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The gift of a great toy

by Juliemara
03.5.13

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We recently celebrated Purim, the Jewish holiday of celebration when the Jewish people were spared their lives, once again in history, this time by Queen Ester. It’s a festive holiday when children dress up in costume and receive gifts of sweet treats or Toys!

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The girls Aunt Cilla, my sister -in-law, sent a Purim care package all the way from Israel. We all love when special packages come from Israel, they are always filled with special trinkets or unique items that can’t be found here in the states, and every once in a while there is a bag of yummy Israeli chocolate, which, while you can get it here, just tastes better when it comes from overseas.

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Aunt Cilla sent the girls two gifts, one for now and one for latter. The one for later is a board game, an adorable animal matching game for when they are a little older. The now gift are the beautiful Hebrew alphabet blocks.

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The girls are just now learning to stack and loving to knock down.wooden-blocks wooden-blockswooden-blockswooden-blockswooden-blockswooden-blockswooden-blockswooden-blocks

As they get older and learn their letters the blocks will be fun to play spelling games with. And an added bonus, they look pretty cute all stacked up on the shelf.

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Thanks Aunt Cilla the blocks and board game are such a special treat.

 

Love, Talia and Jordan

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Using your best judgement

by Juliemara
12.26.12

Being a parent, especially a new one is an on going lesson in using your best judgment. I struggle constantly with how much freedom to give my girls. Where should I draw the line between letting them explore and keeping them safe.

Sure I could expertly baby proof every square inch of our home and make sure that nothing except baby tested and certified toys get into their hands, but I don’t think that’s the best way to raise independent, creative children. And despite the fact that the girls have toys that are safe and developmentally appropriate within arms reach at all times they would always prefer to get their hands on something new.

I read in a parenting book to try, as much as possible, to only say “no” to a child if they are in real danger of hurting themselves. It’s a way of keeping the word “no” a serious and meaningful one. Jordan is really good at listening when either of us says no, it kinda startles her. But she was always the one to jump at the slightest noise, even when she was a brand new infant. She is also a very cautious and careful child so she doesn’t get herself into dangerous situations too often.

Talia on the other hand is a little dare devil. She will jump off anything and everything. She automatically assumes that if we are within arms reach we will catch her. She is always climbing and falling and hurts herself many times in a day.

When you have a new baby the last thing on your mind is the day that they start running, usually with a small object in their hand, and then they fall. The thing is, it hurts little knuckles a lot when you land on them because the little hand was busy clenching a tiny toy and there is no way to prevent it. They will fall, they will get hurt and you, as the parent, just have to try not to freak out.

The girls have lots if toys that could present a hazard, we try as much as possible to supervise them when they are playing with these toys such as the Melissa and Doug stacker with its wooden stick or the drum sticks from their music set or even the bristle blocks that when stepped on hurt a good bit.

I took this video of the girls this past weekend. I can’t believe we are here already, they take turns so nicely until the very end when it starts to get ugly. But for a while they each take their turn. Talia starts out with a stick in her hand, which I took away because eyes are really hard to replace. But the whole time I was filming this I was saying to myself Talia, please sit before you go down the slide. And, begging for those little rubber soled shoe to not get stuck on the plastic slide. And for no one to fall off while climbing up and for none of the other hundred things that an go wrong in a second to happen. If you turn the volume way up you can probably hear me gasp a few times.

Oh, and to all the stranger that wished us good luck when they saw us out with our infant twins, we will take it now, we need it for their toddler years.

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We Love our Giant Bear

by Juliemara
11.25.12

We love our giant bear. He’s not as big as the bears they have at Costco right now, but he’s big. 4′ 2″ and 5lbs at least. And he is the girls best friend, 20121124-220746.jpg20121124-220734.jpg20121124-220741.jpg

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although sometimes he probably thinks the girls are his worst nightmare the way they try to rip his head off,

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but it’s all out of love. Yes the girls love their bear.giant_teddy_bear

Mr. Bear or dooby dov (Hebrew for teddy bear) has an unlikely story, here’s how it goes…

While I was pregnant I was suppose to walk, helps with circulation. But walking was painful, I didn’t like to do it much. It was late summer as my pregnancy got really difficult and there were plenty of neighborhood festivals happening all over town, a favorite pastime of my husband and I was to wander around these festivals in the hot summer sun enjoying the fair food and music. We had just moved to our new house a few weeks prior. One Saturday morning we heard some noise coming from the direction of the big street outside our neighborhood. My husband went to check it out, it was a parade! That culminated at a small festival of local vendors, crafts and games for kids. He came back to the house to get me and we went to walk around the festival bit. I ate some ice cream, learned that in our town you have to have 2 acres of land to raise chickens, boo, we only have one acre. And entered a raffle for…what you ask? a giant teddy bear! The raffle was sponsored by a local magazine, the East Cobber. I knew that entering the raffle was probably going to get me some solicitation email and maybe a trial subscription of the magazine, but I figured that was about it. A few weeks later I got a phone call, it was a nice woman from the East Cobber, HA! I was their big winner, I had won the bear. Funny, I rarely win anything, I can’t say never because when I first moved to Atlanta I won having my credit card paid off by a Q100, a local radio station and a few years later I won $100 in gas from the same station.

