Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

In anticipation of this week's big Hanukkah celebration. Harry and Tzofi participated in the Pass the Candle video, which can be viewed in full here. For those of you who don't look quick enough, seconds 44-48 were captured in slow motion below.

Happy Hanukkah to all! And stay tuned for more celebration pics as we close in on Tzofi's big gan Hanukkah blowout.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bringing Down the House (or Park)

Back in November, on a beautiful afternoon, we went for a birthday picnic party in Tel Aviv's HaYarkon park. Tzofi kicked things up a notch with a few new tricks up her sleeve:

Comedy shtick straight from the Catskills, "So I was in gan yesterday and the teacher starts singing!? Am I right or whaaaa?!"

And a new rap, straight from the 'diin, "Wellllll myyyyy name is Tzofi and I'm here say, I like to eat French Toast every day.... Yeahhhhhhh boyeeeeeeeeee."
Good times.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Harry!

Happy birthday Harry! Celebrations were in full swing earlier in November as Tzofi and I ordered a special ice cream cake for Dada - filled with layers of ice cream that I even got them to separate with Oreo cookie crumble (not usually done here). Tzofi wasn't really interested in the presents (a juicer!) or singing, because when faced with ice cream she becomes slightly (read: majorly) obsessed.

More, please.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Family Sukkot Zoo Trip

Three generations of Haller women in the Ramat Gan Safari and Zoo.
Tzofi admiring the elephants - one of her favorite friends at the zoo.

Savta explaining to Tzofi how monkeys tickle.

Harry, unphotographed but very much present, captured this lovely giraffe moment.

Savta's Got Balls or Sukkot with Savta

Back in October, Tzofi woke up to a real big treat. After days of telling Tzofi that Savta's coming, she was finally here! And as everyone (Harry) built the Sukkah, Savta let the good times start rolling with tea parties with Tzofi and a game of throw all the balls you can find.

It was a nonstop vacation of Savta-love as we played in and around the house. Games were made up, skills were learned, songs were sang, and we had a great time - though no one enjoyed Savta's visit more than little Tzofi, who woke up the morning after Savta left looking for her and still wants to sing 'You are my sunshine' - referred to as 'suh-shine' - and dance out all the moves Savta taught her. Come back soon Savta we miss you!

Savta is that really you?

Now Tzofi, go get Savta all the balls. I'll throw them and you can run after them with glee, pick them up and return them to me on the chair one at a time.Sure is fun. I can stand on them too.
Hmm, I seem to be doing all the running around though, Tzofi began to realize.
Quick, she's on to me, better change the rules of the game, Savta began to realize
Who cares, it's still super fun with Savta, shouted Tzofi (though it came out as wheeee)
Or maybe just hang on to the side of the Sukkah and start my own new game.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Haircut Hooray

So before we backtrack to October's highlights, and there were plenty, let's jump ahead to November when Tzofi celebrated her first haircut! The experience went off without tears or surprises, thanks to the lollipop and bouncy car seats, and we all went to celebrate with a family picnic at our favorite local 'bridge' park - named for its rope bridge that she loves to race across - and mastered rather quickly thanks to Savta's help just last month!

Off and running

Not afraid to look down
Speeding down the slide
Back up again
Down the slide backwards (her idea)
Hmm, what to do next
Rock out on the bouncy clown
And drive on home

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy New Year - שנה טובה ומתוקה

All dressed up, baby in tow, and ready to celebrate! Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and wonderful year head, Us

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Trip to the States, Part 2: Jersey Shore, Family Style

And onto the Jersey shore, where good ol' Bradley Beach served as the stomping grounds for all of Savta's grandkids (and big kids). Day in and day out we enjoyed beautiful beach (and pool) weather. And in between sand castles and running in waves, all the cousins played, drew, sang, danced, loved and laughed - and us parents got some nice QT on the porch after hours. It was truly a madhouse of fun in the sun with family.

Evie and Abel back from the beach

The girls sharing toys and playing together (really, it was very cute)

Playtime (or chaos, depending on your point of view :)

Ula shows off her head-standing skills as the oldest

Olive enjoys some porch-side creativity time

Tzofi relishes playtime with her cousins

And Uncle Harry demonstrates one of his patented moves (yes, it's the robot)

Trip to the States, Part 1: Out on the Island

So our August trip to the States was jampacked with excitement: New family, old friends, good times, lots of ice cream - and that was just the beginning out in Long Island.

The trip kicked off with a valiant effort to stave off Tzofi's jetlag. But the ocean-side park at West Meadow Beach failed to rally her attention. Sprinklers, swings, slides - no reaction. Ice cream? Zzzzz. She was really sleeping in this swing. Really.

A late afternoon stop with Dada to the Duck Pond though got her up and moving. Good times at Dada's favorite local haunts.

Day 2's excitement was a big welcome to Baby Joshua! Big hugs for Auntie Emily and Uncle John. And more grandparent-fun for Grandma and Grandpa. Hooray more toys for everyone!

Finally, our weekend adventure to the Riverhead Aquarium was a big hit - mayim (water), dagim (fish), penguins and more. Tzofi pointed,shouted with glee and dove right in. A first experience for her and fun for the rest of us.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Summer Days of her First Year at School

So we have much to catch up on - seems like every day Tzofi's showing off new words, skills and fun. So before we jump ahead, here's one more recap of some highlights from Tzofi's last days at school in August 2008.

Baking with blue playdough during Blue Week

Getting wet with yellow toys in the 'pool' during Yellow Week

Breaking out in song and dance

Looking supercute in Hawaiin red during Red Week

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tzofi's End-of-Year Party Blowout: The Best Party I've Been to in Years

Although Tzofi has just about another month left of school, the end-of-year extravaganza took place last week - and let me tell you, this was the best party I've been to in years. The whole room was transformed into an under the sea theme. Blue and white balloons and inner tubes decorated the ceiling. Walls were covered in murals with all sorts of fish and sea life. And in the center of it all: the pupper master, Efrat.

Leading an encore performance of 'The Little Fish' Efrat pulled out all the stops with an extravagant, interactive performance that had all the kids dancing, singing, pretending to swim, eat ice cream, put on hats and sunscreen, and even bury themselves in sand. There were songs, there was sun and there was imagination and great fun. And puppets. Lots of sea animal puppets singing to music the kids knew and loved.

Can't even tell you what a great time Tzofi had. Dancing in the sea. Rowing along with her friends. Digging in the sand. Eating her ice cream. Below are some pics of the fun. After the performance everyone ate breakfast together. Tzila read a poem about all the kids, how much they've grown and how much she'll miss those who aren't returning next year. Us parents were prepared with our own thank you wishes and presents. And the final hours were spent reminiscing about the year, playing with their new presents from Tzila (inner tubes and puzzles with their pictures), and going nuts with joy.

Tzofi's End-of-Year Party Blowout: The Pics