Again a post built for speed, not beauty: The kids play in the tent, until the video camera gets spotted; Joseph quotes from his bedtime routine; Joseph closes the shutters as part of his bedtime routine (he’s lots faster now, and the room is neater); the two play with the keyboard; Joseph imitates Mommy’s exercises; and the two of them playing at the sink.
Again, quick style: Take 1 of Joseph reading Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes. Take 2; Take 3; and a live reading by the authors (book courtesy of Great-Aunt K). Vivienne dances at bedtime. Vivienne expects Bappe to return home. Joseph helps in the kitchen, grating carrots. Vivienne practices her walking skills. Vivienne nods off. First try at capturing tent play; second try at tent play and perhaps the first recorded “don’t touch.”
Trying to be quick:
We have three of Vivienne diving off the bed into the playpen. Joseph first helped her, then she launched herself, and then again, with a vengeance. We’re happy she’s flexible – it looks rather scary on film!
Thanks for watching – we hope to be back again soon!
This series is for all our mothers. We are grateful for your care and concern and love you very much!
Joseph developed a game with a box that involved running around with it on his head, the throwing it off. He learned another game, Böpperle, at Christmas, which could be used as a way to get him to eat a bite. He can also spin tops quite well (the video had me undo my earphones, get up and answer the phone, before I realized it was in the video). Joseph sometimes cleans up better if he can count his toys. Counting by threes is a favorite. He also likes his collapsing tunnel, which he can undo himself. He’s always finding new areas to help, for instance making orange juice. Janet set up finger paints for him, a first (and given the work involved, possibly a last for a while).
Vivienne, still unable to walk, is quite able to climb up on her high chair. She loves hugging and snuggling. We think her first word was “strength” – the video will show why. She expanded her mobility ever so slightly with the box for the building blocks. We’ve set out a number of musical instruments, and the kids enjoy them. Vivienne’s working on her kazoo mastery (as is Joseph – take two), but not neglecting her dancing. Janet’s tried to capture her saying “Joseph” – usually unsuccessfully.
The two can also play well together, which usually lasts until the camera’s discovered. One game they like is for Joseph to spin Vivienne on the office chair, again and again. Another game is to put things away together. Yet another is hide and seek on the bed.
We’ve also immortalized their eating styles.
January 13th was Joseph and Vivienne’s dedication. Cornelia was so kind as to take pictures, which is what you hear on the record. We also took the opportunity to celebrate Vivienne’s first birthday with a candle and a muffin. She was still more interested in the ribbons and packaging than the gifts she received.
I just moved to my own domain after a few years of being hosted on morbidcornflakes.ch. If you want to continue reading what I write, you’ll have to change your bookmarks to http://blog.thduggie.com from now on. All your favorite posts have moved there, and the server this one’s on will probably remove it soon. Change your links, too: replace all instances of “www.morbidcornflakes.ch” with “www.thduggie.com” and you should be fine, except perhaps for image links.
I used a free search and replace tool from Interconnect/IT for modifying the links in my wordpress database, which might help for your blog, too, if you’ve often linked to mine.
As mentioned, our photo and video updating took a hit when we changed to a joint desk and joint computer. Our processes still aren’t quite aligned, but for the first time in a long time, here are some videos – from four months ago. My, the kids look young!
Joseph really enjoyed blowing out the candles on the advent wreath, albeit with scant success. We have take 1, take 2, and take 3 for the first candle, and another attempt at Christmas. Vivienne also got into the spirit.
But before the gifts are opened, cookies must be baked, the table decorated, and gifts prepared. Vivienne opens a present, and Joseph says thank you – but the real thanks lie in the enthusiastic playing with the dice received. They remain a favorite, four months later. Christmas at the grandparents’ offers the opportunity for Joseph to write numbers with his great-great-aunt and learn a new game from her.
Besides Christmas excitement, there are plenty of other “regular” noteworthy moments. Joseph and Vivienne synchro sleep; Vivienne makes music; Joseph writes eights, over and over; Joseph makes a fashion statement; Joseph plays with his States puzzle; Vivienne plays and sings along with the noisy book, and Vivienne climbs in and out of Bappe’s lap with her new Snoopy dog.
