Monday, March 30, 2009

Saving a Seat

This will be really quick - we went to the Hudson Library and playground with friends today and then got Yoav a Betta fish. (We're going to "shock" Aba LOL). Yoav had fun playing w Uncle Benny's fish yesterday so he really wanted one.

On our way home, he got a seat but I didn't get one on the subway. After a few stops, the person next to him got up and Yoav laid on top of both seats to save it for me. It was too cute. A woman moved over to sit there and thought he was just being silly or something and was going to move. Then when he saw me, he said, "Ima I got a seat for you!" The woman smiled and said how sweet it was that he saved me a seat (and she found a seat btw).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Handmade Bookmark


3/26/09
Originally uploaded by jmilikow

We made this adorable bookmark today. The idea was, of course, a Soule idea ;) It's from her new book out soon and the link to the tutorial is on this page. It's listed under Homecrafters in Issue 153. Yoav drew the picture with an erasable fabric pen and then I embroidered it and sewed it together. He drew a few pictures and is doing one where he does the embroidery, bu the embroidery is random rather than going over a picture. They're so cute and will be perfect for little Grandmother/Grandfather's Day gifts and such.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Elie Walking!

Elie started walking today! He's taken one step a few times over the past week, but today we were at a friend's house and he took three or four steps in a row to get from the piano bench to the table! It was fun being there with friends (and Jeremy) when it happened! He did it again a few steps at once maybe twice more at their house and once at home later today, but still is cautious and mostly crawling or wanting a hand to walk. I imagine that he'll be walking steadily within a few days. I think once Yoav took a few steps, he stopped crawling within a few days.

A few cute recent Yoav comments also I want to write.

Yesterday we went to the Rabbi's house for dinner and the man sitting on the other side of Yoav asked him what he wants to be when he grows up. Yoav said, "What are the choices?" :) The man gave a few choices and Yoav said (not from the list of choices) that he wants to be an "arter" (same form as painter, driver, etc.) I said, "artist?" and he said yes.

The other day we went to a coffee shop and he got a muffin. I said to him, "How's your muffin?" he said, "Good. How's your coffee?"

I cut my finger and told him and he said, "Sorry." in a heartfelt way. I was glad to hear that, because lately he's been sometimes laughing when someone gets hurt or saying, "That's funny." I think just to see *if* it's funny or what exactly it's all about when you get hurt..

Today we went to a friend's house after Shul and the woman said to Elie, "You're so cute." Then to Yoav, "You're so cute, too." Then Yoav said to *her*, "You're so cute, too." I love how well modeling works ;)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

English Muffins


I just made english muffins using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe. YUM!!! No comparison to Thomas's ;) The directions are here. It's based on the recipe in the book, though. And I had to get english muffin molds.

We also just made our yum molasses cookies recipe (originally Jackie's recipe). This time I did 1/3 stoneground whole wheat flour to 2/3 white flour, so not quite as yummy as last time, but close enough.

We hosted the LLL Toddler meeting this morning. We had 10 moms and maybe 14 kids in our tiny living room! It worked out pretty well, though. Yoav was the oldest child and since our playroom is totally baby-proof with lots of cool Waldorfy toys, the kids were in an enclosed space having fun and the moms were close enough to talk and hear each other.


In the afternoon, we did some sewing today for the first time in a long time. I'm copying a Noname skirt with some cheap black cotton fabric as a trial and Yoav wanted to make a skirt too :) So we managed to cut out templates (he did his all by himself by watching me) and we each cut out a few pieces of fabric. Mine is going to have eight panels, he wants six, since six is his favorite number ;)

Oh, and on the manners, Yoav is so "good" about manners, he even said please today as he was crying asking me for a napkin to wipe his nose! Just thought of that after reading the Daily Groove for today. The manners have been learned so well from modeling, it almost surprises me how much he says please/thank you. He even says, "no thank you" to Elie when Elie gives him something. The other day I heard him say to Elie, "No thank you. I'm eating avocado." when Elie tried to give him some food from his (Elie's) plate.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dogs

