Friday, July 31, 2009


Tovina was suitably happy with the results of waiting.
Baba was seen and hugged and kissed and there was much rejoicing.
Many relatives seen, dimples were flashed, some hugs were distributed, and sleep is now being enjoyed by most of us.
In fact, I think I will go and enjoy some of that myself now.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh Can-a-daaaa

We are all packed up and ready to leave the house at oh-bright-600 tomorrow. Posts will likely get light while we are visiting with family but maybe you - our faithful readers - will get lucky and I'll keep posting (could happen).

Tovina was happy to go into her crib tonight because she has translated 'after you go to sleep and then get up in the morning, we are going to drive in the car and then fly in a plane and then fly in another plane and then we'll see Baba!'
lay down in bed and close your eyes. When you open them we will get in the car and then.. and then.. and then.. see Baba!
So there I was so proud of her because she went right into bed and laid down so nicely but as soon as I closed the doors she started calling for me.
Opened the door, 'What is it T?'
'Drive car? See Baba!'

She was much less entranced by the whole 'its time to go to sleep now' thing when she realized we weren't going along with her interpretation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sleeping and potty training part 2

The other day I posted about nap time. That night we had another adventure.
After I had put T down in the big bed I heard her up and moving. Eventually I went into her room to check on her. As a reminder, when we checked on her at nap time that day she had no pants on and was missing a diaper. This time she has removed her one piece pajamas from most of her body and they were dragging behind her from her ankles because she can't manage to pull them over her feet.
She also had no diaper.
She was so proud of her nakedness and I was so surprised by it that I cracked up.

Once I calmed down I agreed to try out her pull-up diapers, put her child potty in her room, and leave her in the big bed.
After I had put T down in the big bed I heard her up and moving. Eventually I went into her room to check on her because she started crying for help. This time all clothes and diapers were intact. In fact, she had added to her ensemble.
If you haven't already guessed - which I really couldn't - Tovina had taken the removable seat ring from her toilet and pulled it upside down over her head and then squeezed her arms through the opening so that they were trapped next to her cheeks. And those were not normally the cheeks that get stuck to the seat.
I laughed so hard I almost cried. Unfortunately it meant I was incapable of getting the camera and taking a picture.

Upon extraction she was placed in her crib.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Children Museum

We went back to the museum this weekend but instead of going to the natural history part we checked out the Duke Energy Children's Museum.
Tovina thought it started off well with a series of escalator rides.

Then there was this amazing ball pit with all kinds of lifts, falling, piping, dropping mechanisms.
After that we found the water area with a pseudo river and bridge and water guns and and buckets. They even supply rain coats for the kids. Unfortunately the only size left on the rack was for a 5/6 year old but that meant it covered T really well.
You can just see her feet sticking out the bottom.
We finally dragged T away from there to see Lego land.
After that we checked out the construction site with loads of foam rocks that looked very real. (I was a little anxious when we walked into the area and I saw one child throw a small one to another child and almost hit a 3rd child in the head.)
It was hard to convince T it was time to go but she was willing to walk in the right direction as long as she got to touch EVERY shape on the wall.
There was also a grocery store with child sized carts, fake cars and gas pumps, skeletons of animals, fish tanks and another couple areas we didn't even walk through.
What an awesome place!
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nap time

We have been having some difficultly with sleeping recently. Tovina has been trying to convince us she is ready to move to her big bed but she likes to get out of it and wander around rather than go to sleep. We have been giving her big bed trials where, if she asks, she is allowed to lay down to sleep in the big bed but if she gets up and gets out of bed after that she goes back into the crib. It is not clear she understands the connection yet.

She has also started to employ delaying techniques. Water, toilet, book, and renewed requests for going back to the big bed are all popular.

It is reminiscent of the beginning of sleep training with her taking between 5 and 30 minutes to go to sleep. We have decided that we need to get tough for our own peace or mind. That led to today.

Today we put her down for her nap and over an HOUR later she still had not settled. She was clearly tired but if she wasn't going to sleep after over 80 minutes of 'quiet' then we might as well entertain the idea of letting her out of the crib - especially as she was beginning to ramp herself up. Michael stuck his head in to see what was going on.