They delivered the giant bear to my house and when I opened the garbage bag it was in I realized it was the actual bear from the festival, gross. Every person at that festival pat the bear as the passed by. That bear wasn’t going anywhere near my newborn babies. It got put in a back corner of an extra room with the plan of donating it one day.

Fast forward five months later. Yael, the girls nanny discovered the bear, and introduced it to the girls, they became good friends right away. The bear was part of the family. The girls loved the bear and I am over my germaphobia. I figured five months of solitary confinement was enough to give all the germs time to die. And it has been proven in mice that living in a sterile environment caused more allergies and asthma to develop, so some germs are a good thing.

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Games with the bear never get old. If we make the bear talk and play they talk and play right back,20121124-220712.jpg

they love to snuggle with the bear and drink their bottle laying in the bears lap, it’s super soft.

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I love seeing pictures of them with the bear then and now. 20121124-222246.jpg

It so easy to see how much they have grown. The bear has gotten pretty gross but loved. The girls are constantly drooling on him an spilling their milk on him. We wipe him down as best we can but Mr. Dooby Dov’s days are numbered.

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Dooby Dov may not always be center of attention but I’m pretty sure the girls take comfort in knowing he is close by, ready and willing to give endless hugs and snuggles.

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One day I’m sure the girls will forget about him and he will sit alone in a corner again before we decide its time for him to move out, but we will always have the photos to remember what a big part of our lives Mr. Dooby Dov was.

With the holiday season upon us I just want to remind all my readers that there are so many children who, for no other reason than luck of the draw, may be without a teddy to hug or a train to push this Christmas. If you would like to make a donation to help a few of these children have a happy holiday please donate toys or money to Amy’s Holiday Party. It is a holiday celebration for close to 1000 Atlanta area children. The party is in its 15th year and includes games, a dance party, pizza, a visit with Santa, new pajamas from Carter’s, and a few new toys for each child to take home. It is a cause I have been involved with since moving to Atlanta five years ago. Thank you for your support.

 

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Video dump

by Juliemara
11.7.12

I never feel like I take enough videos of the girls and the ones that I do take I try to upload to YouTube as often as possible. If you are a YouTube subscriber you will be notified when I upload a new video but don’t put it on the blog.

Here’s a 60 second video I took of the girls in thier very own bouncy house. Yes, they have thier own personal bouncy house. Lucky for us the girls have three older cousins who 1) have pretty much grown out of everything that is fun and appropriate for toddlers and 2) have a mamma who is on a cleaning binge and keeps giving away all their stuff! This was one of those hand me downs I was happy to accept. If you feel like your little ones need their very own bouncy house you can get one here. We take it out and put it away each time we use it. Hopefully it will last for a bunch more cousins to come. It’s pretty heavy to move but doable and super easy to set up and put away.

I bought the girls each this bouncy seat before they were born. They sat in it some when they were tiny,and state at there black and white pictures,

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20121106-145157.jpg but they really preferred their swings. We started using them regularly when they could hold their bodies straight enough to be fed bottles in the seats, then when they started eating solids they would sit in the chairs for snack time.

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20121106-143608.jpgWe also used them for several weeks in a row around nine month when the girls were having trouble breathing from stuffy noses. The incline helped them breath easier and made sleep possible.

20121106-143621.jpgWe took these bouncy seats on the plane to Israel. It fits perfectly in the bulkhead space in economy comfort and disassembled easily to fit in the overhead compartment. And now the girls have found another use for the noise making, vibrating, two position bouncy seat-it’s a jungle gym! The climb on it, lay in it, jump out if it, over and over until someone starts crying. Here’s a video of one of those times.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsCfRSUkBYI

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Happy Birthday Jordan and Talia

by Juliemara
10.12.12

20121012-131002.jpgBaby girls, today kinda snuck up on me. Sure I knew it was coming but all of the sudden here it is. You are one, one year old today. My little wiggly babies are now little waddling girls. I never wanted to be the parent that called their not so much babies any more baby, so I will try from now on to call you my girls even though you will always be my babies (at least until you stopping waking up at night and crying until I hold you.) I was a pretty independat and adventurous kid and I hope you two grow up to adventurous and fearless. You are already amazing us with your climbing ability, now you just need to learn what goes up must come down, hopefully feet first.

