April 8, 2012

Tough negotiator

At last night's Seder, Felix traded the afikomen for parsley.

Many of you won't get this, but for those who do it's hilarious.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:59 AM

January 17, 2012

Falling in Love

Dear Felix,

Today I overheard you and dada talking. You asked dada why he thinks Gideon loves trains so much to which he replied that you too, at Gideon's age loved trains.

"I've never fallen in love," you says.

So somehow, before the age of 5, you've made the distinction between the love you have for me, or dada, or for trains and falling in love. Somehow you already know and await this other great love.


Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 6:10 AM

May 15, 2011

Trip to Steep Ravine

It's been a challenge to squeeze in some one on one time with Felix, but finally, I managed. We headed just a bit up north and stayed in a cabin in Steep Ravine, on the mighty Pacific. We loved it and can't wait to go back.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Posted by talia at 6:09 AM

February 3, 2011

Angry Felix

The angrier you get, the more I love you.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:40 PM | Comments (1)

September 29, 2010

Concord grape

My favorite sort of grape, unavailable in Europe and, for some reason, no decent one was to be found here in California last season. But this is a happier year, the Good Earth is bursting with bags of the best, tart-skinned, sweet inside, and with that wonderful deep purple layer between the two. Purple being Felix's favorite color I carefully removed the skin on a nice big one the other day, to show him, and to convince him to try this new treat. He did so and liked the taste just fine, but what he really enjoys is the sight of the stripped grape, and he now repeatedly asks me to prepare them for him in this way. Yes, that's right, on top of everything else I am now expected actually to peel him a grape.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:19 AM

August 23, 2010

Felix Bits: wishes

Me (to Alec while nursing in the parking lot of an IHOP): I wish we had a waffle iron.

Felix (in the back seat): Well, you next time you get an eyelash on your cheek you could grab it with your fingers to make a wish and then blow on it and then you'd wish for a waffle iron and then you would get a waffle iron.


Felix: That's kind of a really long story but really it's a short one.

Posted by talia at 7:04 AM | Comments (3)

August 12, 2010

Felix Bits: Cats

Felix: Mama, why do I have so much hair in my mouth?
Me: Uh, I don't know, did you lick the cat?
Yaya: redefining Fe-licks the cat.

Posted by talia at 6:40 PM

July 29, 2010

Felixbits: Pizza joint

Told Felix we're going for pizza with friends tomorrow for dinner. "To the pizza joint?" he replied. "Uh, yeeesss," I said, unsure if I had heard him right. "Do you know why you call it a pizza joint?" he asked. Now certain of what I'd heard, I said I would very much like to know why he calls it that. "Because it's where you go to enjoint the pizza with your friends."

No pun intended, I'm sure.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:46 AM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2010

Felix Bits: What is a...

Increasingly Felix asks what things are, in increasing complexity. I'm going to start to collect them. Today's is:

What is a career?

Posted by talia at 5:56 PM | Comments (4)

May 16, 2010

Movie: Zipline

Little brother or no, Felix keeps on going!

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:19 AM

April 15, 2010

Felix Bits: Kids

Today, as we were all in bed (after pulling me out of bed to make him breakfast, FM had the nerve to ask me to get back into bed with him and Dada) FM asked if we could have more kids.

Well, sure. Great idea. How's in two weeks for ya?

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 9:58 PM

February 26, 2010

Felixbits: Jokes

I said in the three year review that you don't really get jokes. That's not true. You don't get other people's jokes. You certainly make and get your own. Like last night at the pizza restaurant. You suddenly proposed that we get popsicle pizza. Then you laughed your head off. Then you started proposing pizzas made with every conceivable ingredient, and laughed your head off at each one. It was very funny, then a bit annoying, then funny again, then the pizza came. With pineapple and pepperoni.

That's what we mean when we say you're a "funny little guy."

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:22 PM

Felix Bits: Pajamas

Now that Felix is three, we are working on getting him off the pacifier. he's taking to it very well I think the only price so far is that it takes him quite a bit longer to fall asleep.

While sitting with him last night to help him sleep the baby was kicking a whole lot and I placed Felix's hand on my belly to feel it.

"I can feel the baby moving" he says. "Is it wearing pajamas?"

Posted by talia at 6:41 AM | Comments (3)

July 18, 2009

Felix Bits: Smelling

This evening while biking back from Elf's house I smelled Felix's head. In response he says: "Mama, I'm not a flower."

Posted by talia at 9:53 PM

June 14, 2009

Felix reports

We recently left FM with his grandparents in Haifa while we went off to Istanbul for a v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n. He handled our absences with hardly a hiccup and, thanks to the regular reports copied below, we were able to (mostly) set our fears aside and enjoy ourselves. THANKS TO SAFTA AND SABA!!!

Felix report June 11, 14:15
As you were leaving, Sasa got me busy with the dryer, pushing buttons and removing dry cloths so I did not cry at all.
We all just lazed around until about 9, having breakfast etc.
After that Saba took me to the park and the zoo for couple of hours. We finished off this activity with pink ice-cream (lunch will be postponed for sure).
Of course by the time we got home I was dead tired so just got my hands and faced washed, collected my sleeping kit and am totally knockout now for the next hour or so.
Once during the morning I said 'Mama Dada trip' as stating a fact not sad or something like that but I did said immediately after that 'Mama Dada Felix trip' just so you know that it would be nice too. I am not sad. I know you deserve a break and I can manage quite well with Saba and Sasa
Enjoy your alone time.
Love you
Felix Report, June 11, 10:30pm
Today a had a boring afternoon but I have big plans for tomorrow (Saturday). I am told we will go to the swimming pool at Dafna's. I am sure it is a swimming pool because I asked several times if it is not the beach and I am assured it is a swimming pool.

I love that Yotveta Chocolate Milk Which I am told Mama likes too. I had quite a bit of it today, even instead warm milk.
A friend of other sasa stopped by today and brought me a coloring book, and I also played with purple play dough.

Hope you have a safe trip to Izmir and have fun at the wedding.
I miss you but it does not affect my general sweetness.
Felix Report June 12, 8:00am
Good morning Mama and Dada,

It has been 24 hours since you left and I am perfectly OK.

Yesterday, after a very good nap I set with savta Stella in the coffee shop she likes and had a big jar of the special pink yogurt they have. It was Yammy.

