About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ahhhhh Sesame Street Memories

So, Pingy put up a link to a Youtube video of old school Sesame Street stuff. While I was watching I noticed a link to MY personal favorite video of old school Sesame Street. I am sure that once you watch it, you'll know why!!!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Guess the baby!

Okay, okay here I am and another week has gone by and I'm finally updating the blog. I know that if I don't get more regular about updating that there is going to be some sort of riot from my regular readers. I'm just having such a hard time taking care of things after the kids go to sleep these days. Being round is really wearing me out! Speaking of which, I am still measuring a week ahead of my dates AND the baby is still growing AND last week the midwife guessed that I could possibly have an over 9 lbs kiddo this time. I must say that feels like a very distinct possibility to me, as I am bigger than I've ever been and feeling like it. My stomach is so round and tight and I seriously cannot bend over AT ALL. (Adam says that if I had complained this much with any of the other beebees, that one would have been the last. I think we're both really glad we're done with the growing babies portion of our lives!) So I'm going to guess this baby is a boy and it will be 9 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long. I'm thinkin' he'll come on the 5th of April. (Acutally, the baby can come anytime after the afternoon of the 30th. I just want my parents to be here and after that, I'm TOTALLY game for this to be OVER!!!!!) So now's your chance - make a guess in the comments section, just for fun!!!

The kids are doing just great. Talia has had a recent growth spurt (she was soooo clumsy for three or four days there) and she's also recently had a language explosion. She talks really well for a 22 mnth old and all of a sudden she's putting together five and six word sentences, plus her words have become much, much clearer. She's really hilarious when she pretends that she's on the phone. She also does a very funny thing when she is trying to form her words and she starts to think about them and waves her hands palms up, smacks her lips and rolls her eyes while she's trying to get the old brain to spit out the words she needs to communicate! She loves to sing and is constantly singing bits of songs. Some of her favorites are happy birthday (in english and hebrew), the itsy bitsy spider, and ring around the rosey. She often gets stuck on one line and also sings on the inhale, which is particularly amusing.

In the car I've moved all three kids to the back seat. This will make it really easy when my parents come on Friday! Plus it will help when The New Baby arrives, I'll be able to put the car seat in the middle seats, where I'll have an empty seat to sit next to so I can nurse when Adam is driving. Having all the kids together is certainly nice, it cuts down on the backseat driving that Elie does because she can't see what is going on in the driver's area, and the kids can interact and play together, but it also makes life a bit more challenging. There are the constant complaints of encroachment and the encroachment itself (Elie REALLY likes to lean over and put her arm around Talia which isn't safe). There's also various fights about who is singing what and saying what and on and on and on!!!!! ARGHGHHGHHGH. For some reason the car really seems to exaggerate the issues. But then they do adorable stuff like sing songs together, or quiz one another (Elie says to Isaac "Are you ready for your quiz? What flies around and pollinates things?" Isaac yells "A BEE!"), or everyone puts on their play sunglasses at the same time, and they are just so darn cute. I probably think to myself once each car trip how much I want to seperate them and then I think of how lonely the odd man out is and how much nicer it is when they can play together.

We had some friends of ours over the other day. They are another couple our age, who we really seem to click with. BUT (there's always a but) their little boy is a bit, well, wild. They aren't very consistent with him and he tends to be a little bit of a bully. I'm really mixed about what to do. We enjoy spending time with them and they ROCK for adult conversation. They don't suffer from "affluenza" like lots of the other parents around here and they are really down to earth. The parenting thing just really, really gets me. Their boy won't sit through dinner, he won't eat, he doesn't really listen. I'm finding it easier to ignore him, but I know that Adam gets really tense and has a much harder time just letting it go. It's such a mixed bag. On the flip side we have some other friends who we also really click with and their kids are SUPER well behaved, but they do some stuff that I'm really against. Like they have their baby on a breastfeeding schedule, they practice cry it out, they have a gate to keep their three year old twins in their own room at night; all things that I really find yucky. Adam says I shouldn't be so picky, but I have a really hard time understanding (and hearing about) why you'd let your ten month old cry for two 40 minute sessions in one night, just so he could learn to "self soothe." Having friends is so much more complicated when there is parenting involved because it is such a personal choice and private issue. All our friends just think we're hippies (and yes, I did get called that the other day) and, well, I guess I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Super Cranky Mom

