Friday, June 30, 2006

Macabre hopes

Mordechai: Oh, shucks. There's so much traffic!

Me: I wonder what's causing it? Maybe an accident or construction...

Mordechai: I hope it's an accident.

Me: (duly shocked) Why?

Mordechai: Construction can continue for a lot of days.

crossposted at May Cuties

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It starts with F

Sweetie(6) and I were playing I Spy, where one person describes an object we can both see, and the other person has to guess what it is. I spied something that was white and gray, shaped like a square on the outside and a flower on the inside, starts with F, and the inside spins. (fan) After several nonsensical guesses, Sweetie stood in front of a Packers collage.

- This!
- Does Packers start with F?
- No, but this spins.
- What spins?
- This. <pointing>
- I can't see, what are you pointing at?
- This, um, bassetball.

I think we need to work on our sports.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lost in translation

Rivka (5): I can't wait til the baby comes home, I'll sing her a lullaby.

Me: You're going to sing her Hamalach (a traditional lullaby in Hebrew, taken from words of Torah)?

Rivka: Daddy, she won't understand that. I'm going to sing Rock-a-bye Baby.

The Reluctant Superhero

The Mrs. and I enjoy playing this game together on the PS2 called "X-Men Legends," which is a role-playing superhero game. We can each be a member of the X-Men (The Mrs. prefers Wolverine; I like Storm). Of course, as soon as the two of us sit down to play (in one of those extremely uncommon lining up of planets where we both have time), The PT insists that she wants to play too. Usually, we'd give her an unplugged controller and she wouldn't know the difference. However, she has become sophisticated enough to figure out now that the uplugged controller doesn't do anything. So last time, I just gave her my controller and allowed her to use my character.

Being a member of my household, she picked up the controls pretty quickly and was able to keep up with my wife as she went from room to room, beating up bad guys.

However, several statements The PT made indicated to me that she might not be superhero material yet:

The PT: fight those bad guys...I'll stay here behind the crates.


The PT: Hey! A bad guy! Help!


The PT: Oh, no, here's another bad guy! Mommy, you get him!


Mommy: Here. I've collapsed the bridge. You go down there and get that health kit.

The PT: I'm not going down there!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Speak Up

I came home a short while ago from a lovely celebratory dinner at an upscale restaurant on behalf of my dear parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Close friends and family attended this special event, and my two brothers made speeches, I made a speech, and two out-of-town cousins made speeches.

As we're driving back home, it's pretty late, and my kids are half asleep.

I was saying aloud to my husband and parents that one my cousins' speeches was really beautiful.

Suddenly I hear from my almost dozing 6 1/2 year old: "So was yours, Eema!"

That was the best accolade I could have had; he was listening to our conversation now, and apparently he'd been listening to my speech/recitation of a personalized poem in the restaurant.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

baby thoughts

Chana, 7, on holding her newborn sister:

"She's light and fluffy, like a marshmallow."

Cool Shades

Quick prayer note

While I was at the hospital today I learned of a woman who almost died - she had to be resusitated - while giving birth to triplets on Tuesday. Please pray for Avigail Ilana bat Sara Reizel. (For the non-Hebrew inclined just go with Abigail)

The family is also requesting that people recite Psalm 31.


So spoke the newest girl in the Ralphie household, at 5:43 pacific daylight time, Saturday, June 24, 2006 (Shabbat Shlach). Mother and baby are doing fine.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Powerful soap!

Fresh from the bathtub tonight:

<Tiny is squirting Sweetie with a water gun>
- You 'posa be sad!
- Me? I'm supposed to be sad?
- Yeah.
- Why?
- I kill her.
- Oh, no! Don't kill my Sweetie! I'll miss her!
- Okay, I make her alive again.
- How can you do that? Are you God?
- I put soap on her face.
<touches Sweetie with bath pouffy>

Tiny has an impressive imagination. Any object can be any other object.