Later I went with Saba and Sasa to the mall and Sasa bought Saba and me great sandals.
I love these sandals so much that I asked Sasa to put them on first thing this morning, even before I had my milk.

OK, I am going to the supermarket to buy some more bumbum but mostly so I can take my new sandals for a walk.

Bye and kisses
Felix Report June 12, 7:30am
Good morning,

Yesterday I had a very busy day.

Started with your phone call. That was nice. i was happy to hear you voices. After that 'Felix Saba, Sasa and big Sasa' went to dafna's swimming pool. I don't know where they live bcs I was sleeping in the car all the way there and back, but while there I sure had fun.

I spent a lot of time in the children's pool. that was awesome. Ofek (whose name better not be pronounced by other English speaking people like I pronounce it) and Eden played with me all the time.

Bcs I slept in the car on the way back and I woke up suddenly when i woke up, I cried and cried for a while, and Saba and Sasa did not understand what I wanted. But I am not sure i did. But then, Sasa gave me from the new (sugarless) cereal she bought for me and I was OK. I also like to eat pink yogurt with a straw. And that chocolate milk is so yummy!

Don't forget to see the pictures I am sending you. i am sorry the quality is not that good, but you can see I am happy.

Love you

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:35 PM

April 24, 2009

Felix Bits: Conversation

I offered you a carrot today and you said:

"mmm, lekker"

and once i handed it to you, for the first time unprompted i think you replied:

"dank je wel"

and here i've been trying to get you to say please. thank you is just as nice. sweetness prevails.

Posted by talia at 1:49 PM

April 2, 2009

Felix Bits: Conversation

Your sentences are coming along full force including: "I drink water."

Posted by talia at 2:59 AM

March 11, 2009

Felix Bits: Counting

It's official: you can count from 1 to 8. On your own. You are awesome. And as if that wasn't enough, you very appropriately today said "Hat too big."

Posted by talia at 9:12 PM | Comments (1)

February 19, 2009


featuring, once again, lots of new material, original thoughts, and another year's worth of lessons and lore!

By now, of course, EVERYONE knows who this is all about! It's the two year birthday of the one and only...





Two years already, who can believe it! So much has changed. A year ago today we took this film of you taking your first steps...

...and this one we took just last week!

But let's take it one step at a time, so to speak. How, you ask, has the second year differed from the first? In some ways not so much. There was still...

...lots of eating...

...and bathing...

...and playing in good weather...

...and in bad.

You help out more with the work around the place...


...but you still take the time to stop and smell the flowers.

And though you are sometimes a bit more finicky about what you eat...

...as always you will happily stuff your face if it's something you really like (look, it's a beetbaby!).

You will still fall asleep anywhere...

...if you're tired enough...

...but you have always preferred sleeping in your own bed where--a VERY important change--you are now sometimes inclined to sleep until the morning light!!!

We're not saying you give us uninterrupted nights every day of the week, but you do so a lot more often now than you did in your first year and in recognition of this we have once again rewarded you with a big BALLOON! Red this time, as you, with your new-found ability to name all the colors of the rainbow, will no doubt point out.

You are lots bigger (84 cm!), much more coordinated, faster and stronger in every way (though you sometimes get slowed down by a questionable choice of footwear).

Yes, you are able to throw and kick and jump and run and do yoga, but remarkable as are the physical developments the mental ones are even more impressive. Last year we hoped you'd start walking in time for your birthday, and you did. This year you (with lots of encouragement from Sesame Street) decided to learn the alphabet, or to make a good start anyway.

It's a huge step forward: a year ago you were but babbling, your only recognizable words "oof oof" (dog) and "dada" (sometimes the obvious, but not always), and for months there wasn't much more until you discovered "ow." Did you enjoy those weeks where you went around asking "ow" about every last thing to determine its danger potential? It was a bit tiring for us if you really want to know. But then, in just the last few months, you started coming out with word after word--some we taught you, some you picked up who knows where--new words every day. You began to express more complex concepts too, using words not only for the big things (mama, dada, ba) in your life but for their locations (up, down, "toptop") or possession ("mama eyes") as well and eventually for real abstractions (or still abstract to you) like numbers (you'll even go from one to ten with some reminders in between). This was followed in due course by two-word combinations--my favorite: "Fiem happy"--and then real sentences. Let me tell you, kid, no one ever really needs a more complicated sentence than "toast down light on." So welcome to the world of speech, Felix. OK, we don't always know what you mean right away, or even in what language you are speaking, but we always get you in the end.

But sometimes progress is painful and for sure you have had your share of troubles this past year, whether it was your first stitches...

...or, more recently, a nasty case of the chickenpox.

You've had a lot of new teeth come in this year too...

...and you don't always look your best...


...but while there have been bad days...


...difficult nights...

...mornings where you won't say a word until after your first cup of coffee...

...and some pretty weird moments...

...day after day...


...the CUTE...

...just keeps coming through!


And even when you do get into a bit of trouble...

...you can always charm your way right back out again.


Has it been an interesting year for you? Certainly there have been many new experiences. You said goodbye to your first nanny, Gosia (though she still visits now and then)...

...and started school for two and then, at the wonderful Dromelot, three days per week; there you learn many important life lessons, for example that though the girls sometimes won't kiss you, Mama always will.

We want camping for the first time...

...a huge adventure...


...you (mostly) loved.

We also started swimming...

...which you have taken to like a duck to water.


Yes, you've discovered a lot...


...of new things...


...to love...

...this year.

And you've discovered a lot...

...of new...

...places, too.

But best of all you've met a TON of new people...

and seen a lot of old friends again as well!


We feel sure you will always make more friends wherever you go...


...so long as you're willing to extend a friendly hand.

What haven't you done yet, ever in your whole life? How about:

* Flown in a helicopter (though you sure do talk about it often enough)
* Said your middle name
* Had a haircut
* Attended an inauguration in person (though you did watch simulcast)
* Gone to any Dutch island other than Schiermonnikoog or Terschelling
* Felt regret
* Had a sibling
* Eaten a steak (though you have had chorizo!)
* Contemplated anything
* Gone poo poo in the toilet without freaking out
* Scratched yourself
* Let us sleep in

That's OK, maybe you'll manage all that next year!

