The New Adventures of Mrs. Chaim ben Mordecai

December 11, 2010

Making Holiday cookies

Today was an all day bake-athon to get ready for next weekend's party.
Hiro-hanani was a big help as you can see. He really wanted to use the rolling pin that was Grandpa Mort's mother's to get the dough mushed down.

here he is trying it by himself.

December 1, 2010

Happy Hannukah

A busy day.
First the Ballet
then Wending day,
then the lighting of the Hanukkah candles.

Ok take two

October 28, 2010

Hiro goes to the Dentist

Not quite Dr. Desoto but Dr. Shawn was great!

The sunglasses were so the bright light wouldn't hurt his eyes.
We were in and out in about 20 minutes.
No crying and HIro left with a lot of Dental swag: new toothbrush, coloring book, tons of stickers, balloon and we even rejected the offer of getting something from the toy house full of stuff.

This fun trip to the Dentist cost us $245!!!! That works out to about $15.50 per tooth!

October 5, 2010

bedtime story

Brown Bear Brown Bear, what do you see???

June 26, 2010

H-I-R-O spells Hiro!

We have been reading and pointing at books since Hiro-hanani was a few days old. We point at the animals and, we question what they are. The funniest books are the ones where none of us can figure out what animal the illustrator was trying to draw, and Hiro-hananni has learned to shrug, a very amusing gesture.

Chaim and I are both readers- in the morning one of us- usually Chaim- goes downstairs to get the newspaper. And every night, there are two or three books to be read before going to sleep. So it's no surprise that Hiro-hananni has learned about 90% of the English alphabet, and 50% of Japanese hiragana.

We have tried to teach Hiro the love of books partly for our own sanity; on the long car rides to Buffalo to visit Grandpa Mort, or something to do while we wait for our food at the restaurant. And getting out a book is a definite must for all the short and not so short subway rides. And he is always game for learning new words and trying to spell them.

May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mayo

Here in our neighborhood, the celebrations are morphed and blended within the different immigrant populations... what's next??? hopefully a Korean Bastille Day!!! I could go for some kimchee croissants!

And on the other side of Roosevelt Avenue, our peach tree is beginning to look wonderful. Last year the tree took a break by only producing two peaches. It had rained the whole month of June and the storms flung all the blossoms and baby peaches to the ground. This year we are as hopeful for the late summer crop to be as abundant as it was the year we first moved into our house...lets hope we have over 300 like that time!!!

April 9, 2010

10 reasons why Kindle or iPad will never replace the BOOK

1. Electronic books don't have flaps to open
2. Electronic books don't have pop ups
3. Electronic books don't have a bunny to pat, daddy's face to scratch, and won't squeak when you punch it.
4. Electronic books don't have a smell
5. Electronic books won't survive a toddler throwing it off his chair, repeatedly.
6. You can't build forts with electronic books.
7. You can't stack electronic books and use it as a booster chair.
8. You will never have 300 electronic books on your shelf with colorful spines greeting you as you walk past your own library.
9. You won't learn the craft of taping pictures back together with scotch tape on an electronic book.
10. When you are trapped on the subway and you run out of batteries on your electronic book, and your child is screaming from boredom, you can take out a BOOK and he will immediately be soothed.

Chaim and Hiro-hanani (4 months)

Chaim and Hiro-hanani (8 months)

Hiro-hanani- Elmo, Apple, Bert (almost 19 months)

March 23, 2010

Je ne comprends pas

The big joke around our house several months ago was that Hiro-hanani was bi-lingual! Yes, he can say two words! Not mama or dada, but his first two words were hot!!!! and hai (yes in Japanese), so indeed he could not only say two words, but they just happened to be in two different languages.

He's been communicating for a while verbally, but only in terms of animal noises...As in:What does a sheep say? BAAA, so this didn't really count.

My mother spends 4 days a week with him and she only speaks to him in Japanese, and we only will let her read Japanese books, so it's natural that he is beginning to say things in two languages. My best friend Rob, gave us a lot of Dutch books that we used to read to Hiro. Chaim apparently sounded Swedish when he read them, and I sounded German, in either case, we were reading it all wrong. We decided to give up on Dutch, and wait for Rob to come babysit.

