Saturday, February 21, 2009

Avi and the Pitchpipe

Not to be outdone, Avi decides to follow her big sister in a music career. Pitchpipe is her instrument of choice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Poetry and Song with Nourit

When Nourit sings, she doesn't sing the songs we know, but makes up her own. She's been known to give a long concert, setting up her stepstool like a podium, and putting a Mozart Rondo for Piano on the music stand in front of her, then pouring her heart out in another language, with hints of a nasal 'n' which tells us she's singing in Nourit-French. It's melismatic, mixed-metered, prosaic, and sometimes interrupted by screams and a dive off the podium to snatch a toy out of her baby sister's hands. Despite this, it's wonderful to hear her interpretation of all the musical influences she's had in her short life.

(To get the full effect, watch all 9+ minutes of the video below. To get to the part where the diva dives off the stage, accosts the baby, then resumes singing like nothing ever happened, start about two-thirds of the way through.)

Rounding this out, she's got a great sense for rhythm and rhyme. From an early age, I noticed her grasp on musical or poetic phrasing. She will make up songs or poetry with words that aren't necessarily found in any language we know, but they definitely rhyme at the end of each phrase. She's translated this skill to book-reading, too. Often, in her well-loved books, we'll begin the sentence on each page and let her finish. Here's what happened when she mixed it up a little:

Excerpted from 'Goodnight Moon'

In the Great Green Room, there was a red "vaboon" and a picture of the "plow" jumping over the "boon." Etc, etc. You get the idea of the game she's playing.

Then we get to the part about the quiet old lady who, instead of whispering "hush" was whispering "puss." Okay, a little gross. But this old lady has some more bad habits. By the end of the story, Nourit had her whispering "cuss." At least she swears quietly.

And Two Molars Make 8 & 9

Wow, I've never seen so many teeth explode in one little mouth in such a short amount of time. Avi has a top and bottom molar coming in - poor baby - but still finds a way to smile!

Monday, February 9, 2009


You can't see them in the picture, but Avi now has 3 more teeth! Top and bottom right, and bottom left. She'll be all set for corn-on-the-cob by June!

Creative Juices

I'm always amazed at how focused and creative kids can be at such a young age. Nourit continually surprises me with a new and amazingly symmetrical ways of constructing with her blocks or Krinkles, and lately spends time creating elaborate meals out of wooden food, toys, and items from mommy's drawers. Here are some pictures of our budding architect/food designer.

There is kind of a sad ending, though. According to my source on parenting, Love and Logic, if a kid doesn't help put away the toys, you're supposed to take that particular toy away for awhile. Somehow, this seems to backfire on me. Today I asked Nourit to help clean up the playdough. She said no, so I very calmly said it was going in the garbage. She was fine with that. (It made me a little sad, but on the up-side, I don't have to worry about Avi ingesting too much more for awhile!) However, when it came time to put away her wooden kitchen and the 12,000 items of food that go with it, she said, "I don't ever want to play with it again," just so she could get out of cleaning up. With all the love and logic I could muster, I took her hand and brought her over to the mini-kitchen, gave her the food boxes, and said, "Start packing."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kindness and Syndication

So, I took a little break and googled my name today, and surprise, surprise, my last post on the Chicago Mom's Blog was picked for syndication! ( My very first post was, as well, and I realized today that I probably should have printed each instance out because they aren't all available online anymore.) I'm not exactly sure what it means to be 'syndicated' other than a chosen few periodicals online are reprinting my post, along with my personal blog site. So perhaps it will bring people to my site, where they will either stay and peruse, or leave and go back home. It's flattering, too, both to be chosen, and to see my name 'in lights' for half a second. Other than that, I'm not sure what else to expect out of it.

So what does kindness have to do with this? It was the inspiration for my post. Relying on the Kindness of Friends talks about my utter need and enormous appreciation for my friends and neighbors. So if you are one of my friends and neighbors, I hope you know I couldn't live this life without you!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Driving up Lake Michigan - Twice

I really stay sequestered in Hyde Park most of the time, but when I get in the car and drive up Lakeshore Drive, I'm always struck by how beautiful the lake is with the Chicago skyline straight ahead. I forget how fun it is to head north, and but on the flip side, dealing with traffic is probably the reason I leave our little neighborhood so rarely by car. Saturday, I took the trip twice - once with family, once without.

We took Nourit for an observation/playdate at the Lycee early in the morning. It seems like there are so many people applying for preschool. I never imagined having my 3 year old 'interviewed' for a spot at school. I figured that would at least wait until college. The teachers seem wonderful, though, and we're still hoping it will somehow, someway, be possible for her to attend in the fall. Following the observation, we headed up to Argyle to La Patisserie P for THE best croissants in Chicago. We had met the chef/owner, Peter, at a breadbake a year ago at the Experimental Station, and yesterday was the third time we'd been back to his bakery for his award winning pastry.

After dropping the girls back at home with Jessica, and dropping Mike at Istria to write, I headed north again to do some "quick" shopping in Lincoln Park. (By shopping I mean groceries - not designer shoes.) It took me 3 hours to just pick up a few things, and then, after circling the parking lot at Whole Foods a few too many times, left for the other WF on Roosevelt. Crazy Saturday shoppers!

So, Lake Michigan, I'd like to see you again soon, but maybe on foot next time, for a leisurely stroll along the Point, or a fast speed walk along the water with the stroller.