Well, I've been avoiding writing for a while because last week seemed to be one long cranky, irritable situation. Elie has been making me CRAZY with her constant bossiness and contradictions. Just about everytime we correct Elie or ask her to change some behavior she either denies she was doing said behavior or she argues with us. Isaac hasn't been listening at all, I feel like I have to repeat myself TEN HUNDRED TIMES. And Talia was having a rough time remembering to go to the potty when she needed to pee. She's had no accidents for weeks and then last week she peed all over her doll baby (just stood there and watched it spray all over the poor baby's face) and then all over some dress-up clothes. I just didn't want to write a big ol' blog about how irritated I am with my children. I think my current state of roundness might also be contributing to my overall lack of patience and general irritability. Poor Adam has even been the victim. But I suppose that even when I'm not pregnant I'll have times where the children are challenging and, gasp, even irritating and that it wouldn't really be a blog about our life if I didn't include that.

The weather here has been absolutely wacky. Last Wednesday it was 80 degrees here. Oh it was LOVELY! The kids played in the backyard for the entire afternoon and we ate dinner on the porch. I love having the fenced backyard. The kids feel free to roam and explore, but I know they aren't going to go to far. Plus I can keep an eye on them from the kitchen! It is really nice that they play so well together, then I can have some quiet mommy time (like reading or doing sudoku) on the porch. Unfortunately on Friday it snowed! It was wet and yucky and we had freezing rain before the snow came down, so it was really unpleasant. I'm ready for spring in all sorts of ways.

On Sunday the preschool sponsored a family dance. We didn't go last year and we heard it was lots of fun, so we decided to check it out this year. We figured that at 20 bucks for the family we couldn't go wrong, since dinner was included. It was, well, interesting. Elie immediately started dancing and playing with her friends when we got there. Isaac and Talia were much less impressed, even though we were at the synagogue where they attend school and spend lots of time. Talia eventually warmed up, but Isaac never really did. He was very overwhelmed, I think, by the noise and the people. It is interesting how different his personality is in group situations as opposed to one on one. He can be so talkative and outgoing once he feels comfortable with someone, but put him with strangers or loud groups and he completely clams up.

Now I'm being paged...It's time for lunch and the natives are restless. On to another day at the zoo!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Here we are again, another week has passed me by! I just do not know where it goes. And there are so many fun and funny tidbits to share. Although not everything around here is roses all the time. Elie has definitely gotten the bossy bug. Last week she decided that it was a good game to "pop" (our term for a bit of attention getting we use, ie "a pop on the bottom") her brother AND her sister. She popped Isaac when they were playing mommy and baby. She just turned him over and whacked him a good couple of times. Then the next day, Talia was naked (as she prefers to be) and Elie decided that a good whacking was what Talia's nudie bum needed. Next thing I know Talia is screaming that "Elie pop me." Oh I was mad. Elie also cannot make it through any five minute period of time with out telling someone what to do, offering to help (ie forcing herself on any younger sibling because she thinks they need her help), or generally trying to be an adult. It does get quite trying. I'm pretty sure I've got a good idea about why my parents were often frustrated with MY bossing when I was in their house.

The other night at dinner I called Adam an alien for some reason or another. Then he started singing The Police's "I'm an Englishman in New York." The chorus goes like this: I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien, I'm an Englishman in New York. Isaac decided he was going to try his hand at singing it and started in with "I'm an english muffin.....". It was downright hilarious!

