Thursday, October 30, 2008

Habits and Changes

Toby likes to suck his thumb, but only through fabric--a blanket or his sleeve. You'd think you were doing him a favor by taking his thumb out of that pesky fabric, but no, then he just stops sucking. It makes a funny noise and gets his sleeves all wet.

Toby sleeps with his mouth open and his eyes half open. Baruch saw it for the first time the other day and said he looked like a doll. Which is to say...NOT ALIVE. I can't tell you how many times he's freaked me out, thinking he's dead. Even though I know that's just the way he sleeps. It really is creepy. I ought to try to get a picture. Ari does not sleep like that, although once in a while he sleeps with his eyes slightly open. Ezra has always slept with his eyes slightly open, too, but not the whole mouth-and-eyes dead baby doll look that Toby does.

Hmm, I can't think of any peculiar habits of Ari's. He laughs when I jiggle his chest and when I take off his clothes. It's like a tickle but happier.

They've established a pooping pattern: one day without pooping followed by a day with pooping oh, every 5 minutes or so. Repeat. Fun times. (And now it's time for them to develop a NAP schedule, don't you think?)

I just got them their booster seats today, so now they can sit at the table with us (and not on our laps, where they've taken to pulling everything within reach onto the floor...especially if it's a plate with, say, tomato sauce on it). We also got a second crib, so now they each have their own sleeping quarters. I rearranged the kids' room yesterday and it looks nice. I want to decorate a bit and then I'll take photos.

At Target this morning I saw a woman with a triple stroller dragging a cart behind her, and of COURSE we started chatting. It's nice to meet somebody who actually understands! She had 20-month-old twin girls and a 7-month-old girl as well. Phew! That house is going to be even more fun when those twins hit 2. Oh, but I've been assured that 3 is even tougher than 2. I can't wait.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Tricycle

This was earlier this morning, when it was just above 60 degrees. Right now it is in the mid-70s and absolutely stunningly gorgeous outside. We're definitely going for a long walk this afternoon!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Half Birthday To Y'all

Okay, Blogger was having photo-uploading issues yesterday (and still is, but it's working a bit), so I'll try this again:

First an update and then a picture post.

Things have been busy here. Holidays (finally over) and just general busy stuff. I get approximately zero minutes to myself on a regular day. I usually end up going to bed with Ezra. And it's usually at MY bedtime, not his, lately.

On Sunday we celebrated Toby and Ari's half birthday. And we really did celebrate. I baked a cake (coconut-macadamia-ginger carrot cake with coconut icing, from Vegan With A Vengeance) and made crowns and everything. Six months seems pretty substantial. I think because the pregnancy was so difficult, and because there are two of them and so it's been such a challenge just figuring out how to manage every day.

The babies have started to really interact with each other a lot, which is adorable. They are blowing raspberries at each other, and cooing and saying “ghee” and laughing. They also pull on each other and scratch each other if I don’t keep their nails short enough. They are still really social with everybody, although they definitely have an awareness of strangers vs. people they know. It’s just a lot of fun to watch them develop. Both are sitting up pretty well now, which is nice for them. And Ari rolls front to back now as well, although not as adeptly as Toby. I’ve started seriously thinking about twin-proofing (child-proofing on steroids) and about buying some sort of gated area that I can put in the living room with our foam mats to give them a totally safe play area. Safe from hazards and also from Ezra, who loves them but can be a bit too exuberant in his attention. [As I write this Toby is making the cutest noises at me. And then every once in a while he’s farting really really loudly.]

I was just thinking that Toby's sleeper seems small and I ought to move them to 6-9 month clothes. Then I realized that it IS 6-9 month size. . . .

Ezra loved going to shul for Simchas Torah. At night he went with Baruch and came home so excited about singing and dancing with the sefer Torah. Yesterday I took all the kids (Baruch was working) and Ezra was exhausted, having gone to bed at 10:30 the night before, but had such a good time and was totally wild by 1:30 when we left. He was just dancing and running around in circles with the other kids and enjoying snacks and having a grand time.

Ezra's new obsession is puzzles. Constantly puzzles. He's pretty good at them, and he can do them for hours. His new thing is to mix all the puzzle pieces together and do all the puzzles at the same time, picking out a piece and fitting it where it belongs and going on to the next piece. And he never wants to stop. Last night he was up past midnight. I don't know exactly how late. I took the kids to my parents' house for dinner, and usually he falls asleep on the way home. He didn't, even though I drove a bit extra. Then at home he wouldn't stop playing with his puzzles, so we finally got his diaper changed and got him upstairs, but he still wouldn't go to sleep. Then he spent about 45 minutes screaming in our bed while Baruch slept next to him and I kept pulling him back into bed because he kept trying to climb out. He insisted he needed to go play more. At about midnight he stood up in bed and said he needed water. So I woke up Baruch to go get him some water, and Ezra just stood there quietly waiting. I fell
asleep before Baruch got back with the water. Baruch says that Ezra drank some water and he expected him to hand the cup back but he didn't, he just sat there holding it. So Baruch went to sleep. I don't know, Ezra must have fallen asleep not long after that. I woke up at some point to get a baby and moved the sippy cup to the bedside table. I really sometimes don't know what to do with this child! He's so tired today.

