Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bleeping Sooty

There she is, the incredible self-starting sleeper.

And this is from motzei shabbos last week (yes, that's a Yarmish) - the girl was already pajamaed and bawkled, apropos of falling asleep in the car. Thanks G for the photo hookup.

Putting aside our hysterical tantrum in the car on the way home (not to mention our pitiful cries as we lost our tiny stickers in the tubby, or the staunch refusal to have our poop cleaned up earlier), check out THIS conversation in the car.

Sarah Rochel has just, with slight assistance, removed her socks and shoes. As an aside, whenever we put on socks in the morning, we say, "Bye bye toes." So taking our socks off brings toes back into the realm of discussion.

Me: Srochs, you have toes?
SR: Yah.
Me: Can you count your toes?
SR: Yah.
Me: Okay. One...
SR: Two.
Me: Three....
SR: Foh.
Yoav and I trade bemused glances.
Me and Yoav together: Five....
SR: Sick.
Yoav and I trade increasingly amazed glances. Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic at the time.
Me & Y: Seven....
SR: Nine.
Me: Eight, right! Then after eight is...
SR: Nine!
Me & Y: Ten!!! Whoohoo!!

And we did it in reverse too, with her saying the odd numbers. So while nine still comes after seven, oh my gosh, my 19 month old can count to ten!!

So, can she really count, or just recite?

Well, later on we were reading our Sandra Boynton dog book. And we took our finger and counted all the way to six, tapping a different dog each time. Well, I held her hand, but SHE said the numbers.

Can she count really really? No, probably not.

Is she totally and utterly delicious and brilliant and precocious? Totally!

And yet, someone said to us today, "I hope she grows some eyebrows." The burden of womanhood - brains are well and good, but let us have appropriate facial hair, please!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

She who puts herself to sleep

I must give a special shout-out to Nechy and co, who have been so great in having us over any old time our schedule isn't worked out totally. I've been crashing there about once a week lately (SR says "Mama Nechy" very well). Tonight since Yoav started teaching in a new yeshiva we hadn't worked the kinks out of who gets the car when yet, so off to Nechy we went. There..

a) the girl went to the high chair, demanded food, and scarfed a whole chunk of gefilte fish (which, incidentally, I had made since we ate shabbos lunch at Nechy's last week, but whatever

b) we looked at lots of pictures of "kallahs" (sometimes known as "kallach" but fortunately no longer "kachah"). A kallah is a bride, all you out there, and I am pleased to say I encouraged the current obsession.

c) Nechy says, as we're contemplating what to do for dinner, that we can leave the girl with her, and she'll happily babysit while we go off to eat. Yes, she's sure. Um, OKAY! So Yoav and I ran out and ate at a new greasy spoon, while Nechy and the Toch blasted Uncle Moishe. So everyone wins!!

Sorry ya'll, Blogger won't let me load a picture. Goodnight!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Milestones 5,463 and up

She's done this before (here most noteably, look at October 2006), had a week of huge developmental leaps and bounds. Now this is less 'huge developmental change' like starting to walk or talk, but she's leaping into her autonomy.

- She's still putting herself to sleep, going through the bedtime routine until she says "cribby!" and then she lays down and babbles, etc, until she falls asleep."No Mommy, I don't need you for this." So proud, but...!!!

- After a friend (thanks RL) opened my eyes to the fact that she's old enough to learn to wait for me on the OTHER side of the bathroom door, I've been keeping her out. Last night she just came and knocked on the door, and started talking to me. "I know you're in there, Mommy," she meant, "and I'm going to play here happily until you come out. I will now make cute noises," and she did.

- Last night in the tubby, she asks for some soap. So I dispensed some liquid soap into her hand - and she starts washing herself! Okay, so she kept asking for more, and she only tried to taste it twice, but she scrubbed her little knees and tushy and tummy - and then I put some in her hair, and she was a veritable "I'm going to wash that man right out of my hair" video... except, of course, she doesn't have enough hair to hide a man in.

- Which brings up the other "big kid" point from last week, but fortunately Mama Nechy combed out Sarah Rochel's hair, and there haven't been any other critters in there since, althought we are daily combing (with our 59 shekel 'Assy 2000' lice comb) and treating with rosemary oil as well. I really could have waited on THAT milestone, ya know?

She's just amazing, and I just adore her.

I'm at work now - back to paying attention to my staff meeting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Sarah Rochel is finishing up her bath. Her hair is full of shampoo in a delicate fanned mohawk, her armpits ("ahm pit!") are sudsy, her nails are clipped and her toothbrush is forgotten in the bathwater (we sometimes brush teeth in the tubby).

"Bye bye water!" she says.

