Monday, July 30, 2007

Ooh ooh ooh!

Thanks to Israel Mom, I now have most of the answers to my HP7 questions. Do not look if you are spoiler-averse, but all manner of goodies can be found here.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Courtesy of Treppenwitz

If all you know about the history of Israel comes from network TV, click here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

and Harry Potter

No spoilers here, but if you care enough to care, you've probably finished it.

Book 7 showed up on Shabbos, and was delivered to our front door by the mail lady. "Here's your book!" she said cheerily. So I was spared having to leave it outside all of Shabbos, but the torture was even more exquisite having it in my hands. "Put it away," MHH pleaded. "It's Shabbos!" I ignored him, "C'mere, Iyyar," I said coaxingly, "Come drool on the box and soften up the cardboard. Come chew on the cardboard. It's nice and tasty!" Nothing doing, and I had to wait till after 9 to open it up. I got through about 200 pages motzai Shabbos (in bed by 12:45) and broke it out again Sunday night, finishing at 1:45 Monday morning.

And what the... we STILL don't know the answer to my most burning question! Although I hear that there are JK Rowling interviews coming up in which more beans will be spilled. Right now, my babysitter is having her turn with the book, and I will wait until I get through my current mound of work before taking a second read.

In other news, Eris is finished, except for end-weaving, and my long-suffering DSIL finally has a sweater in progress! I'm making her a Spiral Yoke out of sage green Montera I had in my stash, and I now have one sleeve and about 5 inches of the body ( 17 sts/4 inches on size 8, if you are interested in such things.) They are coming on the 7th and staying for almost 2 weeks, so I'm hoping to have it done by the time they leave.


1. Yesterday I was making chocolate chip cookies with Barak, something we haven't done in a while. As per usual, I held up the eggs I had cracked into a glass measuring cup, for him to check.

"What color are the eggs?"


"Just yellow?"

"Just yellow. Dere's no spots in dere. Iss just yellow."

Then it hit me. Yellow, not lellow. He's never said that before.

2. Iyyar is just beginning to talk, albeit sort of reluctantly. When he's done eating and wants to come out of his high chair, sometimes he'll repeat "all done!" or even say, "up!" What he does with great enthusiasm, though, is say, "hi." Yesterday, he was in his high chair eating breakfast as I moved around the kitchen emptying the dishwasher and cleaning up. Every time I broke eye contact with him, two seconds later I'd hear, "Hi!" I'd look at him and say "hi!" and he'd giggle. Then I'd put another dish away and hear, from behind me, "HI!"

3. And Iyyar's really walking now. He stands up in the middle of the room and walks halfway across it before toppling, and yesterday walked straight into my arms, collapsing in giggles. He's a lightning fast crawler, though, and still seems to see walking as an entertaining activity, while crawling is the primary means of locomotion. I predict this will change in about two weeks.

4. Barak, B"H, is finally in the realm where I would call him toilet trained. The only accidents he has had in the last two weeks have involved falling asleep in the stroller. We're thinking tzitzis party when his cousins come, the week after next. Woohoo! It only took a year...

5. I have a number of more serious posts in mind, since I feel like things have been kind of frivolous lately. I don't know if I'll get to them, though, since right now I am wading through a neck-deep swamp of the writing for which I actually get paid.

In the meantime, though, what I will say about the Noah Feldman article in last Sunday's NYT magazine (if you haven't read it, don't bother): this is the guy who, of his own initiative, offered to represent the city of Tenafly pro bono (to the tune of $75,000 in legal fees, by the city's accounting) to fight the Orthodox community's eruv (a more or less invisible halachic boundary, consisting of pieces of plastic tape on telephone poles, allowing Jews to carry on the Sabbath.) He also turned up at the reunion of his Orthodox high school with a non-Jewish girlfriend--sort of like turning up at the reunion of your Bible Christian high school with a same-sex partner, and introducing him to all of your old teachers--and couldn't understand why their picture wasn't in the newsletter, or the news of their later marriage. And now he's published a full-length feature piece in a national newspaper, saying about the students at his high school, "... our aim was to seem to outsiders — and to ourselves — like reasonable, mainstream people, not fanatics or cult members." And this is an article in which he says that he has not rejected his upbringing, an article that was on the most e-mailed list for days, an article that has probably put thousands of Jews in the awkward position of trying to explain to non-Jewish friends what exactly is so warped about the whole thing.

