December Updates

It’s been a rough December for us so far. Everyone got sick; Eliana started us off with a bad cold, then Rina and I got the flu a few days later (yes, we both had the shot), then Maya got a bad cold and fever. Most of us are better, but Rina’s decided she likes being sick, as after the flu she got an ear blockage, a sinus infection, and just this morning, food poisoning. At least she’s feeling better this evening….

In other news, Eliana’s also gotten picky about her diapers. We’ve been buying her pull-up diapers for a while, as she likes the design (Dora the Explorer). But, as a friend of mine recently blogged about, diapers with designs on them come with multiple designs. So for the Dora diapers, half of the diapers have Dora in a yellow dress, and half have Dora holding flowers. Eliana has, for a while now, not cared for the Flower Doras. She always asks for Yellow Dora, partly because they also have Boots the Monkey on them, while Flower Dora doesn’t. I always tell her that she has to wear Flower Dora sometimes, because if she only wore Yellow Dora, she’d run out, and then have a long time of wearing Flower Doras before we could open a new package and she could have Yellow Dora again.

Apparently my explanations weren’t good enough. Today after our failed attempt at getting her to nap (she was in bed, but refused to sleep), we let her play in her room. Eventually, we came in to check on her. She had pulled out her package of Dora diapers from the closet, removed them all, and sorted them. So instead of alternating like they should be, all the Yellow Doras were together, and all the Flower Doras were together. We caught her right before she could stuff them back into the package with all the Flower Doras in the back.

Together, Eliana and I re-shuffled them, so they alternated again. I tried explaining again why we want to alternate. I’m not sure it took, but I’m stunned by how creatively she tried to fix the “problem.”

Finally, Maya started crawling this past week, so we’re in trouble. We’re going through the house again making sure everything is childproof for a crawler who doesn’t know she shouldn’t put everything into her mouth. Maya and Eliana also now have two games they play together. In the first game, Maya will scream, then Eliana will scream, then Maya will scream…. The second game is a little quieter; Eliana runs down the hallway, and Maya crawls after her chasing her. Eliana then stops, and when Maya gets closer, Eliana squeals and runs further away. Maya then keeps chasing her. Maya already likes Eliana more than her parents; hopefully they continue to be so close as they get older.

Two Cute Eliana Stories

Two cute stories to share about Eliana that happened within an hour of each other.

  1. At dinner this evening, Mommy mentioned that she was going to be leaving soon to go to the salon to have her hair colored. Eliana looked at her very skeptically, and in a very “you silly Mommy” voice said “noooooo, color on *paper*.” Whenever we give Eliana her crayons, we stress “now Eliana, color on paper, not on (furniture, floor, cabinet, etc.)” At least it shows she’s listening to us, even if she doesn’t always obey….
  2. I was downstairs, and left Eliana upstairs alone for a few minutes watching television. The phone rang, but before I could get it, it stopped ringing. But then the handset said “Line In Use.” This greatly confused me since, as mentioned above, Rina had gone out, so she wasn’t here to have picked up the phone. I answer anyway, and Aunt Catie’s on the phone. She was also confused, as after she said hello, no one responded, then she heard someone dialing the phone. Then we both her Eliana gurgling something on the extension that was apparently within arms reach. Eliana managed to answer the phone for the first time….

Another Overdue Entry

So, it hasn’t been quite 7 months, as mentioned in my last entry. It’s pretty darn close, though….


  • First and foremost: Maya Sophia was born back in the beginning of April. She looks just like her sister, but bigger for her age. Eliana was 5th percentile (50th percentile is “average” for height/weight versus age); Maya’s 95th percentile.
  • Eliana mostly likes her sister now. She still smacks her once in a while, but not as often. She also gets very concerned when Maya’s crying.
  • Eliana just finished summer camp, which is just like day care except more water play and special events, like a petting zoo coming to the school. Now she’s home for two weeks, when both parents have to work or watch Maya. Eep.

Now that I’ve mentioned Maya’s appearance, maybe I can write more often. I figured I wasn’t allowed to share smaller news items until I at least mentioned that one, and now I’ve forgotten all the smaller news items. Oh well.

Sometime soon, I’ll update the photo album link to the right of the blog; it currently links to a non-existent album on Picasa. In the meantime, you can visit here to go to the main album. This may be replacing the public album hosted on my home computer at some point, so it’s a good URL to remember.