A few minutes later:
<Tiny is all distressed, like she has a boo-boo>
- I gotta rock in my finger!
- A rock in your finger?
- Yeah!
- How can you have a rock inside your finger?
- Come see!
<gingerly holding her finger>
- Right there?
- Yeah!
- That's not a rock, it's your knuckle. Everybody has knuckles.
- Oh.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Forever Dad Strong Bad


From SIL...

Rachel came for Shabbos. It was late Friday night and Ben (3) was using the "I'm hungry" stall tactic to avoid bedtime. He was sitting at the table, chatting away, and not touching his food. I reminded him that he was staying up so he could eat and if he wasn't going to eat than it was time to go to sleep. He reponded, "I'm talking before I eat. You and Auntie Chelli were talking before you ate, so now I am talking before I eat."

Also that night, he and Rachel were planning to play Candyland on Shabbos day. He asked Rachel if she knew how to play and Rachel asked him to teach her. "Everyone picks a color and you move the color. If Imma wins then you will be so happy for her." On Shabbos afternoon, they were about to play when Ben decided he was hungry. He told her "I'm going to eat. You can read the directions meanwhile."

Monday, June 19, 2006


Rivka (5): I need a scooter.

Mrs. Ralphie: Why do you need a scooter?

Rivka: For transportation to school. I don't need you to take me anymore.

Defending first grade

Chana just finished first grade. Yesterday I was reading her a book in which a character says, "First grade is a flop."

Chana: What does flop mean?

Me: It means failure.

Chana: That's terrible! She can't say that! What does failure mean?

Thanks a TON

At my friend's engagement party, I notice that sitting on the couch is a little girl who looks quite familiar... but a little older than I remember, wearing glasses. She's my friend's little sister (8 years old?), and I used to be at their house quite a bit when I was single (and even a couple of times after). They moved to Israel this year, and I haven't seen her in over a year. I look her in the eye and start a conversation...
Ez: Hey, Becca!

B: (quizzical look)

Ez: Remember me?

B: Noooo...

Ez: You don't remember me?

B: Nope. I don't think so.

Ez: I'm Jon's friend.

B: I only remember one of Jon's friends.

Ez: How about this - imagine me half the size I am now. Now do you remember me?

B: Ummm.... no.

Ez: You really don't remember me?

B: No. I only remember one of Jon's friends.

Ez: And not me? Well, who DO you remember?

B: It doesn't matter. You're not him.

Ez: Well, try me. I want to know who you do remember.

B: You're not him!

Ez: Well, what's his name?

B: What's the difference? I don't remember you.

Ez: Well, what's his name anyway?

B: His name is Ezzie.

Ez: (OOF) (laughing) I'M Ezzie.

B: No you're not!

Ez: Yes, I am!

B: Nuh-uh.

Ez: Really, I am.

B: Well, you don't look like Ezzie.

Ez: Look again.

B: (peers intently) Okay, maybe a little.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hearing God speak

Before playing a DVD, I used the CD/DVD cleaner. A man's voice gave instructions, but there was no picture on the screen. Tiny(4) asked with great excitement, "I' dat God?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

KJ's "What?" Song (3 y/o)

If there was ever a moment to catch on video for AFV, it would have been this one. Kaiser came out with his little guitar and gave it to me. I grabbed it and pretended to sing, "Bad to the Bone" strumming the guitar between the lyrics. Then I handed it back to Kaiser. He had it upsidedown facing toward him and strummed the guitar in between his lyrics which he made up:
(Louder yet) WHAT!?
I got it. Momma
(guitar goes into a final soft tone)
Dumb momma

Nephlet III

So the Elder Nephlet was three whole years old yesterday, and there was much rejoicing.

