Friday, April 28, 2006


"I have toe polish!" Tala is so exited to have polish on her toenails. She refuses to wear nothing but flipflops and sandals, even if it's cold for that, just so she could show off her "toe polish." First day she went to school with it, she was telling everyone to look at her toes. Later at home she told us that Mrs. Rochon had toe polish too, and Mrs. Parker needs to fix hers. Even days later, we don't seem to hear the end of it!

Apparently, Tala is going through some growth spurt or something in terms of identity and behavior. She'd be so whiny one minute, then apologizes so nicely the next. She sure has been testing her limits to the extreme. I hope to get the time during next break to have some girlie time with her soon and do lots of the girlie stuff.

Moody is growing, and growing, and growing! We turned in his registration this week for kindergarten--he's so elated. It works for us very well and we stress to him that Kindergarteners are mature and remind him he's a kindergartener now not a preschooler anymore.

Among the evaluation testing Moody had gone through was the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC-II), an equivalent of an IQ test. According to this test, his learning percentile rank is 97, and his F-C intelligence is 93! We were told that in reality his ranking is even higher than that and it would have shown if he cooperated more in the test.

The pictures above were taken last Friday at the school outing at Inniswood Gardens. There, we followed the maze to read the story of "The Lady who fell from the sky." It's a neat idea to lay the story on tiles on the ground and end it with the statue of the lady. Next time, I'll document the story in pictures.

Moody is developing an interest in fishing. So one Saturday--that seems a long time ago--we packed the fishing gear and rode the bikes to the park behind our home. Moody and Tala were interested only in reeling and throwing stones in the pond... still fun! Tala fell asleep in the trailer in the way back home--wouldn't you when somebody is paddlling away to drag you and you're just enjoying the ride!

To add to the joy of the outing, the garage got cleaned up that day! We got back, and it was obviously not easy getting the bikes back into the garage. So Sol rolled up his sleeves (umm he was wearing short sleeves!) and cleaned it up. Of course, I helped by dragging more things from way in the garage to th outer limits for him to deal with and went inside. I didn't know that side of the garage is so spacey and has floor!

There's more happening here with Moody and Tala. I feel bad that we haven't been able to document it all... Well, there's only so much time in the day.

Plans for this summer include developing Moody's writing skill, and taking the training wheels off his bike. Mexico is looming in the horizon--would it happen? I wish!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Happy Birthday, Oofey!

Alexandria, Egypt, 2005

Rahaf Kambaraki, my niece, Noha's daughter. Born in Benghazi, April 20, 1997.

I was in Lebanon when Noha was pregnant and was assigned the job of buying the baby stuff for her. I later met with Rahaf's Dad, Khaled, in Damascus and gave him that, a long with two cute dresses of Jenna. I had asked for the dresses back when Tala was born so she could have something of her sister's, and I'm still asking, or is it begging? Bottom line: Rahaf, you owe me, habooba!

Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Touch of Spring!

Franklin Park Conservatory

Blooms & Butterflies

Moody and Tala had their spring break this week. Back to school on Monday. It's been easier with them on break; less things to do--no packing school snack, no backpacks and folders to check, papers to sort, and no hurry to get them up and going! Milood has come and gone and I missed it--Happy Milood anyway!

The jrabee3 had a good week with Barbi; went to COSI, the Zoo, parks, many ice cream treats (for being good!) and many other places.

Yesterday, they went to Franklin Park Conservatory for the Blooms & Butterflies. Pictures show that they had fun. Later they stopped by Barbi's house, picked up Keith and went for ice cream together. Finally, Moody got to meet Keith--Barbi's boyfriend. There'd been an element of jealousy there. Last week Moody told Barbi that he doesn't like Keith because he has a gun and might kill him! Keith is in the army and Barbi a national guard; she was deployed in Iraq for a year. We explained to Moody that soldiers protect their people and go and fight for them, not kill them. Took some more explaining that Keith's people are not just Barbi, but all Americans including Moody.

On Tuesday, I woke up with a headache, but went to school thinking it'll go away. Apparently it was part of that flu I had for days. The headache got worse and turned into an upset stomach. I dropped my assignment, gave notice to the teachers and headed home. I was sleeping in the basement when the kids got home. Moody snuggled with me and then said, “You need a teddy bear to make you feel better.” He ran up to his room and got me Big Teddy! Both Moody and Tala stayed away from the basement to let me rest. When I woke up, Tala said, “Is your headache gone, Mom?” And then she said, “Because we made the puzzle, your headache will go away!” And then started throwing me kisses and said, “Kisses make headaches go away!” MY sweet guardian angels!

With spring come more activities for the kids and the yard. Sol has been taken care of that this year. The yard looks nice and things are blooming already. I love working in the yard and tending to my flowers, but I have lots of studies to do.

Tala and Moody started soccer. All of their activities are on the days I’m at school. The upside is I’m relieved from getting them and their bags ready, driving them around, but I really do miss being with them. I miss spring!

Hyacinths in our yard

Our Pansies

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Growing Pains

This was a week of bodily transformations, some quite painful, unfortunately! The top event is Moody's getting his first set of glasses on Wednesday. This is not really painful to him, but to us the parents, the experience is a little unfamiliar. Both of us have very good vision, although my near sight has finally started to degrade, or is it my arms getting too short? Anyway, as of a few months ago, I started using reading glasses. Since both of us lack the experience of childhood glasses, the event was a little hard for us; I suppose, we thought of glasses as a limitation of sorts. But, it's actually not bad, and I think we're starting to see the benefits already. Moody did great in soccer yesterday. He saw a lot of action as goalie, letting in one goal but stopping two others. On the field, he mainly ran around tackling and trash-talking the other team players, which made them less of a threat. Yesterday, he also hit some baseballs in the yard and seemed really excited about it. He wants us to go to the park today and play more ball. Also, he has been quite accepting of the glasses, no complaints at all. Of course we have to thank the Harry Potter phenomenon for Moody's excitement. The first day, he would look at himself every time he passed by a mirror, and he would ask everyone he saw, "Do I look like Harry Potter?" Thanks, Harry.

On the dental front... We discovered on Tuesday that one of Moody's permanent teeth is coming up behind a baby tooth. Nothing is easy! I told him that had happened to me once, which is true, and he is taking it in stride.

The real pain, though, was Tala's share. The poor girl slipped on the driveway and scuffed up her chin and upper lip. The next morning she didn't want to go to school because her "lip is getting fat!" A similar thing happened to Moody last year at school. He was recalling to Tala how he got to go everywhere, "School nurse, children's hospital,..." Even in pain, there is competition.