Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Born

Making the decision to have a child- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone

After a challenging pregnancy, and sleepless few months post-pregnancy, I'm ready to start blogging again.

Before the memories of my two beautiful daughters begin to blend together, and before Bella gets the larger share of posts since I am home with her most often, I wanted to take a chance to reminisce about Kiki, Mikayla Ainsley Dekel, my first born, the child who truly opened my heart, shattered it actually, and who is growing wildly before my eyes.

Kiki the Baby
She was vivacious from day one. I remember taking her with me to an appointment with the Doctor who delivered her, and he told me she was the most alert baby he'd ever seen. I believe she was 4 weeks at the time. Cheerful, studious, beautiful, and also from birth fought sleep. Too much to see, do, miss I suppose. She was such a happy baby! I'm going to resist comparing the two for now...

Kiki the Toddler
Fearless for sure. She almost never cried, cries really. It's true, she fell right on her face one day running full speed down a VERY steep hill at about 18 months, completely scratched up one side of her face and body, and not a peep came out of her.
Kiki just got right back up and started the trek again. She would beg to go down a huge water slide at the pool over and over, and was climbing EVERYTHING starting at a year. She's been dressing herself since about then too, and definitely has always had her own opinions. "I can do it my own self" was her mantra. She loves to be with her friends and her family, and still just so full of life.

Kiki the Little Girl
Breaks my heart a little. She is growing up so fast, the last year is a blur to me. I don't see any baby left in her. She is smart, friendly, a little tiny bit mischievous, creative, imaginative, FULL of energy, and she loves her parents and her sister (even if she is jealous, and, yes, she is) and her friends. She is loyal way beyond her years, completely devoted to two friends especially. One who she has known since she was an infant and one since she started school. Like all children I suppose, she loves to play, revels in attention, has a whole range of emotions, and is pretty good at sharing them. The addition of baby does affect her, and we can only hope to navigate with care these uncharted waters and keep the one of a kind personality thriving.

I love this child.

I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings, and heaven knows I am SOOOOO grateful for today. Thank you for this family. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009


But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day. ~Benjamin Disraeli

I actually haven't posted since last year! We've been a busy family, and hopefully will begin posting again faithfully as we experience life with four and slowly come out of the new baby haze.

Today, our Bella Brannon, who will be 10 weeks tomorrow, turned over for the first time. Surprisingly, it was just as exciting as when Kiki turned over and almost as fun as the first smile. These moments are monumental and beautiful, I believe.

Kiki was absolutely glowing when she saw her baby sister turn over, and kept telling her how proud she was of her as we made Bella repeat her achievement over and over ;-).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Baby Bella is Here!

Bella Brannon Dekel was born on the afternoon of April 7th. I wrote a little bit about her name on my genealogy blog (link here), but we haven't gotten around to posting any pictures yet. So here's a quick photo dump for everyone to enjoy.

Still in the OR, right after the nurses cleaned her up:

In the nursery, getting her first bath:

Kiki has been amazing with Bella and loves to hold her and comfort her:

Since it was Passover, we all got matching seder-plate shirts and a onesie for Bella:

My three girls:

Me and my babies:

Getting ready to go home:

First night at home, girls in matching pajamas:

So as you can understand we've been home for a couple of days and so far I can tell you that this kid is certainly a night owl. She only cries when she is hungry or when she needs her diapers changed, which is pretty much every 15 minutes. She makes the funniest grunts and squeaks when she sleeps and is a very strong baby. She lifts her head up and if she's got her arms or legs bent, good luck trying to stretch them out (for putting on sleeves or diapers). The hospital photographer was shocked when she saw here hold her head up at 3 days.

I can honestly say that I don't remember any of this from when Kiki was born. Which means that no matter what happens, we're all going to be fine in the end, right? Anyway, more pictures later. I am going to try to take a nap.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The day has finally arrived

We haven't been doing a great job of updating this blog, but that's all about to change. Our newest family addition will be arriving later today and this space will start getting filled with baby and big sister pictures very soon.

More updates later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


"Whoever says I love you the most will live forever." ~ Kiki Dekel

Kiki, Abba, and I were playing the "I love you" game the other day, when Kiki decided the rules would be "whoever says I love you the most will live forever". I thought this was so profound for a 3 3/4 year old (just ask her how old she is, she'll tell you). It's true, isn't it? The people with the most open hearts do live forever in the spirit of those they touch.

Kiki also declared that because she has "two grandmas, Savta and Meemaw, I am a very lucky girl". She is lucky, and so are we for a countless number of reasons.

One of those being a recent visit from Savta and Saba from Israel. It was so nice to have them with us- Kiki reveled in the constant attention- and to have the chance to connect and talk in person. We love when family comes to stay, and Saba and Savta are a lot of fun to have around as you can see from the pictures!

Another reason we consider ourselves lucky, beyond blessed actually, is that, God willing, we will be expanding our family in the Spring. Another baby girl no less!!!
It's been a really good couple of months with trips to the beach with our neighborhood family, and a trip to Disney world with Meemaw and our cousins, and, of course, our visit from Savta and Saba.

And, we have more family to look forward to over Thanksgiving when my Uncle Glenn and Aunt Jane are coming up, and then in December, Amir's Uncle Hanoch, Aunt Shoshi, and their children Mickey and Ronnie will come!