"Okay, bye bye water," I reply, and pull the plug. I rinse her off with the washing cup, letting Sarah Rochel take several turns pouring the water off herself. She giggles greatly - except when I'm rinsing her hair.

"Atoes!" she cries. "That's right, Sarah Rochel," I answer, "you're my sack of potatoes," and I bundle her up into the towel.

"Abba sukka," she says as we walk into her room and see the porch out the window. "Abba sukka," I agree, as I start to towel her off. I comb out her hair ("Ow!"), and while she chews alternately on her gum stimulator ("Mine! MINE!") and her rubbery letter (A, her favorite), I massage and moisturize her - and she repeats after me, "thigh, knee, calf, feet, toes." I put on her pajamas - she puts her arms through the holes with very little coaching. All this amidst giggles and burbles.

"Sarah Rochel, you know how you blow with your mouth?"
"Whoosh," she replies.
"Very good! So can you blow with your nose, like this?" [insert nose blowing sounds]
And she does it. Into a tissue. Okay, sure, nothing came out, but we're on our way.

"Sarah Rochel, do you want to read a book?"
"Cuppy! BlanKYYYY!!!"
"Okay, I've got your sippy cup of water and your blanky. Ready?"
"Yah," and she backs up to me sitting in the chair, like a truck backing in, ready for me to pick her up and set her next to me in the food chair - I'm sorry, not the food chair anymore, the book chair.

We read our Abraham Lincoln book twice. We read our belly button book twice. "Sarah Rochel, do you want to say shema or read another book?"

"Mah." Nod. "Mah." Nod. "Book, BOOK!" pointing at the shelf.

We read 'Goodnight Moon'. When I'm done, she turns the pages herself, going, "Moon. Cow. Moon. MOON! Bears." I start to say shema, and I peak through my fingers - she has started covering her eyes instead of her nose, albeit with her left hand.

"Sarah Rochel, do you want Mommy to hold you, or do you want to get in your cribby?" She chooses the crib. I put her in, and boy is this child not sleepy. "Baby evant," she says, pointing to the elephant on her sheet. "Star," pointing to it on the sheet too. "Dress," pointing to the pretty dresses hanging on her wall. I sing 'Hamalach' - she's still playing.

"Do you want to play in your crib for a while while Mommy goes in the kitchen?"
"Okay, I'll be back in a few minutes to turn off the light..." and I walk for the door. I open it, and the girl springs up from lying on her back, standing at her cribby bars like a jail cell, and "uh, uh, uh"'s until I come back. "Okay, but then we have to turn off the light. Say bye bye light!"

"Bye bye light." I turn it off. I choose a lullaby and start to sing. She waits a minute or so, then comes over to the side of the crib where I'm singing.

I pick her up, and she 'lays keppie' on my shoulder (still clutching 'Goodnight Moon'). We sit down to rock in the book chair. I sing 'Hush Little Baby' twice, completely forget the tune to 'Rockabye Baby' (too morbid anyway - I've never sung it to her before), and she pops her head up, starts wiggling toward the crib. "Sarah Rochel, do you want to go in your cribby?" "Yah."

I put her down on her back. I wish her goodnight, tell her I love her, I'm proud of her, ask Hashem to watch over her. I leave.

I close the door behind me, close the door on the perfect silence as my daughter puts herself to sleep, and I realize tonight is the transition night between going to sleep like a baby and going to sleep like a kid.

Oh, there have been nights lately when she goes to sleep in the crib - that is, she's not already sleeping when I put her down. There have been nights she asks to go into the crib. But tonight she was so totally aware and awake and conscious in every way of what was going on and what was coming next.

But this is it. She may relapse into babydom, into overtired hysterical kvetchies and "no cribby!" and "no sleep!" and howling. But essentially from now she will only become more and more self sufficient.

She's been insisting to eat at the table in a chair (or two of them stacked) for a couple days now - "No high chair!"

Those of you more familiar with small children are thinking, come on, she's 19 months old already - you expected her to be a baby forever?

Um, yeah. I think I did. I think I thought we were going to go baby-to-4-year-old all of a sudden. But being in the middle of the process is just mind blowing, cause you watch it happen.

About halfway through writing the above I heard her talking to herself in her room. She gave a couple of vague "Mommy?"'s but she didn't cry - and she's quiet now.

That's my big girl.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pictures and captions

Self-absorbed, often sappy, occasionally banal, mildly humorous commentary on Miriam's life is scheduled for a later blog.

"Look at me! I have food particles on my face! I have discarded remnants on my tray! And I have just poured my water into my lap! Hurrah hurrah!"