Even now, at two years old, we still think you look a lot more like your Mama...


...than your Dada...

(And more like Yaya than either of us!)

...but whatever you look like we promise we'll always be by your side!



Keep going, little boy, keep going!

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:47 PM | Comments (3)

January 26, 2009

Felix Bits: Conversation

Last night during bath time dada and I were talking about Google Mail. In an attempt to either participate in the conversation or out-nerd us you topped off your bubble hat and repeated three times Googoo mai googoo mail googoo mai.

Posted by talia at 8:33 AM | Comments (1)

January 22, 2009

Felix Bits: Words

You've been sick all week and that has lead to some frustrating conversations. You seem to not really know what you want and have several times a day gone into fits for reasons beyond my comprehension or control. For example, you wanted the big blanket off the bed and on the floor, that much i understood, but i couldn't guess the exact configuration of folds and directions you were trying to get me so desperately to understand with your cries and grunts. When I asked your to please "Use your words" - a phrase I have expressed to you several times a week since your birth - you responded with "Words." A first.

Thanks FM. That clears it right up.

You are otherwise expressing yourself and describing the things around you much better. No longer are all birds "Caw Caw". There are now hens, ducks, cranes, and goose. There are also new adjectives: big goose, big tree, cold hands.

You are getting better at sounding out the whole word too. For example, today you actually said Milk and not Mau. I suppose I have Shrek to thank for that. Since you've been sick I've allowed you quite a bit of TV including Shrek. You love the dragon. You have gotten pretty good at words ending in K, duck, truck, milk, Shrek.

Well done.

Posted by talia at 4:54 PM

January 17, 2009

Felix Bits: Chicken Pox

You've gots 'em.

Anything that takes you down a notch or two only make you into an even bigger snugglepuss than you already are. So sweet.

Posted by talia at 2:19 PM

January 9, 2009

Felix Bits: Books

You favorites these days are the two train books: Little Train that Won a Medal and the Little Engine that Could. You also really enjoy Ollie these days and the book which lists about 25 different types of trucks.

Posted by talia at 9:58 AM

January 4, 2009

Felix Bits: Colors

For a few weeks now you have distinguished Yellow from all other colors. Today, you also added Blue to your repertoire. Looking at the towel hooks nearest to where you generally eat, your noted: Blu Towel and Yeo Towel. Funny that you can pronounce towel quite well but not yet yellow. Perhaps blue came next for your undying love for blueberries.

Also, several times this week, should one of the two towel be missing from the hook, you asked me to place another one on the hook. You seem to have a tendency towards order and neatness. Perhaps you take after your dada a bit too.

Posted by talia at 2:53 PM

Felix Bits: Swimming

We went to the pool today for the first time in a while. Many things have changed since our last visit. For one, you can say pool. For another, with the aid of water wings you stayed afloat kicking your way around the water a bit. First steps towards swimming. Next time we go we can try to practice drinking less water! Seems you like the taste.

Posted by talia at 11:43 AM

January 2, 2009

Felix Bits: Meow

Today I told you that you were the biggest snugglepuss I know. Your response was: Meow.

Posted by talia at 7:39 PM

December 30, 2008

Felix Bits: Counting

With some help, you can count to 10. I say One you say Two. I say Three you say Four. That works. I say Five and Six you say, with some predictability Nine. Then Eight and Nine we say together and you say 10 then clap your hands. Indeed, you should be very proud. I am.

Posted by talia at 1:58 PM

December 29, 2008

Felix Bits: Sleeping and Eating

For about the past month now you have been sleeping really well. A predictable nap midday and a nice long uninterrupted sleep at night, from about 19:30 until 6:30 or 7:30. Thank you thank you thank you.

Of course, I guess two steps forward one step back: Once a voracious eater, you now eat about half as much. Oh well. You are still interested in a great variety of foods, though suddenly eggs just sit there untouched.

Posted by talia at 10:03 AM

November 19, 2008

Months 21: October 19 - November 19

Posted by talia at 10:10 PM

October 19, 2008

Month 20

Dear Felix,

Suddenly and despite your father and I referring to you as the baby most of the time, you have become a little boy. With little boyhood come big changes, though not yet much more hair. You have some hair, and it's getting a very little bit longer, but all in all you have very little of it. What you have more of is teeth. Four molars have come in in two months. Each of them brought with them a fever and two or three days of you being really out of sorts and uncomfortable.

Thank goodness that passes. When you are not out of sorts, you are your usual charming and fun self. Your love for cars (ca) and wheeled things in general has blossomed. Everything from a simple wheeled Duplo piece to your wagons and Bobbycar to tricycles, trucks, and skateboards. You love making everything move, roll and ride - getting behind the wheel. You hop out the stroller and push it for miles if you had the time to do it. Like me, you prefer to be in the drivers seat to being a passenger. You try to make me remove my hands from the handle bars of the bike and replace your own.

You continue to be a model eater and your spoon/fork handling is improving as well. You like to scoop your food up onto the spoon and carefully following the spoon with your free hand pushing the food and spoon into your mouth with your free hand. Perhaps not terribly efficient and certainly quite messy, but I don't mind since your appetite is so good and your diet so varied. Good table manner will soon follow. Your favorite food I think is raisins, which do not require a spoon.

You have a bunch more words that you did in the beginning of the summer. Nana (banana), nay, no, uh (Yes), kij (kijk, look), uh oh, ow, eye, mou (mouth), wa wa (waffles), hi, bye, ca (car), wow, mama, dada, up, out, dow (down). You know all the parts of the face including both of your adorable cheeks. You know that dogs woof, cats meow, owls who who, and cows moo. You think some smalls dogs meow too which offends some dog owns.

You are often humming a little tune, and I've heard you hum the entire ABC song. You have several more dance moves though the Shoulder Shimmy still is a head motion for you. You love the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

You are increasingly fond (to put it all very mildly) of your little Lovie. The sheep neck pillow is your version of my LBP (Little Baby Pillow). You clutch one of its ears or its tail burrow your head in the arch of its body and rest. We only on very rare occasion take Lovie out with us, an overnight trip for example. Upon our return from one such trip, while at the airport, you were so totally tired - it was after all and nearly two hours after your bedtime - you laid down on the floor by the passport control in the airport, clutching, burrowing, ready to collapse wherever we'd allow. You get that from me.