And yet, "As best I know, no one, not even the rabbis at my old school who disapprove of my most important life decisions, would go so far as to refuse to shake my hand."

He doesn't really realize how lucky he is, does he.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I know that weather forecasting is not an exact science but really! Days and days of thunderstorm watches and flood watches, for heaven's sake, with hardly a drop of anything. Then today, after a whole day of vapid clouds, a too-close-to-bedtime trip to the grocery store with Iyyar in the stroller and Barak holding on--and one door away, the sky cracked open and all those thunderstorms happened at once, one on top of the other from the sounds of things.


And in a similar category, what on earth is with the New York Times? (Besides their Israel coverage, I mean, but I make it a policy not even to get into that because I just get too enraged and that probably isn't good for me.) They published a review of Harry Potter Book 7 today--three days before the publication date! With a glib appositive, "well the book is embargoed till Saturday but copies were available today" followed by a whole heck of a bunch of spoilers.

Why?? Would it have killed you to at least, say, publish the review ON the publication date? Oh it would have? Well, it would not have been a terribly great loss. I have a friend, one of my oldest friends in fact, who now lives in Turkey. She was saying, yes, I like the New York Times but their coverage of all things related to Turkey is misinformed and inaccurate. I said, hmm, I feel the same way about their coverage of all things related to Israel. She paused and said, it's funny, my dad, who is a biologist, thinks their science coverage is appalling, and actually his friend who does X says the same thing about...

Did you read the article about knitting they had a few days ago? The one where they mixed up knitting and crochet? You did?

Well, in mostly unrelated news, I've been knitting too--and here's a shocker, it's something for myself! And a full-size adult sweater at that! I have not made a sweater for anyone over the age of three since, umm, I have to think about this one... I think the last one I made was for my (tiny and impossibly skinny) Israeli SIL, almost two years ago now. It took me six months to finish, even though she is (see above) tiny and impossibly skinny. My current sweater, which I started, oh, I don't know, early spring sometime, is an Eris; I finished the body a while ago and did the first sleeve in one evening's marathon of knitting. I started the second sleeve last night and am looking forward to having a new sweater when it gets cold one of these days. Before that happens though I should probably knit a sweater for Barak, who put in his very first knitting request this week: "Imma, c'you make me a orange sweater please?" I had already acquired red and blue yarn for that very purpose, but no; he had his eye on a few skeins of orange Lamb's Pride. And he can have them.

The back bedroom, no longer known as the Loom Room, is still looking extremely spacious to me, although MHH commented last night that "it looks like it's always been this way." The spinning wheel is now in its own corner, the comfy chair is strategically situated next to a Flat Surface For Piling Things On, the better to encourage MHH to hang out here with me in the evenings; and the Piles of Undifferentiated Stuff that were jammed behind the loom are now transported, courtesy of MHH, to the storage space in the basement.

Okay, my allotted blogging time is two minutes past over and it's time to head back to that Annual Report I need to finish up. Tune in next time, same bat channel.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The end of an era

In a few short hours, I will no longer be the owner of a loom.

I posted it for sale a few weeks ago and this morning someone drove up here with a production weaver friend to check it out; she's buying the loom and all my weaving equipment for about what I paid for it over the years. The two of them have gone off to have lunch while we wait for MHH to come home for lunch to help us get it in their van.

It's time; I haven't done any weaving since Barak was four months old, and even that was weaving off a warp that had been on there since before I got married. I haven't done a thing with it since then--it's just been sitting there naked and lonely, taking up about a quarter of the space in the back bedroom.

