Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bella Crawls Backwards!

Here's a quick video I took of Bella crawling back from the living room to the kitchen. I had to speed it up 400% or otherwise it would be over 5 minutes long. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Singing the ZYX's

Some days we have a quiet car ride to school. Some days the kids fight over toys. Some days I put all the toys out of reach and torment the kids for the whole length of the ride. Today was one of those days.

I decided that we were going to learn to sing the ABC's backwards. Yeah, you heard that right:

Parenting FAIL

No, I'm not speaking of us of course, we're wonderful parents. Just ask our kids.

In this case I am speaking of these parents, who are trying to land a gig for their children on the "hottest photo shoot ever." So of course they agree to a long list of conditions:

Baby on a crucifix?
Bees, wasps and hornets?
Dead or dying animals?
Amateur scientists?
Mixing pots of acid?
Extremely rapid acceleration?
Does she always have to be in a car seat or can she freestyle it?
Antiquated heavy machinery and would she be fine to operate it?
Lit phosphorous? Does he like it?
Can she lose 10 pounds in the next week?

Watch for yourselves:

I hope all these parents are in jail.

I think Sacha Baron Cohen is a genius. Sure, he can be crude and disgusting, but he is able to get people to say and do things that you wouldn't think sane people are capable of. I haven't seen the whole movie yet but the previews and scenes like this one make me want to go out and get it.

Bruno is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

These are the Months of the Year

One more video I forgot to upload. Kiki and Evan were showing off their month-singing abilities:

Abba Goes to a Football Game

So after my recent adventure with Kiki to the baseball game, eBalz asked if I wanted to join him to "Defend the Dome" and go to my first NFL game. It was a decent game with the Chicago Bears taking on the Atlanta Falcons who have been on quite a heater lately, especially coming off the previous trouncing of the 49ers the previous week in San Francisco. The game was on Sunday evening so we had some time to go eat at Ted's Monatana Grill, throw a football around at Centennial Olympic Park and walk around the craziness outside the Georgia Dome before the game.

Here's what I mean by craziness outside the field (awesome cameo by eBalz):

We were the only two people there who had no idea what tracks were being played. And with the whole crowd going nuts after just the first three notes were played of each song, we felt old and out of touch. Oh, well.

We walked around for a bit and then got to see the Falcons Drum Line perform before heading to our seats:

Our seats were way up near the rafters, but at least we had a great view of the entire field. For some reason the whole section we sat in was full of Chicago Bears fans so I had no idea who the cheers and boos were for for most of the game. Good thing I had eagle-eyed eBalz next to me to tell me what was going on.

Here comes the photo dump.

Introducing the players with cheerleaders and flares:

By the way, the cheerleaders were all dressed in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month which was a nice touch. But they didn't stop there. The players had pink shoes and gloves too. Which was a nice touch but looked kind of weird. Back to the photos.

They had a giant flag out on the field during the player introductions:

Here are the Falcons kicking one of their 3 extra points:

And after every one of those extra points they had these guys run across the field with huge flags:

The game started out very badly for the Falcons and for the first quarter they could not get past their own 30 yard line and could not get a first down. Eventually during the second quarter they started playing better and ended up winning 21-14 after some great defensive play that stopped the Bears from scoring after getting to 1st and 1. They fumbled their 2nd and 3rd down and when the Falcons recovered it the second time around the crowd went nuts after we all helped "Defend the Dome"!

Can't wait for my next game.

Kiki's First Baseball Game

A couple of weeks ago was the last game of the season for the Atlanta Braves and eBalz scored some tickets for the afternoon game against the Nats. Neither team had anything riding on the game, the weather was good and we decided to take the kids to their first baseball game. So it was Kiki, Sophie and Christopher with the dads and our poker buddy Brian came along as well. We had pretty decent seats behind first base and a great view of the field.

Right after finding our seats we left Chris with all the kids and went to get some dogs and drinks. He gave them a quick explanation of how the game works and by the time we got back they were watching intently. But baseball being the slow paced game that it is, they soon lost interest and were busier trying to figure out what the vendors were trying to sell and pretty much asked to buy everything.