Posted by talia at 9:38 PM

August 19, 2008

Month 18

Dear Felix,

Today you turn a year and a half. Time moves both very slowly and very quickly. Last week your new friend Chloe was born and she was so small, which I point out only to reference how much you've grown since you were merely a week old. There are so many things you can do and so many things you have already done. And with everyday you are more and more wonderful. And heavy. Yes, more wonderful and more heavy.

These past two months brought on a bunch of changes in your life which you have taken in stride. Not that it's all been smooth sailing and some has come with quite a bit of heart ache on my part but i guess that's what motherhood is all about. Heartache. And Worry.

You have, after nearly two months, allowed me to leave you at day care without any fuss at all. Thank you. You are near the top of the age range in your group, which I'm not crazy about because that blossoming I was anticipating hasn't really materialized. However, you generally seem to like it there and make a point to peek through the window of the door to the room to wave bye bye to all the kids again after I pick you up. The bike ride home is spent sharing your thoughts on the day which always include lots of gesturing. Last Friday on our ride home you were going on and on pointing and saying things in beats of three as in "put that down" "close the door" "the cat meows".

While you still don't have any words, you are really good with mimicking the beat and the tone of the words and sounds you hear. You father thinks you might have perfect pitch. No words, but you have a great deal of understanding of what is being said around you and to you. You can when asked, for example, bring the dust pan in from the other room. Which convinces me that you can actually "come here Felix" or "don't rattle the gate Felix" when I ask, it's just that you choose not to. What you are bursting with FM is personality and one which is constantly exploring so at times you don't obey. You know, sshhhh, don't tell anyone, I think that's ok. You seem to have a keen sense of when I really mean it or when I merely suggest it.

You love dressing up. You are learning about your shoes and arms through sleeves. You love wearing hats or hoods and your most brightly colored clothing. You respond to other peoples reactions and I think deep down aim to please and to entertain which is perhaps why you love wearing the outfits that garner the most ooohs and ahhhs.

You continue to love books and insist that I point out what the various things on the page are by taking my hand and moving it around the page. Once it's certain to you, like ball, you will point it out yourself each time we turn the page. I get the sense you remember the story and have distinct desires to hear this or that one given a particular mood.

You still have only 8 teeth. You have never had meat for this reason. Although, I'm tempted by now to give you a bite of my hamburger or the roasted chicken. I'm finding the separate meals a bit tedious. Well, the separate meals is perhaps more of a result of your early bed time.

For the past two weeks we've been living at the garden house. I love living there with you. It's small, safe, green, and very cozy. You help with the raking of the grass clipping and filling the bucket with things for the compost. You also enjoy helping me sweep the floors daily. You LOVE plucking the black berries and somehow had a knack for picking the ripe ones, though your lust for eating them is quicker than the ripening process and you have moved on to unripe ones. You know not to get tangled in the prickly vines of the raspberry bush and call for me to pluck a ripe one that is out of reach. You can run the course to the jungle gym in the play ground unassisted which is particularly impressive as many of the bars are set pretty far apart. I also love let you snuggle in bed with us which at home we can't do because of loft.

You are slowly but surely learning the body parts and can fairly reliably point out ears, nose, mouth, eyes. You have added a few moves to your Dancing Felix repetoire and are learning, inspired by Emmett, the shoulder shimmy which you can't at all do you but you try every time I say shoulder shimmy and sometimes also when you hear your last name, Shuldiner.

I don't know FM, there is really so much more. You really all that and I super love you and I really hope I do right by you. And I happen to know that your dad super loves you too because the other day he said he was going to give up eating potato chips since he was worried you would become a junk food freak. FM, if that's not love, I don't know what is.


Posted by talia at 1:35 PM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2008

Month 17

Posted by talia at 6:59 AM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2008

Month 16

Dear Felix,

At 16 months, you are on the border of baby and boy. You are growing taller and thinner. Your face is slightly less round. You run. You make decisions and have opinions. You are transitioning into a once a day napper. Nonetheless I still refer to you to your father as "the baby". I suppose I should transition too.

You love to read. You have favorite books and favorite parts in book. The Mitten, the kibbutz poetry book, Corduroy, Ferdinand, and that book of Israeli songs. You basically love any book that has me making a loud sneeze or a pop. Reading to you has become my performance art and lately, when you reach for a book yourself, you read it aloud with full animation. You are also beginning to point out things correctly in the book: Corduroy, dolphin, sail boat.

You have two more teeth, making a whopping three on the bottom and three on top. As such you remain a little vegetarian. Though I'll admit the temptation to give you a piece of the meatball is growing hard to resist. You continue to eat with great vigor all sorts of food, mashed potatoes, eggs, pizza are among your favorites. For about a week you were eating great amounts of Tete du Moine which we all paid for dearly with an over the top number of diaper changes.

You love giving kisses and will do so nearly on command. When you say goodbye to your friend Koyan, we have to sometime tear you two apart of a jaw lock. At a party a few weeks ago you gave a kiss to a baby a few months younger than you. One kiss lead to another and then before too long you were sitting on top of her, then laying on top of her and then...lets just say it's a good thing you both had your diapers on.

On our trip to Israel you were a real champ. People everywhere fell in love with you. You got to spend a lot of time with Saba and Savta and uncle Yaron all of whom are truly gaga for you in ways for which there are no words. You brightened the lives of your great grandparents as well with daily laughter, exploring, and charm. Your father says that when you returned your babbling was distinctly Hebrew.

For a little while there, particularly on the heels of that trip you said "toda" when giving something to someone. Your other words are Ne and Hot. You say Mama and Dada, but not exclusively to mean Mama and Dada yet. Charmingly and thankfully you more often wake up and call Mama as opposed to crying. You indicate you are All Done with your meal by raising both hands. You understand a great many words, Water, Banana, Yogurt, Sit, Tram, Bed, Nap, Dog, Horse, and really so many others.

