It is rather gratifying to know that some people have actually missed me. I'm not sure what exactly precipitated my blogging slump. Things were hectic and stressful around chez May for a while. In fact, they still are, pretty much. :)
As far as the kids go, they're as adorable as ever. Ada just blows us away with her total cuteness. She is convinced that she is in charge and everyone should bend to her will. She is at her cutest when she's in the midst of some pretend play.
Sari is so sunnily cheerful that she is truly a pleasure. Her teachers absolutely adore her. They say she's the model student: follows directions, gets along with everyone, sings by circle time, cleans up by clean-up time, participates in every activity with genuine eagerness. And, when she comes home, she unfailingly bounds in with a huge smile and begins to rattle off all the exciting things she learned that day! Her retention and recall of the material is amazing, too.
Mordechai is so grown up, it's crazy. He had a mesibat chumash (celebration upon the occasion of beginning to study the text of the Torah) a few weeks ago. Of course, I cried. Am I a weirdo, or what? He's doing well, b"H. His strongest area is still math. He just gets it. Really gets it. He adds and subtracts multiple digit numbers in his head. He has been dabbling in multiplication. (I was doing a puzzle a few weeks ago when he asked me if 15 times 20 is 300. I was totally shocked and then he explained how he knew that. He had counted the pieces along the width and length of the puzzle and realized that by multiplying those numbers he would get the amount of pieces in the puzzle. Then he just had to look at the puzzle box for the answer!) He can calculate the price of several items, decide what to give to pay for them, and calculate the change he gets. He also knows how to exchange money. I'll challenge him by, say, telling him I have no dimes or no nickels or that I'd rather save my quarters for the meters and have him work around that. He's been telling time for at least two years. By telling time, I mean he can read a standard face clock, with or without numbers, to the minute. He can also tell you how long it will take to reach a specified time. This becomes very useful when he's counting down the minutes till Dad comes home.
Mordechai has taken up keyboard lessons, sponsored by his Savta (my mom). He really likes it. However, he does not like to practice what he's supposed to, ie. what is assigned by his teacher. He basically likes to play the songs he knows well over and over. I think it's the perfectionist in him (genetic, you think?). I actually discovered that he does practice new things in the morning when he wakes up before I do. I have been making a huge effort to restrain myself from reminding him to practice, practice, practice. After all, this is supposed to be about fun and enjoyment, not about pressure and tension. Also, it's the classic case of trying to make up for your failings by living through your kid. I was actually pretty good at the piano (which, when I think back, my parents must have scraped to afford just so they could provide me with the opportunity) but I quit after a year or two of lessons because I was "too busy." Mmhmmm, too busy. Right.
A couple weeks ago, Dovid and I took a huge step and went away for a weekend for the first time without the kids. It actually was more of a business trip than a pleasure trip. I was so nervous about leaving the kids. Turns out, they were just fine. Mordechai had one rough breakout on Friday night when he started flipping out that Ada was gonna cry and scream when Savta would put her to bed and Savta wouldn't know what to do, etc.. It took a little while (and a bribe) to get him to relax. He didn't truly relax, though, until after Ada was sound asleep. By some miracle, Ada actually went to sleep without so much as a whimper, which is rather uncharacteristic as of late. Only then did he allow himself to joke and enjoy his time. My brother and sister-in-law were so thoughtful and came over to my mom for Shabbat so that my mother would have extra hands and the kids would entertain each other. Sari and her cousin Devorah (will be 3 in the spring) were inseparable. They had a perfect relationship going. Sari basically directed and Devorah readily complied (I'm the mommy, you're the sister and so on). Ada, who was my biggest concern, was actually quite manageable. No major tantrums or meltdowns to speak of. Of course, my mom insists she ate nothing all weekend but Mom is not so reliable when reporting about that department. I've seen her feed kids two servings of chicken, half a sweet potato, and a half cup of blueberries and then shake her head in despair that the child didn't taste a morsel of food all day. I kid you not. As far as Dovid and me, we missed the kids more than they missed us. Friday night kiddush was the worst. I actually had tears in my eyes when it came time to bless the kiddies. It took a while for the lump in my throat to subside, too. On Sunday, at the end of our weekend, we couldn't wait to get home to the kids.