Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chanukah on the Riverwalk, Video

Here is actual video of the event. As you can see, the menorah was quite San Antonio in nature very colorful, with torches on the top. It was so great to hear everyone the blessings in the middle of the Riverwalk. Sam, Polina and I all belted out some Chanukah tunes and we danced and danced.

Chanukah on the Riverwalk

We spent the last night of Chanukah on the Riverwalk with 500+ of our closest Jewish friends in San Antonio. It was actually a ton of fun. Sam got his groove on listening to a Chasidic band from LA, called The 8th Day. Sam kept asking, why is the singer wearing all black? All in all, it was really a great experience, feeling like we were a part of something much larger.

Sam Reading to Tyler

Here Sam is reading Tyler some books about cars and buses. He has taken some liberty in skipping directly to the juicy parts, avoiding some of the controversial, non-age appropriate items, such as gas and dirt. Good job, Sam, we hope this is a lasting trend.

Polina's Visit

Thank you to the Johnson family (Colleen, Josh, Lucy and Lyra) for the great shirts for Tyler and Sam. This was the first time that I have ever dressed them in the same shirt, poor boys, I had so much fun, I have made it my mission to dress them alike from now on. Sam thought it was hilarious. We also enjoyed a breakfast out on Sunday, everyone was so well behaved, the waitstaff even wanted us to stay to help clean up.

Russian Reading with Polina

Here is Polina reading some books to Sam and Tyler. Sam is saying, "malchik (boy) and dyevichka (girl)" and Polina is responding, "sabaka (dog)", apparently the boy resembles a dog?

Time with Polina

Polina visited this past week and we enjoyed some nice time outside. She invigorated our Russian language again as we had been slacking off a bit since Mike's departure. Here she is reading to the boys.

Chanukah with Friends

Here is Sam and his friend, Jacob, lighting a menorah at our friends' party. It was great for me, lots of gluten-free latkes in many different flavors, curry, sweet potatoes, olive, parmesan, what a treat!

Tyler Giggling

Tyler loves to laugh. Here he is on the swing giggling away. He has such a great sense of humor.

Tyler loves to laugh. Here he is on the swing giggling away. He has such a great sense of humor.

Chanukah in Iraq

Mike sent along some pictures of celebrating Chanukah in Mosul. He is the tall one in the middle of the picture with all of the other Jews, you might not be able to find him given the crowd...Some congregation sent them an electric griddle, flour, potatoes, matzo meal and oil to make latkes in the desert, what fun! We were all able to light the candles with Mike one morning when his video/cam worked and we enjoyed singing the blessings together.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sam Rock Climbing

As Tyler becomes proficient at crawling, Sam is becoming a world class rock climber. He just loves to find the right hand and foot holds and then reach the summit. I think it comes from his love of puzzles, except a bit more athletic. Unfortunately, not a lot of places to rock climb here in San Antonio, so we will have to stick to playgrounds for now.

Tyler Learning How to Crawl

Tyler had a very busy day today, trying to reach Sam's well-dressed gorilla all around Sam's room. He is really getting a handle on the forward motion associated with crawling, although is yet to coordinate getting on his knees just yet. He is very proud of all of his new skills.

Tyler Trying to Crawl

Well, today was Tyler's 9 month and 1 day birthday and he took this opportunity to show off a new skill, 'crawling'. Not true crawling, just yet, but at least he is now able to propel himself in a forward direction for the most part. Big brother Sam was there to cheer him on, although often created more of an obstacle course than anything. This is a very exciting moment for us here in San Antonio.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tyler's First Chanukah

Here we are celebrating Chanukah with Gema. Sad that Mike was not here for Tyler's first Chanukah, but he was enjoying making latkes in the 'desert' with the 5 other Jewish friends that he has found. I bet our gluten free latkes were much tastier...

Tyler's First Zoo Train Ride

We all went to the 'zoo' on Saturday morning, despite the weather being a bit chilly and gray. We decided to forgo the zoo so that we could take Tyler on his first train ride around Brackenridge Park. He seemed to take it all in, including the tunnel, even when we were all screaming, "Go Away Bears!". The screaming did not even phase him. I think we have a little conductor here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chanukah Party

Sam, Tyler, Martha and I all enjoyed the Chanukah show at Sam's school and then we had lunch and latkes with all of Sam's friends. We are now extending Chanukah by 5 days here in San Antonio as our celebrations started today!

Sivivon Sov Sov Sov

Today was Sam's Chanukah show at school. We were a bit nervous that Sam wouldn't get up on the stage with his class as he had not done so last year during the show. But this year, Sam proudly got up on the stage and sang his heart out. And what a dancer!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Time with the Hurds

Shouts out to Papa today during the gingerbread making session at the Hurds' house. We wish you were there! Don't worry, we won't save the gingerbread house for your return. Love to Mike from all of us.

Gingerbread Houses

Here is a video of our gingerbread house making afternoon with Owen, Tyler, Sam and Anna. At the end of it all, we were all very messy. We even got to share some Starbursts and some dinner.

Making Gingerbread Houses

We went over to Owen's house today to decorate gingerbread houses, our first time doing that ever. We enjoyed all of the colorful candies and tried really hard not to eat any of them. Sam put some Red Vines on his house, in honor of Papa, his favorite.

More Shamu

Just a little more Shamu viewing. We love Shamu!

Someone is VERY Excited

Here is a quick clip of Sam watching the Shamu holiday show. As you can see, he is very, very excited!

Sam Pets Shamu

Well, after much discussion about 'Shamu' (really the family name for all killer whales at Sea World), Sam's wish came true, to get up close and very personal with Shamu. He was a bit nervous at first, but when it came time to reach in and pet him, I don't think he really wanted to leave. Let's just say, we have been talking about Shamu ever since.

Our Day at Sea World

Here are some more shots of us at Sea World. I think Sam is going to want to go there every weekend from now on. Luckily, it closes from January to March, so we will have to plan our next trip there in the Spring once Mike returns.

Sam Feeds the Dolphins

We went to Sea World today bright and early in order to have breakfast with the dolphins. Sam almost fell in the water, but we loved it. The fish were a bit smelly however.

Meeting Shamu

As a special treat today, Sam and I went to Sea World. We ran into our friends, Leslie, Ethan, and Lauren. They knew one of the Shamu trainers and we were taken backstage after the show (a very special treat) and allowed to pet Shamu! Sam also rode on his very first roller coaster. And although I felt a bit sick, I even accompanied Sam back for another round.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tyler Eating His First Cheerios

Tyler finally figured out how to get the food to his mouth. We knew it would not take him too long as he seems to put every, non-food, item in his mouth already. Great Job Tyler! Eating by himself at 8 months!

Playground Fun

Here are some shots of our indoor Chanukah decorations, lest you think that we forgot the inside of our house during this holiday season. Sam and Tyler enjoyed playing at a nearby playground this weekend. Sam loved sitting on the tire swing and spinning in circles.

Playing in Our Pajamas

It is very rare that we just lounge around and play in our pajamas. Usually we are up and dressed and downstairs before the sun comes up. Nothing special about this Sunday morning, I think we just wanted to have some fun before starting the day.