So very lucky...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kiki's Marriage Proposals

I Tried to Teach My Child with Books;
He Gave Me Only Puzzled Looks.
I Tried to Teach My Child with Words;
They Passed Him by Often Unheard.
Despairingly, I Turned Aside;
"How Shall I Teach this Child," I cried?
Into My Hand He Put the Key,

"Come," He Said, "Play with Me."
~ Author Unknown

I think a lot about being a good parent. Wondering if I am one. How can I be better? Will it make a difference? Do I pay enough attention? Do I pay too much attention? Does Kiki suffer because I don’t always want to play? How much do my actions, thoughts, feelings affect my daughter? Do I even deserve this beautiful child that has entered our life?

It seems like Kiki went from being two to being three in the blink of an eye. I feel like I missed a year somehow and want to do my best to make the most of the time we spend together. I want her to enjoy most moments in life, to be a good person, to respect others, and to respect herself. I want her to be thoughtful, educated, humble, relaxed, and confident. Not too much to hope for, to strive for, is it? How will we teach her?

Not every moment is going to be some profound learning experience, but she is always watching. We spent the weekend visiting with Meemaw (fun trip to American Girl), planting a tomato plant, and attending a “getting to know you” brunch with her new friends from next year’s class at school. Simple, but fun. She does see how we interact with (and treat) other people. How fun it is to be with family. How we can't get everything we want. And, the magic of the word please.

Which brings me to Kiki’s marriage proposals. A few weeks ago, the mother of one of Kiki’s great friends at school told me a funny story. Her son, Jed (on the seesaw with Kiki in the pics), was asking her if he would get married someday. She told him she hoped so. He asked her who he might marry. She said she didn’t know, they’d have to wait and see. He asks, how about Kiki? She said sure!

At the brunch, another mother whose son is in Kiki’s class told me she had a very similar conversation recently with her son. He also asked if he could marry Kiki :-D.

So, with all the worrying, I suppose we must be doing something right. By the way, we’d be very happy with either suitor, but Kiki has declared herself too young to get married ;-).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Been A While

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.~ Albert Schweitzer

My friend Eric (Allyson’s hubby) cut out this cartoon (if you click on it, it will come up larger so you can read it) for me which is funny on it’s own, but even funnier to me because he is always teasing me about putting up blog posts almost every day.

He told Allyson she didn’t need to see me, talk to me on the phone, or even email me, because she can find out everything that is going on in my life just by looking at the website. I like sarcasm :-D. Really.

So, it has been a while, for me anyway, since I’ve written anything. We had another international visit this weekend from one of Amir’s oldest friends and his family. Amir and Oren served in the army together and spent many months in tents on the border of Lebanon. I guess that can bond you pretty quickly.

Elanit joined their group early on, and is generally the only girl allowed when their guy friends get together in Israel. Guy and Joey round out the family and are amazing kids. Such a cool family- I'm glad I inherited them with Amir.

Today Kiki had her first visit to the Dentist. It could have gone either way- heaven knows we struggle with getting her to brush her teeth- but once again she was a complete pro.

She went with the Dentist without Mommy, and he said she did everything they asked without even the littlest fuss.

In fact, she really enjoyed it, and everywhere we went after (including a willing trip to the medical doctor) she announced that she was a big girl who went to the dentist today!

She also told everyone that she and Mommy are twins (we were dressed alike, but I don’t think they bought the twin theory ;-D).

Kiki decided to become a photographer today as well. The pictures of the two of us from today, she took. One of them you can see we are holding hands. That’s because she told me “I want to take a holding hands picture of us together”. So sweet! I also have a gazillion that she took of just me and “her” new carpet, but won’t bore you with all of those ;-D…

She had me smiling and laughing all day- euphoric at times. Do you know what I mean when I say that today was one of the best days of my life yet nothing extraordinary happened? That’s what children do.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sophie Spends the Night

If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good. ~ Dr. Seuss

The girls have been asking us for another sleepover, so Kiki had Sophie come spend the night on Friday. We started off the evening with a trip to Lorraine's house for a children's mani/ pedi. How lucky we are to have the toddler charmers (aka the Loomis') just a few houses down!
Let me backtrack for a second to Thursday night when my husband decided to become a lawn guy and got a terrible allergic reaction to something outside and spent the night in the ER. Turns out it was a spider bite and his toe now looks like a three-fanged monster took a nibble out of it. Check out his blog for the whole saga. Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, he is fine.

So, as I mentioned, after Amir recovered, we were ready for Sophie's visit. First came the nail painting, then we had a make your own pizza party, followed by a video, bedtime story, and finally, sleep!

The girls nearly came to blows over what movie to watch. Kiki wanted Caspion, Sophie wanted Ariel. Both ocean creature stories- don't see what the problem was! They decided on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Other than that, they got along famously and generally teamed up on Abba and I. You'll see from the video all the fun names they came up with for Amir, and during my attempt to read them Fancy Nancy at bedtime they pretty much went nuts. I'm sure I was jumped on at least 45 times.

Kept reading though- I can't think of anything more fun! Really.
After the story attempt, Amir and I left the room to let them sleep. Of course we hear some giggling, more jumping, some talking, then some yelling (for Abba- when did I become second choice again???), and then some crying.

We ran up, Kiki insisted a REAL person sleep on the air mattress with her, and Abba obliged.

They both fell asleep shortly thereafter, and we didn't hear from them again until the heart stopping "COCK-A-DOODLE DOO!!!!!!!!!" we were awakened with in our ears in the morning. It was soooo funny even at 6:39 am.

Saint Amir got up with them and let me sleep in a little. Then, Meemaw came over, we met the Balzuweit's for lunch, and sadly gave them back their daughter.

A great evening for great friends, and we look forward to next time as much as Kiki and Sophie do...