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:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Park Anabe, Modiin, this morning

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ken must be in shul

What Rimonit and Kinneret say once Barbie has struggled into one of her minimalist but sparkly ensembles: Now she's ready for Shabbat!

UPDATE: Forgot to add that they have taken to pronouncing "Barbie" the way they hear their friends from gan saying it - in an Israeli accent. As in:

"I want to play with this Barrrrrrrbie now!"

"But you already have two Barrrrrrrrbiyot!"

It kinda cracks me up.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer stuff

Don't want to jinx it, but so far had two really nice days home with the girls! (K just finished maon last Friday, and she is in kaytana (day camp) with Rimonit for the first two weeks of August, but just for three days a week.)

On Tuesday morning my friend came with her 2yo daughter (and I didn't even have to plan it - she unexpectedly called and it worked out perfectly), and they all drew with chalk on the path next to a sandbox and played in the sand with the sand toys we brought. It was a good combo - when they got bored with the chalk they played in the sand and when they got bored with the sand they played with the chalk. We weren't actually there all that long (we first had to go to the mall to get the chalk, which entailed a stop at the free gymboree), but they loved the whole idea of getting to draw on the sidewalk! After lunch and a nap they behaved very nicely in the supermarket, and after dinner they very enthusiastically spooned fruit yogurt into those ice-pop trays you put in the freezer, for frozen yogurt. I had explained that they would not be able to eat it that day, and they didn't start crying that they want to eat it now. And then Warren surprised us by coming home early, so it was a pretty great day.

On Wednesday they had kaytana, and today some new friends came over (mom+3yo girl) and we baked oatmeal cookies, which they had really been looking forward to doing - and they even seemed to enjoy actually doing it too (though we usually find that the anticipation tends to be far more exciting than the doing). Then they all got to eat their frozen yogurts, which they had also been looking forward to, followed by lunch and a nap. Even though they were pretty cranky in the morning - especially Kinneret, who is in her first week of not getting a nap every day - and even though I can't predict what the rest of the afternoon/evening will bring mood-wise, at least I know we had a few good hours today. Hard to believe the summer's almost over already!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A milestone I'd just as soon skip

Moriya realized today that not only can she climb on a children's chair, but that she can move it near things that look enticing and then stand on it to extend her reach. Uh oh!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The lollipop bluff (and other random stuff)

* Moriya loves apples! She goes crazy if she sees me eating one, and I am forced to cut her some, or else accede to her theft of mine.

* I recently started noticing that when Kinneret wants Rimonit to do something, she tries to threaten her with not sharing her stock of nonexistent lollipops if Rimonit doesn't cooperate. This is rather unsuccessful, since Kinneret is in the unfortunate position of having a big sister who is perfectly aware that she is bluffing. (She always refers to lollipops in Hebrew, so I think it's likely she picked it up from the other kids in gan.)

On Friday night I discovered that Kinneret was extending her persuasion campaign to me as well. She had somehow decided that we don't say Shma on Shabbat (I think because the kids take naps at home on Shabbat and I've had to explain that we don't say Shma before an afternoon nap, just when they're going to sleep at night), and she told me: "If you say Shma I won't give you a sukariya al makel - just to Abba!"

* Rimonit has taken to stealing the line I have occasionally used when she's refusing to put her markers away so we can eat dinner or some such thing. On our walk home from gan the other day, when I wouldn't give in to some demand of hers and I asked her to move along because she was passively aggressively lagging behind the rest of us, she said: "I won't cooperate with you if you won't cooperate with me!" Uh oh! Didn't you get the memo that that line doesn't apply when your version of "cooperation" means I'm supposed to give you a second pre-dinner ice cream cone?

* Warren is really into beer, and has been offering Rimonit tastes of it ("tastes" rather than "gulps" only because I'm in the room) since she was a baby. (Kinneret, on the other hand, says in no uncertain terms: "I don't like beer.") Warren's influence can be seen in the fact that this is one of the few words they regularly pronounce the way Warren does, and it comes out sounding like "bee-yuh." Anyway, the other week he opened a dark stout and was so taken with the scent he enthusiastically asked "Who wants to smell my beer?"

Both girls did (Kinneret agrees to smell beer even if not to taste it). Every day of the week after that, whenever Kinneret drank a cup of water, she would ask, "Who wants to smell my water?" and then I'd have to smell it and say, "Mmm, smells like water!" and she would happily proceed to drink it. She stopped saying it quite so regularly, but when Warren offered another beer for smelling this Shabbat, I discovered that Rimonit had picked up Kinneret's habit as well, and they started bickering over who would smell each other's water first. Warren has created a monster!