At one point the Braves scored a home run which brought with it some fireworks and a lot of cheering. The kids loved that of course. But when we were at the bottom of the eighth inning after 2 hours and still tied 1-1 we decided to beat the post-game rush and headed out. They even brought out Chipper Jones as a pinch hitter to end the season, but nothing came of it. Earlier in the game I said that I'm sure that since this game didn't matter to either team they won't want to drag it out too much. So obviously it went to 15 innings after we left. Doh!

Here are some pictures from the game. First, me and my girl enjoying her first ball game:

Then, it's the two sweet, sweet-toothed girls:

Chris carrying all three kids out of Turner Field:

Laughing with a baby is a mitzvah!

Kiki has a mitzvah tree in her school where the kids bring paper leaves home, the parents write a mitzvah that the child has done and then the bring it back to school and staple it to the tree. It's very cool and the tree is already covered with mitzvah leaves.

But this has created a situation where anything Kiki does, she tells us it's a mitzvah. By the way for those who don't know what a mitzvah is:

1. a commandment or precept, esp one found in the Bible
2. a good deed
[from Hebrew: commandment]

So one day I was outside with Bella in the Bjorn and Kiki in her Wonder Woman costume because she just wanted to swing on her playground before it gets too cold. And every time Kiki would get close to us, Bella would just start cracking up! We've figured out that any time Bella sees Kiki running, swinging or spinning it make Bella laugh.

So then Kiki came up with the notion that laughing with a baby is a mitzvah. Here's her explanation as well as some great footage of her swinging in her costume:

And here's Bella laughing:

I think Kiki's right. Laughing with a baby is indeed a great mitzvah!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Driving the kids... CRAZY!

If you read this blog you know I drive the kids to school in the morning and I get most of my material from the discussions with these 4-5 year old geniuses. Well this morning I decided to mess with them a little. I was in a good mood and we were listening to music, as we usually do.

It started with Evan mentioning that his neighbor wrote the Britney Spears song "Womanizer". Then this curly-headed boy start singing "womanizer, womanizer, woma, woma, womanizer, you're a womanizer..." and that just cracked me up. So I turned off the Imagination Movers CD, because how many times can you listen to "What's your favorite snack?" and started playing some Black-Eyed Peas.

Evan said he liked Boom Boom Pow and Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night but when I played them he pretty much wrapped his head in his hands and covered his ears. I took that as a sign to stop. Then Evan came up with the quiet game. You all know it, everyone has to be quiet and the first person to say anything loses.

So we drove in silence for a few minutes and then Evan said something. I pointed at him and smiled and then Kiki said something too and I pointed at her and smiled. And it went downhill from there:

Abba: I am the winner, I am the winner, you are the losers, you are the losers (imagine a taunting sing-song way of saying this with an annoying voice)
Evan: No we're not. There are no winners and losers in this game.
Abba: Yes there are. I am the winner and you are the losers.
Kiki: No Abba! You are not the winner!
Abba: Loo-hoo-se-hers (with a big L on my forehead)!
Evan: You're cheating! There is no winner in this game!
Abba: Then what's the point of the game?
Evan: To see who can stay quiet the longest.
Abba: And I stay quiet the longest, so I am the winner of the quiet game. I am the winner, you are the losers. Loo-hoo-se-hers!
Kiki: No you're not! We're going to play another game.
Abba: Bring it on, suckahs! I am going to win every game we play today.

This is where these two start whispering in the back and trying to come up with a new game.

Kiki: We are going to play the "Wonder Woman and Wonder Boy Shooters" game.
Evan: Yeah!
Abba: How do you play that?
Kiki: You make shooters with your hands.
Evan: And then we shoot you and win the game.

So i point my fingers back at them and go "pshew-pshew, I got you both Wonder Woman and Wonder Boy. I win again!"