Some collected sayings of Ezra:

I handed Ezra a piece of junk mail and he said, "Oh Mama, mailman got Ezza a present!"

When asked what he wants to be for Halloween, he replied "crackers".

Ezra takes a bite of something and says, "mmm, I eat it. In tummy...." Then he gets a big grin and says, "POOPOO!" Yes, Baruch taught him about digestion. This is repeated many times a day. He knows about intestines but prefers to skip right to the good part.

He's also started talking about the past, which is always "yesterday." He also talks about his feelings a lot. If he is frustrated with a puzzle piece sometimes he says, "Mama, I VERY UPSET." He talks about times in the past when he was scared or upset and says that he cried and does a little fake cry to further illustrate his story.

I'm sure I have more I could write but that's it for now. Going to post photos.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Desperately Seeking Sleep

First, my heart is breaking for the family of Colleen. She will be missed. I can't really think about it, it's just too upsetting.

Anyway, on to my boring life, which I know is incredibly blessed. Of course I'm going to start complaining about it anyway.

I didn't have any caffeine for 4 days. I thought maybe the babies would start to sleep better. Well after last night I went ahead and had a cup of tea this morning, because the babies aren't sleeping at all. I mean I can hardly exaggerate how little sleep I am getting. And all day they took 20 minute naps and then were cranky and tired after being awake for about 45 minutes to an hour. I'm exhausted and I feel very close to losing my sanity.

Last night at 1:30 AM I dragged myself out of bed and to the babies yet again, and this is what I found: Ari mostly asleep but hollering his head off, and Toby wide awake and out of his swaddle, grinning and with a death grip on Ari's ear. I rescued Ari and nursed him back to sleep, but when I went to put him back down, I found Toby eating Ari's swaddling blanket. I managed to take it from him, and he laughed at me. At 1:30 AM. Thankfully he also went back to sleep after I re-swaddled him and gave him his pacifier (it had probably been about 30 minutes from the last time he nursed).

I think it might be time to buy a second crib.

I have some photos I want to post but I don't have the energy right now. Tomorrow the babies will be 6 months old. Their cake is in the oven (the reason I'm still awake when I should be sleeping since I just nursed both babies back to sleep). I still need to make their crowns. Baruch specifically requested half birthday crowns like I made for Ezra. For the little guys I feel a particular urge to celebrate. There were so many times during my pregnancy when we weren't even sure they'd be here with us today. Okay, so maybe they don't sleep, but they sure are adorable.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I was reading Ezra a book called The Boy Who Wouldn't Go To Sleep and I finally found where he got the "party and dance all night" line from! It's funny, because we hadn't read the book in a while, but he obviously still remembered the whole thing. This was actually the first book I realized he had memorized, months ago. It's amazing what sponges their minds are at this age!

I was thinking again about the playground yesterday, and I realized that Ezra was acting a bit out of character. He was acting more fearless. He went down the big slide by himself when I wasn't even nearby, for the first time ever. He climbed down the ladders, which I didn't even know he could do. And he was running far from me. These things wouldn't be at all unusual for a kid his age, but they are atypical for him. Ezra has a very strong sense of self-preservation. I don't know if gym class is helping him get over it, or what. Today when we came into the playroom after breakfast he started doing the same wild stuff as yesterday. Oh yeah, he also slid down off our bed facing forwards; this is a kid who needs help to get down backwards because he once, a looong time ago, landed on something and it hurt his foot (very slightly). So all a bit unusual. It could just be that he's growing up, or...I don't know. I wonder if it's something he's eating. The only really new thing is a new kind of cracker and there's nothing unusual in the ingredients. So I don't know.

The babies are so funny. Ari just keeps getting fatter, and if anything Toby is getting thinner. Toby nurses until he's done and then just stops. Ari nurses and nurses and nurses. They are so different. When Ezra is watching Super Why in the mornings, if Toby is in the room he will contort himself into all sorts of strange positions to see the TV. I have to keep him out of the room. Ari will look, but if I turn him away he's fine with that, too. Toby has started laughing a bit, but Ari is still the king of laughter. Now if only they would sleep. I stopped drinking any caffeine at all, and it seems to have helped the problem of them waking up at night wanting to play, but they're still up just as often wanting to nurse.

A few more Ezra-isms I remembered (like I've said before, I'll be glad I've recorded this someday, even if now it seems like overkill):

The other night we were out walking and Ezra saw the full moon. He pointed up and said, "Oh woooow. Look Mama, circle moon!" He also recently pointed to a puddle with raindrops falling in it and said "oh circles!" How amazing to see the world through the eyes of a 2-year-old. Certainly I don't look at raindrops and think circles, but there they are, plain as can be.

He calls peanut butter "pea-bo". That one is beginning to fade as his speech gets clearer.

