Dec 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, my precious child!

Until a year ago, I was a regular blogger keeping track of my daughter's hilarious comments, precocious moments, and highlights of her growth and maturity. THEN child #2 came along and my time was not what it used to be. I just couldn't manage to document every new thing my precious child has done in the last year and while I enjoy Facebooking, it seems to have become like an instantaneous blogging site and real blogging is going by the wayside. BUT on this momentous occasion in my son's life, I fall back on the familiar: the place with the space to blab on and on and document my feelings.

One year ago at this moment in time, I was experiencing labor and getting ready to welcome a baby into this world with my husband by my side, my parents and sister in the delivery room, and my best friend (who is a doctor) capturing it on film. I vividly remember the entire day leading up to being admitted into the hospital and the labor and the pushing and the shock when my husband announced, "It's a Boy!"

That statement was uttered many times over and over in the first few months of Yonatan's life as we adjusted to different body parts, lots of blue, and another baby with an easygoing personality.

We were concerned that we wouldn't be as amazed at the things our 2nd baby did because we'd already experienced them with our first. We were worried that we wouldn't be able to figure it out with two and manage to actually get out of the house before noon. We weren't sure we'd love our 2nd child as intensely or as deeply as our 1st one.

Our baby boy turns one and our life with him is one of constant amazement and awe at the things he does and accomplishes. It's a life of energy, smiles, and constant motion. We do get out of the house before noon and our intense love of this adorable boy is as deep as our love of our daughter.

Yonatan is well over 20 pounds ( we guess closer to 25) and about 29 inches long. He easily reaches the top of the kitchen table, the drawer with all the pens and markers in it, and the 2nd shelf of the bookcase where he dumps all the books on the floor until he finds the one he wants to read.

Just like his sister, he LOVES books and sits with them by himself for almost 10 minutes "reading." He loves to play in the kitchen and the sink is the first thing to go so he can hide things in the well underneath. THEN they get stuck and he screams for help. He also loves the telephone and will happily play with any phone at any time.

He is quick on the crawl and very quick on the walking around furniture. He pulls himself up and lets go and is very solid on his feet. If you hold a finger, he'll walk with you. He wants to walk so badly, but just doesn't quite have the confidence to go for it yet!

He has 6 teeth and a lot of hair on his head. He does not like baby food anymore and refuses to eat some of his favorites that he liked just last week! He is a smiling baby with big beautiful eyes. He wakes up happy and snuggly and loves to cuddle. The light of his life is his big sister. Her room and in her wake is his favorite place to be.

He has a strong personality; knows what he wants, and lets you know. He has a huge vocabulary and we are constantly amazed by his language development. Elmo is one of his favorite words. But he says Savta, Grandma, Grandpa, Hadarya, Ima, Aba, banana, sock, and repeats everything.

I am sad to leave his babyhood behind him and yet very excited to see the toddler he'll become. We are so blessed to call him our son and are concerns were for we are constantly amazed every time he does something new, gets a new tooth, or says a word. Just as excited as we were with our daughter, we revel in our son's accomplishments.

Happy 1st Birthday, Little Man!

Sep 25, 2009

9 months and change

9 months ago and a couple of weeks, our son joined our family at 1 AM. It's so hard to believe he's been with us outside my body as long as he was inside! Milestones are piling up and I am not doing him his right stuff by keeping here goes a little late!

The week before he turned 9 months old he crawled across the room on all fours. Now, he'd been scooting, rolling, and getting where he wanted to go, but this was the real thing. 3 weeks earlier than his sister but just as fast!

The week of his 9 month old birthday he figured out how to pull himself up on EVERYTHING. His favorite toy is the kitchen, leap frog table, and his sister's Princess dress up trunk. Ideal height for standing and banging like a drum.

He also has discovered that if you let go of something you stand...for over 5 seconds at a time! He has also "cruised" a bit on the kitchen to get something he pushed away. Not major steps yet, but it's coming fast.

He weighed in at 20.5 pounds and 28 inches at his doctor's appointment and she confirmed swollen upper gums which indicates more teeth are a coming. The snotty, nasal congestion was a sure sign too.