Kiki: We were not playing yet!
Evan: Yeah, we weren't ready!
Abba: Too bad losers! I win again (followed by a manaical laugh)!
Evan: You cheated! We weren't playing yet!
Kiki: Yeah Abba. You cheated!
Abba: How did I cheat?
Kiki: You didn't let us go first. The youngest always goes first, remember?
Abba: That rule only works for CandyLand. I was faster and I won again.

Kids are totally baffled. Speechless. Then Evan starts saying something about Bakugan battles and brawls and I have no idea what language he's speaking.

Evan: Bakugan this something something something and Bakugan that something something.
Abba: I don't know about any of that. I can't play it because I don't have any Bakugans.
Evan: Well, we're going to use invisible ones.
Abba: Well then I win again! Because my invisible Bakugans just beat all your Bakugans and once again, I am the winner and you are the losers. Loo-hoo-se-hers!!!

This caused a huge uproar. Something about me not following the battle and brawl rules, playing out of turn, not using the correct cards, etc. To which I simply replied that I don't really care because i won every game on our ride to school.

When we were standing in line at school I took this quick video:

When it was eventually our turn in line, I opened up the back door of the car and out came a bunch of screaming and yelling that made the poor teacher wince in pain. I am really sorry about all this, teachers.

But I was the winner!

To inifinty and beyond

I like messing with the kids on the car rides to school. So a couple of days ago we had a really interesting discussion about math. Now you have to remember they are 4-5 year old kids:

Evan: Do you know what the biggest number in the world is?
Abba: I think I do. Do you know what it is?
Evan: Yes, it's a googol.
Abba: How big is a googol?
Evan: It's got a lot of zeros.
Abba: That's right, it has a million zeros (actually my bad it only has 100 zeros).
Evan: Wow! How did you know that?
Kiki: Yeah, Abba, how did you know that?
Abba: You might not think it, but I know a lot of stuff.
Kiki: Is that the biggest number in the world?
Evan: Yes!
Abba: Well, actually, there are bigger numbers. Like, googol plus one.
Evan: That's not true.
Abba: How about two googols? Or 100 googols? Or a googol googols?
Kiki: Well, I know the biggest number in the world!
Abba: Really, what is it sweetie?
Kiki (whispering to Evan): Evan, what is the biggest number in the world?
Evan: I told you already, it's googol.
Kiki: The biggest number in the world is 8 million, 500, 80, 90, 100, 150 (whenever she gets to the big numbers she starts to confuse them a bit).
Abba: I know one number that is bigger than that.
Kiki: Really?
Abba: Yes, it's 8 million, 500, 80, 90, 100, 150 and one.
Kiki: Hmmmm....

This is where the kids were in deep thought/confusion for several minutes.

Kiki: I know the biggest number in the world!
Abba: What is it?
Kiki: It's called the "Biggest Number in the World!"
Abba: What about the "Biggest Number in the World" plus one?
Kiki: Stop it Abba!
Abba: What about the "Biggest Number in the World" plus two?
Kiki: STOP!
Abba: You're kind of right, you know?
Kiki: Why?
Abba: There really is no such thing as the biggest number in the world, because you can always add one more to it. So they call it infinity.
Kiki: Infinity?
Abba: Yeah, and you know what inifinity plus one is?
Kiki: No.
Abba: It's still inifinity.

And I didn't hear another peep out of them until we got to school.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back from the beach

We're baaaaaack!

What a great vacation! We did our annual Litchfield Beach family vacation and got back home yesterday afternoon. Yes, pretty much everyone got sick again (Jeff and I think the filters in the AC system are the cause), but we still had a fantastic time. The weather could not have been better for this time of year and considering Atlanta got about 7 buckets worth of rain and we only got a sprinkle on Friday - I'll take it any day.

