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.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Random Report

On Mother's Day I came downstairs. Talia and Adam were the only two up and I sat on the couch to snuggle with Adam. Talia came up to us and said "Daddy...Mommy" and I said "Yes, Talia?" She said "Daddy uhhh Mommy?" Adam said "Yes, Talia?" "Ummmmm, Mommy.....Daddy." She said this several more times and we responded every time, but apparently whatever thought she wanted to share with us, left her little mind.

Elie has been so much better about arguing the last week or so. She's still quite bossy, but I don't think that being bossy is so much a stage as it is a serious personality defect. (My bossy stage never ended either, hence my expertise on the subject.) Not arguing makes life so much easier. Of course, part of the whole process could be that Adam and I have discovered how to nip it in the bud, so the whole arguing situation never gets started. That is how stages pass in parenting; not only does the behavior of the child change, the parents learn how to deal with the new behavior. Who knew that parenting would involve me changing/learning too?

We've been so busy running errands and getting from here to there that I'm finding myself in desperate need of a break. I'm thrilled that summer vacation starts in a month and I am planning on doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, that's not even so true. The day after the last day of school we are headed to Oregon, but that will be a nice vacation and there doesn't have to be any schedule. I'm sure we'll do things, but one of my goals will be to NOT rush around. But after we get back, there is not one thing written on the calendar. Sure, stuff will have to get done, but I'm planning on many days spent playing in the backyard, going to the library and just enjoying being together.

Leila has really started interacting with me. I love to gaze into her eyes and watch her smile. She's even started cooing at me and giggling! I just love this stage. That little "ahhhh" sound they make when they are "talking" to you and the giant smiles that bloom across their faces. I could gaze at her forever. She's not too into interacting with everyone else yet, though she has given Adam a few big smiles, but I know it's coming. The kids just love her and I'm sure they'll be excited when she starts acknowledging them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sultans of Swing

Isaac has learned how to swing himself! It is such a glorious thing and has so happened overnight. It is amazing how long swinging can keep them occupied. We hadn't even been really working with him on it, he just was going out there and experimenting with moving his weight around and making himself swing. Now both he and Elie go out and swing themselves. Talia still is too little to even get herself into the swing, but she still loves swinging. She could also sit out there for hours on end. Often if a big person gets tired of pushing her, she will refuse to get down and just swing back and forth until the swing isn't moving anymore and then she'll just sit on the not-moving swing. Of course, she manages to look so pitiful with her big blue eyes and shouts of "push me!" that it is difficult to not push her.

I am so loving the beautiful weather. The kids go outside as soon as we get home from school and can hardly be called in when it is time for dinner. They love being out there. The sandbox is a huge draw and they have recently discovered the joy of simply digging in the dirt. There is nothing better for digging than an old metal serving spoon and a yogurt container! They play mowing games and football. They swing and dig and play house. It is fantastic to watch them excercise their little minds. Plus it is nice for me to just sit, nurse Leila, listen and occasionally referee. (Sometimes I even manage to squeeze in a little sudoku!)

Tonight at dinner we were graced with Isaac's newest lyrics:
Poof you are a labia, labia, labia.
Vagina, vagina, vagina.

Can you tell he has only sisters?

Elie's teacher at school has been introducing them to bits of lots of languages. It is amazing how quickly Elie is picking them up. Even today a guest to the class gave them handouts of the signing alphabet and so Elie was practicing it as soon as she was home. She and I did it together several times. It is really amazing how much she remembers after just one exposure to it. It actually makes me think that I shouldn't be wasting this learning time for her and that I should get my lazy booty in gear and get her in some language and music classes. Ah if there were more hours in the day......

Monday, May 7, 2007

Just Like Riding a Bike...

Elie has learned to ride her bike!!!! She has been working on it sporadically, due to her slacker parents' inability to practice consistently with her. We have finally made a serious and concerted effort to get her out and practicing. Adam took her yesterday and she was able to get started (still with some help) and go! She would even tell Adam "You push me, hold on for a bit and then let go!" They went around our block and up and down the sidewalk several times. She was so excited she came right in and we all went out to see her. She still doesn't get using the brakes and so when she wants to stop, she steers into the grass and throws herself over. It is relatively amusing, but I would like it better if she learned how to stop in a safer manner. It is amazing to see how it has finally clicked. She is really good at recovering from swerving and she is also doing well pay attention to what is in front of her, rather than looking around while she is riding. I am really proud of her and I can't believe my big girl is riding a two wheeler!