I know this letter is brief, and perhaps lacks some soul, but it's been getting to be so very long past 16 months, that i just had to get some of the great things that are you down. Continue your greatness kiddo.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 9:38 PM

April 19, 2008

Month Fourteen

Dear Felix,

Today you turn fourteen months. It seems that only a few days ago you turned thirteen months and that I wasn’t so completely delayed in writing my letter to you. The days are moving very quickly lately and each one is filled to the brim with activity, learning and events. What they have not been filled with is much child-care outside of your father and me. A visit from your grandparents brought some relief, and a luxurious night spent in a hotel. But beyond that it’s been a whole lot of you and me time and me working through the evenings and weekends as dad went back to work. For my own development I think I’ve made great strides since aside from two freak-outs, I’ve been able to find some semblance of a rhythm with these days which comes as rather a great surprise to me. It seems after all these months I’ve somehow settled into the role of Mother. I think you’ve taken notice to this as well as you’ve started doing something these past two months: You shower me with your love and affection. It might just be the most wonderful feeling there is. We’d hop into the bath as we’ve done together for so many months now, but now, instead of going for a cup or the counting bath book, you go for me. You gaze deeply into my eye and rest your head on my stomach. As the water fills the tub, you scoot up to rest your head on my chest and then on my shoulder. A great big hug. The first time it happened I thought maybe you were sick and had a fever. But the next night and the night after that you did it too. You know what that is Felix? That’s love. Can you say LOVE? Guess what? I super love you too!

The majority of the past two months has been spent watching you walk which you started doing on your 12 months birthday (I apologize for not writing you a letter to celebrate our first year together). I can’t think of a better way to spend my time, perhaps it’s because I lack sleep or perhaps it’s just because you are so darn cute. Your arms waving high in the air as you waddle a few steps in one direction, you then make quarter turn as if you just remembered that you left something behind. You are really a walking machine. A few days ago you’ve really picked up the pace and can sometimes be seen jogging. You also stand up pretty reliably on your own as of a couple of weeks ago which surprisingly came after learning to walk.

Determination, one of your defining characteristics. You really know what you want. You don’t yet know always how to get it, and you certainly don’t have the words to say it, but pointing seems to often enough do the trick. So you spend much of your days pointing at things. You point at your bottle of water when you are thirsty, you point towards the stairs when you want to go downstairs for a nap, to the curtained window when you want to see sunlight after you wake up. You are communicating all the time, though no discernable words come out your mouth. In addition to the pointing a near constant stream of babble comes flooding out your mouth complete with intonation for questions, pauses for answers, statements for assertions. When you are on the phone, or at least holding something up to your ear you think is a phone, you get into focused conversation mode as though you are brokering a deal or some sort. Are you? And you sing. Ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh.

You love music and singing and dancing. The first books on the shelves you pull out are the ones that command a more theatrical reading. Animal sounds, songs, and bottle pops. Ever since you saw me make hooking the inside of my cheek to make a POP, you will come up to me with your finger in your cheek trying to get me to make the sounds again. Other sounds you imitate are the DANG of something falling onto the floor or the closet doors opening, the MMMM of the cow and the WOO WOO of the dogs in the park barking.

You are becoming increasingly independent. There are corners of the house where you go to hang out on your own. It seems sometimes you go there to play hide-n-seek, but other times just because you like to be in a private space for a few minutes. You help in dressing and undressing you. You pretty much control your day but fairly clearly expressing your wants and needs. When we are in the sand box, there is eventually a point where you will walk up to your stroller and indicate that your want to get in it and for me to take you home. It’s this communication that I think has really helped me finally settle in to my role.

These last two months have been a gift. You are lovely and loving. Thank you.
Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 10:26 PM

January 19, 2008

Month Eleven (Dec 19 - Jan 19)

Dear baby Felix,

You have proven yourself time and again to be one flexible and well-adjusted kid. We disrupted your sleep about as many times as we've disturbed yours this month and still each day you love to see our faces. Well, gosh darn it, I love to see your face too kiddo.

You haven't yet learned to walk or stand, two things I was expected you to be able to do given what a unique physical specimen (read: bulldozer) you are, but you can do so many other things:

There isn't a staircase in the world you can't climb in either direction. You've become an expert at getting down from the bed, the couch, chair, always turning yourself around and dangling you feet down. Savta claims she taught you this and since I don't recall ever showing you myself, I will give her the credit for it. Although, to be fair, you are a pretty clever little dude who knows that head first is for slides only.

You point, sometimes just because you see something cool like a light or a tree or yourself in the mirror. Sometimes it's because you want that very specific thing, like banana, water bottle, Cheerios

You shake your head when I guess incorrectly what you are pointing toward, or that you no longer want any more of whatever food I am offering to you. I gotta wonder where that came from. I find that between the pointing and the shaking of the head you are really developing an effective way of expressing your will. I love this leap in communication.

You eat just about everything we've offered you and in great quantities, and hardly cup up at all. You've reacted just so totally enthusiastically about everything that I've come around to giving you just about the same foods I feed myself. Tofu, black beans, yogurts, prunes, corn, really just about anything.

You have the beginnings of waving hello and the high five.

And, most sweetly, we do a little Bonk and Kiss routine: when I say "bonk", we touch our foreheads together, when I say "kiss", we kiss. A big, wet sloppy one since you don't know yet it's not OK to French kiss your own mother.

Soon, you will be one year old. Soon, we will clink our milk glass together.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 9:47 PM

December 19, 2007

Month Ten (November 19 - December 19)

Dear little baby Felix,

You spent this entire month without your dad since he couldn't come out to San Francisco with us when we did. I know for sure that was hard on him and I am fairly sure that was pretty confusing for you since it seems at times you were looking for those legs with the hair you so love to pull on. You’ll see those legs again really soon sweets. Though I don’t know, you seem to be phasing out of the hair pulling obsession. Thank you thank you thank you. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks teaching you “gentle” and I think I’m getting through to you. Most notably, a couple of mornings in a row you very gently touched the tips of my eyelashes with the tips of your fingers. My Little Bulldozer I couldn’t even really understand it since soft and tender hasn’t really been your thing. But it’s there and we didn’t even need to dig very deeply to find it. Now of course the following mornings you tried to pry my eyes open with those claws of yours….baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, there’s no stopping you. You are one constantly on the go little dude. You aren’t quite standing on your own, but there is no set of stairs you won’t climb. You even stopped diving head first off the couch favoring turning around. You are increasingly confident walking along the wall and make bigger and bigger passes from object to object. Even tough you are an extremely efficient crawler and climber, I still think you’ll start walking any moment now.

