Tag Archive: Aviva

Where I’ve Been.


I know, I haven’t blogged in awhile. Life gets busy and, with three kids, even the laziest days are filled with distraction and demand. But that’s not really why I haven’t been writing here.

I started feeling really awful over the Summer. My energy level took a huge dive and there were some alarming changes in my breast tissue. As I’m normally a healthy, fit person, I couldn’t imagine what was wrong with me – the vapors, early menopause, disco fever, cancer?? After endless blood tests, ultrasounds, and doctor’s visits, I was told that my hormones were in a precarious state of imbalance (in my mind, this looked like St. Bernard on a high-wire) and that it was probably due to a combination of insulin resistance and ovarian cysts. Not knowing the root of the problem was the psychological equivalent of walking around all day, everyday, with a sharp pebble in my shoe, so finding out it wasn’t something super serious was a huge relief.  I’m managing everything pretty well with meds, diet, and exercise. Trying to adjust to a life without sweets has been hard, but totally worth the effort. I feel a lot better now.

(Actually, disco fever sounds pretty awesome and I wish it had been the cause of my troubles. Any excuse to wear this.)

Other than being preoccupied by my own imminent decrepitude, time moves fast. The days bleed into each other like, well, like bleeding bloody days.  The kids are getting bigger and most of my domestic energy is spent trying to stop them from becoming more grown-up. This is obviously an exercise in futility, but like a pit bull, I won’t loosen my jaws until the struggle itself becomes futile.

This will be all too soon, in Noah’s case. He started 5th grade this year and turns 11 in March. He’s doing well in school and is enjoying his steadily increasing independence. His life is all about friends, school, camp, music, and fun these days. When he’s not busy with those things, he’s eating, growing, and taking things apart just to rebuild them.

The girls are good, too. Lilah is 8 now and still a wise, creative soul with an incredible amount of common sense. She’s super bright and expects a lot from herself, which is both a blessing and a curse. She loves to read and draw for the most part, but her feistiness comes out when she’s horsing around with her friends or playing soccer.

Aviva is almost 5, which blows my mind. She’s in that stage between preschooler and big kid – still biologically drawn toward cuddles and comfort, but unwilling to hold my hand when we cross the street. She’s a sassy, clever girl who loves preschool and playing with her friends. We’ll register her for kindergarten next month, which is something I’m not at all ready to accept. In fact, my insistence on keeping her small runs so deep that I’m planning to spend most of August at home with her, enjoying lots of carefree fun during the last few weeks before she starts elementary school.

See? Pit bull.

Now that I’ve bored you with a quick update, here are the highlights of the past 7 months in short order:

– Yoga. I started doing it because I lacked the energy to do my normal, cardio-heavy workouts and now I’m hooked. And really, really strong. Because my schedule is pretty packed and I can’t make it to a live class with any regularity, I take my classes online through Yogaglo. I love it.

– Noah went to overnight camp in Maine for 3.5 weeks over the Summer. We missed him like crazy, but he had an amazing time – learned lots of new things, made lots of new friends, and was really sad to leave when we picked him up. To cheer him, we ended his month-long Jewish indoctrination by taking him out for some delicious Maine lobster on our way home. Sacrilege never tasted so sweet.

– Aviva is learning Chinese in preschool. She’s picking it up so quickly that I’m thinking about hiring a tutor to help her continue the language when she starts kindergarten. She loves trying out her new words on actual Chinese people, so this comes in very handy when there’s a long wait to be seated at Hei La Moon.

– Lilah blocked all shots in goal during the Spring and Fall soccer seasons. Hell yeah!

– August brought us an ancient scourge: head lice. There is truly nothing like the moment when you realize that your child – your child with super thick, curly hair – has a head full of bugs. Thankfully, for me and for my children, this moment occurred in public, so I couldn’t fly right into screaming banshee mode. The delayed reaction proved to be advantageous because when I got home, I was able to just skip the hysteria phase and go right into the heavy drinking phase of head lice coping techniques. I only reverted back to the banshee phase once, when close inspection revealed that all three kids had it…and that I had it, too. The next 6 days were spent spinning through an endless cycle of combing, nit-picking, laundry, and stupid movies. Was it the end of the world? No, definitely not. Do I ever want to go through it again? Fuck no. In fact, if given the choice between Louse House: The Sequel and a non-serious injury, I’d take the injury…unless it was a bug-related injury, of course.

