Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bean Art

Originally uploaded by jmilikow

We did Bean Art today for our Craft Day activity. It turned out well but it was SO messy!!! Oy! But the boys both had fun, so I guess it was probably worth it. I would recommend putting down some sort of rug before doing this to anyone considering it! It was such a pain to sweep up. I really need an indoor recycled plastic rug or something for this purpose.

We did some gardening as well. Everything is sprouting now! It's so much fun to see the little sprouts. I hope the next few days of potential thunderstorms doesn't destroy everything. I only have three squares covered.

I wanted to write from a few days ago that Yoav taped a piece of paper to Elie's back and wrote (for pretend -he actually wrote "107") "I love you". Yoav said it was so Elie would always know.

We're about to make Jackie's granola bar recipe for the fourth time in two weeks! It's so yum!!! I don't think I posted it yet. It's here:
We skip the sugar, use coconut oil in place of butter and add 1/4 cup ground flax seed and a tsp of almond butter to make it chewy instead of crunchy.

Elie's getting close on potty training, I think. A few days ago, he handed me the potty insert for the big potty and I put it on and sat him down and he pooped. A bit before that, he lifted his leg up to the big potty and I put him on and pooped. Today he sat down on a little potty himself and pooped. So at least w the poops, I think we're almost there. He's less likely to tell me about pee, although he does signal some w the hand signal.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Elie signing

Elie did the sign for "again" today. He put the index finger of his right hand onto the palm of his left hand. It was for Yoav - Yoav was doing something that was making Elie crack up. I'm not even sure what was going on.... But the sign was really cute ;) Elie can also say again - he says "aden". Did I post that already? I forget...


Yoav is learning multiplication (without knowing the word multiplication). He told me last night, "Six is three twos, you know that?" Just now he said, "Nine is three threes."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yoav's Homemade Shoes

Originally uploaded by jmilikow

We got matching sandals from for Elie and Yoav. Yoav is really excited about them. He keeps saying he and Elie have "rhyming" shoes and tells random strangers about the new shoes! Tonight he wanted to make shoes, so, here he is doing it...


We're having a lovely day today. Things are much better now that we're semi on-track with our rhythm again. Today is painting day, which we'll do shortly. Now I'm enjoying a break during Elie's nap - Yoav is doing some unassisted art - yeah! Lately he's been wanting more help from me when he does art because he's delving into things that he's unable to do alone.

We did some laundry this morning and watered all of our new plants. We have lots of little sprouts coming in - we've planted spinach, chard, lettuce, radishes, thyme, oregano, and basil and from last year, we got sage and strawberries and possibly a flower. We also got some free pansies from the farm in CT that we planted. Yoav likes watering the plants and Elie likes pulling up the little tags and poking around in the dirt with the tags... Not so helpful, but he seems to really enjoy it ;)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Avoiding anger w our kids

I just posted this on my AP group and thought I'd add it here to remember for myself!

Here was the sentence I responded to, "..but if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for a change in my perspective...please send!"

Response from me:

That's the 64 million dollar question!!!!!

It takes time and practice! And you never fully get there I don't think (maybe unless you were lucky enough to somehow be there in the first place if anyone is!). You just get better and have a higher percentage of connected days and minutes.

These are the things that have helped me in tough moments:
1. Learn to apologize well. Say clearly what you're apologizing for. I think there's good examples in ROCRO. It's important to say what you're apologizing for and never to say but to take it all away and add blame to it. Like, "I'm sorry I got frustrated at bathtime, BUT you weren't getting in the tub and blah blah..." Say you're learning to live together and you love her and your relationship is far stronger than this incidence. You can do "do overs" which are fun and talked about in ROCRO. Not all the words in one sitting, but those are a ideas I say at various times.
2. Avert your eyes or even turn your whole body away from her if you can when your blood pressure is rising and take deep breaths. It helps to not be looking at her. Hard to refocus and relax when you're looking at the object of your stress.
3. Rescue Remedy! Already recommended, but it helps me in times of frustration. Part (all?) of it for me is the act of doing something to stop myself and remember that I WANT to be connected. The grabbing of the RR is a physical act which reminds me of that.
4. Listen to Aldort!!! On stressful days I make sure I listen to her. Sometimes during the day I listen if I'm having a really hard day. Recently on a 4hr train ride when Yoav was driving me NUTS, I stopped in the middle of whatever we were doing and said I wanted to take a break for a few minutes to listen to music (which I've never said/done before) and put on my ipod and listened to a segment of aldort right then and there and the rest of the trip was smooth! I used to listen to her when I was nursing him to sleep and the nursing was irritating for me. For me, she has a really calming voice, so the calm voice plus the calm parenting ideas together are a miracle for me.