You love going to the park. You love the slide and the swing though definitely not the tea cup. I don’t blame you, I nearly barfed myself when I tried it to figure out why you don’t like it. You barely eat any of the sand and aren’t upset when bigger kids want to play with the thing you are playing with. You just keep on keeping on.

You love to gnaw on my shoes when they aren’t on my feet. Felix, that’s disgusting. You are unthreatened by Mama the Disciplinarian. This has got to change because I feel I’m being fairly forceful and you continue to feel that I’m being pretty funny. You are very good at opening the lid to the trash, the toilet, and just about any door that’s not tightly shut. You are completely aware that things exist even though they aren’t in your sight. Where’d that thing you took from my hand go? Oh, it must be behind that door she keeps opening and tucking things behind. Felix, you are a clever one.

You remain completely fond of food. Eggs, which I have come to feed you daily, get a lip smacking response. However, it’s gotta be made fresh. You take no interest in an egg made earlier in the day. To that point, you very decisively know what you like and what you don’t. Or, what you like but have had enough of. You effectively block the spoon path by raising your fists to your sealed mouth. Or you’ll pick up a piece of broccoli or whatever else and drop it back on the tray, or the floor or anywhere that is away. Peas, apples, pears, blueberries, black beans, broccoli, carrot (lest they be cooked) bananas, yogurt and on occasion butternut squash. A few times this month while eating out I let you eat just something off the menu or something off my plate and that works super. Mashed potatoes, some fish, fries. You ate all my latkes this Hanukka. You love it all and that makes loving you even easier.

This month you learned to dance. We borrowed a little music table from Eli and Tessa and when the ABC song come on you bend at the knees and wave your hand around. I’m pretty sure also that you wave your hand hello and goodbye sometimes even unprompted. It’s very gratifying. Hello Felix.

You got to spend a ton of time with your grandparents and your uncle and auntie Er. They love you so much. You are such a bubon. So many hugs, so many funny songs, so many hot tubs. You love love love the hot tub. And Occam. He fascinates you. You chase after that patient cat. You are desperate to eat his food. No Felix. No.

You love being tossed in the air, but that is increasingly difficult as you are one dense little number. Totally worth the effort though for the wild laugh doing so elicits. You love the unpredictable tosses.

You’ve also discovered that lying around in bed, my bed at least, is so nice to do even when awake. You can only do it for a few minutes first thing in the morning, but I’m so grateful for this in bed snuggle time you can’t even imagine. Exhaustion like this Felix I hope you never know. When do you think you’ll be able to find your own pacifier at night? A rough indication would really help me out. You know how to do it during the day, and I’ve even made the room not too dark at night but it doesn’t seem to help. I think perhaps that you are actually asleep but would wake up if you don’t have it. Yes, I know taping it to your face is considered bad parenting.

That’s all for now little guy. You are my sunshine.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 5:53 AM

October 19, 2007

September 19 - October 19

Dear Mr. Tooth, I mean, Dear Felix Milo,

That's right! you have a tooth. One single barely visible highly audible tooth. Huh? Wha? I was oh so busy at work when it happened and I confess to the great joy I felt all over when your father rang me with the news. Yes, and well, you've take to crouching down along any of the wood edges around the house and scraping alongside it as though your were building a dam to heal yourself of I guess the pain and discomfort that causes you..

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With this new tooth there are big responsibilities. Responsibilities involving spoons and bibs! Yes, Felix Milo, you have finally agreed to eat. Actually allow food to go past your tongue and into your belly. You've come around so well and so all of the a sudden on this point. For a solid and relentless month and half we tried to feed you daily. Until one day you heartily and most greedily accepted the banana bit off my finger. You went on to consume pots full of cooked apples, rice porridge, avocado, rice cakes, beets, turnips, potatoes.

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With no small amount of humor I went to buy you a teeny tiny tooth brush on the recommendation of the nurse at the Baby Clinic. And while not even a millimeter tall we started to brush your witsy bitsy tooth after your last bottle.

Responsibilities involving extra frequent diaper changes! I'm fairly sure it's neither this new tooth nor the loads of varnish you've scraped up that has caused the, how can I put this delicately, the marked change in your diaper. And speaking of diaper changes, how about staying a bit more still during the process. You've taken to doing Extreme Yoga while i desperately chase you around the house to wipe you little tushie.

While I hardly feel like we are on easy street considering how you've turned the Most Excellent Sleeper, that would be me, into one who barely gets more than 4 hours in a row, you are each day a bit more fun, a lot more adorable, and a better beat boxer than the day before. You are so good at beat boxing that I suggest you take one of your too small hats and collect some money in the park with those mad musical skills of yours.

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I've tried to teach you a few things this month, most notably how to be gentle. You've take as well to that as you have to the sippy cup, which is to say, not at all. I try to take the fists full of hair and to show you how to pat my head. I guess it serves me right considering all the boogers i try to pluck out of your nose (i'm obsessed,sorry). I try to raise my voice, but seems that just makes you laugh. No..Let Go...Stop That...You are hurting me...you turn and smile and sometimes dare even to laugh as I'm being serious. All I ask is that you pull my hair gently, poke out my eyes gently, eat my chin without so much tooth scraping. Felix, I'm being serious. No rainbow suspenders, no watermelon into the crowd, I'm not Gallegher, I'm Serious. Stop laughing because then I laugh and then No becomes something cute. No is not cute.

You understand, right?

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 5:58 AM

September 19, 2007

Month Seven: August 19 - September 19

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Dear Felix Milo Milo, Felix Milo, Felix Milo Milooooooooo, Felix Milo!

The tune of your name I carry around with me always, even when you are not with me. Even when I do not sleep enough and am angry and irrational (sorry Alec).

Aside from that, I'm at a loss of how to sum up this last month which is why now a week after your seventh month birthday I have yet to complete this month's round-up.

It's been one so full of changes for you, some you've taken to better than others. We've stopped feeding you through the night which was surprisingly easy. We got only a few nights of longer sleep from you, but even in the rest, you tend to fall back to sleep fairly quickly after you fuss for a bit.

You have a great new babysitter who plays with you three days a week. I am incredibly grateful for how well you have taken to Gosia.