I'm a little bit sad about this, but not terribly; it will be nice to have the space, the money will come in handy, and like I said I really wasn't using it. And we wouldn't exactly be taking it along on aliya, either, so it was going to have to go sooner or later. And as MHH said last night, of all my fibery pursuits, I do like weaving the least; I enjoy it, but not in the same way that I enjoy spinning and knitting. Weaving is cool, it's fun, but it takes a lot of brainpower and a lot of time and space, and those aren't things I have surpluses of at the moment.

And it's going to a good home--the woman buying it is obviously giddy with excitement, and is about to start a graduate degree in textiles. So, good for everybody.

It doesn't mean I won't be sniffling just a little as it drives away, though.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The kindness of bicyclists

This morning, I loaded the boys in my double jogging stroller and set out on the hike to Target. We were out of tissues and in need of another baby lock (the one on the pareve cabinet in the kitchen broke over Shabbos). My ISIL, incidentally, mentioned this morning that her husband thought it was silly how many people are pushing around jogging strollers who never ever jog. I said no no, they are the most practical things imaginable: easy to push, good tough wheels, the best thing when you have a long way to walk and want to move fast. (As long as you're not planning on using any public transportation along the way--they're awful to get on buses.)

The trouble is, though, that you do have to keep the tires pumped.

I'm not so good about that.

A couple of blocks away from our house, I noticed that the stroller was veering off to one side. Was the front wheel out of alignment? No. Was Barak, who was walking holding one side of the stroller, pulling on it? No. Was the... oh. Yeah. That back tire was totally, completely flat.

Hmm. I didn't have my pump with me, because it's really too heavy to carry everywhere. And I really, really didn't want to go home, unload everybody, bring the stroller back up the stairs and inside, pump up the tires, and start over. It was getting hot already and I'd lose 45 minutes that way, easily.

That was when I spotted, across an intersection, a whole horde of spandex-clad, spiffily helmeted bicyclists on fancy bikes, obviously about to start biking a billion miles or so.

What could be better? I crossed the street.

"Excuse me," I asked the closest woman, "This is kind of a silly question, but does one of you have a bicycle pump?"

It was sort of like asking me, in my own home, if I have any yarn. I was converged upon by bicyclists with every manner and type of bicycle pump, pump attachments, and, um, whatever you call the little thing that has to fit just right on the little thing that you pump on the tire. Some of them pumped air. Some of them actually had little CO2 cartridges, like the kind you use to make soda water. They were all ridiculously tiny and high-tech-looking. I had sort of expected someone would say, "Here, I have a pump," and hand it to me--no no no. The tires were examined and their dire state of flatness exclaimed over in tones of horror. They were then expertly pressure-gauged, pumped, pumped with a different pump, poked, tested, and found good. There were at least six people working on my stroller for me. It was like having my own personal pit crew. I said as much.

"Barak, are they helping us fix the tires?"

"Yeah! They're very smart."

(Now, in all honesty I should point out that that he says this because his mother has him totally indoctrinated into the necessity of wearing bike helmets. If he sees anyone with a bike helmet, he tells me, "He's wearing a helmet. That's very smart." Woe unto the rider who isn't: "Ohhh. He's not wearing a helmet. He's not very smart. He could fall and hurt himself! Go boom on his keppy! That would hurt a lot.")

The bicyclists, of course, did not know the background to this (and were, as I said, all helmeted to the nines). Once our tires were pronounced road-worthy, we all wished each other a good ride and set off, me with my three wheels and all of them with their two.

Two blocks away, Barak realized what he was missing. "Imma? I needa helmet please. I needa be smart."

Maybe it's time for a tricycle.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My husband is a member of the local kollel for the summer, and he is now doing the usual brutal kollel schedule: he leaves at 7:45 am and doesn't get home until after 11. (That's 11 pm, in case you were thinking otherwise.) In theory there are breaks, but since he doesn't have a car the only one it is worth coming home for is the afternoon one. He gets home at around 2 and is home till about quarter to four, then he's gone again. Friday is a half day, and obviously Shabbos is off, but from Sunday through erev Shabbos we won't be seeing much of him for a while.

