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:

Thursday, March 29, 2012


For any doubters out there.

Rimonit: I can stand like that too! She also knows how to hop on one foot very nicely, and has been showing off her newfound skill seemingly nonstop for the last few weeks. (Rimonit, not Moriya!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What the bear cub has been up to

Moriya's extensive training regimen seems to be bearing results all at once. She had been doing push-ups for several months, first just her arms, then on all fours. Then she started half-scooting half-crawling a little before Purim: She would get on all fours, move herself forward, then plop back down onto her belly. But in the last few weeks she has been zooming all around the house, trying to sneak into the bedrooms (we have to remember again to keep the doors closed - especially the bathroom!), and has added sitting to her repertoire.

And almost as soon as she began crawling really well and sitting, she started pulling herself up. She now regularly pulls herself up to her knees and, increasingly, her feet. The "safe zone" is getting higher and higher! This has all been a boon for the (relative) cleanliness of the living room. I sweep the floor what feels like sixty times a day, and I have discovered the most effective threat yet for the older kids (and the easiest one for me to make, since I don't have to enforce it): If you leave anything on the floor, Moriya will eat it. And even when that's not a sufficient deterrent, it sure works wonders when she and her five teeth start gnawing on Rimonit's or Kinneret's latest art project!

Moriya, who is 8 months old, has been astounding babysitters from one week to the next. And even though I've been through this twice before and even though this feels kind of cheesy to admit, it's still awesome, in the original sense of the word, to be able to witness human development so close up. It's like super-high-speed evolution, from being basically immobile to being quadripedal to being bipedal in about a year - and that's on the physical level alone!

Moriya has also been progressing on the communication front. She is babbling a lot (in addition to growling, of course). Her favorite syllable is "ba." And she has been waving, though I'm not really sure to what degree she may or may not mean anything by it, since she does it at random times. Because she is now physically (and I think cognitively) more ready for signing, I've begun with baby sign language - mostly "eat," "nurse" (I made one up for that, since miming someone milking a cow - the sign for milk, which some recommend using for nursing as well - is just so not on), "all done" and (when I remember) "diaper." There is a possibility she may already be doing "all done," since she has done it more than once when she didn't want to eat anymore, but I can't be sure because it looks pretty much the same as her wave, and it might be coincidence. But then, I tend to impose a high burden of proof.

Another item to add to the Kinneret list

She now reads books! (In her own way, of course.)

She really likes this book Savta Lea sent called "Warthogs in the Kitchen," which involves warthogs putting pickles into the cupcakes they are baking. It's a very cute book, and a good length for a two-and-a-half-year-old (=short). Here's how Kinneret reads me the book:
Page 1: "Wartkhogs in the kitchen!" (says Kinneret)
Page 2: "Wartkhogs in the kitchen!"
Page 3: "Wartkhogs in the kitchen!"

And so forth...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some things that are true about Kinneret right now

- She is a tiger (as she announces several times a day, frequently followed by a roar).
- She was Ima shel Shabbat last week (also as she announces several times a day). According to Warren, these two components combine to make her a tiger mother.
- She loves having a grown-up water bottle and walks around the house with it, rarely letting it out of her sight. She also drinks more because it means she gets to use it.
- She's pretty good at drinking from said water bottle. And she likes randomly going up to people (like other parents picking up their kids from gan) and proudly displaying it. Here she is with her big sis, walking home from gan clutching her water bottle, after her starring performance as Ima shel Shabbat:

- She has recently started referring to inanimate objects by gendered pronouns, as in Hebrew (I think usually/always feminine but not totally sure).
- Put that together with the fact that out of nowhere she suddenly replaced all her "h"s with a guttural "kh" sound a month or two ago (like the Hebrew "het"), and it would not be out of the ordinary for her to say: "Table khit my khand! She khurts! Me want a khug!"

Oy vey!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I can sit!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012