And he always sniffs things and says, "smellls good." Random things. He just sniffed a picture of a lobster in an atlas and said that. Then I showed him where we live in South Carolina and he said, "Ohhh yes, I love that."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Which Ezra Goes Batty

Well, after I wrote my last post I played with Ezra: did some puzzles, read some books, and then together we cleaned up almost the entire playroom. Of course I also nursed and played with and took care of the babies. And then the strangest thing happened: Ezra just went bonkers. It was like he was manic. Out of the blue he started dumping all of his toys out again, and then digging through them like a dog sort of, and pushing them all over the floor, and then he found a toy car and started driving it around the floor while pushing blocks and books, at a ridiculously fast pace, all the while making insane noises. Honestly it started freaking me out after a bit. He threw his car so I took it away from him, and rather than get upset he just picked up a big block and started doing the exact same thing with it. He was just acting so unlike himself. Wild. I asked how he was feeling and he said, "Good. Happy good." Then I asked if he wanted to go play outside so he could run around, and he looked out the window and said, "No, no go play out there. Play outside, cars jump on me." Uh huh. I even videoed about 5 minutes just because it was so crazy. Finally I got everybody out and we went to the playground, where Ezra proceeded to run back and forth across a very large field for a loooong time. The child loves to run and has for a long time, but I've never seen him run quite that much. But other than that, once we were at the playground he was acting totally normal. He hadn't napped, and almost fell asleep on the way there, but had plenty of energy to play while there. Thankfully he did fall asleep on the way home, although it took a little extra driving.

Of course when I got home Ezra was asleep but both babies were awake. So I played with them for a while, and then put them down to go to sleep. Ari went to sleep fine but Toby, on top of his pacifier-pulling problem from last night, has become Houdini, and kept getting out of his swaddle and pulling out his pacifier. Baruch came home and was dealing with him, but I didn't realize that Baruch hadn't re-swaddled him, so by the time I realized he wasn't going back to sleep it was too late and even though I nursed him again he is now awake. So, 9:15 PM and at least Ezra and Ari are sleeping. I'm going to go to bed and leave Toby for Baruch. It's been a very long day. Tomorrow morning I have to get up and bathe both babies, take a shower myself, and then at some point tomorrow I need to bathe Ezra (who is actually completely sand-encrusted from the playground...going to have to change all the sheets tomorrow too I think). In the morning we plan to go to my grandparents' house to play, and then in the afternoon I will hopefully cook and clean a bit. Baruch won't be home at all this weekend, but he will be home next Tuesday for Shemini Atzeres, yet another holiday (we have quite a lot this year, huh? lol). It's actually just the first of the last two days of Sukkos, and also a holiday in its own right. (After Sukkos nothing until Chanukah, which is a minor holiday anyway.)

Sigh. Tomorrow will be calmer. Just think pretty thoughts.
Two screaming, exhausted babies who won't nap. One 2-year-old who won't nap who decides it's a perfect time to poop in his diaper. Causing the entire living room to smell like a sewer. Oh yeah, and the bath tub where I was planning on giving Ezra a bath this afternoon has a COCKROACH crawling in it. (Time to call for my quarterly exterminator visit, obviously.)

This is when I feel like giving up.

Of course now Ari is napping, Toby is happily playing in the exersaucer (I seriously needed some space and a few minutes to myself), and Ezra, with a clean diaper, is enjoying some imposed quiet time. He doesn't really buy my insistence that if he doesn't nap he has to have quiet time, but I think he could tell I was serious today.

This morning we rushed out to get to the early gym class. I prefer the Tuesday class because it's a nice mix of people and at a much better time, later in the morning. But Tuesday was the first day of Sukkos so we went today. And the babies basically cried the whole time. Ezra was clingy, there were only 4 kids there including Ezra, and the babies cried. Tons of fun. In the end Ezra did enjoy himself, thankfully. Then I thought things were going well after we had a successful trip to the grocery store. We got out and I sat Ezra in the car eating a muffin, nursed both babies and put them back in their seats, and started to get ready to go. At which point all hell broke loose: the babies started screaming (they had barely napped since early morning), Ezra starts crying that he absolutely needs water, or better yet "special treat" (chocolate soy milk), and I suddenly have to pee really badly. I gave Ezra some chocolate soy milk in his cup and managed to get in the driver's seat without wetting myself. Hoping beyond hope that Ezra would fall asleep on the way home, and the babies would too, and I'd get a little bit of a break. No dice.