He continues to be the happiest baby on the block. Giggling, smiling, flirting. A pure delight who sleeps for over 10 hours at night. Life is grand in our house with our son. We are mostly excited because we are just as amazed as he does his "firsts" as we were with Hadarya.

Sweet baby boy. Scrumptious!

Jul 15, 2009

Day 5 - Staycation 2009

The last day of paternity leave fell on Monday, July 6th and we decided to end our staycation with a bang! After swim class (doing better each day!) we loaded the kids in the car for the 1 1/2 hour drive to DISNEYLAND. We were off to the happiest place on Earth and spending the rest of the day with our friend Tamar and her son Aidin. We did not tell the kids where we were going until we pulled into the parking lot and made them guess. We took Hadarya 7 months ago (right before her brother was born!) and she did not really remember.

What an amazing day! She has not stopped talking about Disneyland and "we go to Disneyland tomorrow?" is a regular question in our house. We had a picnic lunch before we entered the park and then began our adventure. We splurged on a Princess balloon...$7.00, which continues to make our Princess smile. The first ride was the Rockets in Fantasy land where she LOVED flying high with her Aba. We went to It's A Small World and watched with delight as she took in all the music and dancing and characters. She asked for it again and so we did not get off the boat! We rode the Carousel too and watched the dance parade celebration. Again, the music hooked her and she loved seeing the characters moving about.

The biggest hit was the 45 minute wait to see the Princesses. While she is not giggly and smiley when meeting them, she did go right up to them with her autograph book and hug them and talk to them! She just loved seeing them in person and noticing their dresses. She is now really into dress up, the hats, scarves, and other around the house items are not quite cutting it anymore! So the other question of the week was "Did you get my Cinderella dress yet? We go to the store and get it?"

Yonatan took it all in from his stroller. He loved the music too and the lights. He was very happy all day, napped like a pro and ate well. He loved riding on the horse on the carousel and the boat ride was fun too despite the nap he was taking in the carrier~ The discovery of batteries for my pump made the day extremely easy and pleasant since I am no longer tied to finding an outlet.
Hanging out in the Happiest Place on Earth was delightful for the second time with our children. We cannot wait to go back again! If Hadarya has her way, it will be tomorrow.

Jul 5, 2009

Day 4 - Staycation 2009

There are no photos of our day today but lots of fun times and memories! We hopped into bathing suits as soon as our sleeping beauty woke up at 8 AM. We love that she is a sleeper and life would be grand if her brother had gotten the message. He is partial to the 5 AM hour though. We are hoping an earlier bedtime will get him to sleep longer...weird I know, but I've heard it works.

So we packed up our pool stuff and headed the YMCA in Santee for fun in the sun. We had a great time even though Hadarya shivered and chattered for the first hour! She was so cold but wanted to stay and play. Her very good friend from school, Tay, came to play with her and they had fun chasing each other and being in the water. Hadarya practiced her scoops and kicks. We did twirls and motorboats. She hopped like a kangaroo and walked like an alligator.

Yonatan loved the water and splashed around on my lap and sitting between my legs in the beach entrance area for about a 1/2 hour. Then he'd had it. I stripped him of his wet things and warmed him up and dried him off. He was asleep in the stroller in about 30 seconds and didn't move for the next 1 1/2 hours.

After the session ended and we'd showered and shampooed, we headed home, sure we'd have a napper on our hands. BUT no such luck for our 4th day of staycation. She wanted to play when we got home and spent much of the time doing so by herself yet having tired, cranky spats if something didn't go her way right away.

We ended up making a Costco run for toilet paper and ended up getting some yummy berries to eat all week. Sometimes we just need to get her out of the house and she is ok! We went to my parents for a yummy BBQ steak dinner and everyone was happy and smiley. The baby sat at the table and gobbled up green beans and rice and pears and mangoes. Hadarya devoured her dinner too and left the plate almost empty.

