chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
It feels like Little Miss has been "almost two" for long enough already that actually having a birthday is a bit anticlimactic. But now it's official.

birthday week festivities )

Based on roughly 500 more viewings of "Zoe Loves Rocco" (from Sesame Street, about Zoe's pet rock), she has taken up a fascination with rocks. Every time we go outside, she finds a new one that she has to pick up and bring inside. [personal profile] bluepapercup, you will be so proud. She has also picked up "jump in muddy puddles!" from watching Peppa Pig. Fortunately we don't have too many muddy puddles, at least as long as she stays out of the septic drainfield (!).

She has recently reached the toddler stage of Everything is Mine. Sometimes it's a simple descriptive, as in "Where my bunny?", but then as soon as you try to take something away from her, it becomes a protest. "Noooo! MY cup! MY book! MY tabwet! MYYYY toofbrush!" Classic.

The instant she sees me do something new, she immediately says "I do it, I do it, I do it, I do it!" until I let her try. [livejournal.com profile] etrace has also discovered that she can not only identify and open the cookie drawer, but pull out the package of Oreos, open the package, and consume most of a cookie before he even knows she's gotten to it. She is, in short, as smart and determined as ever, and getting more accomplished every day.

And OF COURSE she is also the most beautiful child that ever childed. :-)
chanaleh: (breathe)
I came home one night (a Thursday) a few weeks ago and promptly had a meltdown over the fact that I constantly feel like I'm too tired to do anything useful. That is, I only have one or two half-hour scraps of baby-free time in a day (at least on weekdays), and even though there are surely small pending tasks I could fruitfully accomplish in that half-hour, all I want to do is sit down and stare at the ceiling. Same on weekends during baby naptime: I think all morning about the things I want to work on when she goes down, and then once it happens, all I do is sit and veg.

thinky )

Oh, and, technically I am taking a vacation next week, except that the occasion is a weeklong visit from my mom, so it's not exactly downtime even though it will be fun times! Hopefully some extra downtime for Etrace though, if he can chill at home while we take Aria and go run around/pay social calls.

Eating in

Friday, July 14th, 2017 05:11 pm
chanaleh: (mandala)
One of the best things [livejournal.com profile] etrace regularly does for me is roast me a chicken (over a bed of vegetables) every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. He's refined his technique over the past 3 years until he has it pretty much perfected. Which means it's kind of a pain in the ass relative to the "throw it in a pan and turn on the oven" I used to do, but he does it because he loves me, and it is fantastic. And while I love everything we do Friday evening -- lighting candles with Aria, opening a bottle of wine to go with dinner -- my hands-down favorite moment of the whole week is sitting down and pulling the beautifully roasted skin off my piece. NOM.

Hilariously: A few weeks ago he made a roast beef on some other weeknight, using the same pan he roasts the chicken in. And when it was done and Aria saw it resting on the counter under a sheet of tinfoil, she said "Candle time! Candle time!" No, lovey, I know it looks a lot like a chicken, but it's Tuesday!

Shul friends D (the lawyer) and R (also a lawyer) passed along some toys to us last weekend that their youngest grandchildren had officially outgrown... one of them being a little wooden Shabbat set: pretend candles, wine cup, and bread board with two loaves of challah "slices". I thought, Aria will get a kick out of the first two, but it's too bad I never make challah! Maybe I should get in the habit, just so she can have the full experience. Anyway, but we'll try them out tonight and see how it goes.

Shabbat shalom, y'all.

High Holidays

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 08:11 am
chanaleh: (leaves)
My two favorite friends from synagogue are MH, the president, and EHF (hereinafter SCO#4), the chair of the ritual committee. Between them, they have been talking to me for ages (since I was pregnant with Aria; possibly even before that) about training me up to lead High Holiday services.

notes from the life of an amateur cantorial soloist )

I figure, if I memorized the entire Hamilton soundtrack in less than 2 months, I can do this. It's just Shacharit, right? Right? #17tammuz #tishreiiscoming

Wonder of wonders

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 05:08 pm
chanaleh: EVERYTHING WILL BE AMAZING (amazing)
We didn't actually go see Wonder Woman last Sunday when we had the babysitter. The morning of, as we were getting ready, Etrace said "I don't think we're going to be able to enjoy a movie if we're listening every instant for the phone to ring," so we shifted smoothly over to Plan B and went on a lunch date in the courthouse square in Crown Point (barely 5 minutes from the babysitter's house).

There's a fancy steakhouse we'd been wanting to try, but Google said they didn't open til noon and we had arranged to drop Aria off around 11am. So we first tried to go shoe shopping (also closed Sundays, alas), then went for donuts and coffee at the local donuts-and-comics shop, like ya do. (Etrace: "Dessert first?" Me: "This is breakfast! Then we'll have lunch!" They were quite good donuts, especially when surrounded by Star Wars and Marvel paraphernalia. Would nom again.) Next, a nice grownup lunch where we actually got to chat about things other than our child in a leisurely fashion. And then we browsed the Antique Mall next door for another 20 minutes, until I got too antsy and we headed back to get her.

We got back there right around 2pm, and all of them (mom, kids, and Aria) were playing contentedly with blocks on the living room floor. Aria jumped up and ran to the door calling "Mama! Dada!" and then remarked, perfectly calmly, "You came back!" Amanda said Aria was perfectly fine the whole time and never got anxious in the slightest. Really good to know.

The next few weekends are pretty busy (nephew J's birthday and, oh yeah, we should try to hold a garage sale one of these Sundays), and then my mom will be here July 22-29. Maybe *she'll* be willing to watch Aria solo for a couple hours one afternoon/evening....

