But a list, a totally random list of things I want to remember about right now:
1. Avtalyon is really into chickens. He says "chickum" and I taught him how to make a chicken sound, which he does incredibly well. "BOK bok bok bok bok." It's hilarious. Friends of ours sent us some money for Chanuka presents for the kids and I bought Barak and Iyyar little Lego spaceships; for Avtalyon I got a Duplo set with, yes, a chicken, complete with coop and little farmer menschie. He loves it and when he can't find it asks me for his "bok bok."
2. Avtalyon is in a phase of nighttime wakings. He doesn't wake up for a cuddle or an excursion though. No no. He wakes up for a book. He wakes up, howls for one parent, gives up and howls for the other, and when eventually one of us staggers in there stands up in his crib and politely requests a book. It has to be the right book though, one he hasn't looked at lately and one with the right pictures. If he doesn't want that one he rejects it with a firm, "No!" Why do we put up with this behavior, you ask? Well... it's the three-kids-in-one bedroom thing. If we ignore him, he cries, and it goes on for a long time and wakes up the other ones and... yeah. Easier to just give him the book.
3. One more Avtalyon thing. Because he still naps and Iyyar doesn't, sometimes at bedtime Iyyar conks out instantly and Avtalyon is still feeling social. So he tries to get Iyyar to wake up. It totally doesn't work, but it's really funny to listen to, because what he'll do is try to convince Iyyar that the book in his crib is just the shpitz and Iyyar should hear all about it. So what we hear is, "Eddie! Eddie wook! Wook eddie! Bok bok! Bok bok WHOA! Eddie! Eddie wook!"
4. Barak is noticeably happier and more relaxed than he's been in weeks if not months. I hadn't realized how much my being under the weather and exhausted and miserable had been stressing him out; the facial tic, the obvious tension, I attributed to school. But I think it was me, because the tic is almost gone and the meltdowns are greatly diminished and he just seems a lot happier. Last week he asked me to make "yummy sweet challah" for Shabbos and asked why I never made challah anymore, when my challah was so much yummier than the bakery challah. I heard this and... well, I was definitely going to try my best. So I orchestrated matters as well as I could on Friday and the baby and Avtalyon were, B"H, cooperative, and I did actually pull off a full batch of "yummy sweet challah" less than an hour before licht. The smile on his face was a mile wide and it was totally worth it.
5. Iyyar's been eating vegetables lately. Like, soup vegetables! This past week I made an improvised zucchini-dill soup (it was really really good if I do say so) with Hungarian noodles and he inhaled it. (Avtalyon dropped his on the floor. He's in a Phase.) And tonight, when dinner was leftover Shabbos chicken soup with added knaidlach, he ate his carrots and didn't even ask for more knaidlach. How about that?! Barak, of course, refuses to touch any cooked vegetable with the exception of carrot muffins and pumpkin kugel, but since he will cheerfully polish off a plateful of cut-up raw vegetables at every meal I don't worry too much.
6. And (saving best for last)--the baby has started to SMILE! I got some fleeting but definite smiles last week and then this morning I got a full-wattage, huge, goofy, lopsided grin, complete with one dimple. The kind that melt your heart into a puddle of motherly goo and make you instantly forgive the loss of sleep, income, time, and waist. She'll be five weeks tomorrow, so this is definitely a record. She also, as of yesterday, has decided that the bassinet is occasionally an acceptable place for a nap, instead of a cause for instant waking. Last night she was in there for a good two hours, and right now it's been an hour and a half and counting. I should be using this time to finish the dishes and write mitzva notes, but I know I'll forget all of this, so I wanted to write it down while I had the chance.