You've been moving from breast milk to formula, without skipping a beat. You do seem to get a bit more worked up when anyone leaves the room you are in, and perhaps it's related. My parents, your grandparents, came to visit and one day while I was away, Saba remarked how it seemed pretty clear to him that you spent a lot of the time looking for me. Thanks baby! Here I am. The best is when we spend the whole day together, I briefly depart to fix a cup of tea or go to the bathroom, and upon my return, joy spreads across your entire being as if we’ve been apart for years. To me, that feels like love. I love that you are in love me. Hey, guess what? I’m in love with you too!

One of my favorite moments from this month was early one morning I was kneeling along the platform in the living room and you came to nibble on my heel. You still don't have any teeth so it feels very nice. I think that is one of the ways you express your love. You come crawling up to me, at times with great speed and need, as if you want us to be one again. I wonder if you can at all remember that safe warm feeling from the olden days. Fun thing is, you love being nibbled on just as much. We can elicit great big roars of laughter from you by chomping on your little love handles. I also love tossing you in the air maniacally yelling "yee haw" and not only do you burst into laughter you still adorably place both fists into your mouth like a mouth guard as though you are perfectly aware that what I'm doing is potentially slight dangerous. Dear, you still have no teeth to protect.

Every day this month I have tried to feed you "solid" food. We bought you a high chair and cleared a drawer to store all the bibs you received as gifts, yet, I've met resistance at every step and at every flavor and consistency. Rice cereal, banana, apple, carrot, spoon, finger, pureed, mushed, mashed, liquefied, chunky, whole, cooked, raw. Whatever it is barely and rarely makes past the tip of your tongue. Oh the gagging noises. Oh the impossible stains bananas make. Oh I can't believe it's been a month without any progress.

Lastly, I think your eye color is now settled and they seem to be quite unusual: considerably darker than any Friedman or Shuldiner and a deep shade of green. I guess we knew you were special from the very beginning when you came out with eyes that were so serious and focused.

So little boober, be a good little bubon and try to get some sleep.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 8:07 PM

August 19, 2007

Month Six (July 19 – August 19)

You've turned five month, and it's been a month of many firsts. A long plane trip, while not your first, brought you for the first time the the US. First walk through the forest to pick blackberries, first time to the Ocean, first dip in a pond, first nap on the beach. First lobster roll, oh no wait, that was me. You met all of your grandparents, nine of your uncles and aunts, and a handful of cousins. You've even completely charmed other kids' grandparents. One dear friend of my parents returned two days after meeting you desperate to see you again, "I just love him," she said.


This month you have spent much of your waking hours grabbing things and shoving them into your mouth. It seems you think everything belongs there. Go directly to mouth, do not pass go. You grab hair (thus I have spent all of this month with mine in a pony tail aka, Princess Hair). You grab your feet, pull off your socks and suck on your big toe. You grab paper, gum it all up and wave it around. Reading the New Yorker while feeding you is a thing of the past, you are, it seems at times, as interested in the Cartoon Challenge as I am. Basically, if you can reach it, you will get to it and shove it in your mouth.

And reaching things has become increasingly easy for. You no longer lay on your stomach flapping your limbs trying to will this or that to you. Rather, you lift your bum and crawl over to just about anything that catches your eye. It’s particularly charming when what you’ve set your eye on is me.

You’ve become quite conversationalist. Story telling really since you don’t pause much like the books say you would. Ba ba ba’s and dddddddd’s where you are happy and mmmmm and nnnnnnnn when blue.


You can sit unsupported for a couple of minutes. But that ain’t nothing since just in the nick of time, to be including in this months accomplishments you stood up in your crib. It’s been nothing but standing since. My little Hercules.


We read somewhere that around this time you should start recognizing your name. As is toggling between Felix and Milo wasn’t confusing enough, referring to you mostly as Baby, Booberino, Boob Zorino, Lil’ Leash or Mr. Cadifje hasn’t made Name Recognition one of your accomplishments. My fault.

You are so very lovely Felix Milo. You have made the days intense, crazy, exhausting, and sweet. Quite a complex accomplishment!

Watch out, next month we introduce you to formula and to solid foods. Grab that!

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 9:36 AM

July 19, 2007

Month Five (June 20 - July 19)

Even though I’m fairly certain you don’t know what I’m talking about, we started to sit together on the big green nursing chair to read one of the books from your growing library. I am pretty surprised at how calmly you can sit and pleased when it’s actually a book as beautiful as the Mountain that Loved a Bird. It’s a pretty long one, and despite having had read two short books just prior, you sat very contentedly in my lap until about half way through, at which point you pooped. Returning to the book after a quick diaper change (for I really wanted to read this one through it’s so beautiful) you sat happily in my lap until the end. And then gladly went to your crib for a nap. My sweet delicious trouble free boy. (let’s not go into too much detail about the hour long freak-out you experienced yesterday afternoon shall we???). Even on "off' days you still want to read but also eat everything in site while we do so, I let you chew on the perfectly sized book for a four month old Dikkie Dik.

This month has been all about the master class. Things you started doing last month, you do with tremendous coordination now. You’ve practically mastered sitting, you’ve gone up to five minutes unaided. Everything must be touched and tasted. You seem particularly fond of the fringe of the rug. You set your eye on a target and seem to really enjoy the process of getting to it. You reach for things, deliberately with one hand and when you see that you can’t reach, you’ll try with the other hand. And if that doesn’t work you’ll throw your whole body towards the goal. Pretty clever really. If that still doesn’t get you what you want, you crawl. In this one month you went from digging your face into the ground and worming your way a cm at a time, to quite handily making your way around the room. Not doing opposing limbs yet, preferring both hands then both feet with perhaps a pause for laying on your belly raising all limbs together. It’s like you are trying to will the toys to you. I hope one day it works that way. Needless to say we remove from your fingers and toes your body weight in lint.

You take great pleasure in seeing me or your dad or yourself in the mirror. It’s the easiest way to elicit a smile. You also seem to enjoy when I lift your up to sniff your diaper. You must be thinking: “ha ha made you sniff”

Since you still want to feed every three hours both day and night, we decided to try adding rijstpap to a bottle at night. Several people suggested this, alas, after 5 nights of trying, you still aren’t sleeping longer. I’ve been feeding you every three hours for the past five months, perhaps you could do me a favor and just be full already? You are a champion eater and despite the midnight feeding a great sleeper, both night and day.