There are so many great stories to tell and one day when the kids are all grown up and I have more than 5 minutes to write this stuff down I might induce some self-hypnosis and try to remember everything. But for now, some highlights:

Adults - 8
Kids - 7
Total nights - 7
Nights Kiki slept in the same room as Sophie - 1.5
Nights I slept with Kiki on the sofas in the living room - .5
Nights Cynthia & I slept with a toddler limb on our head/back/butt - 4
Nights Bella slept in her crib - 7
Rummykub games I won - 0
Rummykub rules I hate - all of them
Games of Yahtzee I played - 1
Games I won - not even close
Golf rounds - 4 (well, one round but we were a foursome)
Discount on our rounds - 50%
Pars I made - about 5-6
Final score - 97 (low score for the group)
Dinners we all cooked - 4
Dinners the chef cooked - 1 (better than all of ours combined)
Beer/Wine consumed - way too much
Drive to the beach - 6.5 hours
Drive back home - 8+ hours (seriously, why is that?)
Hours without my Blackberry - many, many hours
Relaxing with our friends - Priceless

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Carnival in Alabama

It was a cool overcast day so I decided to take BOTH girls for a little ride on the Silver Comet Trail. Kiki on her princess bike, with training wheels and tassels, and Bella in her "bike" - the Abba-Powered Aubergine Bugaboo. Kiki has been apprehensive about actually doing any actual bike riding. She's been more into talking about it than physically doing it. So I figured the trail is nice and flat, no way she can complain about being scared of going down hills too fast and no other excuses.

We hit the trail at a pretty slow pace to start our journey. But a couple of hundred yards in people were just zooming past us so Kiki started to pick up the pace. Which eventually turned into a slow jog for me. Bella loves being outside so obviously she fell asleep 5 minutes into it.

I had to constantly remind Kiks to watch where she was going and stay in her lane. And not to swerve around and to stay in her lane and to watch where she was going. You get the point. But she was loving it! Absolutely loving every second. She did a fabulous job of riding and I made sure to compliment and encourage her.

Then she asked me where the trail goes to and I said it goes alllllll the way to Alabama. To which she responded that that's where she wanted to go because there was a special carnival in Alabama. She said it loud enough for a few walkers to hear and crack up. She was serious too. She would not turn around and head back to the car. At the 1.2 mile marker I finally said that she could keep going to Alabama and to call me when she gets there if she needs me to pick her up because Bella and I couldn't walk to Alabama. But since she has a bike and she is such an excellent rider she should go ahead and go.

So we headed back.

That's when the trouble started. Since I was jogging pretty much all the time now, I had to stop for some water. When Kiki saw the water she wanted some too. Then after 30 seconds she was thirsty again. Then after another thirty seconds she was thirsty again. And again. And again...

Eventually we got a rhythm going again and we were back to the watch where you're going stay in your lane routine. At one point she decided to look back at us and veered right off the trail. She knew something was wrong, probably by my look of panic, so she did the only appropriate thing and let go of the bike. Luckily I was close enough to grab her in mid-air and save the day.

That didn't phase her at all and a couple of minutes later while trying to go as fast as she can her sneaker slipped off the pedal and she lost control of the bike which once again veered right off the trail. This time I wasn't quick enough and she landed in a big mangled kid+bike pile in the grass. When I got to her she was cracking up and yelling that she's OK. I picked her up and brushed the grass off her face and we were back on track.

We eventually made it back to the car after working up a nice sweat. I am so proud of us for going 2.5 miles. Let's hope she likes it enough to try it again soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School & Car Pool Chatter

School's back in session and Kiki is so excited about going to "big kid pre-kindergarten" that she burst into our room this morning and said "it's the second day of pre-k today!" Ahhh, youthful excitement...

Anyway, with school starting, I got back to car pool duty and obviously that leads to some lively discussions in the car. The level of language, logic and conversation has increased dramatically and these 4.5 year olds are speaking like adults already.

Here's a quick sample (the topic is Evan's Bakugans):

K: We can play with your Bakugans when we go to the playground.
E: But I won't have them in the playground.
K: Where are they going to be?
E: In my book bag.
K: Well, I have a great idea! You can take them out of your book bag.
E: But then Ms. Sherri will see them and I am not supposed to bring toys to school.