– We barely celebrated the high holidays this year. Our house was still somewhat disorganized from the lost week of lice, I was exhausted, and the kids had just started a new school year. We weren’t up for hosting Rosh Hashanah dinner for our extended family like we usually do, so we didn’t.  In hindsight, I missed it and plan to make up for it with a huge, fun Passover seder.

– Michael and I went to The Rally to Restore Sanity back in October. My parents had already planned to have the kids at their house that weekend anyway, so we went for it! It was the first time in five years that we’d been away without the kids.  It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but we had an amazing time – saw some sights, went to some museums, ate some fabulous food, and rallied sanely. It also made us realize that we should spend a weekend away without the kids at least once a year. Grown-up travel is much more relaxing than family travel.

– Lilah turned 8 last month. We celebrated by getting her a fancy new bike and letting her host her very first slumber party. Seven extra girls invaded our house and, even though we braced for chaos, everyone behaved really well. The giggles tapered off around midnight and we didn’t hear another peep until 7am. This has led me to conclude that these children could stand to spend some time with 8-year-old me and my 2nd/3rd grade friends. We’d teach them to raise some sleepover hell. None of this “asleep at midnight” malarkey.

-The December holidays were good. Chanukah was fun, as always, and the surrounding weeks were punctuated by visits with dear friends. We welcomed the new year at home with the kids, playing games and dancing.

Happy 2011 to the handful of you who read this blog. I hope to be here more often this year.

Routine Bedtime

“I am weddy for the soap!”, Aviva announced from the shower.

“Ok, Sweetie. Here you go.”, I said, squeezing soap into my hands and gently scrubbing her little four-year-old body.

“Oh! Oh!”, she cried as she rinsed off, “My skin! My skin is just SHOUTING OUT!”

“It’s shouting out?”, I stifled a laugh. “What is it shouting?”

She grinned at me, then answered,



A few moments later, she was out of the shower and standing on the bathmat, hurriedly demanding, “I’mcold! I’mcold! I’mcold! Pleasepleaseplease get me a towel and WARM ME UP! Huwwy up! Pleasepleaseplease!”

I quickly wrapped her up and gave her a squeeze.

She sighed happily, kissed my forehead, and theatrically gushed, “Oh THANK you, my love-ah-ly mother!”


After putting lotion on her shouting skin, we went upstairs to get pajamas and read some bedtime stories. Aviva quickly lost interest in the chapter book I was reading to Lilah, so she decided to climb into bed with one of her many Curious George books and “read” aloud to herself…

“This is Curious George. He is a cwazy monkey. He has an owner with a lellow hat and lellow pants. He likes to go sledding down big mountains, which is very fun and a little scawy! He cwashed into a pole and got a little scrape, but he is OK. He loves to climb and swing and jump through trees because he is a monkey. He stoled a pizza plate and sat on it and turned it into a weally fast sled! Wheee! He go’ed down the hill. He knocked over the skiers and winned a prize and the skier was not even mad and they didn’t get a bwuise. Everyday is a good day for George the monkey.  The End.”

By the time I finished reading with Lilah, Aviva was more than ready to be tucked-in. “Hello, Miss Aviva, “, I said quietly as I crossed her room, “That was some good reading I just heard!”

With a drowsy smile, she nodded, and said, “We need a pet monkey. And a pizza sled! Whoosh!”


(yawning) “I know, Mama. I am soooo silly!”

Then she closed her eyes and fell asleep before I had the chance to agree.

Four Years Old

She turned 4 yesterday, my little Aviva.

She was born stubbornly, wide awake, noisy, and ravenously hungry. In that respect, it seems very little has changed.

But, now she is simultaneously so big and so small, such as all four year olds are.  She’s still a baby in so many ways, but so hell-bent on independence and autonomy that her everyday must feel like a challenge against an impossibly slow clock.

In my everyday, that clock moves far too quickly and I am powerless to stop it.  She changes a little each day – a new word here, a new skill there, a new question, a new answer, a new connection, an increasingly sharper wit.  Even though it feels like her childhood is stuck on fast-forward, it is amazing to watch.  I love every minute of it, every minute of her.

Aviva at age four, in short order…

– First and foremost, she started preschool this year and loved it from day one.  She was so ready, so excited.  We dropped her off and that was that.  No tears, no drama – just a hug and “See you later!”.  It’s been great for her. She loves her teachers and her new friends, but now she’s starting to really love learning, too.

– We got rid of her stroller this year.  This was a huge deal because we live in a very urban area and walk pretty much everywhere.  I’m thrilled that she can finally keep up with us on foot without complaining, but I’m also just glad not to be pushing a 36 pound child around town anymore.