Michael opened the door and saw Tovina standing in her crib.
Tovina, 'I pooed!'
Michael, 'Really?' This is what usually precedes requests for the toilet so a healthy amount of skepticism is warranted.
Tovina pointed to center of crib and used a new favorite phrase of hers, 'What happened?'
It was at this point that Michael realized Tovina was holding her diaper in one hand and with her other hand was pointing to a poo that was laying in the middle of the crib.
That was when he called me in so that I could witness this first hand.

We are very grateful that she did NOT decide to decorate her crib or herself or ignore what was going on and lay down in her crib and nap. Apparently she had a good reason for not falling asleep. Other than a little on her foot and a corresponding footprint or two, there was surprisingly little collateral damage. We managed to quickly strip the crib, get her cleaned up and in new clothes (same diaper though - it was still clean), and back into bed in less than 15 minutes. She was awake when I started typing this (12 minutes ago) but has already fallen asleep.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Odd concurrence

Today I used a gift certificate for a hair cut and manicure.
It was good timing because I had a phone interview today.
But before that, I helped Michael change the minivan's oil.
Didn't even chip a nail


Tovina has developed a sudden fondness for backpacks. It seems to partly grow out of her fondness for the big red in which we carry her.
It may also have something to do with 'ME!' which roughly translates to, 'I would like to do that for myself please.'
Here she is wearing her own special (ME!) clown backpack from China that she has just grown into.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Setting the table

Sometimes when we walk into the kitchen we discover that Tovina has already laid out dinner. Occasionally she also sets out people to eat it.

Usually she just lays out a wide assortment from her kitchen without the bears. The first time I actually thought one of the adults in the house was just picking up her toys or something. Then noticed that most of the food was right on the edge of the table and that it was happening about twice a day.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We didn't manage to celebrate Father's Day back in June, so we decided to celebrate yesterday!
We started with a trip to Cincinnati Science Museum. Tovina's favorite part? The DINOSAURS!! (See the dinosaur in the background? She pointed it out at least 15 times as we walked from the parking lot to the entrance.)

Then we went for some Dewey's pizza. (Tovina is explaining the importance of croutons.)
And then we got a malt for Dad.
Or maybe it was Tovina's. Sometimes its hard to tell.
Don't worry, there was one for Mom too.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Tonight we played with veggies and soup. See the store had this deal if you got 5 different kinds of veggies (tomatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, and corn) and we decided to build a meal around that. We also had some surprisingly terrible tomato basil aged white cheddar that we were trying to figure out how to get rid of not to mention those beet greens from last night. To finish out what was sure to be an extremely random soup, we had picked up some Japanese mushroom stock at an Asian market and realized it was in fact the only stock left in the house.
What to do with this mishmash?

First we start with our favorite soup cookbook and look for anything that might let us use this stuff. We found a recipe that called for dropping the corn and adding some onions. It didn't exactly call for incomprehensible packaged mushroom stock, or the asparagus, or the a few other things actually - but it was still pretty close.

At the end it came together in a delicious, satisfying , and hopefully repeatable soup perfectly complimented by challah.
num num
Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Preferred foods

Tonight we tried a new food, beet greens. They were not particularly tasty, but I wanted T to try them. She was not so inclined.. so I bribed her.
But what could I possibly use as a bribe?
Well, the deal we worked out was that if she tried the greens then she could have some more raw white onion.
You should have seen her stuff those greens in her mouth!
I had to cut up another onion half to satisfy her.
But who could resist her, "Mommy! More onion please!"

She is actually enjoying some fruit in this picture but it definitely conveys her bargaining prowess!
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Job update

For those of you following my 'let's get Cara a job' saga, I did hear back from my June interview.
The bad: I did not get it
The good: no one else did either
More good: and they had good things to say about me

This is good on many levels as I have now met many people at a company I really like and am no longer wondering what happened. I even applied to another job with them this morning with a head's up to my new contacts.