The much rejoicing took the form of a Bob the Builder Birthday Extravaganza, the centerpiece of which was a massive devil's food cake with chocolate "dirt" icing and many pieces of yellow plastic earth moving machinery on the top. The Elder Nephlet could, at the age of 2, correctly identify between "mo-mo" and "track" (mower and tractor) and he's only gotten more precocious.

Having learned from last year, when the cake itself was somewhat lessened in presentation when the EN pulled the lovely plastic toys out of the icing along with a handful of cake, my sister pulled them off the cake and took them to wash them while the EN was sort-of distracted by the bounty of chocolate and the promise of presents after cake. I sat down with him to monitor cake-eating and have a chat. And, once the yellow toys were returned to the table, he looked at them very seriously, leaned over the table to me, and said conspiratorially:

I need some dirt.

Next Woodward or Bernstein, I'm telling you. I won't always be able to distract him from the scoop by telling him that he might mess up his presents if he has to open them with muddy hands.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Not buying it

A few days ago we went to the farm to get our milk, and Sweetie(6) had to stay in the car because she was being disciplined. Disappointed at being unable to go see the animals, she tried a variety of techniques to bend the rules, like opening the window and sitting on the sill. The kicker:

- My arm hurts.
- Why does your arm hurt?
- Because I need get outta car.

A few minutes later:

<prolonged yelling>
- Why does your head hurt?
- Maybe it's because you're yelling.
- NO!
<more yelling>

Saturday, June 10, 2006


"Mommy why do grown-ups kiss that way?"

"What way? You mean not the small kind of kiss we give to you?"

"Yes. You and daddy kiss that way, and they kiss that way in the movies. You don't like it when I try to give those types of kisses to you and daddy. You say that only grown-ups can kiss that way. Why?"

Hmmm? Any suggestions on how to explain romantic kissing to a seven year old. I'm stumped. I usually don't have a problem explaining most birds and the bees type of questions, but this, I have no idea where to go with it.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

We Erupt this Program to Bring You a Special Announcement

The PT (age 5): We learned about volcanu's in school.

Me: Volcanu's? Really?

The PT: Yeah. Volcanu's come up from the Earf. The have Lava inside. Remember when we saw the volcanu at the museum?

Me: Oh yeah...

The PT: And there's a cap on the volcanu. You know what happens when the cap comes off?

Me: What?

The PT: It interrupts.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Graham Cracker Cleaner

As most of us are probably aware, graham cracker bags are notoriously hard to open. They either don't open or rip completely, resulting in lots of graham cracker everywhere. My brother and SIL take care of this by placing the crackers into a Ziploc sandwich bag.

Apparently, SIL was in the bathroom when Ben (3) called out:
"Some of the graham crackers spilled. But it's okay, I took care of it.


But they don't all fit. So you'll take care of it, Ima, okay?"

Monday, June 05, 2006

And Now A Word from My Boys...

Scenario One:

While driving home from school today, my oldest son (11 in two weeks) announced "I hope we go fishing this summer"!

I asked: "Who's 'we' "?

"Me, Abba, and Yossi bracket Les."

Yossi is known to some people as Yossi and to others as Les. My son gave our friend's name the distinction it deserves...

Scenario Two:

Dinner time. I doled out into everyone's bowl a yummy pureed veggie soup I make every now and again. It's been such a hit with my kids and visiting family and friends since day one. And I thought today would be no different.

Youngest son (6) did not want to eat the soup. Silly me took the time to argue about it because I wanted him to at least have a few spoonsful. I reminded him that he's eaten it before, and he was adamant that he didn't have a taste for the soup, explaining, "I didn't even like it that Shabbat when I ate three bowls of it!"

War, what is it good for?

This weekend Rivka, 5, misbehaved particularly badly, in a manner that just seemed so out of character for her. I finally asked her why she did it. Through tears, she said, "My heart wanted to do the right thing, but my brain didn't, and they had a war, and my brain won."

(One day I will explain that it's usually the brain that needs to control the impulses of the heart, but for now this was so good I had to let it go.)