We went to the zoo today with friends and ended up walking home with Dina and Logan. Yoav had brought some pictures he'd drawn that he wanted to give to dogs that we saw. I suggested giving them to owners instead since the dogs might just eat them. At the time, I didn't think he'd *actually* want to do this, or at least I was hoping I'd get out of it somehow. Nope. When we were close to home, he pulled out a few of his "cards" and wanted me to stop owners for him to give them cards for their dogs. The first one we stopped, he petted the dog and I didn't have the nerve to say more. He asked me why not. I asked him to explain again what the cards were for. He told me they're for the dogs to hang up - they can hang them up with tape or glue or anything (his words). Gee, that helps ;) So I saw a friendly-looking dog walker and asked her if we could pet her dog. Then Yoav hands her the card and says it's for her dog. I said quietly to her something like, "My son made these cards to give to dogs. Would you mind taking it?" Not sure of my exact words, but I was just hoping she'd just say thanks and take the card and we'd get through it without Yoav feeling embarrassed. Amazingly, she was so excited - she said she'd love to have it and she'd hang it up on the refrigerator for her dog, Jade. Wow! Dina and I were both in tears over the whole thing. It was so unbelievably sweet. We managed to find about five more friendly dog-walkers who all happily took the card and thanked Yoav for it. Two even showed them to the dogs, like, "Look Rover, look what this boy made for you." Needless to say, Yoav was pretty happy with how it all worked out. And he, unfortunately for me, wants to give many more cards to many more dogs in the warm days ahead...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Momentarily

Yoav today was talking about a peek-a-boo game where he crawls under the futon, I pretend I don't know hwere he is, and then he pops out the back. He said he wanted Elie to play too and I pretended that would be awful for me b/c then I'd lose both of my boys! He said, "But we'll be back momaterial so you don't have to worry." So cute to hear how some of the bigger words get articulated - some correctly, some not - cute either way ;)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purim


We were busy today making our Shalach Manot baskets. We made hamentashen and molasses cookies and added apples and tea. The hamentashen was a recipe from kosher.com (where I get my kosher organic meat!). I actually made two recipes - one was their parve one that I thought was a bit dry and then I made the dairy one w coconut oil instead of butter and it came out really well. The recipe is:

4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg yolk mixed w 1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350. IN bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Make a well int he center and add the eggs. Mix slightly, then add honey. Mix slightly and add coconute oil. Then mix to combine. Mix w mixer until thick enough to roll out. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Make 3" diameter circles (I used an old jelly jar), place tsp of jelly (I used Bonne Mama apricot jelly) and pinch seams together to form triangle shpae. Brush tops w diluted egg yoke mixture. Bake 15-20 mins until lightly brown. Makes about 2 dozen.

There was a dinner tonight that was fun. Yesterday there was a magic show for the kids during the megillah reading. Yoav was so funny - at one point, he whispered to me, "I'm going to get a prize. You know that? Because he said anyone who's really quiet will get a prize at the end and I'm being really quiet." So funny. Bribery in action on a child who's never been bribed ;)


Yoav went as a rocket - I made the costume (his idea) out of boxes and put the paper on for him to decorate - was a great activity b/c it took him an hour or so to decorate it ;)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cholent

I made a Cholent for Shabbos that came out great! It was a combination of a few recipes. I'll put it here to be sure I don't forget before I write it up in my recipe book. Here it is:

Ingredients

* 1 cup kidney beans
* 1 cup navy beans
* ½ cup baby lima
* ½ cup barley
* 2 meat bones
* 1 pound cubed stew meat
* 1 large onions cubed
* 5 cloves garlic peeled
* 1 tablespoons salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* ¼ cup tomato cubed
* 6 medium potatoes cubed
* 1/8 cup Rapadura

Soak beans overnight. Drain and discard any stones. The next day, sautee onions until translucent. Add 1/8 cup Rapadura and cook until carmelized with the onion. Brown meat with onions. Add all beans and cover with one inch of water. Combine remaining ingredients except for potatoes in food processor and mix. Pour mixture over the meat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours on a low flame. Add potatoes and simmer for one hour more. Then cook in oven at 200 degrees overnight.

I got the meat (kosher organic) from kosher.com. I think next time I might try flanken meat to see if it might get even a little more tender. But they don't have organic flanken, which is why I did the stew meat.

Yoav had fun today at Shul with Sarah. We met them later at the playground, too. He's so in love with her. It's so sweet because they actually like eachother, so it's not just him obsessed with her. Although she doesn't love him the way he loves her. He even talks about marrying her and having babies with her ;)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yoav making me undies

Yoav told me that he's working on making a pair of undies with a hole in them (like the way his are) in my size :) We had a discussion yesterday about his great undies w the hole - he loves keeping them on now when he pees and he asked if I had any and I told him there aren't any for girls. He told me he was making it out of felt and started yesterday when I was trying to figure out how to make a grogger.