And on your specific issues you mentioned, my thoughts are:
1. Bath - we've gone up to about a month w/out a bath - just wash her tush in the sink. I learned that from Reina. We actually wash tushes in the sink instead of using toilet paper (for the kids that is!)
2. Food - try more snacks more often to hit things she likes. I just started making granola bars ( (recipe thanks to Jackie!) and they've been great to have on hand. I don't use any sugar and use coconut oil in place of butter. Both kids love them.
3. Outside - Take her out naked and see if the distraction of being outside makes it easier to get her dressed (if it's the getting dressed that's hard). Get your backpack ready the night before (this took me SO long to learn- I'm really only getting consistent about it now). Set out clothes the night before - for you and her. This helps me a lot - otherwise I get stuck looking for matching socks or whatnot...

Good luck and don't forget to enjoy the ride!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marriage Worries

Yoav just said, "Mama, I'm really scared to live with someone I've never lived with before when I get married." Too cute! He went on to ask if he *has* to live with someone else and I assured him that, *if* he chooses to stay with us, he's more than welcome :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Apologies

This morning Yoav tried to pick up Elie and move him into the closet to play (they spend a lot of time playing in the closet!) Elie started crying and Yoav sat with Elie in his lap hugging him and kissing him and then he sang a song, "Don't cry, Elie; Just be happy; You're my brother." Then he looked at me (I just smiled at him), he tried a little more and then said to Elie, "You can go to Mommy" and I came and got Elie. Very sweet ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm always really careful to say, 'I'm sorry I ...' to Yoav versus just saying "I'm sorry", which is somewhat of a throw-away phrase and people say it when they are sorry or not and sometimes when they don't even really know what they're apologizing for! Elie and Yoav were just playing in the hallway and I heard a bump followed by an Elie cry and then Yoav said (unprompted, of course), "I'm sorry Elie. I'm sorry I bumped your head." Hearing it I realized what a big difference it makes.

We've revived our Waldorf homeschooling after a hiatus caused by holidays and weather and traveling. Now that it's spring, though, we're changing the weekly rhythm. We'll do:
Monday: Painting Day
Tuesday: Gardening Day
Wednesday: Playdate Day
Thursday: Craft Day
Friday: Shabbos Prep / Challah Day

I'm also going to try to be consistent about a weekly story. This week we're doing "Sunday Bread" from Spindrift, although I modified it slightly to be Shabbos Challah ;)

I haven't nailed down a daily rhythm because Yoav likes to control the day so much. I'm starting by just trying to hit a few key targets like a morning walk and early afternoon outside play. I have to work on a schedule. I'd like to do the late afternoon outdoor play, but it's so much easier for me to be at the playground when the school kids are at school, so really I'll probably stick to an early afternoon outdoor play and then maybe an extended dinner prep / craft time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Weaning

He nursed again Friday night.

We spent the afternoon in the Park yesterday. Elie wanted to walk most of the time so it was SO slow!!! But fun. Yoav had fun petting dogs and Elie just enjoyed walking.

Friday, April 17, 2009


There's a possibility that Yoav has weaned. Yesterday morning, he asked me if he had nursed the night before when he went to sleep. I said no. He said, "Am I stopping?" I said maybe. He said, "I think so." I thought he meant he was reducing nursing and maybe gradually stopping but maybe he meant was he stopped altogether. He hasn't nursed since then. So, as of now, the last time he's nursed was Wednesday morning (Apr 15).

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I'm too busy listening to my Naomi Aldort CD's to write much , but did want to write an Aldort-related comment. She teaches how to help our kids be resilient and one of the things she teaches is not to add "drama". If a child falls and the child looks to you to see what to do, you just smile (obviously if he's crying and needs you, you tend to him). A few days ago, Elie hit his head against the piano stool. It sounded like it hurt, but he looked over at me questioningly. I smiled gently at him. He thought for a moment and then smiled and hit his head against the stool again and laughed and did it again and laughed.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Lovely Day

We had a relaxing day with our friends Phoenix and Jackie. We planned to just have lunch with them and then go to the zoo, but everything takes SO long with kids, we ended up eating very slowly and then Phoenix and Yoav started playing (separately) - Yoav got absorbed in playing with trains.

Eventually, we got outside and wandered around the park playing in a puddle (throwing sticks in), petting dogs and looking for flowers.

Phoenix had a Didymos wrap tied in a circle and attached to the ceiling by a bolt to make it a swing in a doorway. Yoav really enjoyed it and when we got home he said he was going to make one himself and he fashioned a similar bolt out of paper (he cut and taped paper in the shape of a toilet paper roll and then cut a hole in it for the wrap the come through). I think the design would actually work, he'd just need a MUCH stronger material ;) Funny though how confident he is in himself. He also saw his cute measuring thing - a vertical picture from Eeboo that you can put your measurements on. Yoav said, "Why did we buy an incher? I can just make one." I told him we got it when he was younger and maybe wouldn't have been able to make one yet. He said when we need a new one, he'll make one.