Grandma had a surprise for the big girl and she readily put on her jammies and sat in front of the tele to see. Grandma had tivo'd the 4th of July special at the White House that featured the Sesame Street gang singing with live music. She was in HEAVEN! She watched it twice and the baby got in his jams at 6:40 PM, drained a bottle and fell fast asleep. We put the kids in the car and drove home where both were fast asleep and in bed by 7:25 PM. I wouldn't mind that early time every night!

Tomorrow is our last staycation day. We start with swim lessons and end up at the Happiest Place on Earth. It's going to be great!

Jul 4, 2009

Day 3 - Staycation 2009

Tired but what a fun day we had! It's certainly a good thing that any type of break in routine is just a break! I am going to be exhausted after day 5!!

Today we started out our Independence Day Celebration with a trolley ride to Seaport Village. Hadarya's BF at school, Gabriella, rides the trolley to SDSU every day with her daddy. Hadarya has been talking non-stop about trolleys and gets very very excited when we see them. She has begun asking to ride one "one day." So, today was the one day.

We drove to a safe part of the outskirts of downtown to catch the trolley and took it about 5 stops to our destination. Just enough to be exciting but not get bored! She was very concerned because "the birdie needs to move out of the way, Ima" before the trolley got onto that part of the pavement. They did indeed fly away at the last second and she thought that was hysterical to see them flapping about out of the way.

At Seaport Village we were on a mission to find a balloon person and get her a balloon. We found someone (not the usual good one...but one nonetheless) who made a good enough Zoe (pink not orange) with a tutu to satsify our daughter. She had talked non-stop about a balloon since seeing someone with one the day before. We rode the carousel... all of us. Yonatan did his part and spit up at the end. We picnicked on the grass amongst the hundreds already camped out for the fireworks and then took a return trip on the trolley to our car. Yonatan sacked out in the carrier on the way to the car and Hadarya sacked out as we drove home.

After a 2 hour nap for her, lunch for him, and getting bags ready for us, we were off to Elijah's hosue to swim and eat and hang out. Despite the freezing cold water, we played and splashed and enjoyed ourselves. Yonatan loved hanging out on the grass chillin under the rainforest mat of his friend. After some fresh berries, chips, and brownies, we were off to Hank's house for the remainder of the afternoon/evening.

Hank's house has a very warm pool and we all got in; along with the other 7 kids there! It was crowded but fun for everyone. His playroom is always a big hit and Yonatan LOVED a new toy of David's that his does not have. He sat for over 30 minutes playing in the room by himself while I dried off and packed up some stuff! The kids had a blast and we ate too much food and laughed a lot and realized it was a fabulous way to end our day. The company was what made it so much fun and all the way home Hadarya asked when was Hank going to get to come to her house and play. She actually said, "I have a question" and then asked about him coming over. It was very cute!

The highlight of our entire day was Hadarya reading us her favorite book Little Quack before it got too dark in the car. She was so cute reading all the words and using tones and getting through the whole thing so nicely. We were very proud and wished we'd had a video camera!

Jul 3, 2009

Day 2 - Staycation 2009

After a lovely breakfast of homemade chocolate chip pancakes eaten picnic style in the family room, we loaded up in the car and headed to the beach. The car had been packed the night before and so the load up was much easier! We detoured at Walgreens for new sand toys and lucked out with a 4.99 bucket set with 8 pieces inside. That made all the difference in our day, seriously.

We got a great parking space at La Jolla Shores and unloaded 2 bags, 1 cooler, 3 chairs, 2 umbrellas, 2 kids, and started walking towards a spot. There were already many people at the beach despite the coldness and overcast sky. Yet, we found a prime area not to far from the car nor the water. While it was quite cold for most of our stay, Yonatan fell fast asleep at his nap time and cozied up on a lounge chair. BUT not until he'd played on the blanket with some toys and managed to get sand in his hair, diaper, and every possible orifice his body owns in under 15 minutes!

Hadarya had a blast making sand castles with our new toys and going to the ocean to get wet and bring back water for her moat. We had a little girl just under 2 named Charlotte who wandered over and sat down to play. Her dad is a teacher at a high school not far from our house and he got his stuff and joined us. Then Tanner from Arizona wandered over and played with the truck and shovel (he's 14 months old) and we totally had the party pad going on with our kids and the twins and these new friends. It was so much fun!