Now I'm holding Toby, as he got sick of the exersaucer. Ezra is really being quite good about his quiet time, although he keeps asking me to read things to him. I remind him that there are 10 minutes of quiet time left. But it's nearing an end. Toby is now fussing. It's time to change his diaper and figure out if I can get him to nap too. At which point I assume Ari will be up. And in a bit I'll start to read to Ezra, probably the same book over and over until my brain goes numb. What's left of my brain, that is.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Toby is in one of the most EXASPERATING phases ever. It's just ridiculous. It used to be when the babies got tired, I would either lay them down or put them in their car seats or the stroller (depending on where we were and what our plans were), give them a pacifier, and they'd go to sleep. With the car seats and stroller I usually rock them a bit, and when I lay them down I swaddle them and that's their sign that they should sleep. Well, Ari is still fairly good about this, although he's always had a bit more trouble falling asleep. Toby is still fine when I lay him down swaddled, but the problem is when he's not swaddled, like in the car or stroller. It seems like he's not sure whether he wants the pacifier or his fingers, so he pulls out the pacifier. And then he screams bloody murder because he doesn't have his pacifier. In the car if I can't get to him he'll start to suck his fingers and be fine for a bit, but then he'll go back to screaming. He also rubs his face when he's tired and knocks out the pacifier. He tries desperately to put it back but doesn't quite have the fine motor control yet. In fact yesterday I saw him holding the pacifier up to his mouth trying desperately to suck on it...but it was backwards, pointing away from his mouth.

So. I have to tuck a blanket around him and pin his arms down so he'll keep the pacifier in and stop freaking out and sleep. It seems a bit mean, but otherwise he just gets incredibly agitated and won't sleep. I think if these guys didn't have pacifiers they would be finger (Toby) and thumb (Ari) suckers, but since they do have the pacifiers they prefer those.

So that's just my frustration of the evening. I was driving home just now and I had to stop the car to tuck a blanket around Toby's arms because otherwise he just screamed.

We've had a nice few days of Sukkos. The weather has been really warm. Ezra didn't get to sleep until 11:30 Monday night because we were eating dinner with friends, and the babies were up late as well. Then yesterday we had lunch with friends and on the walk home at around 3:45 all three kids fell asleep and proceeded to sleep and sleep and sleep. It was strangely quiet here for a number of hours! Ezra slept until 7:45 PM and then woke up, ate some, was up until 10:30, and then went back to sleep (with me in bed) until 7:30 this morning. Toby slept until about 8 (well he woke up and nursed once but went right back to sleep) and then was up for about an hour and then down again for the night (which means nursing a ton but just sleeping, not awake playing). Ari apparently thought 3:45 was a good bedtime and was asleep (with plenty of nursing) until 6 this morning. Strange.

Some records of Ezra's language to add (I've decided to just write about it as often as possible; I know someday I'll be glad to have written down all of these things he says when he's 2):

"Wait a dunkent" is what it sounds like when he says "wait a second." Second always sounds like "dunkent", whatever the context.

This afternoon at my parents' house I asked if he wanted some water and he said, "No, I need wine!" and pointed at the wine bottle on the counter.

Now these are...disconcerting. Somewhat disturbing, really. I don't know, I mean he doesn't really understand what he's saying, but it bothers me. I already mentioned that he knows the words to Old Man River, including "tired of living and scared of dying." The other day one of his balls went flat and he said "the ball died." I guess he gets that from when I say my phone died or similar. But here is the incredibly disturbing example that I simply can't explain: when he gets frustrated, once in a while he'll say "not good my life." It totally freaks me out to hear him say that. I have never spoken like that in front of him, so I just don't get where he's getting this from. I'm pretty sure that's what he's saying, too. I don't know if anybody is even reading this blog, but if you are and you have any idea where this might come from, please do tell.

Hmmm, have I mentioned "rounding and rounding"? He's been saying that for ages, and still does. Today he was running around the tree in my parents' back yard and yelling "rounding and rounding!" Although it really sounds more like "bounding and bounding." That's the thing, *I* understand just about everything Ezra says, but most other people don't understand a lot of it.

One last thing: today he was bringing me things out of a box and I had a vivid memory of a time early in my pregnancy with the twins when I was so exhausted and sick that I was laying on the sofa trying to take a bit of a nap while Ezra played. Ezra would have been 15 or maybe 16 months old. He kept going over to the kitchen and taking potatoes out of a bin and then bringing them over and very carefully piling them on top of me, until all of the potatoes were balanced all over me while I half-slept. Then when I suggested he take them back, he did, one by one. So cute. Another time I was half sleeping on the sofa and he pulled a full box of Cheerios off of the table and brought it over to me and dumped it on the floor and started playing with them. And I definitely knew he was doing it but I figured I'd rather rest then and clean up later, because it was keeping him busy! I'd forgotten how tired I was my first trimester.

That's enough blabbing. I ought to sleep while I can (Ari is the only kid up, but Baruch has him at the moment and he just nursed). I was listening to the debate on the radio but I didn't turn on the TV when I came in from the car because it just wasn't worth it. The last I heard was McCain's absolutely incomprehensible response about the honorable people at his rallies. I really don't understand what the heck he was saying. Maybe if I were a Republican I would have understood.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What We're Up To

Yesterday (Friday) morning we went to the local library's huge book sale, which was fun. I got a bunch of great books for Ezra: classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Robin Hood, Treasure Island, Paul Bunyan, and The Little Prince, as well as a few random other books. I got some fiction books for me (frivolous things, e.g. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, which is a fun book) as well as How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk. I would have loved to stay longer, but Ezra needed a snack (I gave him an apple while he hung out on my back in the Ergo as I checked out, and he proceeded to eat the entire thing...including the core) and a nap, and it was difficult to really browse through the books while keeping track of Ezra playing with cars on the floor and trying to maneuver the double stroller around the tables. I was very pleasantly surprised, though, when after I finished nursing both babies in the lobby, a woman from the business office at the auditorium came out and made sure that nobody had said anything negative to me about nursing them in public. Apparently somebody in the office thought perhaps a passerby had made a comment, which had not happened. But I thought it was great that they were being proactive about protecting my rights! Very cool.