This was after we came home from a bar mitzvah this week. Okay, a little too close up, but notice that it was cool enough she needed a sweater! And today it RAINED for the first time - some rain and a multiple-hour, lovely lightning storm. I have missed rain - it's been what, six months?

(I apologize. That was a self-absorbed, banal commentary on my life. Won't happen again... this post.)

Close. Too close. Color is off too. But those CHEEKS!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Someone get the number of that week that hit me

Was it really sukkos vacation just a week ago? I don't believe you. I can't point to one thing that made this past week so nuts... oh, wait, I can. It's called my job. Highlights..

1) the customer who compared poor reception in his son's area (not our fault) to the current lead paint toy issues. Um, right.

2) the customer who yelled at one of my bosses for about thirty minutes, including unmentionable language. My whole staff really appreciated that he should learn what we go through.

3) the customer who left a message about how unprofessional we are, we never call him back, this is no way to run a business, if he doesn't hear from us soon he's calling down the wrath of God upon us, etc, etc - who left no name, no email, no number.

4) realizing it's noon, and I have not eaten, drank or gone to the bathroom since arriving at work, but I have dealt with 100 emails.

Anyway, so we survived. We had girls for shabbos, one of whom wanted to come to us for a 'special' birthday shabbos (or as my daughter CONTINUES to say a few times a day, "Abba birthday."). So we bought some of the 'regular' food so I could a) rest and b) make an elaborate cake. Oh, I was so good. I followed my compulsive baking book's yellow cake recipe to the letter, beating and alternating flour and (soy) milk, and oh I was golden. I made merangue frosting from scratch, boiling sugar syrups and beating egg whites... And while my layer cake LOOKED amazing, it tasted no better than the one I can make in five minutes without a mixer, and the frosting was, alas, a misjudgement on my part.

But it looked good.

And I got the call tonight that my beloved computer is, alas, dead. Well, it's motherboard is. So we have to decide if it's worth trying to replace the part, or start over (or make do sharing with Yoav, but we both need to work in the evenings simultaneously, often). Thank God, the techie thinks he can get my memory off of it though, which is great since that's where all 4000 (!) or so pictures of my daughter are (yes, I have backups on disk as well), and where lots of videos that I never posted online are, and THOSE I don't have backups of.

Speaking of videos... I actually took no photographs this week, but I did take the below video. This week my daughter continued her work in perfecting The Tantrum, but she's also perfected randomly attacking you with arms outstretched screaming, "huggies!" So we forgive her anything.

(Here's the same video twice, once using Blogger's built-in video tool, one using Google (although Blogger's is really Google's too). Let's see which works better...)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sukkos: Day 7 and What Came After

Day seven of Sukkos is Hoshana Raba, and my daughter enjoyed very greatly the experience of beating her very own hoshanas.

Day seven was also "let's cook all over again!" day for crop #2 of "keeping two days" seminary girls... And I don't know if I've gotten better or the girl and Yoav were amazing, but I actually made almost all the food for the five meals we were home with the girlies before candlelighting, so I'm proud of myself. I invented a new chicken recipe (white meat chicken with much oil doesn't dry out! Imagine!) perfect for the carefree "we have no CLUE when we're eating!" Simchas Torah scheduling, and S"T morning I made chicken in the crock pot, and everything else worked pretty well. Oh, and the two Brooklyn Bake Shop cakes we bought helped too!

The girl danced very nicely with her father in shul on S"T ("Torah! Torah" and when she was being contrary, like tonight in the bath, "No Torah!"). Morning of, though, she missed dancing at shul since she slept until ten o'clock AM. I love that little girl! But we made it to shul in time to eat many other childrens' smooshed bamba and pretzels off the ground and to watch Abba act as a gabbai giving lots of aliyas, and to be there for Kol Hanearim of course. One of my coworkers in London says that there, only the little boy babies (and kids) go up for Kol Hanearim. While rabid feminist I'm not, darn it, I always did it, and I loved it - and SR did too! Our shul has the other girls up there as well, of course.

Friday (not yuntiv for us) we had such succulent dishes as macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, although, not at the same meal. The meatloaf meal saw an extra 5 (!) seminary girls join us, so we were quite the party house.

Then Shabbos was just fine, let's hear it for leftovers!, and motzei shabbos we decimated our guests in Cranium. Sorry ladies.

And now you're just about caught up, and I will resume updating this blog once a week or a trifle more often. I've enjoyed having time to do this, and I look forward to having the time again! But, as they say, who are we kidding?

Since my computer is in the shop (please daven for Gateway ben Houston), I went ahead and put the pictures from erev yuntiv on Yoav's machine. You'll have to live with our redeye.

Prune letting me get some cooking done, still in her jammies.