I think this month you also fell in love with me. The joy across your face in seeing me has more than once nearly made me cry. You’ve also started to nuzzle my face and neck in a totally different way than you do everything else you stuff into your mouth. It’s like you think I’m so cute that your want to eat me right up.

Oh and you laugh. Deep, full body laughs. Thank you for all of those.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 7:45 PM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2007

Month Four (May 19 – June 19)

So much has happened in just a few short weeks.

Having returned from Portugal we realize that you are just too darn large to be bathed in the bathroom sink, time for a change: The Big Bath. We’ve started a nice little nighttime routine you took to really well: we take a bath, all three of us in the tub together. It’s relaxing for all of us. Sometimes you kick and sometimes you chill. Sometimes you nurse, it’s super cute, though really I’d rather you nurse after the bath since the removing the baby from the bath and dressing the baby for night time never quite goes smoothly and all our efforts to calm you are thwarted and you can only be soothed by a good feeding, which if I’ve nursed you in the tub, you’ve already had. I really appreciate how your father gets out of the tub first, even without losing at rock paper scissors, to deal with this transition, since frankly, by the time 7pm rolls around, I really cannot manage another one of your breakdowns.

Anyway, after you are clean and in a fresh onsie, you snuggle into your wonderful sleep sack and come on up for a good long drink. Very often you are willing to be placed in the crib and quickly drop off for a long slumber of four hours. Sometimes you continue to fight sleep and put up a bit of a struggle.

You’ve gotten really very good at grabbing things, holding them, and stuffing what you can of them into your mouth. Everything goes into your mouth. Except the Ball of All Frustration which you can grab exceptionally well, yet not manage to get into your mouth. Parents deserve to be amused too.

You are busy each hour it seems trying to sit up. When I lay you down to change your diaper, you lift your head and strain your neck in an attempt to be up-right. With only very slight help from us, you do indeed make your way up. And let me tell you, Milo, all those sit-up are really paying off. Aside from the mini six-pack you’ve developed you started to roll really well from one side to another. I think even sometimes you mean to do it. And scoot. Each time I go to you in the night you are in a completely different part of your bed from how I left you. I haven’t witnessed this movement, but I suppose you inch your way around the mattress like a worm.

Today you napped for a grand total of one hour, pooped a grand total of four diaper changes and maintained a sunny disposition nearly the entire day. What a guy. You slumber now, soundly, deeply, and perhaps also for a long time. They say sleep begets sleep and indeed these past few days in Israel you have been napping well and sleeping well, tonight we shall test the theory. My love, we have accomplished something great with this nighttime routine. Thank you for liking it as much as I do. Now, if we could just eliminate the crying post bath while getting dressed bit, we will really be aces. I think only once you awoke in the past week for something non-feeding related. My champ.

You’ve also been quite a wonder in meeting all the new relatives. They come right up to you and pinch your delicious cheeks and as if on cue you smile back. I do miss the sweet little pout followed by silent crying you used to greet new people with, but seems you know that a smile will garner love and friendship.

Your smile has certainly hooked me.

Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 4:05 PM

May 20, 2007

100 Days

The first three months (Feb 19 – May 19):

Yesterday, Milo, you turned 100 days old. We’ve made it through the first three months, the time at which according to Rebecca, I should be getting some tiny slice of my old existence back. Not sure about Rebecca, but at no time in my old existence was there a small little baby crying so close to me that I didn’t care about it. I care about the baby, a lot, just not that at this moment and for the several moments before this one it is crying.

Ok, turns out I do care since I just picked you up, laid you across my chest and belly, found your pacifier, patted your bottom and you fell asleep. This all took less than 60 seconds. So if this soothing goes so quickly how come I didn’t do it 10 minutes ago? Because it wouldn’t have worked then. You hadn’t fought sleep long enough. You get this from your father. I never fight sleep. I realized very early on, my mother claims from when I was only three weeks old, that it’s a losing battle. Sleep will always win. Please baby, won’t you please let sleep in.

So now you lay sleeping soundly on your stomach beside me. I delight in your sleep. Never before have your father and me, your parents, talked so much about sleep. I am fairly certain that the amount of time spent talking about your sleep far exceeds the amount of time we spend talking about all other topics combined.

To start with, the one aspect of your sleep we solved quickly, was putting you on your stomach. Of course we were advised against this by every book, doctor and childless friend, but we know that it is the only way you will sleep for longer than five minutes at a time. While we can generally get three hours out of you at a time during the night, for two consecutive nights we got five hours from you. We look forward to those days returning. Why your stomach? Because if we lay you on your back like we are supposed to, you flail your tiny little arms with such gusto you wake yourself up with the excitement. Conducting night symphony orchestras you father says. When you were very small, we could bundle you like the little burrito that you are and you would sleep rather peacefully, but as the weeks went on, you grew frustrated with not being able to flap about. Your father could still coax you into thinking bundling was comfy and successfully locked you hands behind your back, but soon this too stopped working as you grew too big for the receiving blankets we used for bundling.

Don’t think we abandoned you to tummy sleeping without a care, we worried the first few nights we tried you on your stomach, checking in on your very often, and flipping you to your back once we felt your were soundly asleep, we soon grew comfortable in your abilities to stay alive through the nights. You lift your head up remarkably well, my precious cobra asana king. If fact, you never really had the floppy head of newborns. You were born with an incredible alertness and a firm neck.

I love how you wake up in the morning and your face is puffy from sleep and wrinkled from the sheets. You father would always says that about me, but I never really appreciated how completely adorable that must look until you came around. I think we awake similarly, not only puffy faced but a bit disoriented. This is how we meet several times through the night. Puffy Faced and Disoriented. What a cute fest we must be. But listen Baby, let’s meet a bit less frequently shall we?

Oh and you stretch, so completely and deeply, it looks positively delicious.

We’ve twice or so caught you rolling from your back to your stomach. A huge achievement! I think when you have gained mastery of this you will sleep better. I hope.

We’ve done a lot more together than only think of your sleep, but you know, it’s all a bit hazy for the significant lack of it.

Love, Mama
ps. I'm not just saying that, I really do already love you.
pps. Not sure about "Mama" yet, i might be a Ma, or a Mommy, or a Mom, but for now, Love, Mama

Posted by talia at 10:59 PM