We ate and snuggled and dried off and got sandy and warmed up as the sun tried to break through the clouds. As soon as she said she had to go potty, we were ready to pack it up. Off we went to the lovely beach potties and she peed while I held her up! Changed quickly into undies and her new pink beach dress and then we were off to the car for her to fall asleep on the way home. Do note the cute hairdo she wore. It's one of my best and favorites so far!

After a nice nap and showers for all... well the baby got a bath in his new bath seat which he LOVED, we had a lovely visit with Grandma and Auntie Kimber. Then packed up again and headed to Balboa Park for a shabbat dinner picnic with Savta.

Savta loves to cook and she outdid herself tonight! It was quite a spread but Yonatan had the best time sucking on the cucumber sticks and nectarine pieces. We clearly are into food and are not holding him back too much. The jars of food I bought are just props that I'll use here and there...this boy is serious about getting to the good stuff!

It was a fabulous day that ended with fro yo in Hillcrest, a bottle for Yonatan, and a potty run to Starbucks for Hadarya. All asleep by 8:45 PM and our 2nd day is a hit!

Just in...

We interrupt the staycation updates for this important photo sharing opportunity! On an impulse we took the kids over to our neighbors who are photographers and asked them to take some shots (they love the practice and our kids). I had just bought them matching Elmo paraphernalia and their hair was fabulous (well Yonatan's always is!)
Here are our favorite 3 out of the 47 amazing photos. ENJOY.

Jul 2, 2009

Day 1 - Staycation 2009

We canceled a short trip to Palm Springs in favor of creating a staycation for the next five days. We kinda thought 105 degree weather with an infant and toddler was not going to be the vacation we wanted. We're making our own fun at home.

Today Hadarya had her 4th day of swim lessons and the best so far! She stayed in the water the whole time, did all the activities, and did not cry. It was so much better than yesterday. There was also a sub teacher who was female and I think that made a bit of a difference. I am so proud of her for trying and keeping up with kids almost a year and a year and half older than her! She then went to "school" and was happy with her friends (all boys today in her group; who could complain?).

Yiftach was off today on his 2nd to last day of paternity leave and the baby was playing with my parents while Hadarya swam. We convinced them to keep him all day and we had a DATE. Yep... a date with no kids, in the middle of the day on a Thursday. We went to a movie, held hands, and at popcorn. Lovely to not have little hands pawing at our faces and bodies! UP was so wonderfully done and such a feel good movie with great themes for these tough times. We lunched at Rubio's (mmm... fish tacos) and then headed home to pack up the beach stuff for tomorrow.

The baby got picked up first and then the big girl and we were off to a park to meet a friend who was in town visiting for the weekend. It was so fun to see Jean again and catch up! We then rushed off to dinner with the grandparents and everyone had fun eating together and behaving and playing. It was a delightful dinner and fabulous ending to our first day of staycation.

Total staycation cost for the day: lunch $12.53, popcorn $7.00, candy $3.10. Staying home is cheaper than going out when you use your movie passes and grandparent daycare, and restaurant gift cards! I like this so far!

Jun 23, 2009

Six months old

Our beautiful baby boy is 6 months old already! How did that happen? He weighs 17 lbs 14 oz and is 26 3/4 inches long. He is round and chubby and has lots and lots of tire rolls. He is too cute for words!

He loves to blow raspberries and drools all the time. One of his favorite things to do is grab your face and hold it in his hands. He is very alert, very curious, and always looking around at things.
He has been sitting up solidly for over a month and his doctor says he sits like a 9 month old. He has begun pulling himself up to standing when we hold his hands and delights in music and his big sister.

Summer is finally here and I am looking forward to quality mommy time and lots of blogging time of my children doing remarkable things.

No More Diapers

May 14th, 2009 our daughter decided she no longer wanted to wear diapers and insisted on underwear to school. She had just peed on the potty and we decided to let her go but were definitely wary as to how the day would go. Her regular and favorite teacher was not going to be at school that day, Thursday or Friday or Monday or Tuesday. But off she went.
AND she held it all day and went in her diaper at naptime and then used the potty at home. We were on our way!!!