Prune letting me get still more cooking done, although she was already dressed for shabbos AND insisted on wearing an apron, as in "MINE! MINE!" If you belt it around enough times (belt it! cinch it!) you can manage not to guarantee she'll trip and fall on her face 90% of the time. The picture isn't in focus but it's too cute.

Erev yuntiv. Isn't she Kennedyesque?

Erev yuntiv with Abba. Isn't she coy?

Erev yuntiv with Mommy. In case you didn't guess, this was another outfit one of her grandmothers was 'attacked' by in the store.

It's evil, but I had to take a picture of her asleep, two nights ago (or was it last night?). She was pooped out, but verbally did NOT want to go to sleep. Nor was she shy: "No keppie!* No sleep!" So when she did conk out in her crib, in this sprawled position of "I may be in here, but the tochter doth protest," I had to shoot it.

lay keppie is to rest your head on the parent's shoulder, specifically the parent trying to get you to go to sleep. Keppie is 'head' in yiddish.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sukkos: Day 6

Quiet day. I had to work this morning for a few hours in the office (it was my turn)so Yoav had Abba-Tochter time. Later on we went to Nachal Sorek so I could do tashlich ("Rivert! Wadar!"). Yoav's hadassim had gone bad, so we picked up another batch in SuperSol of all improbable places, thus letting me bentch lulav mere minutes before shkia. Fun fun!

Finally, you can see the sukka. The girl (who woke up at 6:25 this morning, bless her little heart) was already in the "I'm going to put my head down on anything that doesn't move now, because I'm exhausted. However, I will not actually fall asleep until you've worked so hard at getting me to bed that I wake right back up!" mode, as you can see.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sukkos: Day 5

Just like REAL live responsible Parents Who Vacation Wisely, we went to the zoo today! Sure, we didn't take the train there, as we planned, since when we checked the schedule there was only one train left, and we'd have to leave the house in thirty minutes. Um, no. So we drove, which was nice because we were able to leave whenever we wanted.

We were there for about three and a half hours.

Sarah Rochel would gladly volunteer that she saw mingos (flamingos), wans (swans), elevants (even a baby elevant!), kangus, lions (no baby lion), monkeys, mingos, turtles, turkey, sheep, goat, baby goat, pity (that was the prarie dogs), mingos, neigh (miniature horses), bunnies (as in, "no no bunny" when offered to pat the bunny), fish and of course, mingos.

She's been talking about the mingos ever since, actually. She was really very good while we were there, stayed in her stroller a lot but not so much that she didn't get very hot and tired running around, which is why the following wasn't as perky as it might have been...

We never did get to a 'take two' since we left soon after.

In the petting zoo, she wasn't interested in touching absolutely anyone, which hey, was fine by us. But it was fun to show her animals we read about all the time. She's also very recently perfected her starting-consonant S and Sh sounds (which means Saba is now Saba (and sometimes Shaba), not Abba). So it was great fun to hear her say "sheep, sheep" perfectly enunciated. This of course was followed by "no sheep."

This evening we left her with a babysitter and we ran off to the Beit Shemesh concert. We heard Rockia (just the last song - we're big fans of the tape they released back in 93 or something, and this is the first we're hearing of them since), Gershon Veroba (who was pretty cool, but would have been MUCH cooler had his missing guitarist been there - he told Yoav afterwards that he didn't get to do the songs he wanted to play, so it was kinda shvach), and Lenny Solomon. Then we left, because that's all we wanted to see, and as the hour gets later it becomes less of a family fun festival and more of a teenaged coed hangout. So away we went!

The girl went to bed fairly easily, except of course about 5 minutes later she started crying, LOUDLY. I gave her a minute or two, and went in, and... she threw up again! (Aside: as you no doubt guessed, she LOOKED at the Evil Salmon earlier, since I took it out of the fridge to throw it away. I guess that was enough!) Yoav was not home but was, thank God, in range. He came home and amused the child while I changed all her bedding and mopped up the floor. She went to sleep again just fine. A few minutes ago she woke up crying again, but B"H went back to sleep as soon as I picked her up.

I was a little worried that she was sunburnt, except she was wearing sunscreen, we shielded her as much as possible, her skin isn't red nor especially warm and she was fine and perky. So, she may just have overfilled her belly, probably drinking. She was drinking a ton just before bed. And so parenting adventures go on!

This is the prairie dog exhibit. They were really there in the shot with her a minute ago.

The elephant, oh, pardon me, elevant show, watched more easily from Abba's shoulder, of course. Well, when Mommy was out of sight anyway.

Learning toilet training techniques from the miniature horses. It was... pungent. I may never complain about her dirty diapers again.

Mommy, please teach me to breathe through my mouth!! Ew!

Goat! Goat!

No goat! No goat!