I miss having him around in the evenings, obviously, but the kids are actually seeing more of him than usual (since he usually gets home right before their bedtime) and in a way this schedule works out really well. It's really nice for me to have him home in the middle of the afternoon, so that I can have a break and get dinner started; he's eating with the kollel, so I don't feel like I have to make an adult meal every night (not that I always do, believe me); and, um, the house is kind of an awful lot tidier now.

It's not that he deliberately goes around messing the house; it truly is that he just doesn't notice the cloud of material chaos that he leaves in his wake. On Shabbos morning, being the sweet husband that he is, he tends to get up with the boys and let me sleep in a little. I like this very much and am not complaining at all; however, I can always follow the course of the morning and where they've been by the trail of discarded diapers and clothing, toys, food, dishes, etc. that wends its way through the apartment by the time I'm up. A small price to pay, but there's usually quite a lot of cleaning to do once Shabbos is out.

So, this week, being temporarily on my own in the evenings, there has been a lot of cleaning going on. A lot. This evening, I made good on a long-standing threat and cleaned out his closet, otherwise known as the Pit of Bottomless Chaos. I did find the bottom (and the crisp $20 bill that was wedged behind a lone plastic flip-flop); other bonuses included his old cell phone, a lot of tea bags, several pounds of scrap metal and enough recycling paper to save a small forest. I took out the garbage already, and set out the billion metal hangers for the scrap-collecting guys who pass by early in the mornings; the twenty is sitting on the kitchen counter for him, and the phone is charging.

As for the Dove chocolate I found in there... what chocolate? Finders keepers on that one.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I just checked the list of permissions from this blog and noticed that some people were not there who I'm almost sure I put there. And the list seems shorter than it once was. I don't think you can remove yourself from reader status once you've accepted an invite, so I'm wondering what went on. I'm not sure why I'm posting this, because obviously if you can't read my blog you can't read this, but... weird.

Maybe that's why I'm not getting many comments anymore. Ahem. I'm happy to entertain you with tales of hats and woe, but it'd be nice to know if anyone was out there reading...

And a milestone

Iyyar took his first independent steps yesterday. Go Iyyar! He will now walk around the house quite well holding on to one of my fingers, and yesterday pulled himself up on the rocking chair, took two tentative steps, and went boom. And then did it again. And again. He won't walk if you try to get him to do it--just gives you this completely innocent blank look--but once he thinks you're not paying attention, off he goes.

Oh, and in the stroller this morning? He wore the hat.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The hat wars

Iyyar hates hats. He doesn't like winter hats, he doesn't like things with hoods, and he most certainly and definitively does not like any of the summer sun hats that Imma cruelly and unreasonably insists he wear on any outing during daylight hours when the UV index is above, oh, 5 or so. Since it's been stuck at 9 for the last two months, we've been having a number of disagreements on this front lately.

Barak, back in the day, felt the same way about hats, but eventually, after enough iterations of Barak removes hat, Imma replaces it, repeat, learned helplessness took over and he was okay with the hat. These days, he has a very cool firetruck hat, and often wears it around the house on his own. Iyyar does not seem to be coming to any kind of similar state. The invariable routine whenever we leave the house is that I put on the hat, he takes it off, I put it back on, he takes it back off and flings it on the ground. I stop the stroller again, put it back on again, tell him no no again, and he--you guessed it--takes it off and flings it on the ground. Again. It takes us a while to get anywhere in the stroller these days.

This morning, at around 8, I took the boys out for bagels. It's been really hot here lately and if you don't go out early in the morning, you're not going out at all, so when Barak woke up I told him that if he could get ready very very fast we could go get bagels. "First go to the French fry store?" he asked, hopefully. "No, just the bagel store. The French fry store is closed right now."

He considered this. "Iss locked?"

"Yeah, it's locked. The French fry store doesn't open until later. That's why when we go there, we go right before night-night time. Do you want to go night-night?"

Barak, alarmed: "No! Go bagel store." Pause. "When Grandma comes, then go to the French fry store."

"Right, we'll go to the French fry store when Grandma comes. Right now though let's go get bagels, okay?"