Somehow the conversation shifted to a different avenue and took a wrong turn:

E: Well, Bakugans are too complicated for girls.
K: (Sitting in stunned silence)
Abba: Kiki, do you think that's true? Do you think Bakugans are too complicated for girls?
K: Well, I am the only girl in the world who can play Bakugans.
E: (Sitting in stunned silence)

Anyway, it was an awesome car conversation and I am not doing it justice at all. Then we got into a discussion of who was going to get who Bakugans for their birthday:

K: Well, I want to have Bakugans for my birthday.
E: You can't have them, because that's MY birthday present.
K: Evan, I have a special idea! Why don't we both get them for our birthdays?
E: But how?
K: Let's decide that I will get them for you and then you can get them for me.
E: You can get me a one-pack and then I can get you a one-pack?
K: Abba, will you get Evan a Bakugan one-pack for his birthday?
Abba: Sure, if that's what he wants.
E: Maybe... we can get a two-pack and split it?
K: Maybe we can get a three-pack and split it and give one to Abba?
E: Yeah!

So apparently I am getting one third of a three-pack of Bakugans, that I am buying anyway. At this point we moved on to trying to finagle a play date:

K: So can I come over for a playdate and play with your Bakugans?
E: Well, I can't have any more playdates.
K: How come? (this is her favortie question these days)
E: I was too wild on my last playdate so I can't have any more.
K: Who said that?
E: My mom.
K: Abba, can you talk to Evan's mom about letting us have a playdate?
Abba: Sure.
K: Because Evan is my BEST friend and I REALLY want to have a playdate with him, OK?
Abba: OK, sweetie, I'll see what I can do, but you know, moms make the rules, right?
E: I didn't know I was your best friend.
K: Well, I have three best friends, you, Jed and Robert.
Abba: Those are your best friends, huh? Aren't there some girls who are your best friends?
K: Yes, but these are my very very very best friends. Evan, do you know who my very very very best friends are?
E: Me, Jed and Robert?
K: YES!!! How did you know?
E: You just told me that!
K: Well, you guessed it!

And then we got to school...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baby Beatbox - The Remix


I just had to play around with this.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bella the Baby Beatbox


Cynthia took this quick video of Bella yesterday.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mahna Mahna

I love listening to the kids' radio station on XM when taking Kiki to school in the mornings. Today they played Cake's version of Mahna Mahna:

Which reminded me of the muppet version:

Now try to get that one out of your head.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


My dad introduced me to golf a couple of decades ago but I never really saw the point in spending 4-5 hours hitting a tiny dimpled white ball in random directions. He kept at it and is now playing about 3-4 times a week with his friends. Several years ago, when I was back home for a visit, he convinced me to take a lesson with the club pro and I was more than happy to try it out again. I figured it would be a great way for my dad and I to spend quality time together.

And boy was I hooked! I started playing every chance I got. No matter what the weather was like, what destination I was headed to or who I would play with (or without) - I always tried to squeeze in some golf. I worked my way down to about a 13 handicap in 2-3 years while living in Manhattan where I had to travel off the island to play.

On my parents' recent trip to visit us and meet baby Bella for the first time, we decided that it would be a great idea to get out of Atlanta for a change and headed to Hilton Head Island, SC. Being a mini-mecca of golf I booked us a round of golf on one of the island's many courses. The day before our round there was a golf exhibition staged by the local pro and after that there was a 4-7 year old golf clinic. And Kiki was extremely excited to try it out.

We all had a blast watching her try her best over and over again. They started out on the putting green and the pro taught the kids a simple song to get them to hit the ball properly:

"Aim your club,
Aim your feet,
Tick, Tock"

Simple, yet effective:

From there they moved on to chipping just off the green and the song changed just a little bit. The final line was "Potato, Chip." And finally they headed off to the driving range to hit full swing shots and the final line was "Squash, the bug!" That means you squash the imaginary bug with your knees as you turn to hit the ball.

