Saturday, December 31, 2005

Trip to Zippori

We got back tonight from a trip to Zippori. It is a small village in the Galilee. We went with Jeremy's best friend, Ilan, with his wife, Lilach, and children Yuval (boy, 10? yrs), Tamar (girl, 7 yrs), Lior (boy, 3 yrs).

Click here to see where we stayed: Zipori Village.

We got two separate cottages - each had a bedroom with a Queen bed, a loft with mattresses for kids, kitchen, living area, and bathroom with jacuzzi tub! It was nice. It's a beautiful village with lush rolling hills. There is a goat dairy within walking distance that we went to - we saw the all goats and bought some cheese and goat yogurt, which Yoav is not allergic to!!! The cottages were very secluded and quiet. At night, there were no noises at all.

Friday we went to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up and I think where he was born/created. It was neat. It's a Christian Arab town. There was obviously a lot of Christmas decorations up and goods being sold. We mostly just walked around and we saw the Church of the Anunciation. At night we ate at a recommended restaurant. We got a lot of salads (Israeli, green, hummus, eggplant, turkish, etc). Yoav loves tomatoes and red peppers - he kept himself fairly busy eating during the meal. Toward the end, I put him down and he enjoyed pushing chairs around.

Friday evening, we spent some time at Ilan and Lilach's cottage. It was really hard for me to be there, though, because there were too many things Yoav wasn't allowed to touch (remote control, game Tamar and Yuval were playing, toy of Lior's, grape soda Tamar drank, bamboo plant holder that Lior randomly decided that Yoav couldn't play with, etc) so I left after an hour and Jeremy stayed a little longer.

On Saturday, we met more of Jeremy's friends (Iris, Yaron and their daughter Adi (9 yrs), Irit, Shai and their daughters Romi (8 yrs) and a 4yr old whose name I forget - all of whom I've seen each time we've come to Israel) for breakfast in a town called Bet Lechem. The breakfast was great - eggs, Israeli salad, white cheese and coffee. Yoav spent some time at the end moving chairs from other tables around. At one point, he knocked one chair into another so the first wouldn't move anymore. In the past, a situation like this would have just caused him frustration since he wouldn't have had any idea why his chair wasn't moving. This time, somehow, he knew right away and he switched from pushing the first chair to pushing the second chair.

After breakfast we went to a nearby spice farm and bought some herbs for tea and then we drove back home. The ride was beautiful - it's really pretty up in the north, especially in winter when everything is very green.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Israel - Day 3

Today was our second full day here. Yoav still has not adjusted to the time difference yet (7 hrs). He was awake for three hours in the middle of the night (2am-5am) and then slept until 12pm. It's a bummer not only because I have to be up during the night when I'm tired, but we keep missing breakfast, which is my favorite meal of the day!

We got up and met Elan (Jeremy's best friend from the army) for lunch at the "Soup Nazi". I got bean soup, which I've had before and it was great!!! I picked out beans for Yoav to eat and he liked them. I put them on the table and he picked them up and fed them to himself. He also ate a little pita.

After lunch, we came back to the apartment and played a little. Yoav was in a bad mood so I put him in bed and he fell right asleep. We all napped together for about two hours.

Then we went to dinner at Shaul's, where we went last night. I got stuffed peppers. As appetizers, we got hummus and salad. The waitress was very nice and brought Yoav a little plate of beans, since he had had them yesterday and liked them. He ate a lot - tomatoes from the salad, beans, a little red pepper and pita. Now that he's eating more, he's easier to go out with. He didn't make a terrible mess, although at the end, I let him drink out of my cup and he decided instead to drop bits of food into it, stir it up, and then taste the wet food. Jeremy tried to switch with an empty cup, but Yoav cried and cried and would have none of it!

Afterward, we stopped by a tea place to have tea, but Yoav was playing with the sugars at the table and seemed to be in a mess-making mood, so we left before ordering.

Then we came back home, relaxed and played a little, drank some chai, and went to sleep. Yoav fell asleep at 10PM.

He then woke up at 2AM :(

He was up for 3 hours again - he just fell asleep at 5am. We played with his stacking toy (from grandma) and his new puzzle and had some snacks. I made myself some tea and we both ate bread and hummus. I was spreading hummus on bread with a non-serated knife and Yoav picked up the knife, dipped it in the hummus and "spread" it on a tiny scrap of bread he was holding. It mostly got on his fingers, but he held the knife exactly right and, aside from not having a big enough piece of bread to make the whole thing work, managed surprisingly well. Again he seems to be in a phase where he is learning a lot from modeling.

