Soccer, part II

September 21st, 2016

Just as fun as playing soccer (and perhaps even more) is playing with your soccer friends after a game. Here was the scene at a nearby playground last Saturday morning…





September 20th, 2016

As mentioned, soccer season has begun – and Avery’s team (the Quidditch Queens, named after a game in Harry Potter) has already played two games. They won the second game (and Avery got an assist!) but, more importantly, the girls are having a blast.





Where have we been?

September 18th, 2016

I haven’t posted in quite a while. We’ve been around – just busy! I was approaching – and am now fully in – the busiest time of year at work, and the girls are busy with school, with their after-school activities, and (now that the season has begun) with hosting football-watching parties on Sundays. Zoe also ran a race last weekend, and Avery has two soccer games under her plate -pictures soon!


Zoe and her trumpet

September 9th, 2016

The girls are officially in the swing of things at school: They’ve settled into their new classes and began their after-school activities (drama and soccer for Avery, and photography and chorus for Zoe). Zoe also opted to take band as an elective this year, and trumpet was her instrument of choice. (I may be cursing her pick later, given that it’s not the most quiet of instruments, but so far so good!)



Happy and free

September 7th, 2016

I got to the girls’ school this afternoon at a particularly quiet time: Most kids had gone home already and many others (like Zoe) were finishing up their after-school enrichment courses in classrooms. When I turned the corner of the main hallway to head outside and find Avery, I saw her through the doors; she was happily skipping alone through the playground —  a pink-and-white stripped blur — and I literally froze and watched until she skipped out of sight. It happened too fast for me to grab my phone to take a photo, but it doesn’t matter because the memory is etched in my mind. To see her in her natural habitat looking so happy and carefree made my heart swell.

It was a good pick-up.


Fun in the sun with friends

September 5th, 2016

For a sunny Labor Day treat, we hung out with our friends and their two little ones, Jacob and Shoshi. Cuteness ensued…



At the library

September 3rd, 2016

Zoe’s not the only one to get some one-on-one time with Daddy. I love this photo of Avery and Q snuggling up and reading at the library…


Avery and Daddy at library

Game night with Daddy

September 1st, 2016

It was Jewish Heritage Night at A&T Park on Tuesday, and Q and Zoe joined a bunch of Brandeis families to watch the game. I love how happy Zoe looks in this pic…


Zoe and Daddy


August 31st, 2016

After a recent not-great morning filled with fighting, I heard this from the back seat on our way to drop-off:

Z: “I’m sorry for being grumpy, Avery – I was just tired.”

A: “It’s okay.” (takes her sister’s hand) “And did I thank you for dressing me this morning?”


Kindness and the fourth grade

August 29th, 2016

Zoe’s first week of fourth (!) grade seemed to be a success, with her reporting that her teacher (who’s new to the school) “is really nice, “has kind of has a solution for everything,” and often reminds the students “there’s no right or wrong way to do things.” Her Jewish Studies teacher also made an impact by showing the video above to the class; Zoe immediately came home and showed it to me and Safta and told me it was so special to her that she couldn’t put it into words. “You just get that feeling” when watching it, she told me later, adding that it shows there is kindness in all of us.


Posing and playing

August 28th, 2016

A few photos now from our recent trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to – yet again – find the sun. (The first is my new favorite of the girls.)


girls posing

girls at playground

girls and Mommy at Terrapin Crossroads

Seven-year update (a little late)

August 27th, 2016

Avery jumping2

Like last year, I’m a bit late to this update – but this time around I blame the craziness of school ending, getting ready for our big trip, the trip itself, and then re-entry… Here now, though, is a glance at Avery at seven.

Personality: For many years now I’ve noted that Avery’s at-home (big, silly, fun, even sassy) personality differs from her outside one. Now, though, that gap seems to have have gotten smaller; though she is still generally quiet and studious in class, she is much more herself now during non-class time at school and around outsiders. At camp this summer, she had no problem going up to other kids and making new friends; I was especially impressed during those weeks where she knew no one but still had fun. (Each week she would come home with the name of a new friend.) At home, she can be whiny and she can fight with her sister at times – but overall she’s a good-natured, and sweet, kid.

Interests: Like in the past, Avery likes playing pretend (restaurant, doctor’s office, etc.) with her sister, but these days she’s even more into playing with Barbies, her (new) American Girl doll Chloe, and her stuffies; and building Lego Friends sets. Though we limit screen-time, she’s fond of playing games on her tablet and she’s very into watching Lego Friends shows on YouTube. When we’re out and about, as I mentioned in last year’s update, she’s prone to stop and pick up or admire little flowers on the ground – she’s constantly running up to me, saying, “Here, Mama!” and handing me little petals. More than other kids I know, Avery is also very into just being – if I’m relaxing on the couch, she’ll come jump on me and just sit and talk… She doesn’t always have to be doing something – she often just likes being around people.

School life: Avery was a big fan of her first-grade teacher – taking to heart much of what she learned from her – and of her class overall. (Learning about chicks and ducks was a particularly big hit.) She had so many big accomplishments at the end of the school year: leading and singing in an all-school prayer service and performing in a class opera and a play with her after-school drama class. If you ask Avery if she likes school her answer is sometimes no, but all the reports and photos sent home to us indicate otherwise! Though her first choice of activity doesn’t involve grabbing a book, she’s reading at the appropriate grade level and she has shown a recent increased interest in books. In terms of her social life, she has a lot of little friends and has navigated towards girls with big personalities; nothing makes me happier than watching them goof off and laugh together.

Other stuff: She’s up to 58 pounds and 51 inches. (Perhaps of interest: that’s the same height, and about the same weight, as Zoe at this age!)… She has lost four teeth, with her top two adult ones still growing in… She still sleeps every night with her beloved “finger blanket”… She got glasses for an astigmatism at the beginning of first grade and has only recently begin wearing them all the time… She still takes swim class but she can finally be considered a full-fledged swimmer… The photo above, taken by a dad of one her classmates, perfectly captures Avery at seven!


Family time!

August 26th, 2016

There’s been a lot of family-related activity here over the last week. Before school started, we were treated to a visit from Safta, a surprise visit from Pop Pop, and then some much-needed cousin time when Dan and Jenny came up from LA to celebrate Isaac’s fourth birthday. Isaac’s party obviously made a big impression on Avery; when asked on the first day of school to share on paper what she did over the summer, Avery didn’t mention Israel, Italy, Wisconsin or any of her camps, but instead wrote that she went to a swimming party with her cousin Isaac.


Avery and Pop Pop

girls and Isaac2

girls and Isaac

“Second grade is so much fun”

August 25th, 2016

Per tradition, I captured the girls’ thoughts on school the night before their first day. As you’ll see, Avery was excited but also a bit unhappy that her friend Liza wasn’t in her class this year. Turns out she shouldn’t have worried about not seeing Liza (shown to the left in the photo below): During these first few days, Avery has gotten to spend time with her friend before and after school and at recess.

As for Avery’s post-first-day thoughts, she said that the day “flew by.” And she informed me last night: “Second grade is so much fun.” (Music to my ears.)


Avery and friends on first day of school

Back to school!

August 24th, 2016

It’s that time of year again! Yesterday was the girls’ first day of school. Hello, second and fourth grades!


girls on first day of school

girls on first day of school2

Avery in class