Barak got dressed, Iyyar was already dressed and ready, I got the hats and my bag together and brought down the big stroller. Stage one of the hat battle begins. Every house we pass, I look down through the window in the stroller canopy and see a hatless Iyyar. I stop the stroller, put it back on as securely as possible, and off we go. Sometimes I try it without the tie, thinking that's what's making him uncomfortable, but when I do that I don't even make it back to my side of the stroller before it's off again. Grr. Do you want sunburn and skin cancer, chas v'shalom, little boy?!

We stop at the corner grocery for tissues--we ran out over Shabbos--and a bottle of water. We go to the bagel store. Mini bagels for Barak and Iyyar, an everything bagel with tomato and cream cheese for me. Barak eats and watches the people; Iyyar eats and watches Barak watch the people. A good time is generally being had by all, until I notice Iyyar shove a piece of bagel the size of a very large grape into his mouth. Choking hazard and all--I reach in with the Choking Hazard Removal Finger and scoop it out.

I swear to you he gave me the most deliberate dirty look I have ever seen. It was absolutely, "Now that was a really rotten trick and I hope you know it!" He screamed and wailed, all while fixing me with a glare that would have been alarming if it had been on the face of anyone over two feet tall. As it was, though, it was just really, really funny, and I couldn't help it. I laughed. He didn't like that much either.

On the way out I spied a sign for a garage sale, starting in ten minutes, another couple of blocks away in the opposite direction from home. It promised "tons of toys." Hmm. It was already 10 am, and getting hotter and hotter. I considered. Maybe they had another Little Tikes car, to replace the one foully smashed by vandals a few weeks ago? I turned the stroller away from home, and toward the garage sale. Except that I turned the wrong way, because I misjudged where we were in the street numbers and wound up on the wrong side of a condo development. Grr. Thirty minutes later, we were at the garage sale, where we saw no Little Tikes items but did score, for the sum of three dollars, a Fisher-Price barn (complete with animals) and airport identical to the ones I had myself lo these thirty years. Now, imagine this: It is climbing into the nineties. We're a mile and a half from home, and I've got two kids in the double stroller, a fully occupied barn in the stroller basket and an airport terminal balanced in the lap of my three-year-old. I am soaking with sweat, and the bottle of water is almost gone. I want nothing more than to be back home in air conditioning. Now.

Iyyar, he wants to take off his hat.

So it went the whole way home, stopping and replacing the hat, stopping and replacing the hat. I don't think I am an inflexible person in general but I don't bend on the hats, and I know that if Iyyar wins a few battles he'll know what it takes to win the war. Stop and replace, stop and replace. Drip, drip, drip.

Two blocks from home, I hear Barak. "Imma, I can't holda airport anymore. Iss too heavy." It is heavy, and I'm surprised he managed so far. "Should I put it on top of the stroller?" "Yeah." I balance the airport on top of the stroller canopy, blocking the window and my view of Iyyar's head. But he's had his hat on for a few blocks now without any sign of resistance--maybe he's finally twigged?

We get home. It's about 11 am, and easily a hundred degrees. I take the airport and the barn and lug them up the back stairs, and come back down to get the kids and see--Iyyar, bareheaded. And the hat is nowhere to be seen

He looked right at me, put his hands on his head, and grinned. Stinker. There was no way I was going back to get it, not in that heat with the kids. And MHH was out until the afternoon.

When he did get home, though, I retraced my steps, heat or no heat. I found the hat, in the middle of the road and covered with tire marks. And guess who's going to be wearing it tomorrow morning, like it or not? You guessed it. Iyyar. If it takes a whole bottle of Elmer's, that hat is going to be on his head.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Barak, after five straight days of going to bed in the same clean dry underwear he started the day in, had a couple of, ah, accidents today. Wet, not dirty, but still. After the second pair went in the laundry I reached for a diaper.

"I needa underwear."

"No, sweetie, I'm not going to give you underwear if you're going to pish in it. You can wear underwear tomorrow."

Later, in the kitchen:

"If I pish in my diaper I getta pullup."

"No, sweetie. Pullups are just for trips." (Pullups are, in my opinion, no different from diapers. He had them, though, when he went to Tanta Sara's for the week with Abba--I didn't want Tanta Sara to have to deal with more potty intervention than absolutely necessary.)

