Category Archives: Neil wrote it

When Ima’s away the boys will play

Karen went to Illinois for two days to present her research to some of her peers. That left The Boy with me and just me. Of course, this isn’t fully correct. Savta came over and spent a morning with The Boy while daddy worked and Alon was reunited with his great nanny for half of the two days Karen was gone. Plus, we are hosting a student from Sweden. She has been keen to run to him when he cries just a little bit [when I was willing to let him sort things out himself for a bit]. So, there were many hands on deck.

Alon with Andrea

The big event, besides Ima being gone and Alon getting over jet lag (he has had more coming home than going to the Middle East – he traveled like a champ!), is that he was going to go through sleep training – yes, was that it was time to let him know that he could put himself to sleep and sleep through the night.

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Almost 4 mo old Smiley Boy

It was been a wickedly busy month. We cannot really remember all that we did [ok, maybe just me]. It has been a blur with high visitor traffic – to our house, not the blog. It has been great – social and many changes almost daily. The Boy is growing – laughing, rolling, smiling, watching, trying to verbalize, etc. We will keep this post short because we know what you came for: Smiley Boy, ii

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He’s Alive! [and thankful!]

We are working our way through the 2-3 hour feed, change, calm sleep cycle. More importantly, Alon is emerging from the early days of newborn sleepiness. Not only is he opening his eyes more, he is staying awake for longer periods. There is still not too much communication between Alon and us, but there was a crack this morning that hinted to big things. Like, really big things. Like, actually smiling.

Alon had a pretty big First Thanksgiving with visitors coming to see him and him going to his first Thanksgiving at Savta & Sabba’s house where much of the family and extended family gathered.

a truly Thankful Thanksgiving toast

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a hushed run

this evening, about an hour after sunset, i went for a run. no biggie, right? how about if it was below freezing, snowing at a good rate, the wind was blowing and you could hardly open your eyes. doesn’t sound so lovely, does it.

here is the thing: it was one of the most lovely things i’ve experienced in while.*

it is hard to describe for those who have not experienced this kind of loveliness.

this kind of captures it:

[update: pix at end of Jan 27 snowfall event!]

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from one west coast to another

it feels like it was yesterday [and yet at the same time, a long time ago] that we were together on a beach in Israel [pix here].

today, just a bit over two weeks later, i found myself with another best friend on the west coast of the U.S. it is all a bit mind-boggling to me. air travel borders on magic to me. it is amazing how we can be one place with someone in a special place and then suddenly find yourself surrounded by a whole group of folks in another special place. stunning.

Morgan wanted to go see some oak woodlands outside of San Fran. i was game, of course. i really wanted to see individual trees of the magnificent blue oak. here is a decent picture and some info as to why these trees are so special….ah, here are some better pix and info.

but, being that it is December and i was in San Fran, the great Pacific Weather System had other plans: rain and fog, as is tradition and meteorology. so, we headed off toward’s Stinson’s Beach. it was a nice scramble among rocks and interacting with waves and forms of life that are very different than trees. it was not disappointing.

view of the Pacific

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an ancient walk [for an american]

yes, i am here safe and sound. finally getting over my jet lag and enjoying the neighborhood and vicinity to the Mediterranean Sea – great choice Karen & Roomie!! [thanks for approving, Aunt Varda!]

we haven’t done too much. we’ve been very happy with the company of one another, even while we work. we did have a very nice dinner on a veranda across from the Tel Aviv Opera House – thank you again, Aunt Varda!

today we took a stroll to Yafo, the ancient town to the south of Tel Aviv. it is thought to be about 7.5 thousand years old. it is hard to see that on our stroll today, except for the one section on the harbor with the minaret. there are some nice modern, stone buildings in Yafo, relatively speaking compared to the glass sky scrapers on the rise in Tel Aviv, that give a sense of place and uniqueness.

the best sense of uniqueness today, from my perspective, was our destination – a hummus shop in Yafo run by an old, Arab Yafo family called Abu Hassan Hummus. as you will see, it was packed. there was a horde to get in and we shared a table with a young teenage boy. and, it was loud. all we could do, as you will see, is smile and say how much we enjoyed the hummus. it is not an atmosphere to discuss the finer points and flavors of hummus. it is a place to enjoy jostling, the food, people watch and the waiters. the waiters were all men who strongly kept ‘order’. they pushed the line back out into the street. they pointed to where you would sit and if you went to the wrong empty table, they would shout and point you to the correct empty table. and then, they took your order.

with all this cacophony from the people dining and talking, the waiters would holler your order from your table to the chefs. over your head and over the din. with one order near my ear, my ear made a hasty retreat further back into my head. that man could bellow. at another point the waiter stood in the middle of the restaurant towards the counter and just started shouting at all of us. i have no idea what he said or was trying to say. i’m not sure others did either. there was no major movement or response of the diners. it was entertaining. i’d go back just for the experience. oh, the hummus was good, too.

on to the pix.

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