We went to a local coffee shop today to get out of the house and wait for the challah to rise. We got an almond croissant and a molasses cookie. Usually we get a muffin for me and regular croissant for Yoav. Today they didn't have either, so we got the almond croissant and cookie. The cookie was yummy and the croissant was awful. I was eating the croissant b/c Yoav first tried it and said he didn't like it so he got the cookie. After I ate about half, I said I didn't like and it and didn't want anymore. Yoav broke off some cookie for me. I said it's ok, he could have it and he said, "But then you don't have anything to eat." So cool! Two days in a row he's looking out for me!

Lenita (our neighbor) asked Yoav today what he learns at his mother's school and he first said, "I don't go to school." Then she asked again, "What do you learn at home with your mom?" He said, "I just have fun." Perfect! Just want I'd want him to say! She laughed and said, "Good answer." She's really sweet and agrees that kids just need to play when they're so young.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cute Comment and Cooking

We started our pre-Shabbos cleaning today and Yoav got really into it. He was cleaning the walls and wood furniture with sponges and was saying he loves cleaning and was getting the hallway really wet and running. So, obviously, the next sentence is that he fell. Twice. On his back. He took it well and just got hugs from me and went back to his cleaning. Later, though, when I said I was headed to the bathroom, he said to me, "Go slowly because there's water on the floor." Wow! Nice to have him looking after *me* ;)

We (I) made cholent and hummus today! The cholent is a combo of the recipes from chabad.org, aish.com and my Joan Nathan "Foods of Israel Today" book. I hope it comes out well. It's in the oven overnight and we'll have it for dinner today. It's supposed to be a Shabbos lunch meal, but our shul always serves cholent, but I've been wanting to try making one, so we'll have it for Friday dinner. The hummus is done and delicious! This was my first time making hummus, following years of thinking about it ;)

Oh, and no tantrums today. Yoav busied himself making a cake with a bunch of ingredients and mixing in the food processor while I was cooking, so he was pretty happy for most of the day. He also spent a lot of time playing with blocks and he made a few books - both recent favorite independent activities.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tantrums

First, I just want to post that Elie didn't take a nap today so I remember when it happened. Crazy! He slept a full 12 hours and went to sleep 12 hours after waking. He wasn't overly exhausted at the end, though, but fell asleep in the carrier as I was making a late snack for Yoav.

Yoav-wise, there's been a few things I want to write. He's back to having regular tantrums after a brief hiatus. Today I think he had three tantrums, one of which lasted an hour and a half! A few quick things and then I'll write about tonight's so I can remember details for later.

Yesterday he was playing with blocks and had constructed something. I was supposed to keep Elie from messing it up and I gathered up a few blocks in a basket to move away from Yoav for Elie to play with. I unknowingly included a few blocks from Yoav's structure as I was gathering. Oy vey! Yoav yelled at me to "put it back together". He wanted me to put it back exactly the way it was. Of course, I didn't know how it was. I told him I wanted to do it for him, but didn't know how it was. This continued for a bit and finally I suggested that he draw a picture of how it was so I could use the picture to help me. It was perfect! He liked the idea and went to get paper and pen and drew out rectangles for the blocks in the shape of the structure he was building. By the end of his drawing, he'd forgotten about the upset and just went back to playing. Then, today, when he asked me to play blocks with him, I said I'd rather wait until Aba was home because we'd had an issue yesterday with me accidentally messing up his structure when I was trying to keep Elie out of the way. He said, "But now we have a solution for that problem. I can just draw how it was." It was really cute how he said it. Glad we have a solution for that one. Now we just have a few more to work out. Would be great to have pre-planned solutions to get us through other tantrums. But I've tried talking to Yoav during calm periods and don't get anywhere. He thinks I should be able to do magic (like make water immediately disappear off clothing) if I love him as much as I claim to. :(

Oh, I just thought of something cute - he did another story today and at the end, he said, "Snip, snap, snout. Our tale is out of sight." LOL. (instead of "Our tale is told out.")

There were a few other cool comments he made today but I'm too tired to remember :( I have to start keeping a notebook.