"If I pish inna Pullup just getta rash. Get ice cream inna cone. Then ca' have a Pullup..." Barak meandered on in one of his monologues for a while, and I lost him completely. Then he stopped.

"Does that make sense?"

"No, sweetie, I don't think that made any sense." I couldn't help it. I giggled. So did he.

"I don't make any sense!" he crowed, and ran off into the living room to tell Abba. "I don't make any sense..."

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I was so pooped by the time the kids were in bed tonight that I decided to put off Shabbos cooking till tomorrow and go to bed. Surprise! I can't sleep. This hardly ever happens to me--sleep deprivation does wonders for that--and now I'm very irritated because I was hoping to get up early tomorrow and go for a walk before everybody got up. Now it's looking unlikely. Grumble grumble.

It was One of Those Days. A lot of kvetching, a lot of wailing, a lot of fighting over toys and needing things from Imma NOW. We went on our usual pre-Shabbos shopping run and, since it was so sunny and hot today, I shmeared both kids pretty liberally with sunblock (in addition to the regulation sunhats). Somewhere between the grocery store and the produce store Barak rubbed some of it into his eyes. Tear-free, my Aunt Tillie! It hurt him so much he screamed and screamed and screamed, and I absolutely cannot remember the last time Barak screamed in public. Probably the last time he rubbed sunblock into his eyes, last summer. He lost it entirely, and of course everyone around thought he was having a tantrum, not that the poor kid was in pain, so lots of unhelpful comments. I tried to wash his eyes out with a bottle of water on the sidewalk, and it helped for all of thirty seconds. "My eyes are hurting me again! AaaaAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" When we got home he got ice cream, purely for distraction's sake, once I'd washed his eyes out as well as I could. Then he got a popsicle. An hour later, he was telling me, "My eyes were hurting and I gotta ice cream. Then I gotta popsicle. Then I eat dinner. Then I pooped potty, get a jellybear!" A red-letter day, clearly. Red eyes too.

I should note in passing though that for the first time ever Barak had a full-blown screaming fit without pishing in his underwear. And today was the third--third!--day in a row of ending the day in the same clean dry underwear he started with in the morning. Could we be on the brink of a breakthrough? Here's hoping.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Things I keep meaning to blog about

1. This morning (well, this isn't something I've been meaning to blog about for long, obviously) Barak was walking around the house holding his blue wooden toolbox, full of Lego. He offered me one.

"Want one? Iss food candy."

"Really? Ooh! Thank you."

I asked him what bracha it was. He considered. "Iss baruch." Well, that's multi-purpose. He wanted to take it to camp with him and I suggested this was not the best idea.

"Barak, if you take all that Lego to school with you, what's going to happen? Are the other kinderlach going to want to play with your Lego?"

"No! Iss not Lego. Iss food candy. Kinderlach gonna say, ooh! Iss food candy!"

I thought about it later and I realized why it's food candy. In our house edible items come in two categories: "food" and "nosh," the equivalent of Sesame Street's "anytime food" and "sometime food." I guess food candy is candy you can eat whenever you want. Makes sense.

2. More on food: Barak has been campaigning to do a lot of baking lately. Since it is, ah, rather warm around here now, I haven't been so into that idea. Today he's been asking to make banana bread. MHH, who is on vacation till tomorrow, made a face. "I'm not so into that."

"Why not? You like banana bread."

"I don't like the leaving the bananas around till they're mushy."

"You don't have to. You can buy them from the half-price rack at the back of the store."

"Oh. That's okay."

MHH has a thing about "slimy" food. Tomatoes are slimy. Mayonnaise is terminally slimy, polluting everything it touches with its slime. Cucumbers are slimy, while macaroni and cheese, inexplicably, is not. So two of the four vegetables Barak will eat, Abba won't touch--go figure. Iyyar will still eat anything; Barak has lately become a fan of bologna; there are currently no vegetables acceptable to everyone in the household except spinach.

