Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dear Asher: 10 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy 10 month birthday! The biggest change for this month is that you're sleeping through the night most nights now! It all started one night when I forgot to turn on the baby monitor. I woke up around 6:00 am to see you happily playing in your crib. I wasn't sure whether you actually slept all night, or if you just soothed yourself back to sleep. Either way, we decided to see what happened the next night, and the nights after that. Same results! Now you very rarely wake in the night. If only we could get your sister to sleep through the night...

You've been babbling for a while now, but you said your first word: dadda! You look right at daddy and say dadda. Of course, you also say it to the cats, the floor, me...but when you see daddy and say it, you seem to really mean it. No mama in sight, sadly.

You are a true Levin: you're an eating machine! You're still nursing all the time, but now you're also eating full meals three times a day. Here's a sample day:
Breakfast: oatmeal, Cheerios, mighty morning muffins
Lunch: baby corn, butternut squash, hummus roll
Dinner: shepherd's pie, broccoli, chick peas

You're pulling to stand on everything now. We got the first glimpse of that from Ms. Aster who texted me this picture.

Speaking of Ms. Aster, you love your day care! You're always so happy when we pick you up. You have a little group of friends. It's really cute when you're all sitting in a circle interacting.

A few more facts: you're still right on your growth curve (between 80-85th percentile, 24 pounds); you have six teeth; your knees are starting to get calluses from how much you crawl; you love the kitties--especially when they nuzzle your head while you're nursing.

We love you to the moon and back!

Read about Zahara at this age:
Dear Zahara: 10 Months

Monday, May 15, 2017

House Update!

It's been quite a while since I updated you about our new house. A lot has happened since we first signed the paperwork for our new digs. Let me fill you in.

Outside Design Choices
We picked all of our exterior finishes! We were able to choose nearly everything about the aesthetics of the outside of our house. Everything from the brickwork (and how much brick we wanted), to the siding, to the trim, and even the front door color.

We were given samples several choices for each element. Our only limiting factor was that we couldn't choose colors that were the same or too similar to our neighbor's. Here's what we chose:

The blue is our front door, the black is our shutters, and the green is our siding. I LOVE this combination!

Interior Design Choices
As I mentioned in my last post, we spent three hours at the design center just to pick floors, counters, and tiles. It is incredible how many choices there are and how long you can spend agonizing about things you never thought you'd care about. For example, whether you want your bath/shower to have a soap dish or not. Or whether you want your shower wall tiles to be 6, 9, or 12 inch tiles. 

We had some ideas going in about what we were looking for: hardwood floors, white kitchen cabinets, light granite--overall clean and modern. I know it's very trendy right now to have the white kitchen, but I honestly think it's classic and won't go out of style. And if it does ten or twenty years down the line, then we can refinish the cabinets for a whole new look.

We ended up not doing a gray island in the kitchen. Instead, all the cabinets will be white with a light countertop, and warm wood floors. We'll have hardwoods on all the main floor, and then carpets in the bedrooms and playroom.

Breaking Ground
We had our first meeting with our general contractor a few weeks ago. Eric gave us an updated timeline and told us we could expect the house around September 1st. It is a little later than we thought, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

They actually broke ground on Thursday!! Tomorrow they're putting in the foundation wall. You know how I found out they started? I got a text from my soon-to-be neighbor telling me she heard construction noises. She wanted to let me know as soon as she knew. Isn't that considerate? She seems awesome.

I am so excited that it is actually happening! I'll share more updates and pictures as they come!

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Thoughts by Z

Here's more from our sweet girl. She really is amazing, isn't she?

Thought 1:
Handing me a bunch of stickers while talking like a pirate:
Z: You have to watch these treasures for me because I'm going on vacation to Israel.

Thought 2:
Talking to me after a bike ride:
Z: Would you like the pleasure of taking off my helmet?

Thought 3:
Z: I want Asher to be a girl so he can do all the things girls do.
Me: Like what?
Z: Eat all the things.

