the 90th minute

Until September 2007, when my oldest daughter was born, this blog covered daily life and politics in Israel, as well as Hebrew-English linguistic issues, from the perspective of an American-raised journalist and translator living in Israel. Now it mostly serves as the SmunchMonk&Bear news agency, a portal into the bizarre universe of the little people. Read more at:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Update: Almost sitting, chattering on empty

Kinneret gets further and further each day, and I often find her in places she had yet to venture previously. I'm not really sure what the technical definition is of crawling, but she sure is getting around. I still classify her as combat crawling (meaning that she kind of pulls herself forward on her arms, often with her belly on the ground), but lately she's been picking her belly up off the ground while she does it, so she's definitely moving forward in more ways than one.

She is also getting close to sitting - she kind of props herself up on her elbow while lying on her side, so she's in this semi-sitting position. For a few days she kept falling down and wailing, but now she often goes into a roll.

Rimonit's language has been developing beautifully, and she is now frequently putting together two words (or a word and a two-word phrase, like 'lo tza beans' for 'don't want ['lo rotza'] beans'). Her pronunciation is also improving (she impressed several neighbors with her 'Shabbat shalom').

RP is also bringing back a lot of Hebrew words - and songs - from gan. Whereas before, her association with the song 'Yonatan Hakatan' was the 'oy va voy,' she now regularly (very, very regularly, in fact) asks me to sing it (showing that her judgment obviously has a ways to go yet), by saying 'katan.' She has also gotten into 'Ooga, ooga, ooga,' the Israeli version of 'Ring around a rosy,' and periodically shouts 'lakoom!' and stands up. This morning the three of us 'danced' to the whole song while listening to the CD. She also holds her mouth to her face and says 'apchee!' (the equivalent of 'achoo') at the appropriate spots for 'Hashafan Hakatan.'

Two concepts she has recently learned are 'empty' and 'soon.' Both have been quite valuable for me. Her understanding of 'empty' means that now if we're out of something she wants, I can explain that it's empty (I usually try to show her the evidence), and she gets it. She also likes announcing 'empty' on her own, like if she finds a bag with nothing in it (she pronounces it 'etty'). She also says 'Abba soon' (which she often pronounces 'doon'), and she knows it means he's going to come home eventually but not that second, which is pretty much what soon is. It's nice that she has a (minimal) grasp on the concept of future, not just now now now.

She likes identifying objects with their owner, but where she used to just say 'Abba' when she saw, say, his shirt lying around, now she sometimes puts the name and the object together, sometimes in English and sometimes in Hebrew. When she saw a suitcase Warren has used, she said 'Abba tik,' and she later pointed to his toothbrush and said 'Abba teeth.' Granted, both those phrases sounded pretty much the same in real (spoken) life: Abba tee. But I continue to stick by my interpretations, since so much of understanding her is about paying attention to the situation.

Probably the most common word combinations are those that involve 'no' or 'more': 'No dressed,' 'more mayim.' And speaking of getting dressed, the latest preference Rimonit has expressed is a rejection of Pampers and a very vehement support for the Israeli brand of diapers, Titulim. Go figure...

Photos! Photos! Photos!

For more pix, go here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

What the bureaucrats are up to these days

Who's Orwellian now?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Going places

KL is combat-crawling quite a lot - using her hands to push the rest of her body forward. Still practicing getting on all fours. Rimonit, keep an eye on those Lego towers! Little sis is on the loose!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hitting the big time

Kinneret has been living on the edge for weeks if not months - she isn't happy unless she has sidled up to the very edge of her mat or crib mattress, if not beyond. She has also been rolling over quite a lot. And now... she's getting in gear to crawl.

I know, she's only 4 months old (well, 4 and a half), but she's been a squiggly squirmer since before she was born. The last few days she has been getting on all fours and hanging out for a few second, then dropping back down. Sometimes she also tries to move a bit in that position. I think Rimonit was doing this at about six months, and only after she had been scooting along on her stomach for a while. Of course it's possible this stage could last a while, but looking at her getting on her knees the whole time and rocking back and forth (she's doing that right now), it's looking like she's going to start crawling any moment.

As for Rimonit, she's in a bit of a Dada phase. She very much enjoys taking her artwork that she made in day care and deconstructing it at home. I'm all for it - it means the same project gets twice as much mileage, and means I don't have to feel bad when I throw it all out anyway since by the time I do it's in tatters.

My favorite was the paper cucumber and tomato she brought home the other week, because they were discussing morning time, and that's what you eat in the morning (along with hummus and chocolate spread, of course!).