Hiro-hanani has a favorite sitting-on-the-toilet book- a lovely graphically illustrated nature book by Charley Harper. When ever he wants to go sit on the toilet, he calls for "Hapa! Hapa!" But he would sometimes say "Happa,Happa" when looking at his nature catalogue of leaves and rocks and Chaim was a bit confused. "Wow, Hiro is making a connection between Charlie Harper and all of nature! what an advanced thinker our son is!", he told me one day. Then I realized as I listened closely and watched Hiro point out leaves in the nature catalogue, that Happa is Japanese for leaf. And so, Chaim is learning Japanese through Hiro. I can speak pretty much up to a 6 year old level, so we are set for a while. But we have to really listen closely and play- "mama, dada, what language am I speaking now?"

For instance nan-na means banana and nen-ne means to sleep in Japanese. Not to be confused with nin-nin (ninjin- carrot in Japanese)

There is a lot of frustration and parental shrugging and pointing to things and each other in our house. Hiro gets exasperated when we don't understand what he is trying to tell us, and will run up to an inanimate object such as a chair or pillow and bite it when he can't contain his irritation with us. I can almost understand the frustration recalling when I was trying to buy fruit in a Paris supermarket. I got 3 or 4 plums and put it in a bag and walked to the line to pay for them. Everyone on the way to the line and in line pointed at the plums and was trying to tell me something...were they good? were they not good? don't buy them? too expensive?? I kept trying to ask them what? in my very limited French. Finally I got up to the cashier frustrated and she spoke calmly pointed to something across the store. I wanted to cry from dismay and embarrassment. Still not understanding what she wanted me to do, I just left the store without purchasing them. Later I was told that I was supposed to weigh them myself.

It's fascinating to witness someone learning language; not leaning a foreign language but just learning how to communicate. It's fun to watch the concentration wrinkles appear on the forehead as his brain works to make connections between things, objects and labels. A tur-tle is a turtle, but any shell can called a tur-tle as well. One of the earlier favorite books shows a gorilla kicking, so when we see a gorilla in a zoo, on t.v. anywhere, we all say KICK! and kick the air.

We slow down and understand our own speech impediments and afflictions with pronunciations. Hiro-hanani will often pick up the strongest syllable the first few tries, and will sometimes repeat that syllable to create a new word. Thus orange (the fruit) is O or mimi (mikan in Japanese) and a door is dodo. A melon is mei and so is eye glasses (megane- in Japanese). So just as in adult speech it all has to do with context.

But often when he says something, Chaim and I will have him repeat it several times, then look at each other and ask "what language do you think that was?" and secretly we hope he doesn't end up with a Queens accent.

March 4, 2010

The Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast around here is a hurried affair. Once every few months or so we get the pleasure of going to dim sum for Wending day (our wedding anniversary monthly Chinese meal) but otherwise it is a quick moment between waking up and hurrying out of the house. When Hiro-hanani sometimes wakes up on the wrong side of the morning and is very grumpy, Chaim might cheer him up with a breakfast like this:
consisting of all the favorite things like blueberries (blu) apple, (op) cantalope (mol, mol), grapes, and wheat water and a yogurt fruit shake.

but otherwise, this is the norm around here:

A handfull of cheerios, crackers, cheese, banana, and such a bland palate, but I suppose its better than poptarts.

February 26, 2010

The neighborhood Kid

Today we had our second snow day from school this year, and the 16 plus inches of wet snow was a hard workout for Chaim this morning. As he was sweating away shoveling the quickly falling snow that covered up his clearings he thought to himself, "Wow I'm 50, and in 10 years or so we're going to have to hire some neighborhood kids to do this back breaking work". But then he realizes - "No wait a minute!!!... we HAVE a neighborhood kid upstairs tearing up the house, and in ten years, he'll be doing this work!!!!

And so we had a little fun outside today with the neighborhood kid, and walking home from grandma's we ran into Bix and Humphry on the sledding hill. They let us use their boogie board for one run down the slope at Doughboy Park.

February 20, 2010

Chaim's finally getting the hang of this

This evening at dinner, a typical family scene around the dinner table. Hiro-hanani has a train wreck of food in front of him as we try to be civilized and eat with at least one piece of cutlery. Hiro-hanani is practicing one-handed drinking from a cup, gulping down the seltzer we call hurt water, due to how it feels going down. He's doing pretty well, but as soon as he gets toward the bottom of the cup, 2/3rds gets dumped over his face and down into his bib. (It's hard to gage distance, amount and gravity all at once). Chaim sees the lake forming in the pocket of the Dr. Seuss bib with nice fish noodles and spinach floating around.

