomas balloon. And a blur of children.

Almost all of us are looking at the camera!

The rush of sugar swept me into my fifth year