# Sunday, 04 September 2011

Finally managed a half-decent photo of Chaya Devoira!

As anyone who has a child with Down’s Syndrome will know, they are generally extremely affectionate, loving and characteristic children, but correspondingly difficult to photograph! Despite my best efforts, my attempts to get a decent photo of Chaya Devoira have generally been doomed to failure. Most of them make her look gormless (which she isn’t, but you wouldn’t know if from my photography!) or half-asleep!

There was one very funny photo I caught of her eating a piece of cucumber. She loves food, and grabbed this cucumber as if it were a prized possession. She then climbed up on a chair (I guess where she thought we wouldn’t be able to take it off her!), and ate it with great relish. This photo (actually from the end of May) shows a lovely mischievous face as she keeps half an eye out for intruders…

Chaya Devoira eating cucumber

Anyway, whilst on holiday, we visited Foot Fell Park, which is superbly beautiful park on the southern tip of Lake Windermere. Towards the end of our day there, we had a nosh party (crisps, pretzels, etc) on a secluded piece of grass. I managed to catch Chaya Devoira off guard, and although she isn’t actually looking at the camera, it’s still a nice picture…

Chaya Devoira in Foot Fell Park

It’s taken me nearly three years to get that one! I hope it doesn’t take as long to get the next!

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# Monday, 29 August 2011

Banana flies

We learnt an interesting thing yesterday… if you go away on holiday for two weeks, and leave a bunch of bananas in the cupboard, then when you return, you will have a black, smelly mess that once resembled bananas, and a cupboard of flies! If you then open the cupboard door, you will end up with a kitchen full of flies! They are jolly hard to get rid of as well.

However, in the interests of public information, I am able to reveal a secret, but highly effective method of getting rid of them. You wait until they are all quiet and unsuspecting, and you sneak up on them with a vacuum cleaner (preferably with the end taken off the hose), and surprise them. They all fly up into the air, and you can suck them all up! Takes a few goes, but it’s a pretty good way of clearing them out. We got rid of loads that way.

Of course, the best advice is not to forget the bananas in the first place!

More useful advice in future posts… maybe.

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# Tuesday, 02 August 2011

News to make you kvell, Fred Flintstone was Jewish!

Fred Flintstone

I know you can’t believe everything you read, but some things are just so enticing that you can’t bring yourself to question them. I just discovered that the man who did the voice for Fred Flintstone was Jewish! Apparently the man behind the Fred Flintstone was one Alan Reed, born in 1907 as Edward Bergman, who based Fred’s voice on the mannerisms of his zeide from Galitzia, and the arguments he had with his Litvak father (as someone commented, mixed marriages didn’t go down well even in those days!).

Ah, doesn’t it make you shlep nachas that such a fundamental part of our misspent youth was One Of Us? Maybe not, but it’s an interesting bit of trivia!

Read more at Fred Flintstone: A Stone Age Star With A Jewish Voice.

Interestingly enough, the man who voiced Barney Rubble (Fred Flintstone’s next door neighbour for those too young to remember the Flintstones) was Mel Blanc, who was also Jewish. However, as he also did the voices for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig (somewhat incongruous, but business is business!), Sylvester the cat, Tweety Pie, Foghorn Leghorn, and, well, just about every Hanna-Barbera cartoon character going, I suppose it’s not so surprising that he was behind Barney Rubble as well.

Back with more irrelevant, pointless news right after this commercial break…

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# Thursday, 21 July 2011

Recent picture of Gittel

I just realised that I haven’t updated the blog for, ooh ages, and the most recent picture of Her Gittelness is somewhat out of date.

So, without further ado, we proudly present a slightly less out of date picture, that’s actually from the end of May, so about six weeks old. Ho hum, maybe one day I’ll catch up – maybe not!

Gittel - 31st May '11

Aww, ain’t she cute!

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# Monday, 28 March 2011

Gittel Silver

Following prolonged high-level discussions, we finally decided on a name sometime between Friday night and Shabbos morning, so I named the new baby in shul on Shabbos. She is now officially known as Gittel (Yiddish for “good” which seemed appropriate as she’s scrummy!), although gets called Rivka (by Simcha who had it in her head that we were going to call her Rivka and can’t shift the idea), “Little Gittel” by me (or just LG for short), “pitchkeli” (Yiddish term of endearment for someone small) when I want to wind up Nechoma Bryna, “the baby” by people who can’t remember her name, Chaya Devoira by those who get confused, etc.

Anyway, here is an up-to-date picture of her sleeping, which was taken around 2:30pm today…

Gittel sleeping

P.S. For those who didn’t notice, I turned the blog pink in honour of the occasion!

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# Thursday, 24 March 2011

Chaya Devoira gives the new baby a kiss

Chaya Devoira just toddled in to see her Mummy, who had just finished feeding the new baby. Interested to see what was going on, Chaya Devoira climbed up onto the bed and peeked at her new sister.

Knowing what an affectionate girl she is, the Boss put the baby on Chaya Devoira’s knee for a cuddle. Chaya Devoira immediately planted a bit, wet smacking kiss on the baby’s head (see the left-hand picture below).

Chaya Devoira gives the new baby a kiss

In the right-hand picture, Chaya Devoira is having her hair taken out of her eyes, where it flopped after the administered the kisses. She had just come out of the bath (and wasn’t really dressed, but had a dress over her pyjamas to see if it fitted), and so had floppy hair. I included the second picture as you can see more of the baby!

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# Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Mazel tov! A new baby!

With thanks and praise to Hashem Yisborach, we at the Smile Gemach are delighted to announce the safe arrival of a brand new baby girl…

The new baby

She was born yesterday (22nd March ‘11) at 9:32am, after a difficult, but thankfully not too prolonged labour. She weighed 5lbs, 15ozs which, whilst not big by normal standards, is about average for a Silver. B”H, she seems to be healthy and well.

They came home this afternoon, tired but happy. Predictably, everyone is over the moon with their new sister, especially Shayna Brocho, as the baby was born on her birthday!

We will be making a kiddush at home after davenning for anyone who is able to come.

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# Monday, 14 March 2011

Albert Einstein on computers

“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein

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# Monday, 07 March 2011

Chaya Devoira learns to walk!

One of Chaya Devoira’s main development issues (other than her lack of speech) is her poor motability. Whilst she can crawl reasonably well, she often does this with straight legs (so-called “bear walking). She has not yet mastered the art of standing for more than a few seconds at a time, and walking was something we assumed was still some way off on the horizon. If we hold a hand and lead her, she will walk stiff-legged with us, but will sit down as soon as we let go of her hand.

The occupational therapist in the special nursery she attends told us that Chaya Devoira once took four steps, but we had never seen this repeated, and so the excitement died down.

Imagine our surprise then, when on Friday afternoon she suddenly took a few steps. A couple of the other children were playing with her, and one of them stood her up and told her to walk. Amazingly enough, she did!

I ran upstairs to grab my camera, and got it switched on just in time to see a magnificent seventeen-step stroll across the room! This was followed by some less-successful attempts, but with definite promise.

This video shows the whole thing in glorious technicolour…

Since then, she has shown less interest in walking, but has been consistent in doing a few steps here and there. She has also started standing herself up without holding on to something, which is another promising sign. Obviously we are encouraging her as much as possible. but she has quite a strong will, and if she decides she doesn’t want do something, there’s no persuading her (unless we hold out some food of course!)

Anyway, all good indications of progress, however slow.

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