After all that, it’s time to say goodbye.
I received this book as a gift years ago and never felt inclined to read it. It wasn’t until our decluttering movement and a backlog of books with copious markups waiting for reviews that I decided to read this one as a book that needed no underlining nor any commenting.
Naphtali Lau-Lavie’s book recounts his life and the many decisive historical events he witnessed firsthand. About half of the book tells his story of survival: born in 1926 Cracow, Lau-Lavie survived Nazi concentration camps together with his younger brother, whom his parents had entrusted to him. Both his parents and his youngest brother perished. As one of the Buchenwald children, Lau-Lavie and his brother emigrated to Palestine, where the second part of the book begins.
A young adult marked by the struggles for survival in Eastern Europe, Lau-Lavie becomes involved in Israel’s struggles for independence, never a leader, but almost always in a position with privileged access to information – first as a Ha’aretz journalist, then as a spokesman for several foreign ministers, most notably Moshe Dayan. Lau-Lavie chronicles Israel’s wars and subsequent striving for peace from his perspective, giving Dayan far more credit than does the wikipedia article I’ve linked to. He paints Dayan as an astute judge of the most likely course of action in a given situation, a warning voice often ignored and later tragically vindicated.
It’s impossible to quarrel with the first half of the book, a touching personal account which illustrates why faith became so important to Lau-Lavie. Certainly, his upbringing as the son of the Rabbi of Piotrkow would have predisposed him to a life of faith no matter what, but many a man lost his faith in the concentration camps. In Lau-Lavie’s case, faith became a cornerstone of his identity, strengthened by the camps just as much as his resolve to work for a free Israel at peace.
The second half is a harder read than the first. It became hard to keep track of all the names, and Lau-Lavie doesn’t help things by sometimes referring to the same person by different names, nor by his tendency to name every person present. Early on, one gets the sense that Lau-Lavie doesn’t aim for impartiality, despite employing a factual tone: Hagana, which he joined, is listed in the glossary as an underground movement; all others are listed as “right-wing” or “ultra-xyz.” While his accounts give a greater understanding of Israel’s wars from an Israeli perspective, I often missed having some background – I’m not familiar with the Balfour Declaration, nor with who lived in Palestine in 1948, or how the inhabitants were distributed – and here his partiality – understandable as it may be – does him a disservice. For instance, his seemingly uncritical support of settlers in the West Bank and Rafiah Salient as well as failure to understand that the Egyptian delegation wouldn’t participate in a Jewish festival detract from the narrative. What Lau-Lavie accomplishes well is to show how complex the situation is – even without taking into account the personal ambitions of the larger players – and for that alone the book is a worthwhile read, albeit a long one.
Almost forgotten and added later: A standout realization this book brought to me was in reading the many names of people Lau-Lavie met in Poland, people who would later be murdered in concentration camps or shot in a forest clearing. Sanctity of life aside, the reason each one of them mattered grounds in their ties to others, their involvement in community. Individuals matter because they are part of a community. Our individualistic society has largely lost this sense of meaning and I don’t see it regaining it with social media.
While I was at the Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin back in the summer of 2007, I discovered the Izakaya Gentaro for its reasonably priced but very tasty lunches (particularly the Satsuma-age / 薩摩揚げ). While I was decluttering today, I found the business card of the Izakaya Gentaro, and decided I’d post the information and chuck the card.
The Nichibei Gakuin has since moved, but in 2007 it was temporarily in a location between Iidabashi station and Kagurazaka. The Izakaya Gentaro is across the large intersection by Iidabashi station with the following address: Miyako Building B1, 1-13 Agebacho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (東京都新宿区揚場町１－１３ミヤコビルB１). Should you want to call: +81 (0)3 3267 9599. Open 10:30-14:00 and 17:00-24:00, closed Saturdays and Sundays. It’s all in Japanese, but just pick something at random and it’ll be tasty. The chef, 田代正夫 (read Masao Tashiro, most likely), appears a little moody at first, but he’s not nearly that bad.
If I put this much effort into every old business card, I’d be in trouble, but this restaurant deserves to be remembered.