Cake or Death?

On our outing to Seattle Center today, Gloria noticed the signs for Seattle Children’s Theater and asked if she could see Stellaluna. I told her that we had tickets to see it two days before my birthday, which led to the following conversation:

GLORIA: What kind of dessert do you want for your birthday daddy? Do you want cupcakes or ice cream or cake or cookies or donuts?

KENNY: I hadn’t really thought about it. Those all sound pretty good.

GLORIA: But which one is your favorite. Cake? Ice cream?

KENNY: You know, I do really like ice cream cake.

GLORIA: Well daddy, you can’t have ice cream cake. It has too much sugar. After the frosting and the ice cream there’s too much sugar. You should just have the ice cream, I know how much you love ice cream.

If Gloria remembered the D’Ambrosio gelato cake we ordered for my 37th birthday maybe she’d change her mind. Smile

She Don’t Use Jelly

On Thursday morning, while we were having Challah French Toast for breakfast, we had a very instructional conversation. Gloria had asked for some strawberry preserves to accompany her French toast.

LAUREN: “Here you go, strawberry jelly.”

GLORIA: “Mommy, why did you call it jelly and not jam?”

LAUREN: “When I was a kid we always called it jelly”

GLORIA: “But they’re not the same thing”

KENNY: “What’s the difference again? I can’t remember…”

GLORIA: “I know, for jam they don’t have to remove the seeds”

Once Gloria reminded us of this, I remembered that the fine folks at Alm Hill Gardens had communicated this tidbit last year at their farmer’s market stand. Those kids really are sponges.

The Bunny’s Awake!

Usually the one moment of predictable downtime on weekends is around 2pm, the (short) overlapping stretch of Micah and Ezra’s afternoon naps. But in honor of Father’s Day, Micah decided that this Sunday was going to be different from all other Sundays.

We haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, so to help me get some rest Lauren graciously took Gloria out this afternoon right after I put Micah in bed for his nap (and about 20 minutes before Ezra was due for his). Shortly after Lauren and Gloria left, Micah came upstairs to inform me that he didn’t feel like taking a nap. This from the kid who had turned to me during lunch today and said “Daddy, I’m done. Let’s go downstairs and have a nap.”

This had never happened before, so I brought him back downstairs, put him in bed for a second time, and went upstairs to get Ezzy ready for his nap. As I was about to put Ezra in his crib I heard Micah walk up the stairs, open the door, and announce “the bunny’s awake!” Now I knew full well that the bunny wouldn’t wake up until 2:30PM, so I just gave him this look of disbelief and said “really?”

Without skipping a beat Micah said “yes daddy, I woke him up!” I finished putting Ezzy to bed and sure enough when I went down to Micah’s room he had figured out the switch to change the bunny from asleep to awake. While I didn’t get a rest, at least Micah was good natured this afternoon. Perhaps he was running a bit of a sleep surplus. Hopefully we aren’t set up for a more challenging week (behaviorally) as a result.

Chag Purim Sameach

Spring is a very festive time for Jewish holidays. In the lead up to Purim, there are a number of themed dress up days. Last Friday was “dress up as your favorite character” day. As might be expected, Gloria chose to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Micah then decided that he wanted to be the Wicked Witch of the West. This was at 7:30AM, about a half hour before we had to go to school. Lauren and I had a quick brainstorm at the breakfast table, and whisked Micah into some of Gloria’s old clothes plus a black T-shirt of mine. For the final touch, Lauren put together a quick witch hat out of construction paper. He was a hit at school drop off time.

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Yesterday, for the actual day of Purim, the kids were supposed to dress as Purim characters. Gloria chose Queen Esther so that she could wear the crown she made at school. Micah was originally going to be King Ahasuerus, but then over dinner decided he wanted to be Haman instead.  Fortunately we had some advance warning this time and I followed these helpful instructions to make him a three pointed hat. Again we got out the black T-shirt, my grey shoe laces for a belt, and with a moustache flourish our little Haman was ready to go. Micah was really excited to be the “bad guy”, running around yelling “I’m the bad guy! I’m the bad guy!” At drop off Micah’s teacher commented that Micah was making his way through the list of super villains this week.

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This morning culminated with the annual Purim carnival. The gym is converted into a festival of bouncy slides, face painting, games, and balloon artists. And the kids get to play all day in their pajamas.