Kiki was having some trouble adjusting her hands to grip the club properly, mainly because I believe she's a lefty so holding the club cross-handed came more naturally to her. When I tried to tell that tidbit to the pro, he cut me off and got the kids to practice how to hold the club "like a hot dog" where the right hand is the bun and the left thumb is the hot dog. Hot dog goes in the bun and voila, they were all holding their clubs properly.

Anyway, I hope she likes the game and grows up learning to play it. I would love to be able to get a round in with her. If she's not too cool for her Abba, that is. I really enjoy playing golf with my Abba, so I hope she will too.

Here's one more photo of that amazing smile:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So You Think Your Daughter Can Dance?

Probably the only "grown-up" show Kiki watches with us (other than Cynthia's design shows) is So You Think You Can Dance. She loves it. She stands in front of the TV and dances her little butt off. She giggles when they hug or kiss and she says Evan is her favorite dancer, you know, "because he's cute."

Obviously all this is going to bite us in the butt sooner rather than later and the signs are right there. One evening when I was putting the Kikster to bed, she was prancing all over here room, quietly muttering something to herself. So I asked here what it was she was saying and she goes "Sexy Walk, Sexy Walk, Sexy Walk." I knew right away where she heard it and it always amazes me how much she absorbs. I tend to think that she's too young to pay attention to everything, but I am realizing that this kid does not miss a single thing!

So where was this "Sexy Walk" from? The choreographer for the girls' Bollywood routine says it ONCE when he is filmed showing them how to start the dance. As you can see below, they fill their jug (called a matka in Indian - funny word) and then do a sexy walk to the back of the stage before they go into hyperspeed.

So that's what my dear 4-year old daughter picked up from the entire 2 hour show. At least when I asked her what that means she said it's a very difficult dance move to do.

I am in so so so much trouble...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Photo Dump

I haven't had much time to write lately so instead, here's a bunch of photos taken over the last month or so with short captions:

1. Yesterday we spent half the day over at the Elkos celebrating Emily's 2nd birthday. The theme was Thomas the Tank Engine so obviously they had a train to take the kids around the neighborhood. Here are Kiki and Sophie on their maiden voyage (they eventually rode it about 20 times):

2. Not sure when this happened. I think we made homemade chocolate pudding and this is what Kiki looked like after licking the spoons and bowls:

3. Baby Bella is all smiles these days (except for the times she's tired or hungry and then she finds audio ranges you didn't know the human ear could actually hear). Check out those long eyelashes:

4. Kiki really loves Bella and wants to hold, hug and kiss her any chance she gets:

5. This one was especially funny since Kiki decided to just hop right into Bella's Moses basket:

6. Lovely:

7. Cynthia took this a few weeks ago:

8. Last time we made deviled eggs Kiki decided it was more fun playing with giant olives than eating them:

That's it for now I think. More later.

Kiki's Apple Ka

The other day Kiki and I were hanging out in the kitchen in the afternoon and she wanted a snack of some sort. Being the creative and industrious little girl that she is, she declared that she was going to make Apple Ka. At first I thought she said apricot, but then when she repeated it I knew I was mistaken.

Well, what is Apple Ka you may ask? We created a recipe card for it:

Basically, she opened up the fridge and grabbed anything she could reach. And she ate the entire bowl. I tasted it. It was delicious!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My girls are gorgeous!

Am I going to be in trouble later in life or what? These two are going to break a lot of hearts.

Here's Bella sleeping quietly and waiting for the valet to bring the car around:

Kiki has been out of school since last week so this week she went to cheer leading camp. This is her posing with the 'Y' in 'ROWDY':

And after a tough day of cheers a girl needs to relax in a bubble bath, right? Well, sort of:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Stay at Home Dad

I just heard this on XM Comedy and had to share:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quick Post - More Bella Photos

Crystal is our dear friend and neighbor and this morning she took some amazing photos of Bella (and me). Follow this link to her blog and take a look. She is really an amazing photographer. Highly recommended!

Thanks Crystal!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Baby Bella is Here!