On Saturday the weather here was sooooo warm. Ah I love spring. So we took the kids and went caching. For those that don't know geocaching is an activity where people hide "caches" (they can be ammo boxes, tupperware, film cannisters etc) and then they publish the GPS coordinates and other people go to the coordinates and look for the hidden object. There are caches hidden all over the place: urban, suburban and rural. So we took the opportunity to go and do some caching and some hiking. The kids were all super hikers and they had a good time marching through all the mud we encountered on the trail. We were hiking along a creek and even saw a blue heron. We acutally scared it because Talia was pitching a fit about Adam helping her on a part of the trail that had a steep dropoff. Elie was acting as our tour guide for a bit of the hike. There was an old mill at the edge of the creek and as we approached Elie said "I think this is something they must have used in the old seventies." She and Isaac also discovered the joy of "being the leader" and so we had some pushing about that. Elie is still faster than Isaac, so she often just took off, leaving the rest of us to catch up. We did find all the caches we were looking for and that was fun.

Sunday we were driving around and I said "These are terrible drivers." Talia responded from the backseat with "Oh my!" It was such a kick. Talia also made some pronouncement and Elie and Isaac followed with "Indeed, Talia. Indeed."

I have been noticing lately how affectionate our kids are with one another. Talia has learned how to say "I love you" and often runs up to Elie and Isaac and tells them that. She also loves to give them hugs and they love to hug her. When we pick up the kids from school, there are always hugs all around and it never ceases to amaze me how they genuinely seem to miss one another. It's not that when some are at school and some are at home that they pine for one another, it's just that when they are reunited there is so much excitement and love. I'm not sure what we've done to encourage that or how it happened, but I get so much enjoyment from watching their tenderness and love for one another. I just hope that we can continue to foster that, so they grow to be sensitive and compassionate adults.

Today we were at the pool. Elie finished her swim lesson and we went to the warm pool. For a while it was just us in the pool and then I noticed an elderly lady get in, with the assistance of a younger male helper. He got her situated in the pool and then went in to do laps in the lap pool. Not long after he left the elderly lady began to call out for help. It was quiet at first, but it soon became yelling. She was calling for someone to help her sister Margaret, who was drowning. The lady spoke about another sister called Helen and kept crying out for someone to help her rescue her sister. The lifeguard attempted to speak to her and we both tried to calm the woman, but she would have none of it. After a few minutes of her yelling and screaming, Elie became quite upset and demanded to know "who was going to help that lady?" It was about time for us to go and I tried to explain the situation to Elie, but I couldn't do it without becoming teary myself. As we were walking to the locker room, I finally hit upon a way to describe what we had seen. I asked Elie if she remembered how sometimes she awakens from dreams and thinks that they are real. She said yes. I told her that sometimes when we get old, our brains have a hard time telling what is real and what isn't. We talked about how the elderly woman was thinking that something was happening when it really wasn't. It was an odd and heart wrenching situation. I can't help but feel like I'm fumbling around in the dark when stuff like this happens. The elderly lady and her caretaker son came into the changing room and we said "good afternoon". She was still quite disoriented and I felt terrible for the son, who clearly just wanted a few minutes to swim laps in the quiet. Elie didn't have any more questions and seemed to be more at ease with the situation. I just hope I did alright.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Just life

How did it get to be Tuesday already? I swear, time flies by so fast around here I can hardly keep things straight. Life's been pretty quiet. Daddy is gone again, though this time just for two sleeps. We are looking forward to him coming home tomorrow, though I'm not sure it will happen because of the snowy weather headed our way. I do like the snow, though in my current state of roundness it is rather difficult to enjoy. By the time we all get our snow stuff on and get out there, I'm ready to go back in! Elie and Isaac have learned to put on their snow pants which helps out so very much. Plus, my snow pants don't fit me and so I end up soaking wet and cold. It is also a little awkward to try and help the kids get on and off the sled as bending over doesn't happen easily. Anyway, enough complaining, eventually some adorable babe will come out of me and life will be easier in some ways and harder in others!!!

This weekend we gathered all our birthing supplies in our bedroom. The kids had a blast getting things together and helping us gather. At the end of it, I was so incredibly overwhelmed. I guess it just hit me, hard, that we are going to have four kiddos! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH FOUR KIDDOS?!?!?!?!?! WHO'S IDEA WAS THIS?!!??!?!?!? Whew.....okay, glad I got that out of my system, but I still have those questions. I do remember feeling this way about Talia coming before she was born, so I guess it doesn't surprise me too much. I do wish there was something that I could do, other than just process and relax, that would make the thoughts pass. I think it does have something to do with the waiting for the baby that we're doing now. But, I don't really want the baby to come until April, so that my parent's can get here for the birth!!! Oh what a conundrum....okay, just relax, relax, deep breath...let go. Oh yeah, we all know how good I am at that....NOT!