Anyway. Tonight Baruch is on call, so I'm home alone with the kids. It's raining quite a lot. It was raining all day, in fact, and we got stuck in shul because it was pouring. A nice family invited us for lunch, as they live closer to shul than we do. So that was nice. As is typical on Saturdays, Ezra did not nap. So I drove over to my parents' house to return a bunch of my mother's tupperware that I had, and Ezra fell asleep in the car at 6:40; getting him to sleep was, of course, my intention. When we got home I played with the babies for a while and then put them to bed and and them asleep by 7:45, and I thought I was home free for a few hours! I went to get started on straightening the playroom, which is more like a huge pile of jumbled toys than an actual room at the moment, and about 3 minutes later I heard Ezra on the monitor having a nightmare. It took forever and a glass of water to calm him down and get him back to sleep. All of this woke up Ari. So then Ari was up until almost 10. Of course I just got Ari to sleep and now I'm going to write this up and go to bed myself. So much for housekeeping. It would be nice to actually be able to walk in the playroom, and the dishes need doing, but whatever.

Here is a photo of my stitches without the covering bandage, but with a steri-strip over them (WARNING: this is not pretty, and also my skin and hair are gross so just ignore that):

Also, this is a very interesting article in this weekend's Sunday Magazine from The New York Times:
Kosher Wars

I find it particularly interesting because I didn't realize there was a whole movement of people who felt the same way I do about factory-farmed meat not being kosher due to the mistreatment of animals. I've been saying that for years. I know it's not technically true, but I feel like it ought to be. In any case we are vegetarians (leaning towards veganism, especially in what we buy for our home; I was a vegan for a while until I found out I was pregnant with twins, at which point I started eating eggs and dairy for extra fat and protein). But I would definitely consider eating humanely raised grass-fed beef and poultry. I would consider it, but I'm not sure. It's been a long time since I ate meat. Certainly I would prefer to eat eggs and dairy from sustainable, humane farms, if it were available. Not that we could afford to. Which is why we are ideally vegans. It takes more work to healthily feed a family as a vegan, and at the moment I often only have the energy to stick a piece of cheese on bread and toast it for Ezra.

With the financial crisis right now, I keep thinking about how money is really imaginary. It's a social construct. When Baruch hears that people are losing money with the stock market, he wonders where the money is going. I say nowhere, it's all make believe. What I really want is to own land. A nice chunk of land, with a house and enough area to plant a large garden with produce to feed our family. Land isn't imaginary. If you own it fair and square, it can't just disappear one day (barring catastrophes like war or natural disaster). That's me. I'm not one to invest in the stock market. I'm more likely to buy gold and hide it under my mattress. I just am very risk-averse. I want something tangible. I want stability.

Speaking of feeding our family, in another 6 months or so it's going to be a heck of a lot harder to do so. I so hope the babies are sleeping well by then so I will have the energy to actually cook for a family of 5.

In closing, a few random things Ezra has said lately:

-Pointing to a picture of a tractor in a book: "I ride that yesterday." Huh? News to me! He can spend a surprisingly long time pointing to vehicle after vehicle in a book repeating with each one, "Ezza drive that. Ezza drive that. Ezza drive that...."

-Ari started crying while I was nursing Toby. Ezra called out, "I coming Toby!" and goes over and smiles at him, and then turns to me and commands, "Nurse a him!"

-I was cutting grapes, and Ezra pointed to them one by one and said, "Cut him. Cut him." I asked, "Cut who?" just to see what he'd say. He thought for a second, and tried again: "Cut her. Cut her." I chuckled and explained that a grape is an it, and I said I would cut it, and cut it, and cut it.

Adding this later (after Ezra fell out of bed and woke up, and then right after he went to sleep Toby woke up...):

I forgot to write about a big thing! Today every time I put Toby down on his belly, he would hang out for a while looking around, and then very deliberately roll over to his back and give me a huge grin. I had seen both babies roll front to back at least once, but this was deliberate and he did it many, many times. Both guys are also now regularly going from their backs to their sides, although I've only seen Ari roll back to front, and that was only once. It won't be long for sure! Ari sat for about 5 minutes with the Boppy helping him balance, and Toby is starting to sit a bit as well. Go babies!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Exciting Yom Kippur

Baruch took Ezra to shul in the morning, and just as I was getting the babies ready to join them, they came back because Ezra was crying for me. So then he wanted lunch, and by the time he finished eating the babies were napping again, so we were playing in the playroom. Ezra kept laying on the floor and once on the sofa, and was obviously tired, so I figured I'd try to take him upstairs for a nap. Now, this is a child who won't nap anymore unless he falls asleep in the car or on a walk. So I read him a book a few times and then I closed my eyes and said I was going to sleep, and he could lay down next to me and sleep. And he threw the book at me.