Numerous Updates

Yikes. It’s been since last July since any updates. Let’s see. In no particular order:

  1. We’re expecting Baby #2 in a little over a month.
  2. Baby #2 decided it was done and tried to come out a month ago. Doctors put a stop to that, but now Rina is on bedrest for the duration to make sure we don’t have a repeat performance before its time.
  3. Eliana has changed from a baby as of the last update to a real human being. She’s talking, can usually let us know what she wants (or at least confirm or deny if we give her options), and is close to using multi-word sentences.
  4. Eliana also has a birthday this week, when she’ll turn 2 years old. That’s just by the calendar, though; she’s been acting like a Terrible Two for a couple of weeks now. Just this morning she refused to wear the first thing of anything I offered her, but happily put on the second thing. Such as rejecting one pair of socks, but happily accepting a second pair of identical socks instead.
  5. Her favorite animal is the panda bear. But if she sees pictures of cats, she’ll kiss them. And usually call them Archie (the name of one of my parents cats).
  6. I made a new photo album on Picasa, which is linked on the right of the main page of the blog, for a subset of my public photos. My main web-based photo album will continue on my home computer for a while as I can store more photos there than I can with Picasa (unless I pay Google yearly fees to get more storage).
  7. I’ve got a few more videos up on YouTube, too. I haven’t figured out how to link to that from here yet, though, though I’m sure it’s possible.
  8. We’re in the process of cleaning out the basement big-time in order to get rid of a bunch of unused stuff and make one of the rooms into a playroom for the kids and their friends (when they’re old enough to have friends, that is). If anyone wants an old NordicTrack, unused (but working as far as we know) gas stove, or Apple //c computer, let me know.
  9. It’s a good thing we have a toddler; without her, my life would be too boring to write about. That’s probably a good thing, if not much exciting is occuring; excitement isn’t always good.

Hopefully it won’t be another 7 months before my next update.

From Crawling to Walking

Just about one month ago, Eliana took her first few tentative steps without holding on to anything. I think she made it three steps before plopping over. As the following video shows (taken this morning), it didn’t take her long to figure out the concept once she got used to the idea. She also demonstrates a) her disdain for having her hair tied up out of her eyes, b) her constant desire to go into the bathroom to play, c) her equal desire to grab at the camera.

Unusual Traffic Tie-Up

I had a rather unusual drive in to work this morning. Everything was fine until I was one exit away from my workplace. Suddenly, three lanes of traffic ground to a halt. Sighing, I made sure to stay in the far right lane, so I could take the next exit and wind my way in through the backroads, not having any idea how far up the traffic jam started.

Much to my annoyance, some ignorant drivers decided they were more in a hurry, and started driving up on the right shoulder of the road, thus shooting past me. But then confusingly, the third car that did this suddenly braked to a real quick stop next to me, then put on her blinker to come over. The driver pulled in behind me. I found this odd, as the exit wasn’t for another quarter of a mile or so.

Much to my surprise, I then saw what was causing the tie-up in the shoulder. Walking in the shoulder of the road came a man, leading what looked like two miniature horses on leashes or reins, one in each hand. He was just casually walking along, the horses (half the man’s height) trotting along beside him. As soon as I passed him, traffic immediately opened up in front of me.

Thinking about it after the fact, I was reminded of our trips to Scotland, where out in the Highlands you can be driving along and suddenly hit a “traffic jam” as a herd of sheep are being led up the road from one farm to another. At least this incident wasn’t quite that bad, but it’s still quite an usual sight to see in this area.

The Sweet Spot

Today, I’m home with a sick baby. Yesterday morning at 9:30, she had a doctor’s appointment. Just her usual well-baby checkup. Doctor said she was fine, blah blah blah.

At about 12:30, Rina got a phone call from the day care, asking her to come over and pick the baby up, as she had a fever of 101.6 degrees. So much for Rina getting any work done that day….
Continue reading

Happy Burnstein Night

Tonight (January 25th) is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. Traditional Burns night dinners consist of bagpipes, haggis, merriment, and other traditional Scottish foods. We, however, celebrated slightly differently. Today, in amongst other activities, I made bagels for the first time since we had our new kitchen built. I’ve made them a couple of times before, but not since construction started, and that was more than 6 months ago, so this was kind of a big deal for me.

Tonight, we had a completely non-traditional Burns Supper. Haggis is, by kosher default, fairly hard to do due to the inavailability of ingredients (finding lamb stomach in the grocery store is hard to do anyway). So, as mentioned above, I made homemade bagels today, and we topped them with Scottish smoked salmon, to make a blend of Scottish and Jewish cultures: lox and bagels with cream cheese for dinner. I topped it off with a couple of readings from Robbie Burns’ poetry from a book I bought one time when I was in Scotland, and a dram or two (or maybe more, I lost track until I finished the bottle) of single malt from Scotland, and that was our celebration. One of these years, I’ll be organized enough to invite friends over to partake, but this year it was just Rina and me (Eliana had gone to sleep an hour before). Maybe someday I’ll also be organized enough to make more than salmon and bagels; I wanted to make shortbread this year, but got distracted enough that it didn’t happen. Ah well.

In baby news, we had formal pictures of Eliana taken today, as a) she’s as cute as a button, b) her 11 month birthday is tomorrow(!), and c) she can sit up, stand up propped against an object, and can laugh or smile practically on cue. Such a happy baby, thank God; the only times she gets cranky are when she’s tired or hungry. I’m certainly not one to blame her, as I get cranky for the same reasons….