Yesterday we had swimming and it was so much fun. The kids have all gotten so comfortable and now we can all have a really good time in the water. There is still some choking, but mostly when they misjudge how deep the water is! We have also really enjoyed the "warm pool" which allows the kids to stay in much longer. It is amazing how being in the water wears them out. We were not there for very long, but they were TIRED by the time we left.

Today we had a midwife appointment. The baby sounds good and everything is just doing well! The kids love going there and have so many questions, it is adorable. Talia was pretty quiet, but every so often she would yell out words that were related to whatever the rest of us were discussing. The midwife we saw was also very impressed with how gentle Talia was with her "new baby." Talia holds her baby in her two arms and carries it around, saying "new baby" and "nursing" and "brand new". It is hilarious. Isaac talks about new babies less, but when he does talk about it, he wants everyone to know that he thinks it is a boy and that he WANTS it to be a boy. In fact, last week in the car he had a meltdown because he "wants a brother." When any of us points out that the baby might not be a boy, he just says "it's a boy." So we'll see what happens. Elie is just excited about the baby and she has so many questions! Someone is going to have to be stationed near her just to answer questions or she'll drive the rest of us batty!!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Just a bit of life's adventures....

(This story was requested by midlife midwife in the comments section.....I was trying to forget the whole incident!)

On Tuesday morning we were running a little behind. Not much, but enough that I was in a hurry to get out the door. I walked out the front door and tried to unlock the van. No dice. I tried again. Once again, no luck. I got to the van and tried to unlock it by putting my key in the door. It would unlock the front door only, none of the other doors. I realized right away that the battery was dead. I got the side door unlocked manually and got the kids all buckled into their seats. Then I got in to the driver seat and attempted to start the car, just for kicks. Nothing. So I decided that I would put the car in neutral and let it roll down the driveway, where I could pull Adam's car near and jump start the van. I put in the break and attempt to put it in neutral. And I try and try and try. And it won't go. I decide that I will call my father, in Oregon, and awaken him to ask him what I should do. Well, it was 8:45 East Coast time so that made it.....5:45 in Oregon. For those of you who don't know my father, he is NOT a morning person, though he loves his oldest daughter enough that he was not in the slightest bit grouchy. He suggested that maybe I just wasn't going to be taking the kids to school. But this particular day happened to be the day that Elie's class was doing their Purim show and of all the days of the school year, we NEEDED to go on Tuesday. So I explained to Dad that I somehow missed the day when we talked about jump starting cars and so I was going to need him to talk me through doing that, if I could get Adam's car next to mine in the driveway. Well, our driveway is a once car driveway, leading to a one car garage. And due to the ice and snow on the ground, I was parked pretty much in the middle of it. Adam's car isn't huge and so I decide that I can sqeeze in between the lamp in the front yard and my car parked in the driveway. I try a couple times and finally get it close enough. (In the process I did manage to *rub* my car with his side mirror and chew up some of the yard by spinning the tires, but I got the car up there...) So I call my Dad again to have him walk me through jumping the car. He tells me what to do, I attach the cables to my car, start Adam's car and then get ready to attach the cables to Adam's car. I am really, really, really nervous about doing this. All I can imagine is that I am going to be electrocuted while my children watch from the van. I am still talking with my Dad and I need two hands to do the clamping, so I put the phone down on the bottom of the windshield and start to attach the cables. In my nervousness, I stand there for what feels like an eternity and hands shaking, I finally gather enough nerve to clamp on the cables. When they are finally attached, the alarm in my car starts to go off. I am so amped up from gathering the nerve to do the clamps that I kind of freak out. I attempt to pick up the phone from where the car alarm is blaring in it and manage to drop in on the ground. I realize that the keys I need to turn off the alarm are in Adam's car, so I run around it, fall down in the snow, struggle back up and finally make it to the car where I can turn off the alarm. Meanwhile, the kids are all sitting in my car and I can only imagine that they are freaking out because of the alarm. But at this point I am totally overwhelmed and I begin to sob in the phone. Thank goodness for my Dad, he is completely calm and gets me calmed down. I get my car keys and go around and start my car. The kids were totally fine and were REALLY excited when the car started up. I got the cars disconnected, moved Adam's car, and we were finally on our way. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for my exceptionally patient and calm father AND for my kids who just sat quietly and watched Mom try to take care of things so we could go. They were totally nonplussed by the whole situation, though Elie did admit that she "covered her ears" until the alarm got quiet.

