Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Are You Hoping for a Girl?"

We have two beautiful, happy, delicious little boys.
So, when my belly started to swell
and the news of this new little one started to get around,
right after the "B'sha'ah Tovah!" often came inquiries like:

"Are you hoping for a girl?"
"Were you trying for a girl?"
"Don't you want just one baby girl?"

"It really doesn't matter," I'd reply, grinning.
I love my boys.
A girl would be wonderful, to be sure.
But my world would be complete if I had a dozen children
and all turned out to be boys.

Truthfully, at the heart of the matter, is this:
we have learned (fortunately and unfortunately) to consider every healthy pregnancy
a miracle from G-d.

So, there are a lot of things I hoped for this child.
I hoped for health.
I hoped for contentment.
I hoped for loving family and friends.
I hoped for a peaceful life.
But never once - not once - did I honestly hope for a specific gender.

(But! This does not preclude my obsession with ultrasounds,
and catching a glimpse of babies-on-the-way as much as possible.
Or my desire to know every little detail about baby.)

Yesterday, my parents, Auntie Amanda and Uncle Steve, and Gram
volunteered to take the boys out for a day of fun
so that David and I could spend some time together.

My thoughtful and generous husband booked us a mini 3-D scan.
As we watched a tiny heart pumping, legs flexing, fingers grasping,
we marveled.

As we looked at this new little one's tiny face,
every hope we've had for each of our children
was fervently renewed.

So, as things progress (G-d willing,)
we'll continue to marvel and to give thanks,
to hope and to pray
for health, contentment, love and peace,
for this baby,
this daughter,
this sister,
this girl.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

~George Herbert

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday around here.
It is a day in which our hearts,
are given a chance to rest,
enjoy the full company of those we most love,
and reflect on a full year
of such abundant pleasures and happinesses
that we almost cannot believe it.

This year we spent our day being especially thankful for:

Family gathered together from near and far

to celebrate with food in abundance.

Two beautiful, healthy, thriving boys,

and a miracle that is at once so small and so great
that my heart skips a beat every time I consider my gratitude
for it in particular:
someone new
who, G-d willing, we're expecting to meet (in person) in April.

This year, we're not only giving thanks for the miracles in our lives,
but for our ability and our propensity
to lift up our hearts in thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Year Old


Dear Rami,
Today you are one year old.

A year ago today, you arrived into this world as a person in your own rite.
My arms were the first to hold you. Abba's face was the first you saw.
Your eyes were wide as you took in the outside world
that held the echo of familiarity but was still wholly alien.

After we snuggled for a moment, you were taken away for silly things
like weighing, measuring, checking-over.
You protested, screaming and kicking, outraged to be removed from my arms,
and loudly discontent until you returned there.
(I really appreciated that.)

Within a few days of knowing you in person,
We were referring to you as an intense child.
When you were happy, you were very happy.
When you were upset, you were very upset.
That is still true.
Most of the time, the whole world is your delight.
New foods and tastes,
The simplest toy,
The briefest game of hide-and-seek or tickle-attack,
And your gigantic, gorgeous, infectious belly laugh fills the room.
(And when you are angry, there is no mistaking it.)

As easily as you are pleased by just about everything,
there is nothing – NOTHING – you love more than your family.

Your earliest and strongest attachment was to me – Ima.
Nothing brought you more happiness than snuggling up close,
sleeping away those cold first winter months of your life on my chest.
Even now, just a glance from me can cause the most beautiful,
rapturous smile to spread across your face.

As you grew a bit more aware, you realized that Abba,
whose features your face mirrors so closely,
is the best entertainer, and prepares the best dinners of all.
(He is also a sucker for prolonged cuddling, of which you are particularly fond.)

But neither of these compares to your complete and total adoration of Asher.
Your big brother can do no wrong.
Even when he is pushing you to the ground or stealing your dinner,
You are infatuated with him.
You long to play with his toys alongside him,
to walk like him, talk like him, eat like him.
In the last month, you two have become playmates, copying one another, and creating
the most beautiful sounds of little-boy conversational laughter
that so happily fill our whole house.
When he congratulates you, “Good walking, Rami!”
your face lights up as though you had just been awarded the Nobel Prize.