This book is a board book, one of those hard cardboard ones, about airplanes. He threw it at close range, and this boy has quite an arm (really, he can throw very well, and he's strong). It hit me on the forehead right above my right eye.

I grabbed my head and started saying "OW! OW!". I thought I was exaggerating for Ezra's sake, to show him how bad it is to throw things, but it kept hurting. A lot. Baruch was downstairs with the babies, but he came running up. When I took my hand away from my head there was blood everywhere! What a surprise. I looked in the mirror and washed it off and it was immediately obvious that I needed stitches. So I called my mother, who called her plastic surgeon, and she picked me up and took me to the plastic surgeon. It is about an inch-long laceration running vertically on the inside edge of my right eyebrow. Tomorrow when I take the bandage (the outer bandage over the steri-strips and stitches) off I will take a photo, and if it's not too gross I might post it. I don't know how many stitches I got, but it was quite a few. The surgeon said that Ezra might make a great pitcher for the Yankees someday. She said, "this is really quite a bit deeper than I'd expected from the mechanism..." That's my boy! lol

Baruch says Ezra cried when I left (he was upset by the blood, and has been very clingy lately anyway), and then laid down on the kitchen floor, crying, and went to sleep. So Baruch put him to bed. Ari slept the whole time I was gone, too. So thankfully it was not difficult for Baruch with all 3 to himself.

Interestingly, I wasn't very mad at Ezra. He was obviously upset by what happened, and I told him that I know he didn't mean to hurt me, but that this is why he can NOT throw things. Unfortunately I don't think he got the message, as he continued to throw things later in the day, but at least he threw them at the floor and not at anybody. I'm going to have to get stricter about his tendency to be physically violent when frustrated or upset. I feel bad for him because he just gets so upset and doesn't know how to handle it, but he needs to know that he is capable of hurting people.

And now I am finally going to go to sleep. I'm exhausted and I have a headache. I was so shaky after the stitches, since I was fasting. The surgeon said I ought to have something so I drank a little water and ate an apple. But even so, that is not much to last an entire day, especially while nursing 2 hungry babies. We had fun at our family's break fast tonight, though. Cheese grits and cake were my favorites!

Ezra's Big Day, Photo Heavy

I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday.

Before, in the stroller with Baruch pushing:


I didn't get great photos afterwards. The first is before it was washed. The good ones from after his bath are all naked, so I just put in a cropped one of those.

It's still pretty rough. He stood still in the beginning, but then it was mostly my mother and me chasing him around the room with scissors. It looks awesome, though. He looks so grown up! I'm still getting used to how adorable he looks.

One final photo (as if there aren't enough already!) of Ezra being very sweet to Toby:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ezra-isms and a Distracted Nurser

First of all, I feel a little guilty about the last post. Ezra is wonderful, he truly is. And sometimes he is an angel. Like yesterday at the gym class, and this morning at the children's museum. He's often wonderful in public, actually. He's really a truly sweet and fun little boy. He's sort of like that rhyme: when he was good he was very very good, but when he was bad he was horrid. That about sums it up.

Anyway, I love recording all the things Ezra says. He is in such a great verbal stage. I don't ever want to forget all of this. He's already grown out of a lot of saying a lot of things. He used to call a school bus a "boo-bus" and a fire engine was a "car-gong." He pretty much calls everything what it really is now. Although today after we went to the museum we sat and ate lunch by an outdoor fountain (the kind they have in parks), and to him that is called a "water mountain." Which is actually fairly descriptive. For the past few days if he's upset about something and I ask what's wrong, he often answers, "I crying." It's hard to get much more info than that lol And something that just makes my heart swell is that he's started saying "I like..." and "I luff..." Today he saw a back-hoe on the street and he said, "Oh, a back-hoe! I luff diggers. I luff cars and diggers." Often if he's eating something or playing with something he'll say "I like dat!" (When he says "love" it sounds more like "luff", but it's hard to replicate what his "like" sounds like. Maybe "ike"? More like "yike")

In other news, Toby has become my first distracted nurser. When Ezra was a baby I read about the stage when babies get easily distracted from nursing and pop on and off to look around and won't really nurse well. But Ezra never behaved like that, never. And Ari really doesn't either, although a bit more than Ezra. Toby, now...well I had a hard time nursing him at all while we were out this morning! In the museum he kept trying to look around to where Ezra was playing, and outside he kept trying to look over to the street and also at Ezra. He pops off and looks around and then goes back on. In the museum it actually looked like he was a swimmer coming up for air, the way he was coming off sideways and up and then going right back (does that description make sense?). So far I don't think it's going to be a problem. I hope not at least. My milk lets down so readily (for the babies; somehow I let down almost immediately when they are nursing, and even pretty readily if I try to pump, but I never ever leak past the first few weeks...lucky me!) that I think he'll still get plenty even while acting like a monkey.