(Whew...I'm worn out just recounting that ridiculous saga.)

Talia can't say her c's very well. She often uses a "t" sound as replacement. As a result she calls her coat, her "toke". This is pretty funny in and of itself, but it is even funnier when she says "toke on, get toke on."

Last night at Shabbat dinner, Elie randomly said that she was going to marry Isaac. Isaac countered that he was going to marry Owen, a little boy in his class. Elie pointed out to him that boys cannot grow babies. She then suggested that maybe it would be better if he married Sophie, a little girl in his class, or Talia or herself, so that he could have babies. He was steadfast in his desire to marry Owen. I did point out that there are other possibilities for getting a baby. So we had a brief discussion about adoption. And Isaac is still planning on marrying Owen....

Today we stopped by Wegman's on our way home from picking up Adam from the airport. It happens to be their three year anniversary and they were giving away cake in honor of it. (Wegman's cake is DELICIOUS and so we, of course, stopped to eat some.) The lady serving the cake was wearing a type of shoe called "crocs". They are a rubbery shoe that are very comfortable. I also own a pair that I wear to help my feet and knees not hurt so much. We got out of the way to eat our cake and Elie says "Mommy, the lady that is serving cake has crotches just like you." Adam and I were extremely confused and after a couple seconds of stunned silence, we realized that Elie was talking about the CROCS the serving lady was wearing. We quickly told Elie that the shoes are called crocs and had a good laugh.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Thou shall not covet!

Pingy and her faboo little one, G-man, are here visiting from New York this week. It is so nice to have them here when Daddy is gone. I don't feel so completely insane, it is fun to hang out with my friend, and the kids have a (generally) good time playing with, and around, each other. It is really interesting to watch the dynamics between the kids though. G-man is an only child (at 16 months, this is an okay thing!) and so he's not really used to sharing toys with other kiddos. As the baby, Talia is really used to Elie and Isaac leaving her to her own devices. They do sometimes include her in their pretend play, but for the most part, she plays independently of them and doesn't really share either. Well, Talia and G-man have both been attracted to EXACTLY the same toy, at the same time! And since neither one is particularly good at sharing, there has been some mutual - well - grabbing, shoving, and physical interaction. Ping and I have been on top of it and the perpetrator is spoken to and offered another toy. Unfortunately, even when G-man is playing with something that Talia isn't remotely interested in, Talia will often yell out in her little voice "No Grahmmy! No!" Poor G-man is being henpecked already!

This week the kids were each in a little show at school. This weekend is Purim, during which we dress up and act silly. It is lots of fun. So for the shows the kids got to dress up and then they sang songs for the parents. Elie was actually into performing a little bit, which is a change from years past. She was mostly interested in making sure that anyone who needed help getting dressed in their costume got her assistance and that the little boy who was standing next to her was in the right place. She did sing, which was nice, but she also kept signaling me to continue to video tape her when I had to put the camera down to attend to Talia who had fallen on the floor. Isaac was another story. He talked about the Purim show, but kept telling me he "was not going to sing because he didn't know the words." I knew he knew the words though because he's been singing the Purim songs for weeks now, but I just said "okay" in response to his statements. When we got to the show on Wednesday, he did grimace/smile at me and wave. But then he wouldn't sing for the rest of the show. A couple times he forgot that we were all there watching and started to sing along, but when he registered the audience again, he quit. Maybe next year he'll sing! Tomorrow night he is going to perform at the family shabbat service and so I'm curious to see how he is. I'm guessing he won't sing, but hopefully he'll surprise me.