Thursday, October 29, 2009

Darn those tricky caps

Tovina is a big fan of chapstick. She loves putting it on (on her lips, cheeks, nose, chin) and taking on and off the cap. But those caps are rather small and can be hard for little hands to grip and pull. Right now, T's favorite chapstick is an old fruit flavored one of Sheila's. Apparently that one lonely chapstick was not important enough in the scheme of all the other boxes of things in Sheila's life to make the cut for the move to Sheila's new house. However, that chapstick need not worry over which was the case for it has found true acceptance with Tovina.

I am sorry to say that I don't have any pictures of T licking her new favorite the chapstick but I do have pictures of Tovina impressing Aunt Mari with her great cap removal abilities.

Once again, these are photos are from Turkey. There are 2 reasons for that.
1) These are some really fun photos and I wanted an excuse to share them.
2) Our regular camera is off enjoying a holiday in Hawaii. We are hoping it will be willing to share some very exciting pictures with us when it gets back.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diapers and pools

T is potty training. Her day care has really gotten her excited about going on the potty and we are trying to continue it here at home. Today, in an effort to provide more incentive I offered to put her in pull-up diapers. Tovina was initially very excited! Great idea! Yes Mom! Let's go swimming!

Wait... what?

Apparently she has some good memories from this summer with her swim diapers and when she saw the pull-ups (which look an awful lot like swim diapers to the untrained eye) she thought that meant we were going swimming. This is particularly surprising since she didn't really like swimming. Tovina is much more fond of sitting on by the side of the pool and maybe, just maybe, if you are really lucky, splashing with her feet. Here you can see her by the pool the past spring while we were in Turkey. Just look at her face and you can see how conflicted she is about pools.

Getting back to today. After much discussion where T made it very clear neither the bath tub nor shower were going to be an adequate substitution (tears were shed in abundance) we compromised and she simply wore her bathing suit for the rest of the afternoon.

She is back in regular diapers now.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sleeping in the big bed

T is sleeping in the big bed full time is now. All tents, pack-n-plays, and other such sleep options have left her room. She's generally pretty happy with this but tonight she decided it was not quite right.

An hour after Daddy finished reading Tovina her nightly book, turned off the lights, and left the room, T started calling for Mommy or Daddy. (Either one of us was sufficient.) Daddy checked first but on the repeat request, I decided to give her a listen. There were a variety of issues that started with wanting a drink of water, then help finding her pacifiers, and then the real issue.

"Pillow Mommy. Lay down." Tovina has decided she would rather not sleep alone.

On one hand this is fine. We both love holding her and she'll only be small enough for really serious snuggling for a while.
On the other hand, she moves constantly at night and has a tendency to kick. Hence the answer, "Mommy is going to give you a kiss and then see you in the morning."

As I leaned over her for the promised kiss, Tovina wrapped her arms around my neck to give me a hug. While holding me, I heard, in her very sweetest voice, "Pleeeaaase Mommy. Pillow." Her tiny hand patted the spare pillow on her bed. "Cuddle please.  Mommy cuddle Tonina" While she kept her voice sweet and magically prevented herself from whining, tears started leaking down her cheeks. I could feel them wet on my skin.

That kid is good.
Needless to say, I stayed a few minutes longer than I planned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ice cream - revisited

In going through some old photos and videos, ('Watch baby?' asked Tovina. 'Of course' I said), we came across this gem from this past spring when the family was traveling through Cappadocia, Turkey.

Tovina is eating Mari's goat-milk ice cream. Michael was a huge fan of the stuff and we tried it a few times during the trip. Here we are buying it for the first time. The salesman is scooping it out of the container with a long handled (2.5 ft) metal spatula. The stuff was so thick that the ice cream and the cone stuck to the spatula when held upside down.

To quote Michael, "Turkish ice cream is unlike any other ice cream I've tried; it's made from goat milk instead of cow milk. The result is a transcendent treat whereby ice cream takes on the texture of a silky-smooth taffy. Yummmmm."
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Spaghetti dinner

When we all met up in Indianapolis we went out for dinner at Buca Di Beppo‎. Among the many dishes we ordered was a small spaghetti and meatballs. Tovina (who is a big fan of noooodles) discovered that forks and spoons just weren't cutting it for her and that hands, or really fists, were the best tools for eating spaghetti.

Effective was one phrase that came to mind.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Caring cousins

When we were in Indianapolis Saturday night we ended up staying pretty late. Before heading home Tovina got some special attention from Emma.
Emma told us that she gets back rubs from her Mommy and they make her feel good when she is tired, so she thought T might enjoy it also.
Emma was definitely correct.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Grandpa and Aunt Kerri

Aunt Kerri found a mystery writer conference to attend in Indianapolis and Grandpa decided to attend with her. Before heading out for the evening we managed to catch a few family photos.
Here is the crew.
Notice how Kerri showed Brendan a new trick. (Okay, maybe he already knew how to do this.) Well Tovina is a quick learner too... or at least she almost is.

I thought I might have a better shot at getting a good shot if I slimmed it down to just the grand kids and Grandpa. But then some aunt to the side asked them to smile..