Ezra is napping now and when he wakes up it is going to be a very big afternoon in his life! I hope to post pictures later. And of course tonight and tomorrow are Yom Kippur. Followed shortly by Sukkos. Busy times around here!

It's Only Getting Harder

The babies are in an in between stage. They are very alert and aware and want to play and do things, but they are physically not capable of much. They can crudely manipulate toys with their hands, but they can't sit well yet and they certainly can't crawl or anything. So they just want me to hold them most of the time. And I can't hold both of them all the time. So we have a lot more fussing and crying here than we used to.

And Ezra...oh, Ezra. The child seems to have a special sense for what would annoy me or make me maddest, and he goes for the jugular. I adore this child, he is fabulous, but he is also incredibly...awful. Before 9 this morning he'd already had a number of tantrums. He wants to be in control of everything, which I know is typical for his age. But he doesn't just test limits, he pushes against them with the strength of an ox.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can go on to my usual praise and bragging.

Yesterday we went to our second class at The Little Gym. The first time we went, Ezra would barely even look at anybody else and he clung to me the whole time. This time, in spite of being beyond exhausted (I had to actively keep him awake on the way there), he had such a great time! He was all over the room playing on everything. He let the instructor pick him up and help him do something on the bars. Even though I had to spend some time sitting with the babies, he participated and had a great time. He's so sweet, too. When it was time to put the balls away, he was the last one with a ball, and he kept shaking his head no, he wouldn't put it away. So I went over and he indicated to me that he wanted to throw the ball in the basketball hoop over on the side. So I helped him do that, and then he happily put the ball away. That's all he wanted. At the end he didn't get bells to sing with, because there weren't enough to go around, and when it was time to put them away he was almost crying and said he wanted a turn. So I asked the instructor if he could hold a bell for a bit, and he took one and jingled it a few times and then put it back and was fine. I was impressed.

Also yesterday while I was changing Ari's diaper Ezra started singing Old Man River to Ari. Baruch has sung Old Man River to Ezra during diaper changes for a while now. Ezra actually knows most of the words. It's a bit disconcerting to hear your 2-year-old say, "Tired of living, and scared of dying."

And when we were in my parents' back yard, Ezra walked over to the place I had been talking about with my parents a few days ago and said, "I need a swing set here." It amused me.

Oh, I forgot to mention another amusing thing: a few days ago on a walk we saw people putting up white tents. I said to Ezra, "Oh look, they're going to have a party." Ezra said, "Yes, a party, and dance all night." Whaaaa? Where did he get that? LOL

Okay Super Why is over (hehe) and the babies are starting to fuss, so it's time to start our day for real. I'm so tired, I'm not sure what we'll do. I suppose go to the children's museum. Stay posted for a very huge update this afternoon...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Random Debate Thought

I might have more to post tomorrow. But for now:

Seeing McCain and Obama stand and basically lecture a room full of "ordinary people" had an impression on me. This was a room full of humans, just people. And the McCains of the world (and Obamas too, but it struck me when McCain was talking) are so privileged and have so much power. But they're just human like all the other people there. They're just people. They eat and sleep and use the bathroom just the same as everybody else. But they're special because they're powerful. So they have everybody sitting in rapt attention to what they are saying. And what they are saying actually has the potential to change the world. (Well maybe not what they're saying, but what they actually do.)

This is a stupid thought. I mean it's one of those things I would have obsessed about when I was about 11 years old. But it struck me for some reason. I suppose it always has been and always will be this way. It's probably even older than society itself. All advanced animals have social hierarchies. That's basically what we're doing, right? Deciding on pack leaders via bloody fights to the death...or something like that.

(I think maybe I need more sleep.)

Monday, October 6, 2008


Tonight has been ridiculous already, and it's only 11:30 PM. This is becoming typical. Except that tonight, Baruch was home, which is not the norm. Generally I'm attempting to do this all by myself.

Background info: We live in a 3-bedroom townhouse, but one bedroom (a very small one) is on the first floor, and the other 2 (huge master and good-sized second) are on the second floor. So we made the one on the first floor into a playroom. This means that all 3 boys share a room. Which I do think will eventually work. Eventually.

Also, Ezra is starting to be in a transitional period nap-wise. On days he takes a nap, he is in bed late. If he doesn't nap, he goes to bed earlier and sleeps well. But if he has too many non-napping days close together, his sleep deprivation becomes obvious.

Today Ezra took a nap, so I figured he ought to go to bed at around 9. At about 8:45 the babies were ready for bed, so I put them down. Miraculously they both went to sleep peacefully within minutes. Usually Ari protests for a bit (meaning I replace his pacifier a bunch of times, or something of that nature; we don't let our kids cry in bed). I was really relieved, and figured Baruch could take Ezra upstares for bed soon. Of course, Baruch being Baruch, it was soon 9:15 and they were still downstairs, so I suggested they go up to bed. At this point Ezra starts freaking out because he doesn't want to go to bed, he wants me to go with him, etc. He insists he needs to go to HIS bed. (He'll end up sleeping in our bed regardless, so lately we've just been putting him in our bed to begin with.) The babies are sleeping in their room, but finally I say fine, can you be quiet? Ezra assures me that yes, he will be quiet while Babba (our version of Daddy) reads to him. I say I'll come up and lay with him when they're done brushing teeth and reading.