20121012-131033.jpgI have had so much fun taking care of you for the past year, your abba and I may not have been perfect at it sometimes, but I hope you two didn’t mind. I hope you had a fun first year. I tried to show you as many new things as possible in this short year. And while we have decades of fun ahead of us this first year was important to me and I loved every minute of it.

20121012-131111.jpgYou went from being wrinkly little helpless people to opinionated, smart, funny and friendly little toddlers. At a year old you can walk fairly well, as in across the room before you fall down, you each have six teeth, four on top and two on bottom, you both have lots of curls. Every now and then you repeat a word perfectly, you give me your spoon when I ask for it, you know how to balance on one foot when getting undressed for your bath, which you love so much. You love animals, pictures of them, stuffed ones, even the real ones. You love music and you dance to the rhythm in the cutest little way, you love playing outside.

20121012-131121.jpgJordan you are a mommas girl and Talia you are quite obsessed with your Abba. I’m not sure how or why that happened but all the parents of twins said that it would. It’s ok, we love you each with all our hearts.

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It was the most amazing thing to watch you change before our eyes this past year, I miss the little babies that we brought home but I love the little girls who crawl to be in my lap more than I could imagine possible. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings for each of you, for your freindship, for our family.

Happy first birthday girls, mommy and Abba love you and we are proud of you every day.

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Always learning something new

by Juliemara
10.1.12

We are lucky enough to have a nanny who loves them and takes amazing care of them while we are at work. She is always creating fun activities for the girls and showing them new things. The other day she brought the girls special markers! Special magic markers for one year olds.

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And they colored their very first pictures! These are pictures of Sukkahs, a hut Jewish people build in their yards to celebrate the fall harvest! The holiday started last night and goes for eight days. Happy Sukkah!

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What every baby needs – a silver rattle of course.

by Juliemara
08.3.12

I always knew that a silver baby rattle was a popular gift to give a baby, but it always seemed a bit obsurd to me. Why does a baby need a rattle made out of silver when they have so many made from plastic or plush? Well let me tell you, every baby NEEDS a silver rattle.

Here’s why, babies love rattles because they make noise, they love shiny things, and silver rattles have rounded nobs or balls on the ends, so they roll like a ball, which makes a great baby toy in itself, it’s like a rattle, a mirror and a ball all in one! Put an initial or a date on it and now you have a keepsake! So it’s a 4-in-1! Could there be a more perfect gift?

My babies didn’t get silver rattles for their birthday (the day they were born. Don’t worry you didn’t miss their first birthday yet, it’s October 2012) . I wasn’t too worried until they started to get a bit older and demonstrate their interest, such as things that make noise, are shiny and roll. I thought about buying them silver rattles myself but I decided to ask my parents to get them instead. And they did!

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They are the most beautiful rattles and the girls adore them!

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So if you know a baby or one that’s on the way, I highly recommend a shiny silver baby rattle as the perfect gift. Here’s one similar to the ones my parents got the girls.

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Playtime

by Juliemara
07.30.12

It’s amazing how quickly the girls are growing and how fast they use and are done with baby gear before they move on to the next level of gear. But one thing we have learned is to not get rid of anything because you may find a different use for it later on.

For example when the babies were first born we fed them using the small 6 ounce Gerber Essential bottles but as they got older and I stopped breast feeding they needed more formula we started using the larger 9 ounce bottles. But now at 9 months the girls are starting to eat more food and less formula so we are back to using the smaller bottles.

Same scenario with a pack of terry bibs I bought when the girls were just a few days old. They worked great for keeping babies dry from drool but didn’t do much when it came to keeping formula that dripped down their chin from soaking their clothes, so we packed away the terry bibs and had to switch to plastic lined bibs. And now that the girls are super messy eaters those terry bibs have been reinstated and have come I really handy.

My husband bought the girls this baby pool and balls when they were just holding their heads up, they loved it then and still love it now, Climbing in and out, in and out or chasing the balls all over our family room.

Talia in pink, Jordan in Purple

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Guess who got a puppy?!

by Juliemara
07.27.12

Ok, not a real puppy but fun none the less and there were plenty of kisses to go around.

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How cute is that

by Juliemara
06.12.12

I was checking out one of my favorite kids blogs DecoPeques and found this crazy fun new toy!

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How fun is that. Even is you only have one it’s a great learning toy because of the zippers and puzzle of putting it back together. And if you have all six you can make crazy combinations. Why didn’t they have this stuff when we were kids!?

Eight month babies on a white couch pictures tomorrow!

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