Great day

This afternoon we had some quality family time.
The 3 of us walked to the park, stopping to pick wild blackberries in what turned out to be a MASSIVE blackberry patch.* Tovina discovered that she liked the berries we gave to her ('Only take ONE at a time T!') and we are now trying to figure out how to transplant a couple stray bushes, or pieces thereof, to our yard.
Once at the park there was extensive swinging with entreatments of 'higher mommy!' Does my heart good to hear that she is training up right for roller coasters.
There was also some sliding and exploring and a quiet dinner where we finally figured out how to prepare Tovina's home-rolled burritos in such a manner that she doesn't drop all the filling into her lap, happily eat the tortilla, and then ask for 'morr bueeto?'

This capped of a day of 2 humming birds and a bunny joining the regular crowd of birds and deer outside my window.

*For those of you who have never gone to summer camp or Cape Cod with me, I have a slight blackberry picking addiction in which I rarely have a chance to indulge.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Golden children in Florida

One of my goals for a while now has been to try to get Tovina to enjoy pools. We have been make slow but steady progress. While in Florida huge steps were taken in the backyard of some friends.
Here are 3 munchkins sliding, splashing, swimming (yes, apparently that was possible in 6" of water), and generally enjoying themselves.
Tovina was queen of the slide!

Getting ready for some quiet time after an exhausting day of carousing. On the couch are Tovina (wearing Austin's pajamas), Austin (of said pajamas) and Abby.

And here are the 3 wee ones all tucked in - they were preparing for some snugly TV watching.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aunt Sheila

I've been showing pics of how much T enjoys visitng with people out of town, but I also wanted to let you know how much she enjoys her family right here in the house.
Here is Tovina preventing Aunt Sheila from going around the corner and out of T's direct line of sight.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shabbat at home

It is great to welcome Shabbat from home. Its been about 4 weeks since we were last all together at home for Shabbat. Tovina had a chance to see some of her local cousins today, so that may make up for how much she misses the Canadian ones.

Who wouldn't miss that kind of attention?
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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Going to the zoo zoo zoo

Before getting on the plane to come home, Tovina and I stopped by the zoo with Maddie and Emily. (Jason and Susie were supposedly in attendance also, but as I have no pictures to prove it, this may have just been hear-say.)
The zoo has lots of things to see, but since T and I had a plane to catch we limited ourselves mostly to the birds - but oh! what birds! Maddie was suitably impressed with the peacocks.
Tovina was not quite so sure about the flamingos (even though they were both dressed in the same outfit. My how embarrassing. Maybe the fact that the birds forgot to wear their hats made up for it.)
Here is Maddie pushing the 2 littler ones along. No help from the accompanying giants was welcome - only people under 4 foot tall were allowed to push this stroller. I'm not sure how Emily avoided being in more photos. Going to have to make up for that the next time we see her.
And here is Tovina trying to get in on the act when she saw Maddie rubbing her eyes. Tired little munchkins one and all.
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hanging with cousins

What exactly does one do while visiting family in Canada? A lot of the time is spent catching up with family. Here you can see Tovina and Daniel sharing their opinions on the correct method for Lego construction. It was an enlightening conversation.
Daniel was actually keeping 4 of the mini-cousins all entertained at the same time. You can see them all arrayed around him and the Lego box here.
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Off the plane

T and I have made it home. It took a little longer than expected when our plane from Chicago to Cincinnati was delayed... then delayed again... and then cancelled at 9pm. They booked us on a flight for the next morning and then put us up in a hotel.
Having a place to stay was nice
Having a baby girl who had not napped during the day, was running around an airport from 9-10 as we waited in line (THANK YOU to all the wonderful strangers who held my place in line while I played tag, knock-knock, peek-a-boo, catch, and swing!) and finally got to the hotel around 11 was slightly less fun. Though she was a great sport about it, she was also a little tired. Tovina actually laid down on the carpet in front of check in and tried to go to sleep. I suggested she move to the side carpet so she wouldn't get stepped on but when she saw the chairs she had a much better idea. Poor thing!
This was not 3 minutes after she laid down. She woke a little when I picked her up to take her to our room, but when I set her down outside the door she laid down again and went back to sleep.
Such a good traveler!
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