Within a week she was a champ and we traveled to New Jersey for a bat mitzvah. We made her wear diapers on the airplane but they were wasted. I had bought her a special new folding potty seat that goes on top of the big adult seat with Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie, and Abby. She used that at the airport bathroom in between flights. She used it on the airplane... ON THE AIRPLANE! She used it in the hotel. She used it everywhere and never had an accident. By the time we were home, she didn't really need the little potty seat anymore and did not need a diaper at nap. 2 weeks and no accidents and no diaper. Way to go baby girl!

Now, 6 weeks later, she is a champ and tells us when she has to go. She holds it all night too and we are only steps away from no diaper at all. She is still comfy in her crib so, I don't want her to have the inability to go in the middle of the night if she really has to. But so far this potty training has been amazing and easy and fun. Everyone says that boys are different and we won't get it so easy again. But then again we were told that we'd never get such a great baby twice and we we think we'll get the potty training so easy twice too.

Jun 2, 2009

No self esteem issues in our household

Ok... it's been 2 months since I wrote about my beautiful family and life with 2 children. Hence... the reason I haven't been able to blog is because I have 2 children. I don't know what's going to happen when more join us (no, there's nothing brewing right now, people.. relax)!

ANYWAY back to the topic at hand. We are now able to actually have back and forth conversations with our funny 2 1/2 year old who has a creative, humorous side and lots to say.

Yesterday at Target in the scrapbooking aisle:

Hadarya(pointing to purple sparkly scrapbook paper): Sparkly!
Yiftach: That is sparkly. I didn't even know you knew the word sparkly. It's beautiful.
H: That's beautiful.
Y: Do you know what's more beautiful?
H: Yeah.
Y: What?

She's so right and so not full of her beautiful self.

Mar 21, 2009

You Had to Be There...

but I'll try to make you feel like you didn't miss an incredibly proud moment (I am sure there will be many more) in our daughter's life.

Brief background: From the day we brought our daughter home (at 10 days old) we put her to bed singing the Sh'ma. It's the prayer that translates into "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" and then the V'ahavta that talks about loving God and performing mitzvot. These are the core prayers of Jewish Tradition.

We send her to a "public" daycare where her 3 best buddies are all of different races and backgrounds giving her a daily look at the world in mini size. We attend Shabbat services almost every Saturday morning and celebrate Shabbat at home (albeit irregularly over the last 2 years until our son arrived in December!)

Hadarya LOVES going to services and being at the synagogue. This past Friday morning we asked her "What is tonight?" and her answer was "it's Shabbat!" When we picked her up at daycare her first words were "Go to synagogue tonight, Ima? Wanna where dress, tights, and underwear, k?" How can you say no to that?

This morning we also went to services as usual and arrived a little later than normal. I was asked to lead the torah service and took H with me to the bimah. She wanted down out of my arms fairly quickly to only reach up to try to see at the douchan. The Rabbi quickly knew that she wanted to stand next to me on her own and brought her a chair. She wanted her own book to lead the service with me and insisted on the big chumash that contains the torah and haftorah portions.

After the ark was opened, the torahs were taken out, and I told her that it was almost time to say the Sh'ma. She started to sing it right away and I told her to wait. The torah scroll holders turned around and the ark was closed. The leader then recites the Sh'ma and the congregation repeats it. I said to H that it was time for the Sh'ma and with all the poise and charm and sweetness she possess, she chanted the Sh'ma (Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad) into the microphone for the entire congregation to hear!!! It was amazing! Then the congregation repeated it. I was so amazed and in awe of my little love and her abilities.

This evening she sang it again and again, but this time she added the 2nd line for the torah service: Echad Elohenu Gadol Adoinanu, Kadosh Shmo. Obviously being in the environment on a consistent basis makes a huge difference. We are doing something right!

Maybe the Rabbi will give her a spot next week too!

Jan 20, 2009

Historic Day

Today was a historic day for our country and my household! I watched, like so many others, with tears in my eyes as Barack Obama became the 44th president of our country. I listened to his speech with renewed hope and light that there might actually be something good to come in the next few years. It was a wonderful morning.

