This is what Amirah calls him when she plays with him, and do they play! He laughs louder with her than with anyone else. Avi has had a few firsts lately. He can wave bye-bye now. He can rock back and forth like he's thinking of crawling (uh oh, better really babyproof). Then this afternoon I walked into the office room where Amirah was playing with Avi on the floor. All of the sudden, she starts laughing hysterically. "What's so funny?" I asked her. "Milk, Avi said milk!!!!!" Right after that Avi said something that definitely sounded just like milk, which just caused Amirah to collapse into a heap of giggles all over again. He quickly downed an entire bottle after that, so maybe he really was saying "milk." Guess we'll see if he does a repeat performance.
Amirah and I had lots of fun Tuesday night going to half-price night at the local amusement park. Only two of the rides made me feel like I wanted to toss my cookies. Amirah loved them all, inside out and upside down. She even went on the tummy-turning ones ALL BY HERSELF when I just couldn't have my own tummy do it a 3rd (and 4th, 5th, and 6th) time. We normally go for preschool morning when just the little kid rides are open. She was so excited to go on all the other rides (except the ones she's not quite tall enough for yet). She had a terrific time. And it was really nice to have a date with my eldest daughter.
Raizel has been having terrific, tempestuous, 2-year-old tantrums, but usually they are very brief (but quite passionate). They usually involve food being brought into places it shouldn't be. That girl would eat and eat and eat if we didn't have a meal and snack scheduled out. We are pretty sure she spent part of her little life foraging for her own food wherever she could find it, so it's not surprising. She had a lot of fun playing in the plastic pool on the deck. She even lay down in the pool when I was first filling it up and got her clothes drenched. She also loves to dump buckets and buckets of water on her head. But that means she also thinks everyone else loves it too. Well, they don't, but they tolerate her really well anyway.
And Eli's exciting news... no more diapers! Except at night. He's been doing great. I'm hoping we really have two in diapers, especially since I've re-strengthened my resolve to use cloth. I'm not on one side or the other in the cloth vs paper debate. They both tax the environment. But cloth is much, much, much cheaper. We don't overflow our garbage when we use cloth, so no extra garbage charges. Also, the fitted cloth diapers that I get here only cost $7.50 each. A paper diaper costs about $0.20. I calculated that three years of paper diapering costs about $1,300 per kid or $5,200 total (!). Enough diapers for 3 years of cloth diapering costs about $600 AND if you divide that between 4 children, it's only $150 per kid! Then we can resell those diapers for at least $2 each (they've held up really well so far) for a total "refund" of $144. So that total becomes $456. So by using cloth diapers, your cost is less than 1/10th the cost of paper. Of course, there is a cost for doing the laundry. We also use paper at night because they're much less likely to overflow and I haven't found a good arrangement for double-diapering them that doesn't make them look like the Michelin Tire Man (does such a figure even still exist???). I also like paper for traveling or if we'll be somewhere where it's just a pain to be storing dirty cloth diapers to bring back home. SO, we're very glad Eli is using the toilet, and we laugh every time we hear Raizel giving him huge cheers for going to the bathroom.
And the adults? We're happy. Tired and happy. Happy and tired. Tired. Have I mentioned tired? But mostly we play all day and work all night. I've gotten used to the house being always slightly messy and I've quickly gotten over being embarrassed about it when someone drops in for a visit. A neat house is a sign of neglected children (or of someone who pays a housekeeper!). I really try to get all my "business" done after they go to bed. That way I can be pretty focused on them and not working at cross-purposes which usually ends with one or the other of us in the middle of the floor crying. Better to have the big stuff out of the way so I can do things like let Amirah sweep the floor even though it takes longer. Or stop and read a book whenever it's good. Or have her make the bread, which usually involves a bit of extra cleanup. It's a blast looking after all of them, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.