3. Iyyar has started saying "hi." It's very cute. He also says "Barak," but that's pretty much it. And he's getting more interested in walking--he won't have anything to do with it if you encourage him, but if you leave him alone you can see him thinking, hmm, I could get from point A to point B a lot faster if... I have a feeling, and so does his babysitter, that one day he'll wake up walking and talking. We'll see.

UPDATE: After dinner tonight, Iyyar said "all done!" It sounded a lot like his usual "ah da!" but different enough, and in context enough, that I think he really meant it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I had to do it, didn't I.

I had to say that Iyyar slept well.

What was I thinking??

Something is bothering him now, maybe a new tooth, maybe something else, and he is doing a lot of waking up crying and a lot of waking up way, way, way too early in the morning and not going back to sleep. He's also constipated, and he's got a little rash on his back and cheek--very minor, doesn't seem to be bothering him, doesn't seem itchy. I thought it was a little heat rash but the weather's been cool now for almost a week and it hasn't gone away. The only thing different in his diet is that since coming back from Hungary I've been giving him whole milk in a cup instead of pumped milk--he's fourteen months and all so it seemed about time. I wonder if that's it. If he doesn't seem better in a couple of days I'll pull the milk and see what happens.

There was something I wanted to blog about Barak this morning and now that I am sitting here with an open Blogger window I can't think of it.

Hmm. What was it? Barak wanted honey on his Chex this morning and that turned into something of a showdown but that wasn't it. Umm. I forgot. Maybe I'll think of it later.

Halfway into my worktime, I have gotten very little done. It's not the working at home, it's the standard-issue occasional blockage. Probably caused by lingering exhaustion from the trip. The truth is that I do have a bed back here and could theoretically take a nap, but so far guilt has prevented me from doing that. It has not, however, prevented my writing the occasional blog post. So there you go.

Today is a fast day, but not for me (hooray nursing!) So I need to think of something to do with the kids this afternoon so MHH can have some quiet time. I need to take my granny's watch to get a new battery, but that doesn't take long; I should also take some things to the keilim mikva, but that's not really practical with a double stroller (stairs and all).

Dum dee dum. What was it I wanted to blog about? It was a cute Barakism. Umm...

I have it now. (I confess, I saved the post and came back to it later. it's bedtime now--Iyyar's in his crib, Barak's in the living room playing with Abba a little bit.) So, Barak is much better on the potty front these days but he still expects ice cream for every success of the poop variety. This is okay with me; he is skinny and a little ice cream every day will not do him any harm. Of course, the operant modifier here is "a little." Apparently, Abba sees it differently.

Last night, Barak had pooped and bounded into the kitchen demanding his reward. I pulled the ice cream out of the freezer--it was a new half gallon of Breyer's chocolate chip. I don't think we'd had that kind in a while. Barak frowned.

"What kind ice cream is that?"

"That's chocolate chip. It's very yummy. It's my favorite ice cream."

"Oh." Pause. "There's chocolate chips in there?"

"Yep, chocolate chips in vanilla ice cream."

"Oh. I likea chocolate chips! Iss very yummy. I likea chocolate chips inna ice cream."

"So do I." I gave him a regulation Imma-sized scoop of ice cream in a bowl. It's a generous soup-spoon-sized scoop--maybe a quarter of a cup, or a bit more. He sat down and ate. Then the negotiation and commentary.

"C'I have some more?"

"No, that was enough."

"No, iss not was enough."

"Yeah, that was enough."

"I needa more."

"No, you don't."

"Yes needa more!"

"Barak, is that how you behave when you get a treat? Is that nice or is that rude."


"Iss rude."


Pause. Then, in the general direction of the empty ice cream bowl, this:

"Abba givea lot ice cream. Abba givea ice cream like dat." [Hands indicating full bowl.] "Imma givea little bit but Abba givea lot. I likea lotta ice cream. Likea lot. Nooooot a little bit [shaking head earnestly]. A lot."

Got that, Imma?

(Oh, and Iyyar is up and crying. Again. On the third attempt at bedtime, after two failed attempts at afternoon naps. Think I should delete that last post?)