ETA: While I'm here, I should note that Tuesday was July 4, and after a quiet day at home, we went over to Etrace's cousins' house (also in Crown Point) for a small toddler-friendly cookout and fireworks. Aria was way more interested in the swingset, sand table, playhouse, and toy cars (the ride-in kind) than in the fireworks; maybe next year. Myself, I had never seen home fireworks that actually go *up in the air* and explode like real grownup fireworks, so I was impressed! I said to Etrace that we never had anything like that growing up, all we ever got were the little ground works like snakes and sparklers and smoke bombs and camellias; he said "That's because that's all that was legal in Indiana until 2006." That explains that! We bailed out at 9pm to take Aria home to bed, but driving home we could see other people's home fireworks displays all around us. It reminded us of arriving home from our roadtrip honeymoon 3 years ago on July 4, seeing fireworks all along the horizon for the final several miles as we drove north up I-65 at twilight. <3

23 months

Friday, June 30th, 2017 08:03 am
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
I measured Aria at 34" earlier in June. My mom keeps reminding me that projected adult height is twice the height at 24 months; mine was 35" and I turned out almost exactly 5'10", so I'm betting she'll be right about there on both counts. So we'll see what the official doctor recording says next month.

verbal and social skills )

I put up a sign at my work the middle of last week inquiring for babysitters for occasional evenings/weekends. I would have been happy with someone's teenage kid, but instead I got an inquiry from a woman in the next department over from mine, Amanda. She's maybe in her early 30s and has 2 little kids (girl aged 6 and boy 3.5), but used to be a nanny and would be happy to watch Aria for a few hours here and there, either at our house or theirs (in Crown Point less than 15 minutes away). I took her over there last Sunday afternoon for a quick meet-and-greet, and the 6-year-old took a real shine to her and showed her every toy in the house. I had to tear Aria away after 45 minutes. :-) We're planning to use this resource to go see Wonder Woman this Sunday -- the 11:45am show so we can retrieve her by naptime. A 3.5-hour outing might be ambitious for the first time out, but I feel like she'll be in good hands.

My mom is coming July 22 to spend Aria's birthday week. We don't have a super firm plan of what to do for her actual birthday (Wednesday the 26th) -- last year we just had a sandwich platter and a cake for us and the 3 grandparents in the afternoon. I think I would like to take her over to the county fair to see the animals. But I should call my dad and see what he's up for joining, too. That week's already kind of filling up; I feel like it's practically over before it's even here.

22 months

Monday, May 29th, 2017 08:51 am
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
Etrace says Aria is getting steadily... not what you could call "worse", but more of a handful, more rambunctious and wanting to get into everything and create chaos. He is worried she's bored. I don't think it necessarily means she's bored just because she suddenly likes to methodically dump out every one of her toys (or books from the bookcase, clean diapers from the basket, etc) onto the floor and mess them around. That's a way of entertaining herself, right? Better than endless hours of Elmo videos (which she will beg for if not distracted by sufficient mess to create).

Basically, the operative principle nowadays is "what can we do to tire her out today??" Read more... )

I took Aria to shul this past Shabbat, and when we pulled up I said "Do you know who we're going to see? Danielle!" (her adorable little buddy, age 3.5) They weren't there yet, since we actually arrived close to on time, but then every 30 seconds Aria said "Where Danel? Where Danel?" SO CUTE. Danielle's equally adorable mom J (who is also the Hebrew school principal) commented approvingly on how well Aria is suddenly talking. She also mentioned they have a Sunday morning synagogue preschool class -- separate from the Federation weekday preschool which is never going to be practical for us -- and they normally start at age 3 but she thought Aria would do fine if we wanted to sign her up this fall, especially since Danielle will be in the class. "Oh, and it's drop-off!" MAGIC WORDS. Anyway, they have a sign-up/meet-the-teachers day in August, so we'll see how that goes.
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
I would have liked to make this two separate entries, but don't really have time to split them out, so here it is all intermingled, gentle readers.

Obviously the biggest thing that happened in Aria's life this month was losing her Grandma Elsie on April 2, which sadly she won't even remember. But the second biggest thing was her first plane trip, to California to visit her other grandma, April 22-28. Her 21-month birthday was Grandma Bobbie's 74th birthday, April 26.

travel notes )

While we were in CA, we measured her at 33" and 26 pounds. (Edited to add: Checking back entries suggests that this is the same height the pediatrician measured at 18 months, which seems unlikely, with a 1lb weight gain, which is plausible. Next official measurements aren't until her 2yr visit in July.)
chanaleh: (breathe)
I owe a significant update about the past week, but right now I am baking for tomorrow night's seder, and since I had to go looking for this yet again, here is my go-to recipe:

Almond Torte )

Also, I plan to make the brisket recipe that [personal profile] gnomi posted last month, to wit:
Put brisket in pan, fat side up. Slather it with chopped garlic and sliced onions (I do the onions in rounds). Bake it uncovered at 350 for an hour. After that hour, put in potatoes, carrots, and up to a cup of water (depending on how much brisket sauce you like). Cover it tightly in aluminum foil and bake for an additional two hours. (You can turn the oven down to 300 for the last two hours of cooking, but it's not necessary.) Remove from oven, slice, and eat.

Second night, we are going to the community seder at the Reform temple (Beth El) that is right near our regular congregation. So hopefully that will be fun.

Chag sameach, everyone.

20 months

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 12:11 am
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
Potty training! You've been warned. )

language and social stuff )

August 2017

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