Bella Brannon Dekel was born on the afternoon of April 7th. I wrote a little bit about her name on my genealogy blog (link here), but we haven't gotten around to posting any pictures yet. So here's a quick photo dump for everyone to enjoy.

Still in the OR, right after the nurses cleaned her up:

In the nursery, getting her first bath:

Kiki has been amazing with Bella and loves to hold her and comfort her:

Since it was Passover, we all got matching seder-plate shirts and a onesie for Bella:

My three girls:

Me and my babies:

Getting ready to go home:

First night at home, girls in matching pajamas:

So as you can understand we've been home for a couple of days and so far I can tell you that this kid is certainly a night owl. She only cries when she is hungry or when she needs her diapers changed, which is pretty much every 15 minutes. She makes the funniest grunts and squeaks when she sleeps and is a very strong baby. She lifts her head up and if she's got her arms or legs bent, good luck trying to stretch them out (for putting on sleeves or diapers). The hospital photographer was shocked when she saw here hold her head up at 3 days.

I can honestly say that I don't remember any of this from when Kiki was born. Which means that no matter what happens, we're all going to be fine in the end, right? Anyway, more pictures later. I am going to try to take a nap.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Big Day is Here!!!

So in a few hours we will be heading to the hospital to meet our newest family addition via a scheduled c-section!

Poor Cynthia is about to explode and she can barely move any more. Just shifting from one side to the other makes her whole body spasm in pain, literally bringing tears to her eyes. I have to hand it to her, with everything we've gone through in this pregnancy, she has done an AWESOME job!

It is going to be quite the transition for all of us from a family of three to four. I can't even imagine what it's like with two kids and even though it's only been four years, I can't remember what it's like to have a tiny baby in the house. I guess I'll find out soon enough and I'm sure it will be great.

Kiki had been handling it pretty well, considering she has been the focus of all attention for the past 4 years. She knows today is the big day and probably because of that gave us a hard time going to bed last night. Just wanted to test us a little before she crashed around 9:30pm (2 hours past her regularly scheduled bedtime).

We're as ready as we can be I guess. All the tiny onesies have been washed, folded and put away in the dresser. The baby swing is ready. Baby car seat will be installed later today. The changing table is back up and ready for action. And I even figured out how to put the crib back together even though I couldn't find the screws and nuts anywhere.

I ordered a replacement hardware kit for the crib but apparently the manufacturer (Bellini) can't figure out how to order one. Their playing "Where in the World is Carmen Hardware-Kit" with it. Is it in China? Or maybe Italy? I ended up going to Home Depot and buying loose parts instead. If they ever find the kit and ship it we will just sell it with the crib sometime in the future.

So anyway, that's it. Kiki will spend the night at Sophie's and I will pick her up tomorrow and take her to the hospital. We're going to get some lunch on the way and cupcakes and celebrate a birthday. We have gifts from everyone to everyone else and it's going to be great.

I can't wait to meet her!!!

Stay tuned for more updates (and first photos). I will probably cross post here and on the Dekel Daily Blog, so check either one.

The Mustangs - Soccer Champs!

The Mustangs have played three regularly scheduled league games so far and since we don't keep score or have league standing, I can safely say they are playing like champs. It's hilarious watching a bunch of 4-year-old kids in oversized soccer uniforms running up and down the field for 30 minutes. There's a lot of confusion, lots of hugging, bug spotting in the dirt, some crying and snacks. Can't forget the snacks. Sometimes I think that's the only reason they even want to play. No, I'm kidding. They really love the whole thing.

On the first week Kiki got her uniform and she looked fierce!

I tried to get some shots of her on the field, but she was more into posing than action shots. Since all the other kids had their shirts out I decided to relax the dress code and take Kiki's shirt out as well. Here she is, striking a pose:

Every game starts with a half hour practice session where coach Scott tries to get the kids to practice the basics of stop, dribble and kick. I got a couple of great candid shots of Kiki:

Kiki likes playing goalie the most. She gets all excited and starts hopping in place and running from one goal post to the other. The other team was very strong and their boys were running fast and kicking hard. But Kiki managed two amazing saves:

The Mustangs played their next two games in some cold and wet weather, but they love every minute of it. Thank you coach Scott for putting this together and having the energy (and patience) to run around with the kids. I know they love it and I have a blast too.