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Bentzi

As part of her curriculum, Gloria spends a few hours a week in a program called Chalav u’Dvash. One of the teaching tools in Chalav u’Dvash is Bentzi, a turtle puppet ‘visiting’ the children from Israel to teach them Hebrew. Bentzi only speaks Hebrew, and keeps all sorts of fun things in his backpack shell.

Every week one of the students gets to take Bentzi home for the weekend, take care of him, and then write about their experience in a class notebook. This past weekend was Gloria’s turn. We took Bentzi with us on all of the weekend activities, keeping a photo journal of our experiences. Gloria had a great time!

Gloria and Bentzi
Montage of the weekend’s adventures for Bentzi’s journal

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Bentzi was nice and cozy in our living room furniture

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Hanging out with his nutcracker buddy at Seattle Gymnastics Academy

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Bentzi was enthralled by legos at Wunderkind

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Let’s make a turtle!

Sit Up for Your Right

At 19 pounds, it can be tiring carrying Ezra around all day, and we’ve been eagerly looking forward to him sitting unassisted. In the past three days Ezra’s gotten incredibly stable, though we’re definitely going to need to spot him for at least another week or two. Here’s some video footage with the obligatory “new Wolf cub sitting video” ending (here’s Gloria and Micah for reference):

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Introducing Ezra

Ezra Abraham, our third and last little one, came screaming into the world on Friday morning, after a very quick and intense labor. He was born at 8:05am and weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and measured 22 inches long (very tall!). Incredibly, big brother Micah was born on a Friday morning at 8:04am – and their birth stories had several other parallels. With both boys, I was dilated to 3cm and 50% effaced the day before labor began, and labor started in the early morning and proceeded rapidly from there. Because things had moved along so quickly with Micah, we knew that we should head into the hospital quickly this time around. When we arrived, I was pronounced to be 6cm dilated and quickly admitted (just as I had been with Micah).

This labor seemed more intense and painful than the previous one – perhaps because I hadn’t spent much time reviewing my comfort techniques this time around, or perhaps because (as we learned later) baby was in an awkward position (occiput posterior, aka “sunny-side up”). My doctor offered to break my water just after 7am, when I was at 9cm, and I quickly agreed. I had expected the baby to be out within minutes of this procedure, as Micah was, but due to the baby’s position it took some time for him to descend. Fortunately, after a few rather uncomfortable maneuvers, we were able to get baby into the proper alignment, and once we did he came barreling out just like his big brother did. My doctor excitedly held him up and exclaimed, “Hey guys, it’s a boy!” (she – and we – had anticipated a girl). Kenny cut the extremely long umbilical cord and the little guy started nursing right away. Labor was under five hours long. I lost a worrisome amount of blood, but my nurse was able to get things under control quickly and I actually felt great (albeit tired) after the delivery.

We couldn’t be happier with our tall and skinny little guy. Because we had anticipated a girl, we had procrastinated a bit on whittling down our list of boy names. It took us until he was about eight hours old to settle on Ezra as his first name, although his middle name, Abraham, had been decided months earlier in honor of his paternal great-grandfather. We made the final decision over the phone, while Kenny was driving home to pick up the big kids to visit their newest family member at the hospital.

Gloria and Micah had a sweet first meeting with their new brother. Gloria appeared to have gotten over her initial disappointment at not getting a sister, and she thought our new baby was very cute. She announced his name to my mom and the rest of our family. Micah seemed very curious about the new guy, and was quite gentle with him, although we don’t know whether he realizes where Ezra came from or that he’s a permanent part of our family now.

After a short hospital stay, we are home and looking forward – admittedly with some trepidation – to figuring out how to manage as a family of five.

At home
Timing contractions at home

Doula
My fabulous doula helped me stay comfortable

First weigh-in
Ezra weighed a bit less than Micah at birth, but was quite a bit longer

Bonding with Daddy
Bonding with Daddy

Proud grandma
Proud grandma

Snuggle bug
Snuggle bug

First meeting
First meeting with the big kids

Gloria holding Ezra
Gloria was so excited to hold him

Sweetie
Our sweetie

Just like big sis
We were struck by his resemblance to newborn Gloria

Ezzie in a basket
A la Moses

With Mom and Dad
With Mom and Dad

There are more sweet photos from Ezra’s hospital stay here.