Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Well, it's not Sarah's View, but...

I shot this outside my living room window a couple of days ago. That's one thing I will definitely miss one day about this apartment - the awesome view of sunset (once you ignore the building rooftops in the foreground, and I've gotten quite expert at that!).

This next shot is from my couch. That rainbow was on my living room ceiling! I kid you not. Mordechai noticed it and I just ran for the camera, hoping to capture it. It was hard to do - the lighting was not working at all and the ceiling had this grayish white cast to it that was just awful. Plus there's that distracting "scribble" of light on the ceiling - I have no idea how that happened! - that was unavoidable. I have no cool photo software, either. All I did was bump up the saturation a notch on Picasa.

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I've always preferred brunette beauty to blonde, but I'm not beyond admitting there are blondes who are very beautiful. A friend and I were talking about someone and were commenting on how beautiful she is. I qualified my agreement, adding, "She definitely is gorgeous, even though I'm not into blondes."

Mordechai must have misheard me because he immediately looked up from where he was playing on the floor and said, "Oh, yes you are, Mommy! You even have your own."

"My own?" I asked, bewildered. "What are you talking about?"

"Yeah," he replied. "You know, the website. That's your blog, isn't it?"

In honor of me

I know it's late, but I finally got around to uploading this clip.

This was our first attempt - I ran out of space on my memory card before we got through it. Oops.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Technical note

Bloglet, the service that I had previously used for sending email updates to my subscribers, is phasing out. My subscribers (I love you guys!) have been transferred to my new service, FeedBlitz. Hopefully, this will be a little more reliable :) For those who haven't subscribed, enter your email address in the form located in the left-hand sidebar. This service will send you an email when I update my blog (no more than once a day).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Nursery grammar and arithmetic

Sari's nursery was visited by mice today. In a cage, thankfully. It was part of a lovely program they're having where every week Adina brings another animal to talk about. Last week was the guinea pig. So Sari was telling me all about today's visit. An excerpt:

Sari: We had a mouse today in school. Adina said it don't bite so don't worry.

Me: Oh, that's good. What color was it?

Sari: They were white.

Me: They? Was there more than one mouse?

Sari: Yes, three.

Me (seizing the teachable moment): Mmhm, three mice.

Sari (patiently demonstrating the math concept with her fingers, and simultaneously attempting to explain the irregular plural form of mouse): No, no. You say two mice, one mouse - so that's three mouses!

Update: This Shabbat, after reading her class newsletter, I discovered there were actually only two mice. She only thought there were three because, well, two mice and one mouse make three! They were white so she was right about that :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I normally do not comment on current events. I keep, more or less, to the light-hearted, family blog format. The recent, um, stir, though, is all over the place. I have resisted talking about it until now. I was glad to come across Canonist's View of The Infamous Article. As I was reading The Article myself, there was much that disturbed me. He's really put his finger on it.

Say what?

Mordechai's latest research obsession is the solar system. He started by memorizing all nine planets and then proceeded by asking me a zillion (just barely exaggerating) questions, very few of which I knew the answers to. Three space books and a Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space video later, he's still asking questions, and I'm all out of age-appropriate references.

Luckily, there's my dad. Dad's mind is encyclopedic. You can see how he and Mordechai would get along. Each Sunday at my Mom and Dad's house includes an hour-long lecture on one topic or the other, which, although often over his head, fascinates him. Did you know that the closest star to Earth, not including the sun, is called Alpha Centauri? And that it's so far, it would take well over a lifetime to travel to it? And that it can't be seen from the Northern Hemisphere? (The closest one that can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere is called Sirius.) Did you know that? Neither did I 'til last Sunday.

And there's more. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, right? So you'd think it's pretty hot there, right? Well that's true for only one side of the planet. Most of the other side of Mercury never actually faces the sun so it's freezing cold there - an eternal night. It happens that way because of the way the speed of rotation and speed of revolution interact. Pluto is a controversial planet in that not everyone agrees it's a planet at all. Many feel it's just a rock that got sucked into the solar system's gravity. It doesn't even stay in line. It's orbital path is such that it is sometimes closer to the sun than Neptune is.

Dad was trying to explain that, although the planets are hardly ever lined up in a row like they are in many illustrations, they are all on the same plane. Obviously, a "plane" is not a simple concept for a six-year-old kid. So he started to clarify by saying, "Imagine that around sun is a record." Overhearing, I felt obliged to point out to Dad that Mordechai has never heard of a record before. A light of understanding spread across Mordechai's face when I took over with, "Imagine that the sun is sitting in the hole in the middle of a huge CD...."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Love You Forever

She wheeled her mom into the doctor's waiting room. Her mom was so skinny, so frail. She appeared to be sleeping but responded to her daughter. She asked her daughter if they were outside. No, ma, we're at the doctor. The daughter spoke to her gently, chatting about the weather and asking how she was feeling. It struck me, as I sat looking on, that she addressed her interchangeably as mother and baby. The scene was frighteningly pathetic. It made me shudder inside.

Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw wrote a children's book called "Love You Forever". It was recommended to me once by a friend and I bought it without reading it through - something I hardly ever do. I read it once with Mordechai (he was just two or three years old) and then I hid it away on a high shelf. It starts off with mom taking care of baby, soothing him in a rocking chair chanting that she'll love him forever. It ends with him rocking her in that same chair, chanting the same words. A frightening thought for an adult, let alone for a child, I thought.