The Lemonade Stand & Sleepover

I'm going to fire off a few quick blog posts with recent photos if you don't mind. I haven't been doing a great job of updating here and now I am in catch-up mode.

So first off is the lemonade stand story. Sophie came over for a sleepover and it was such a beautiful afternoon that we decided to sell some lemonade and raise money for charity. Kiki's class collects coins every Friday for Tzedakah (charity) and so we thought it would be a great way to get the some quarters. But Kiki had other ideas and when anyone asked how much they were charging per cup she would say "oh, it's a buck!"

The girls had a blast and were so excited when their friends showed up. I actually ended up making a second batch of lemonade because it was selling out so fast. Here's a picture of the girls with Kylie:

The girls collected the money and placed it in the cash register and were very excited about the entire event. When we were done they had collected $12 which we matched and sent to the 'Bees' charity coffers. They will decide what children's charity will get the money they have collected at the end of the school year. Such a smart way to teach kids about charitable giving.

So after a fun afternoon, it was time for a nice relaxing bubble bath:

and a little picnic on our bed while watching some TV:

Then it was time to go to bed and obviously that was not going to happen easily and we ended up with a little meltdown and flat air mattress, but all things considered the girls had a lot of fun.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Maguroration

Kiki is quite the inventor. Check out this story.

Ever since the weather started getting nice she has been spending a lot of her time outdoors, especially in the back yard, practicing her new found swinging abilities. Finally, the hard work I put into building her playground is paying off. She could swing all day if we let her.

One afternoon she kept running in and out of the house, carrying random stuff with her as she went back and forth. After a while she yelled to us to come see her invention, or as she called it, her "Maguroration":

The idea was that she would sit on the soccer ball on the right swing and as she swung it would make the other one swing with her in unison. Pretty darn smart, I think. Smart kid!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Toughest Soccer Player - EVER!

Check her out. We got her some Adidas cleats and Puma shin guards. But she wears them with her princess pajamas, Hello Kitty backpack and Dora the Explorer doll. If this picture gets out, her rivals next Sunday will not be too intimidated. Or will they just be jealous? Hmmmm....

How to Make Deviled Eggs with a 4-Year Old

We got Kiki a subscription to High Five magazine (part of Highlights) and she looks forward to getting it in the mail every month. We usually read it cover to cover several times (quick read) and there are always fun projects to do together.

So this time they had a "Make Deviled Eggs" project which I thought would be a lot of fun. Kiki loves hard boiled eggs (the only kid she will eat willingly) so this was a way to get her to eat some finally. It was so easy to do too. Here's the final result:

And here's the recipe:

You need: Eggs, Olives (black and green), Red Pepper, Mayo, Mustard, Salt & Pepper

Adults: Boil 4 eggs. Chop 1/2 sweet red pepper and some olives into very small pieces

1. Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut in half. Remove yolks and mash them.
2. Add 1.5 tbsp mayo, .5 tsp mustard, .25 cup red pepper, salt & pepper to taste.
3. Put olive pieces in egg whites and top with yolk mixture.
4. Decorate with remaining olive and red pepper pieces.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good Hair Day

A few days ago MeeMaw was over to hang out with Kiki for a bit while we ran a few errands. We got a tip saying that we should really be surprised when we see what Kiki has done to her hair. "Pretend like you don't know who she is," was the directive. So we played along. MeeMaw had washed Kiki's hair and blow dried it straight. Well as straight as it could be (anyone who knows Kiki knows that is a truly monumental feat):

We had a lot of fun pretending to look for her in the house and asking who this strange girl with the straight hair was. Then we took lots of pictures. Kiki has recently started to strike some fancy poses as you can see below:

We tried to keep the hair straight for as long as we could but the next morning it was already starting to curl and lock back up. That kid's going to go through a lot of conditioner in her life...

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