Tomorrow we are going on a hiking trip near the Galilee for a few days with Jeremy's friend Elan, his wife Lilach and three kids - Yuval (about 11), Tamar (about 8) and Lior (3).

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Israel - Day 2

Today we woke up at around 11am since Yoav was up during the night. We ate breakfast at home - rolls and cottage cheese with coffee.

Then we took a walk around Neve Tzedek. We stopped at Alice, a cute toy store with lots of wooden toys. We got Yoav a puzzle with five animals (tiger, hippo, giraffe, lion and elephant) made by Djeco.

Yoav fell asleep on the walk, so we stopped for tea. Jeremy and I both got tea with nana. We stayed there for about an hour, talking about Yoav and work mostly.

After our walk, we relaxed a little in the apartment and then left for Shaul's for dinner. I had a hard time getting Yoav into the sling. He puts his arm behind him (between his back and the carrier) so I have to use cheerios and a little force to tighten it up. I feel bad doing this, but I can't figure out a better way. It's too cold to just carry hime. We met Jeremy's friend Eyal there (the one who picked us up at the airport). We all got meatballs with hummus and salad as appetizers. The meatballs came with rice and beans. Yoav ate the beans and tomato from the salad.

After dinner, we came back and played a little - with the puzzle, Yoav's stacking toy, a ball. We spent some time rolling the ball between the three of us in the kitchen, which Yoav loved.

Then we gave Yoav a bath. After his bath, Yoav grabbed my toothbrush and the unopened tube of toothpaste. We were shocked to see him rub the toothpaste container along the toothbrush as if he were putting toothpaste on and then brush his teeth! We are definitely entering the modeling phase, where Yoav is learning by watching us! Finally (after much nursing, cuddling, etc) got him to sleep.

Israel - Day 1

We arrived in Israel today at about 4pm local time. The flight was OK at best. We flew Business First, so we were comfortable and Yoav slept for about nine hours, but I threw up twice, either from food poisoning (chicken) or from eating and then going right to sleep :(

Jeremy's friend from the army, Eyal, met us at the airport and drove us home.

Jeremy went to the grocery store with Eyal while Yoav and I unpacked. For dinner we had turkey sandwiches.

We went to sleep at around 10pm. Once I got Yoav to sleep, Jeremy and I both read for a while and then fell asleep.

Yoav woke up at around 2am and was up for about three hours :(

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Cousin's Birthday Party

Today we went to cousin Mad's 5yr birthday party. It was in Bedford, NY at a place called Kiddie Parties.

We had a good time. DH was not home (traveling for work). Yoav and I went together with Uncle D, Aunt N, Y and T.

The party included a puppet show. Yoav semi enjoyed the puppet show. He was holding me very tightly the whole time. During parts of it he smiled or moved his body a bit in dance during songs; during other parts, he seemed scared and held me particularly tightly.

He enjoyed playing with helium balloons, looking at the other kids and playing in the wooden full size play house. He was happy to crawl around in the play house with the bigger kids.

Mad's mother's father paid Yoav a great compliment. He said Yoav is very cute and also that he really makes eye contact with people. (Note that, I believe per Kohn, this is a sign of a self-confident person! :) )

First Post

I've started this blog to give myself a space to track events, activities and thoughts, primarily as pertains to parenting. Yoav was born on Oct 31, 2004, which puts him at 13.5 months. I've been very fortunate to have found Attachment Parenting, Unconditional Parenting and Unschooling. I try to live in the intersection of all three.

I know that if I try to write too much background, I will never get this started, so I'm just going to dive in. It's 2AM, so I won't write much today.

Recently Yoav has made some fairly substantial intellectual advances. This blog is partially simply a place for me to track his development.

A few things just in the past few days:
1. Yesterday (Dec 9), he started showing much more interest in books than ever before. In the past, he would turn the pages much too fast for me to read even the shortest of stories. Yesterday, I read Dr. Seuss' "Mr. Brown can Moo" and Dr. Seuss' "ABCs" both in their entirety - the Mr. Brown book I read twice and then Yoav continued to look at the pictures after I was tired of it. I noticed also that he cozily sat in my lap as I read and was focused only on the books. He also pointed to pictures, which I'm pretty sure he's never done before.
2. Today he stacked two blocks and knocked them down. Perhaps doesn't sound too interesting, but, up until today, he had always enjoyed knocking down Mommy or Daddy's creations but had never thought to knock down his own. My guess is that this will lead to more building on his part, as he LOVES to knock down our work. However, I also noticed today that he pauses if the building is fairly interesting, perhaps to learn or enjoy the design.

That's it for today. I still have a little bit of work to do, a gift to wrap for a birthday party tomorrow and only 5.5 hours until Yoav wakes up.