One thing I remember he said yesterday was: "Sometimes I hurt Elie but I don't want to." then he corrected himself with, "Well, I want to first but then when he cries I wish I hadn't hurt him." That was cool to hear. At least it confirms what I knew was true, but it's nice that Yoav is able to see it so clearly himself.

Tonight's tantrum happened after Jeremy left (he's traveling for two days - not too much, but Yoav doesn't have a good sense of timing yet, so he just really knows that Jer is traveling). While Jer was still home, Yoav said, "I don't care if you go to work, or synagogue, or gym or those things. I just don't want you to ???" I can't remember the wording of the second sentence. He either said to go away for a long time or travel or something like that. Then Jer had a work problem and was stressed and Yoav said to me that he doesn't like when Jeremy talks "like that". So that's the background for the tantrum - Yoav didn't really get much of a chance to play w Jer before he left and Jer was stressed part of the time and Yoav had to say good-bye... So then a bit after Jer left, Elie accidentally broke a glass that Yoav had been drinking from. That led to Yoav yelling at me to put water in it for him to drink. I said I didn't want to do that b/c I wanted him to be safe and I was afraid he'd get cut on the glass. And on and on, him repeating his issue - he'd yell/cry, "Ima, will you do me a favor?" and say it over and over. I tried to just be present with him. At one point when he started telling me to fix the glass, I held him and said a few times, "I can't do that, but I can love you. I don't know how to fix the glass, but I do know how to love you, so I'll do that." I think that helped a lot. I'm going to try saying that for the next tantrum like this to see how it goes. I know I've said it before, but maybe not quite the same words. This seemed to help him. At least the tantrum came to an end shortly after, but it'd been going for a long time and he was tired and hungry, so who knows. Finally he said he wanted to do a "redo". It's an Aldort idea to kind of rewind a scene that you want to do differently. Can't really redo a broken glass though. I told him we could pretend it never happened. He said he wanted a redo "for real". Blah!!!! He's SO persistent!!! Anyway, I forget exactly what happened, but he relaxed and we did a redo and I said I'd get him a snack and drink and carried him to the kitchen for a snack. Elie fell asleep in the carrier and then I got to snuggle to sleep with Yoav.

I've been reading Conger's website about her son, who seemed to have similar, though more intense tantrums. Lots of great stuff there:
http://danielleconger.organiclearning.org/spirited.html

I just remembered one more thing through my haze. We were talking today about Scott Noelle's idea about not saying "What happened?" when one child starts crying. Today, something happened w Yoav and Elie that made Elie cry. I think I was washing dishes at the time and I just picked up Elie (who was smooshed between the Haba cart and the oven) and kissed him and hugged him. Yoav said, "Sorry Elie." Then, to me, he said, "I didn't mean to hurt him. I pushed the cart and it went too far and hit Elie." So I actually got the full story without even asking ;) Not that that's the point at all of Noelle's thoughts. But I like that Yoav told me what happened just because he wanted to. And he didn't try to cover up the fact that he *did* push the cart or say he didn't know what happened which I think are more likely responses from a child had I *asked* what had happened.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Story Telling and Allergies

Yoav did a little Waldorf-style puppet show today. It was so cute. He put a bunch of blocks and animals under a few play silks and then, when it started, he dramatically lifted off the playsilks and started the story. First he spent a few minutes building a house with all the animals and people inside, then he built a garage with three vehicles and then everyone in the house went by vehicle to visit a gorilla (in a zoo that he also built during the show) and then they all (including gorilla) came back to the house. There was more building than words, but he did do some storytelling, including a "and as the days went by" and a few other cute snippets from other stories he's heard. The best part was when he finished, he stood up and said "Snip, snap, snout. Our tale is told out." It's what the Waldorf teacher we had always said after puppet shows and what I now say after mine. I actually saw it once as the last line in a Three Billy Goat's Gruff book.

Also, Elie is allergic to cinnamon. He was playing w the cinnamon as I was cleaning after dinner and got it all over himself and suddenly started crying and I washed him off and he had what looked like burns on his body where the cinnamon had been. He calmed down pretty quickly by nursing and the marks and bumps went away in about half an hour.

oooh, one more thing - we made an artisan bread today that was DELICIOUS from the book Jen got me - "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". I got totally side-tracked just now on their website. They have a recipe for english muffins! I just ordered the english muffin molds - I'll post how they come out when I make them - they look so yummy!!!