I often call you “my heart.”
Because of you Asher has a brother.
Because of you I understand the joy of having a child that so resembles my beloved.
Because of you I have experienced the ability to love one child
just as fiercely as, yet totally differently fromanother.
Because of you I came back to life.
Because of you I believe in miracles.

Happy first birthday, my sweet boy.
I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.

Love, Ima

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pumpkin Challah


1/2 c water, 3/4 c pumpkin puree, 3 lg eggs, 3 tbsp light brown sugar, 3 tbsp canola oil, 4 2/3 c flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp bread machine yeast.
Pumpkin Challah 2

Bread machine dough cycle (See? I'm not superwoman.)
Pumpkin Challah 2



Pumpkin Challah 4

(You're welcome.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Failed Chanukah Cards*

there is no worse thing
I could ask of the boys
in the entire universe
than to sit together,
hug one another,
and smile.

Kopans Chanukah 09 joke 2 copy
Kopans Chanukah 09 joke 1

*No, this isn't our "real" Chanukah card - I'll post that one next month. But these *are* the cards that will go in the boys' keepsake boxes, for sure.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Survival Mode

David was sick all weekend.
By Saturday night, after a full day of taking care of the boys all by myself,
I hit that familiar parenting zone:

Survival Mode.

Here is an example of "survival mode" in the Kopans household:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Last Zoo Trip of 2009

Of all things that are totally, 100% worth the cash,
I'd say that, hands-down, a zoo membership is in the top ten.

I've lost count of how many weekend days we've spent at the Columbus Zoo,
of how many sweet memories we've gathered from our time there.

The weather on this early November day

was gorgeous.

A balmy 68 degrees and sunny.

I got The Message.

Get those boys to the zoo now!

(Because next weekend it will probably be freezing. Until April.)

Since Auntie Al was up for the challenge,
she drove up for lunch
and our last big Zoo trip of 2009.

Luckily "fun Auntie Al" has no problem paying 51 cents for yet another souvenir penny
(already long lost, I might add.)

We saw ALL the monkeys at the zoo
Which allowed for some close encounters
(that left Asher terrified and Rami nonplussed)

and some helpful reminders
(for me and for the boys, respectively.)

But, after visiting monkeys, kangaroos, okapi, and even hearing a lion roar,
the best part of being at the zoo was, well,
being at the zoo.

Rami tested his walking skills
(yeah, yeah, I'm posting a video soon)
with the help of his brother

and on his own.

We got lucky and saw our friends Tovah and Avital
and Asher shared his raisins.

Asher entertained Rami with some surprisingly realistic lion roars.


All in all, a really good day.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Diet

Rami's on a SeeFood diet:


He eats food,

and you see it.

(gross, huh? It's a good thing he's so delicious himself.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Daylight Savings Time"

Daylight Savings Time -
is it
an unfortunate oxymoron?
or a cruel joke on parents of young children?

Let me explain this line of questioning
(which is dripping with annoyed sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell:)

This past Sunday morning
happened to be that blessed morning when, once a year,
all of our clocks "fell back,"
bestowing upon the bedraggled legions of working Americans
one. priceless. extra. HOUR. of sleep.

I was allowed to enjoy about 2 minutes of that hour.

I was awoken at 4:30
to some particularly exuberant
boy-noises floating down the hall.

"Rami, Rami!" Asher cried.

"Eeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhhhuuu!" Rami gleefully responded.

The sound of one small body bouncing on mattress springs, echoed by that of another.

My head pounded.
I tossed and turned, buried my head under the covers.
Why 4:30? I wondered. What did I do to deserve this?

In a split second, realization came crashing down.
Our clocks had been set back,
but our boys' brains hadn't.
They thought it was 5:30 - their normal wakeup time.

And, finally,
because Rami's pajamas struck me
as unfortunately appropriate,

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