While my parents were here they gave us the idea of growing tomato plants. So we bought a giant plastic pot and the kids and I dumped packets of seeds in and covered them with dirt. It's kind of an experiment in low-energy, not-so-time-consuming gardening. Well, we have sprouts! And they are actually growing quite well. I was totally surprised at how fast they came up. We put in some heirloom seeds and some regular salad tomatoes and some orange and yellow ones too. If the experiment is even remotely successful we may be drowning in small size tomatoes this summer. It is definitely a good thing that the kids LOVE tomatoes!

This is the conversation that Talia and I had in the commissary today:

"What do you want for your birthday, Talia?"

"Elmo"

"What kind of Elmo? Squishy? Talking?"

"Quishy Elmo" (Squishy Elmo)

"What would you do with a squishy Elmo?"

"Quish it!" (Squish it!)

Well duh, Mommy. What else would I do with a squishy Elmo. Of course I would squish it. That is the fun of a squishy Elmo....

Talia is quite excited about her upcoming birthday. She sings happy birthday to herself constantly and she asks other people to sing her happy birthday. When I ask her how old she will be she says "Tree!" (three) then when I say no and ask her again she says "six!"

Talia has had another language explosion and is now using full sentences where a word used to suffice. "I am done with my dinner. I want to get down." She used to just say "down." It is amazing how fast she is growing up.

(Talia runs in a zig zag across the yard, screaming and holding a small metal cookie sheet. Isaac follows her clutching a plastic yogurt container filled with dirt, while waving a large metal spoon above his head.)

Talia: (shrieking) EEEEEEEE

Isaac: Talia, please give that back to me!

Talia: EEEEEEEEEE

Isaac: I was using that, Talia. Give it back to me please!

Talia: (running down the hill at full tilt) EEEEEEEEEE

Isaac: Please, Talia, give that back to me!!

Talia: (coming up the stairs to the deck) EEEEEEEEE (waving the metal pan so that Isaac cannot grab it from her)

Isaac: (breaking down into hysterics) Talia took that and I had it and I want it back Give it back to me Talia give it back you grabbed it Give it BACK

Elie planted some orange cosmos (a wildflower) seeds at school while they were learning about Earth Day. Those have sprouted too and are doing quite well. We'll have to see how transplanting goes. I am really having a great time with the gardening. I wish we had enough space to make a true fruit and vegetable garden. I think we'll have to try that in our *next* house!

I went through all the kids clothes that they've outgrown this weekend. More importantly, I went through all the boys clothes. We are done having kids and I'm really okay with that. Four is a LOT. But there is a part of me that is sad that we won't be having another boy. And there's another part of me that is sad we are done having kids. Adam and I have been making babies for six years now. It is going to be really different. We'll have a new focus and there will be new challenges. And our relationship will, like all things, change. It all seems so bittersweet. I love my life. I'm excited about how things will change, but there is definitely that moment of mourning for things that we will never experience directly again. Of course, I'm also throwin' a big party and havin' a beer in celebration of the fact I will NEVER be pregnant again! WHOOOOHOOOOOO! Okay...see what I mean, it's very happy and sad all at the same time.

Leila is possibly not the laid back baby we first thought she might be. Though she certainly puts up very gracefully with a ton of jostling and toting, and she is a good nurser, she really, really gets cranky in the evenings. We've done this before though and so, in certain regards, it is much easier. I know she'll settle down eventually and that we'll live through this stage. I do wish there was some way I could help her not gulp so much air while she is nursing, as having burps seems to be her major complaint in life. She has started giving us all some small smiles when she is having awake time. She is a dang cute kid though and the other kids REALLY love her and love to be around her.

The other day Adam and I were sitting on the couch. Around the corner comes Isaac with his pants and underwear around his ankles, socks and gym shoes still on. He was pushing the bathroom door open all the way. He stood there singing to himself and wiggling the door a bit. I finally asked him what he was doing. "I don't know," he responded. I asked if he had been potty, yes he had. I asked if he had flushed, yes he had. Then he danced around a bit more and walked around the door and back into the bathroom.

My children are weird.