The daughter moved her mother's wheelchair a bit closer and leaned in close to her. Ma, do you know what today is? Ma, today is Mother's Day. She gave her mother a gentle hug and whispered softly, Happy Mother's Day, Ma.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Date night

Dovid and I went out tonight to see Bodies: the Exhibition in South Street Seaport. It was absolutely amazing. Completely fascinating. Check it out if you can. It's not at all gross and it really is a must-see. Schedule at least two hours for viewing. And call me 'cuz I can't wait to go again.

Geometric candy?

Mordechai: I'm a sweet star.

Me: Huh? What does that mean?

Mordechai: Or maybe a sweet square.

Me: I'm confused.

Mordechai: Well, why should we always be "sweetheart"?

Straight from the heart

Sari: Happy Mother's Day! (Nu, so she's a few days early.)

Me: Oh, thank you, sweetie. (give kisses)

Sari (leaning over and lowering her voice to confide): My morah told me to say that.

What am I? Chopped liver?

I was in the elevator this afternoon on the way to pick up Mordechai from his bus stop. I had both the girls with me. A woman stepped in on our way down and, strangely enough, Ada was being particularly endearing. She was waving and smiling and looking totally adorable. The woman commented, "So cute!" Immediately Sari piped up with, "I'm also?" (We were laughing to hard to answer!)

Monday, May 08, 2006

She's having what?!

Friday evening, after I lit Shabbat candles, Mordechai and Sari went over to Penina's (two doors down the hall). I stayed back a bit to finish setting the table. When I came to Penina's, Sari ran over to tell me excitedly, "Penina's having shasha!" I asked her to repeat herself in an effort to make sense of her words, but it came out just the same the second time around. Penina was being fairly useless as she was just laughing at my confusion. Mordechai did his best to help out. "She means shooshi," he explained. Penina caught her breath long enough to clarify, "Sushi. We're having sushi tonight." Oh, shasha! Why didn't you say so?

In other news, Ada's vocabulary is starting to move along a bit. (Don't get too excited, she's barely intelligible to me, even with lots of visual cues.) Some of the latest additions to her repertoire: Ah-joo (orange juice), I-kee (ice cream), Bih (bib), Tih (sit), Ow (out), Ow-si (outside). My favorite for now, though, is said with strong emphasis and a slight whining quality that perfectly matches her siblings' rendition: Toh (stop)! That one is used if anyone dares to touch her, touch any toy that she has claimed rights to, or in any way cross her path and warrant her displeasure.

I mustn't forget Soo (shoes) - she got her first pair yesterday! [Thanks Savta!] She is totally obsessed with them. In fact, I have to hide them from her because her PT wants her walking barefoot in the house to increase her balance and strength and whatnot. There's no need, I'm sure, to describe the hell that would break loose if she would spot her shoes and I would defy her command to put them on her immediately. Both her PT and speech therapist have mentioned to me how amazingly like a teenager Ada is. They're referring to the attitude. :)

Mordechai is conscientiously reading the omer count every night out of his own siddur. I feel like he's a grown-up in a little boy version. (Okay, so that makes no sense. It was just a stream of consciousness thing and I'm not editing it out.) (So there.)

He's riding a two-wheel bike sans training wheels fairly well. He still gets frustrated sometimes with it. Last week, I cheered when he got to the end of the block and shouted, "I'm so proud of you!" He shot daggers at me with his eyes and said, "I'm not proud of me. I didn't turn." Yikes. How do we cure perfectionism? No, really. I need suggestions here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I'm trying not to distract her by making any noise or any sudden movements. Luckily I've been typing something else for a while so the keyboard strokes are not distracting her. Who? Oh, I mean, Ada. A few minutes ago she waddled over to the table at which I'm sitting and helped herself to one of the tissues in the pile I keep everpresent beside me (trees. allergies. a nasty business.). She did her usual shtick of wiping her nose while blowing out of her mouth. I turned back to my screen and she waddled off. Have I mentioned that she finally started walking? It's been a couple of weeks now, thank G-d. She really is doing pretty well. But, I digress. A moment ago, I looked up to see what she's up to. There she is, sitting on the floor, with a doll. The doll is wearing only a shirt (the dolls in our house are usually dressed quite minimally if at all). Ada is using the tissue to carefully wipe her, giving her baby a "diaper change"! Precious moments.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mazal Tov and Poor Josh

Yesterday, we joined my bro- and sis-in-law, Ari and Rivky, in celebrating their first-born's bris. His hebrew name is Yeshaya (pretty, no?) and they're calling him Josh. Mordechai's stuffed bird and Sari's doll have already been named Josh in his honor.

Rather unfortunately, in my opinion, Mordechai had a full, front-seat view of the proceedings. Among his questions that day was, "Do they do that to girls, too?" When I answered that they don't, he was clearly relieved and said, "Good, 'cuz I wouldn't want them to do that to Ada."

Update: They've decided to call him Shaya, after all.

G-d Bless America

Say what you will, but he sure is a good sport! Laugh your heart out :)

George Bush at the White House Correspondents' Association