That didn’t take long….

Might be time to spend the money and widen our driveway.

Currently, I park my car in the street. Have been for 9 years. Why someone couldn’t hit-and-run my old car, instead of the new one with fewer than 1700 miles on it, I’ll never know. That is, I’ll never know since they didn’t bother leaving a note.


Maya Walking

Just because Eliana can read and write now (sorta), doesn’t mean Maya’s not making her own achievements. Aside from teething (two, maybe three teeth in the space of a week) and probably having a bad cold as well, and thus being pretty miserable for the last few days, Maya’s also learning that she doesn’t need to crawl in order to get around. A couple of years ago, friends of ours lent us a walker-like toy with things to play with on the front. Eliana never used it that much for walking; she was just on the cusp when we got it, she figured out how to walk a day later, and never looked back except to play with the gadgets on the front. Other than that, it’s mostly sat around.

But now, Maya’s figured out that she can use it to walk, and now we can’t stop her. Almost literally; if we try to pick her up, she clings onto the handlebar for dear life. If we succeed in extracting her, she wails like there’s no tomorrow (which is usually how she wails, to which anyone who’s ever heard her can attest). The video below is her shortly after she figured out how to use the toy.

Eliana Reading

So, my last entry was about Eliana learning to write. So it seems fair to talk about her ability to read.

We had a parent-teacher conference a couple of months ago, and her teacher mentioned how Eliana is her little helper; when it comes time to pass out items to the kids in her class, Eliana can read their names off of the items and pass them to the appropriate child. Last night, I tested this ability, by writing out names of the kids in her class. Eliana only had trouble with the names that started with M.

The painful screaming in the background is her sister, who was unhappy her cuteness wasn’t being put on display. Okay, really she had just decided that she didn’t want to sleep because she had a new tooth coming in. We went to comfort her right after this video finished. Really.

Eliana Writing

Tonight, out of the blue, Eliana started drawing the letter A on her drawing tablet. We’re presuming they were learning this in school today, but her information sheet that comes home with her every day didn’t mention it. She then drew three As, and told us the three people in her class they were for (two boys whose names start with A, and one teacher).

Eliana Writing

Eliana Writing the Letter A

We already knew Eliana could read letters; show her an E, and she’ll say “that’s my letter!” or “that’s Elisha’s letter!” Show her an R, and “that’s Rivky’s letter!” And at our last parent-teacher conference, her teacher told us that Eliana was her little helper, passing out various items with the students names on them, and giving each one to the right kid. Such a good little reader, or at least memorizer.


Last Saturday morning, we had a surprise. After I got Eliana up and changed her diaper, 10 minutes later she was telling us her diaper was full and needed to be changed. Sure enough, she was right, meaning she’d been holding it in. After we took off her diaper, though, she wanted to finish up on the potty, and then afterwards asked for underwear instead. We hadn’t planned on starting her training this weekend, but that’s what we wound up doing.

We kept her home from school on Monday, to reinforce her training while it was just Rina and Maya with her. She had accidents throughout the weekend, but they upset her, so that was hopeful. Today she was back in school, and her supportive teachers (their goal is to try to have every kid in their class out of diapers by the end of the school year) reported at the end of the day that she hadn’t had one accident all day! Of course, they took her to the potty every 30 minutes, but it worked.

Naturally, we had just bought an 80-pack of diapers on Friday….

Eliana: Jewish Mother in Training

Today, I confirmed that Eliana’s got the Jewish Mom gene. Getting ready for school, she told me she was hungry (which she usually isn’t). I offered her a Graham cracker, which she accepted. She ate half of it, and said “I’m done, here,” offering me the other half. I said “no thank you,” since I’d already snagged some cracker fragments from the box.

Her response: “Oh. You don’t *like* Graham crackers?” I explained that I already had some, and she was okay with that.

Eliana’s Reflection

This morning, Eliana joined me in the bathroom as I was shaving. She discovered she could see her reflection in the round chrome handle on our shower door. Fortunately I managed to get a video of her while she was being silly. I think it’s one of my more artsy projects. (If it only shows up as a picture, like in email, click on the picture to go to the blog page, and then the video should be watchable)

Back to Normal

We abandoned the house Friday morning, after Eliana started to freak out with the lack of power, and the house just kept getting colder and colder. We all spent Shabbat with Rina’s brother and sister-in-law (somehow the girls didn’t wake them up throughout the night, despite taking turns shrieking at full volume at various times). After Shabbat, we called home and got the answering machine, confirming we had power.

Our biggest problem when we arrived home was it was still cold in here. Our thermostat, for a long time now, has had a problem in which it doesn’t recognize it has backup batteries installed, even when brand new sets are put in. So when we got home, it was still 54 degrees in the house, and the thermostat was waiting for us to confirm the time and temperature setting it should go to. Sigh. I predict our furnace will be working overtime throughout the night.

For the record, according to a thermometer I have that records min and max temperatures, it got down to 46 degrees in the house.

An Exercise in Frustration

As mentioned, our power went off Wednesday evening. This morning (Friday) at 1:30, it came back on. Pretty obvious when lights come back on, electronics beep, etc. Woke up the entire house, so that was fun. I ran around bringing in food from outside, resetting the clocks and the thermostat, getting my computer server back up, etc.

And then at 1:50, the power went off again.

More disturbingly, it’s on for most of our neighborhood now; it’s just our street (which, admittedly, is a very long street) that’s now out. But we’re a much smaller target area for PEPCO’s repair crews now. So I guess everyone got it back at 1:30, then something happened to our little subsection 20 minutes later.

On the plus side, our insulation in the house is better than I thought; even after no heat for 1.5 days, it’s still only down to 53 degrees in the house. So we’ve got that going for us.

(In case you’re again wondering how I’m writing this, I came into work early this morning, since I can’t telecommute; I’ll be going back home mid-morning, armed with printouts and journals so I can do some work during naptime.)

Another Power Outage

After threatening all evening with flickering lights, the power finally went out for good about 30 minutes ago, either due to the snowstorm or due to the lightening I saw. We called Pepco to report it; their recording says they can’t even get out to fix the problems because of the weather conditions. Yay.

I guess we get to see which is more uncomfortable: no power when it’s 100 degrees out like last summer’s 3 day outage, or when it’s 30 degrees out. Hopefully the blanket of snow will at least insulate the house for a little while. And so much for our gas furnace, with its electric thermostat and starter. Shame there’s no way to turn it on manually with a match….

Pepco’s website says almost 162,000 customers are without power. Sigh.

(I get to write all this because my laptop is fully charged, and the DSL modem and wireless router are on battery backup. For as long as that lasts, which I predict won’t be much longer.)