Bad move on my part. I heard them reading (quietly) on the monitor, but of course Ezra kept making comments in his typical loud voice. And of course Ari woke up. So I went upstairs and got Ari and sat on my bed to nurse him. Ezra was sitting next to me on the bed. At this point he could basically insist on what he wanted, because loud crying or screaming would wake up Toby. Ezra kept talking and touching Ari and of course then Ari will not go back to sleep. So I gave Ari to Baruch, who took him downstairs, and I tried to get Ezra to sleep.

Ezra wants to read the book again. He wants to read this specific page 5 times. He wants to...I have no clue what he's saying, he's crying and carrying on because he wants something about the book that I simply can't figure out. He's tired. I put down the book for the umpteenth time and say now it really is bedtime. Which prompts more crying and thrashing about. I turn out the light. I start to sing his songs, but he screams that no, he doesn't want singing. So I try just laying with him. At this point he starts hitting me. Hard.

So I gave up. I told him I was upset that he was hitting me, and I came downstairs. I brought him, of course, because he would have freaked out even more otherwise. But I was basically ignoring him because he was pissing me off so much. It's hard to really capture in writing what was going on here. This child is stubborn and difficult and just plain exasperating. Oh and yes, Ari was still awake at that point.

Eventually it seemed like Ari would go back to sleep, so Baruch took him up. He wouldn't go to sleep, so finally Baruch stuck him in the swing. During that time Ezra finally laid down on the sofa and went to sleep (at about 11 PM). Then I was waiting for Ari to sleep so I could take Ezra up to bed. But, of soon as Ari fell asleep (in the swing), Toby woke up. So I went and nursed Toby back to sleep, then came down and got Ezra and put him in bed. And finally, at 11:30 PM, all 3 kids are sleeping and I can go to bed myself.

For 5 minutes, until Ari wakes back up.

Apparently he's getting the message

I sometimes have a hard time finding a balance between teaching what I think is right and trying not to be judgmental. There are some things I'm just judgmental about, and I'm actually not sorry about that, but I definitely don't want to teach Ezra to be judgmental.

Today we were out for a walk and he saw a man on a motorcycle. This child loves motorcycles. So of course he pointed out the motorcycle and watched it, and when it was out of sight he said, "man no wearing helmet."

Funny thing? For once I actually hadn't noticed.


Anne tells me that what I posted earlier is, if not impossible, at least highly improbable. Anne is my guru, so just forget I wrote any of that signing stuff. The Ezra stuff is for real.

Call Me Crazy . . .

but then you'd have to call my mother crazy, too.

Over the past few weeks, I've been doing more signing with the babies. They're young, but very alert. Ezra also likes to teach them signs (in fact he will even wake them up from naps to teach them a sign...). Mostly I show them the sign for milk, but we really do anything that occurs to us.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my parents' back deck with my mother and Ari. It was a gorgeous day! I asked Ari if he heard the birds singing, and showed him the sign for bird. And I am NOT INSANE when I say that Ari tried to do the sign himself. He certainly did. Really. My mother saw it, too.

My mother then said that a bit earlier she had been playing Ladies Ride ("This is the way the ladies ride, bum-de-bum, bum-de-bum...") with Toby and she stopped and he signed more. I would not have believed her at all if I hadn't seen Ari with my own eyes. I'm still skeptical anyway; Toby likes to chew on both hands at once and often brings them together in front of himself. But I won't completely dismiss the possibility, either. He's certainly seen the "more" sign used (Ezra often uses it still, either while saying more or to ask for more while his mouth is still stuffed! lol)

Okay, so it's unlikely. But is it impossible? (Anne, what's your input?) I really don't think I was imagining things. My mother saw it at the same time I did. Sure, Ari was just trying to imitate me. But he was looking up at the tree as he did so.

(Now, I would actually prefer *not* to have super geniuses for kids. Smart is good, but too smart is difficult. I can't imagine life with one of those kids who beats people in chess at 11 months. My kids aren't like that at all, and it's a relief. What do you do with that child? How do you help him have a happy and fulfilling life?)

As long as I'm wondering in awe at the abilities of my children, I should write about Ezra. The other night we were sitting at my parents' table and he had brought a little backpack full of magnetic letters with him. He took them out one by one and named every single one of them. Correctly. So yes, he knows all his letters by site. All the capital letters, and I found out the next day that he knows many of them in lower case, too. And yesterday morning he was working on reading the word "bat"!

Of course I take no credit for this. Okay, only a very little (since we do read books all the time). You know how he knows all of his letters and is starting the beginning steps of reading? He watches Super Why every morning. How's that for good parenting?

Yes, Ari is learning to sit up! In another month they'll both be pros :)