Hiro-hanani decides he's done with dinner and begins to reach for the velcro of his bib on the back of his neck. Before I can say anything, Chaim has rushed around the table, and grabs the lake front bib from Hiro-hanani telling him, "oh are you done? let me help you with that!"

Good save big daddy!

February 15, 2010

Parallel play

Who says children Hiro's age only engage in parallel play.
Today we kept Skylar company and while we were at it, had more of the "gang" over to hang out on this day off.

Here's Hiro showing Bix his favorite game/ hiding place while Skylar looks on.

Oh and one of these phones are for you!

February 2, 2010

Discoveries in the house

We just remembered that all the corners in the house have metal strips to protect the drywall. Hiro discovered this the other day. We don't have many metal surfaces upstairs, and since he is gated off from the kitchen, all he had to put his magnetic items in his life was the stainless steel recycling trashcan. Now he has other options.

December 21, 2009

New Sweaters from Auntie lora

Hiro got a package the other day from Auntie lordie...the master knitter. So instead of waiting until Christmas we opened the tissues to find three beautiful sweaters. Here's the first one, very dapper I think. Also notice his first fat lip- due to a fall which was entirely my fault for not putting him in pajamas with better non slip feet. Chaim was really freaked out when he saw blood, but then I reminded him that there will be many more, and probably worse injeries to come if our boy is ever to play ice hockey.

Also in the back ground is his new chair given to him by uncle Henry.

The second sweater is more of a lounging type garment. Actually it looks like he should have a pipe in his mouth when wearing this.

The thrid sweater is a bit too big, which is great for next year. Thank You Lora!!!!!

October 6, 2009

October 4, 2009

Turning on the Furnace

Yesterday Chaim turned on the furnace to test it, making sure it was in perfect working order before it really got cold. I built a radiator cover for Hiro Hanani's room so we wouldn't get burned when the heat kicked on. When we heard the hissing and the smell of heat, Hiro Hanani crawled over to the new radiator cover and began to sniff it.

The next winter time preparation is to get some warm pajamas since Hiro Hanani no longer will be able to sleep in a sleepsack.

October 1, 2009

Happy Wending Day and Grandma's Birthday

Today was another Wending Day, and it just so happened to fall on Grandma Susy's Birthday. So the whole family decided to move the car and venture out to Flushing for some Dim Sum. We first tried our favorite spot, New Pacific, but sadly they were closed...hopefully not for good but who knows. So we ended up at Ocean Jewel instead, where we had a nice lunch. Afterwards, since we had the car, we decided to go to the Korean huge grocery store. Hiro Hanani got to ride in the shopping cart for the second time, and loved it. On the way out though, we spotted the other carts with the plastic cars for kids mounted on the front... oh well, maybe next time.

Happy Wending Day!

September 18, 2009

Happy 5770

New Year and New tricks
Hiro Hanani doesn't seem to want to try walking unless he's pushing something, and since pushing the big metal stool didn't seem safe, we bought him a shopping cart.
It was too light, so we loaded it up with all his toys.
Then it was too top heavy so we put the Borzoli Book of Fiction on the bottom shelf and taped it down with all the Mexican stone chess pieces so it wouldn't flip over

September 16, 2009

National Guacamole Day

Last year, right after Hiro Hananni was born, we discovered National Guacamole Day, but were too elated from having a new baby in our midst as well as just being too sleep deprived to celebrate it.

This year however, Chaim, decided it's been too long since we had Mexican food, and we decided to celebrate it in style, ie... we went out to a restaurant that serves cocktails.

Hiro loves you can see from last night's meal...and can be fierce when eating it!

but tonight's meal at Ariba Ariba, we ordered Guacamole- very mild. Unfortunately it had a bit of spice in it and so Hiro Hananni had a little trouble, but kept eating it just the same.
He ended up drinking a lot of water with the meal, but did love the black beans and rice, which were perfect for him, since it came cold. Otherwise the meal was very good. I had the chille rellenos, and Chaim got the steak al la Mexicana, both very good, though Chaim had to add some of his own emergency chillie peppers kit that he still had in his bag from our trip to Japan. The margaritas were very good, though I really could have gone for a few more.

Here's Hiro Hananni demonstrating his drinking (water) skills.
He starts out with really great form.
looking good
but then the water comes rushing into his face
but he keeps going back for more before he will turn the cup upside down.

Happy National Guacamole Day!