Thought 4:
While playing pretend:
Z: I'm a doctor and a mummy. I can be both.

See previous Thoughts by Z here

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Asher's First Haircut

I can't get over what a big boy Asher is becoming. Just like Zahara, he was born with a ton of hair, and it keeps growing. It was starting to get in his eyes and we didn't want to put his hair in cute little ponytails and clips like we did with Z. Instead, it was time for his first haircut.

We went to the same place in Dallas that we did for Zahara's first cut. They do a really good job there, and Asher did so well! It's Kids B Kids in Plano, for any locals.

You could tell that Asher loved his new look. I mean, look at this handsome face.

Read about Zahara's first haircut here.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dear Asher: 9 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy nine month birthday! What a little man you're becoming! This was a huge developmental month for you. The biggest change is that you are incredibly mobile. You are crawling at super speeds and are starting to pull yourself up on furniture. You love "walking" by holding our hands and moving your legs. I love watching you crawl from the living room around the corner to the kitchen to come find me. Your look of surprise and happiness when you see me is the best.

Another part of what is making you look like such a little guy now is your new haircut. Your hair was getting in your eyes and mouth, so we had to take care of it. Just like she did for your sister, G-mom took you for your first haircut. You did such a great job. I can't get over how handsome you look.

You are super ticklish! It's so funny! You are especially sensitive under your arms, on your neck, and on your chest. You laugh a big, throaty laugh that fills me with such joy.

I love how much you love your sister. And she loves you back--much to our relief. I love watching you guys interact. I know this phase won't last forever (especially now that you're mobile), but I'm enjoying it while I can.

You are eating solids a few times a day now. You will eat most foods, but you LOVE Cheerios and Veggie Straws. Probably too much. I think they feel good on your sore gums. Hopefully these teeth come soon!

Other quick facts: You love dancing to music; you squirm like crazy during diaper changes and often end up crawling around naked; and you still wake mummy up in the middle of the night.

We love you. Happy 9 month birthday!

Read about Zahara at this age:
Dear Zahara: 9 Months

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Purim Celebrations

I'm really late with this recap, but Purim this year was so fun and I want to make sure I capture the memories. With Zahara in Jewish school now, we have even more incentive to celebrate holidays. She learns all about the meaning, history, and traditions at school. She sings songs and talks about the foods she wants to eat. Purim is a particularly fun holiday because it is meant for the kids. It's a day where we dress up, eat yummy cookies called hamantaschen, and give gifts to our friends.

This year, we spread the fun out and had a few different Purim celebrations:

Playdate with Liana
Zahara's best buddy from daycare came over for a dress-up and cookie making playdate. Liana had never had hamantaschen before, so it was fun teaching her about them and, of course, eating them.

Community Carnival
I had no idea that there was such a large Jewish community in Maryland. But apparently, there is. The week before Purim there was a huge carnival held at a high school. There was face painting, food, games, music, and stories. We had a blast!

Purim Day Schpiel and Carnival
On Purim day we dropped mishloach manot (gifts) to a few of our friends and went to a synagogue to watch a Purim schpiel. A schpiel is a funny skit that tells the story of Purim. This year's theme was Sesame street. It was cute. And of course there was more face painting, games, and food.

What a fun way to celebrate the holidays!

Monday, April 3, 2017

April Thoughts by Z

I take for granted how well Zahara is able to communicate and express herself, but I shouldn't. She really is articulate for her age. I love our conversations and always look forward to what she'll say next.

Thought 1:
Pointing to her classmate who is on all fours next to her:
Z: Mummy, this is my pet dog. Zevi, bark for my mum.
Zevi: Ruff, ruff.

Thought 2:
Z: Daddy, I don't want you to sing anymore. Don't be a parent.

Thought 3:
Z: Why are your eyes pink?
Me: That's my eye shadow. Do you like it?
Z: No. You look like a monster.

Thought 4:
Z: I saw all the blossoms on the trees. They look like Cheerios.

See previous Thoughts by Z here