– By her third birthday, she was done with diapers during the day and now she’s also done with them during the night!  Hurrah!

– She is prone to melodrama and I try very hard not to encourage it, but sometimes, for the sake of awesomeness, I have to let her get it out.  She got a haircut a few weeks ago and loved her new style so much that she refused to shower.  The mere suggestion of a quick rinse caused heart-wrenching sobs and wails of “Noooo! It will ruin my perftic haircut!“.

– Clever and funny, she loves to catch our attention and her siblings’ affection by doing something silly or saying something hilarious, like dancing on her chair during dinner or referring to herself as a superhero.  She definitely knows her audience and enjoys clowning around in the spotlight.

– She loves books and loves when we read to her. She also “reads” to herself, poring over her story books, waiting for the words to sink in and bestow literacy.  I’d wager that, by her next birthday, she’ll be reading.

– Lately, her favorite word is “fabulous”.  She had this conversation with Noah yesterday, with regard to a paper doll:  Noah remarked, “That doll is really ugly.”  Aviva sassed back, “No, she isn’t.  She is FAAAAABUUUUULOUS and you LOOOOOOOVE her.” He chuckled, shook his head, and walked away as Aviva quietly affirmed, “Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous…

– She loves nature and enjoys learning about plants and animals.  Currently, she’s obsessed with Venus Fly Traps and Polar Bears. She offered this dissertation on polar bears last week, “You should be careful because they are big and they could bite you and it would hurt. They live in the snow, so you have to wear boots and snow pants to play with them.  And you can play with the babies because they are so cute and little, but the mommies are huge.  So huge!  Bigger than Daddy! You should not play with the mommies, but they might like it if you scratched them on the head like a doggie. That would make them so happy, I think.” As for the Fly Traps, she recently saw footage of one devouring a fly and, wide-eyed,  she exclaimed, “Whoa! That is NOT NICE.”

She gets carsick very easily, even with dramamine and ginger candy.  The doctor thinks that she’ll outgrow it, but in the meantime, we have to carry along some towels, plastic bags, and a few changes of clothes each time we go for a ride in the car. Thankfully, she is very self-aware and will shout, “I’M GONNA FROW UP IN A MINUTE!” about 20 seconds before she inevitably does.

– This self-awareness is also what makes her incredibly feisty, opinionated, and outspoken. She knows what she wants, likes things her way, and will try to convince you to like them her way, too.  I cannot imagine where she gets this from.

– She is very affectionate and just loves to love!  And we love her right back.

– She’s a daring, energetic little sprite with pink cheeks and an untamed mane of curls – a rosy child, strong and wild.

And we are so glad she’s ours.

Happy 4th, baby girl.

When I took Noah and Lilah to see the new version of Alice In Wonderland, we got 3D glasses.  Several pairs.

As you can see, Aviva LOVES them.

This morning, she put some on and demanded to have her picture taken.

I obliged.

When I put the camera down, she rhetorically inquired, “Don’t I just look so FABULOUS, Mommy?”

Laughing, I tickled her belly and answered, “Of course you look fabulous! You look like a fabulous goofball!”

She giggled, paused for a moment, then said, precisely and theatrically,

“And YOU look like a FABULOUS meatball.”

Just Dance

It’s rainy today, and very gray.

Because it’s the perfect kind of weather to stay indoors and play Wii, I opted to just bring the kids home after school instead of dragging them along to run errands or allowing them to make impromptu plans for themselves.

(I believe the technical term for what I just described is “lazy parenting”.)

We walked home in the drizzle, jumping in puddles along the way.  As we ambled up our very long driveway, Aviva slipped and fell.

She is prone to melodrama, so I didn’t react immediately.  One does not feed a dragon that breathes imaginary fire. Besides, she seemed fine.

And she was. She picked herself up, sighed, and brushed the gravel off of her knees.

Sensing that her window of over-reaction had closed, I gave her a hug.

“Are you OK?” I asked, kneeling down to face her.

“Oh yeah, Mama”, she said happily, “I’m gonna be OK!”

With that, she grinned a mischievous grin, twirled around, struck a pose, and, with a pantomimed microphone, started singing…

“Gonna be OK – dada-doodoo…Just dance…spin that record, babe…ladadoodoo…”

Then she strutted away in her Hello Kitty rainboots, shaking her little tush all the way to the front door, leaving me behind to wonder what sassy, brassy planet she came from.