Still a pretty cute group though!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bye bye Sheila

It has been a pretty exciting weekend with many highlights. The first thing that really kicked it all off? Sheila closed on her house Friday!
After moving a few boxes I got a shot of the happy homeowner relaxing by the crackling fire in her main room.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sounding the Shofar

When we were in synagogue for Rosh Hashanah (a couple weeks back), I was with Tovina in the way back corner of the sanctuary while she was playing with some toys when the shofar (ram's horn) was blown. (Blowing the shofar is one of the big events at Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.) Tovina has heard a shofar before, but since she was only 1 year old at the time, apparently she didn't remember.

Her head whipped around as she tried to figure out what that noise was and where it might be coming from. She excitedly pulled me to the center aisle so she could have a good view and then pointed and stared very intently. Her eyes got big and she had a big smile. The shofar was blown a few times, when it was time, I'd pick her up so she could see better. Such an enraptured expression! Since the shofar is suppose to be a joyous sound we considered this a BIG SUCCESS!

Tovina also started imitating a shofar noise and pretended to keep blowing it as she walked around for a bit. It seemed most appropriate.

Giddy up!

While visiting a friend's house (actually, the friend's parent's house) Tovina found an old toy horse. She quickly understood the purpose of such a toy and rode for a looonnngggg time.
Below is just a few seconds of that afternoon. Giddy up horsey! is what she is saying. There are longer videos on you tube (link to teh right of this page).
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Its a bird, a plane, a... raccoon?

The other morning while Tovina and I were having breakfast, Michael noticed something in the tree outside my office window.

He grabbed the camera and got a closer look.

Our raccoons are back. Two of them this time. Not content with having a staring contest from inside the house, Michael went outside and videoed them while standing about 4 feet away. Watch the video below to see them make their escape.

Given the way these critters ran away, I guess they are also camera shy or maybe they just didn't want to be ID'd by the police.

Monday, October 12, 2009

High fashion

Tovina is developing some pretty definite opinions about her own clothing. Sometimes it is as simple as wanting certain shoes. Sometimes it has to do with certain socks and the fact that she likes them pulled up to her knees. We're hoping she grows out of this habit.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009


Tovina and I are taking a tumbling class at our community center. When my folks were in town they came to watch the chaos.
First we have stretching.
T's first somersault!
The line sometimes became too much for T. Here she is making a break for Zaida.
And here is the star posing for her fans.
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Smile for the camera

Tovina is starting to react more to getting her picture taken. What do I mean by react? Well, we now have cheesy fake smiles, hiding of the face, "No picture!" commands, and a really new item..
..T taking shots of her own.
We'll let you know how Tovina's pictures come out when we get them developed.*

*For you yung'ns out there, developing refers to getting film negatives turned into printed pictures. This was once an exciting event where you were never quite sure what might show up (very similar to what you might find on the disposable cameras that are sometimes at weddings.) This unknown factor was greatly multiplied when a child was holding the camera. Of course, that was also a time when children were not really allowed to hold cameras all that often.
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Thursday, October 08, 2009

School pictures

Tovina had photos taken at her preschool. I had no idea preschools do that. The photos which were taken by Life Touch came out great and we are definitely buying a few for distribution to grandparents, aunts and that one poor lonely uncle.

There was also a class picture that we had the option of purchasing. Can you tell why we chose not to buy this one?

What happened to our smiling angel?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Happy birthday Michael

Sheila is closing an a house next week (NEXT WEEK?!?! - yup.) and she is going to be taking her TV with her. As of this morning the people who will still be residing in our house did not own a TV.

No TV?! how would football be watched? and Sesame Street?

Michael was sad. Tovina would be sad if she understood what is about to happen. Cara pretended to not be sad but deep down inside was a little bit. Mostly this meant that Michael was the saddest of us all.

Luckily for him he just had a birthday and made a very special birthday request.

Yup, we now own a TV of our very own. Admittedly there was talk of perhaps needing something a foot or maybe 2 feet bigger, but given all the other things we need to be doing, this will suffice for now and later (maybe for one of his 10x birthdays... which does sort of put this potential event sooner than I was expecting) this could be moved to a different room and another TV purchased.
So, after that build up, just how small is this TV?
40" inches.
As a point of reference, I think my last TV was 24" and cost me maybe $150. It also came with an attached VHS player. My TV before that was black and white and maybe as big as 18". Maybe.
Sheila's old TV can be seen lurking in the background.
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Today Tovina and I picked out some new barrettes at the store. I was hoping they would be easier to than the rubber hair bands but stay in better than the clips we've tried. It turns out the barrettes worked as well as I hoped. Better actually as we discovered that T REALLY liked them and wanted them all in her hair. Given the limited amount of available hair with which to work, I was only able to attach 18. Tovina was thrilled.

To further show off her new do, Tovina agreed to perform one of her new self choreographed dances. Its called '2 steps both forward and backwards - with flourishes.'
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Monday, October 05, 2009


We made challah again this week and the braiding improvement was a thing to behold! Michael's loaf is on the right this time. So tasty!
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