Today was the first day I picked up Hadarya with the baby. He was so good! He slept for a bit and then woke up as Hadarya's friends came to see the baby. They all wanted to admire him and look at him and touch him and did a great job listening to touching only his feet. Then I realized that I had volunteered to bring bananas for her class and needed to go to the grocery store. WITH TWO KIDS??? one being a toddler who loves to run away? Yikes... but I did it and they did great. Hadarya was a big helper and stayed nicely in the cart the whole time. It was actually a pleasant trip.

Today was the first day that Hadarya pooped in the potty. I think we are turning the corner on the potty training thing. No more crib is around the corner for my baby girl!

Today was the first day that I had both my kids by myself for about 45 minutes and it was great! My dad was coming over at 6:30 when Yiftach left to lead a shiva minyan. He didn't get here until 7:10 and no one threw a tantrum, cried, or hit. It was awesome! Yonatan sat in my lap and listened to a story I read to Hadarya. Then he laid on the playmat and fell asleep while Hadarya finished dinner. Then he stayed asleep in the swing while she put on pajamas, played with Grandpa, and then went to bed without a fuss.

It was a wonderful day. A historic day. One that I look forward to repeating again and again.

Jan 18, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Six years ago today I married my soulmate, my other half, my life partner and best friend. We were married by 2 Rabbi's and A Cantor in front of about 150 people. It was an amazing day preparing and an incredible evening (in 85 degree weather) of love, friends, and fun. Every year we watch parts of our DVD from that day and remember the special moments from our wedding.

This year we haven't made it to watching the DVD. A 27 month old and 5 1/2 week old keep us from doing much of what we used to do. So today, on our wedding anniversary, we planned a family day because we knew with a toddler, it was not about us anymore. The day could not have been better!

We spent our 6th wedding anniversary reveling in the musical talent of our daughter as we attended music class at 9:30 AM. Hadarya LOVES Miss Laura and going to the music classroom. She bounces to the beat, cleans up nicely, sings the songs out loud, and genuinely and thoroughly enjoys herself. It is worth every penny we have spent to see her get so much out of 45 minutes and then transfer all of that to singing to us later on.

We were then off to Sea World to break in out new fun card passes. With 80 degree weather today, we should have been in shorts as we played in the Bay of Play and watched our daughter ride Abby's tea cups and Elmo's fish ride. She LOVES rides. We are in trouble with amusement parks as she gets older. She also has little fear and after running, jumping, laughing, and playing in the Tide Pool child's play area, she climbed out and walked away.

Of course, one of us had an eye on her and jumped to follow her. She was just going to check out other things to do. BUT she was barefoot on rocky ground and WITHOUT A PARENT. She didn't care! She just went and knew we'd find her! YIKES... we better start working on that one.

We ended the day with a surprise visit from my parents bringing us KOSHER CHINESE FOOD for our dinner from LA. We are so excited to enjoy the treat. It will be awesome! And we also visited with some friends who moved several months ago to Orange County and came to meet our son and have our daughters play together. They had so much fun!

It was a great day and our daughter is fast asleep, as well as our son. It's time for us to join them.

Jan 16, 2009

One Month Old

Time seems to move so quickly yet so slow! Our son is 1 month old. Adorable. Alert. (when he's not sleeping!) Good natured. Bright eyed. He's filling out and gaining weight (probably about 10 lbs.) and sleeping good stretches.

Yet...he decided to stay awake after his 4:30ish AM feeding. Yiftach went back to bed so I had to get up. I've been up ever since. I've packed a lunch, done a load of laundry, showered and dressed, dressed a toddler, and addressed envelopes. It's not even 8:30 AM and I need a HUGE nap that I won't get because it's almost time for the baby to eat again.

I don't remember being this tired and my body being so worn out. I don't remember the active movement this little man does nor the following/tracking with his eyes. I do remember the baby smell and the sweetness. I remember the snuggles and the smiles.

At one month, he's a cute as can be and we starting to have some fun with him as I feel better and we begin doing things together as a family!