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.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

He's Fuuunnyyyy

Elie and Isaac are having a great time riding the bus together in the morning. It's really sweet to see them walk towards the waiting bus, holding hands, ready for the day. They always sit together and wave out the window as the bus leaves. And I think it's been really good for both of them to come home at different times. They each get to experience riding on the bus, all by themselves, and that is a good thing.

I often ask Elie who she sat next to on the bus ride home. She mostly was reporting that she was riding home with another first grade girl. But then....

One day she told me that Mitch sat next to her on the bus. Oh that Mitch, she said, he's so fun to sit next to and he calls another girl some silly names, even though he knows her name. Ha ha ha. Well, I happen to find Mitch a bit irritating. He is pretty obnoxious. So I said, "Mitch seems to be a little wild. Why did you want to sit next to him?" And she answers, "He's soooo funnnnnyyy!". (wild giggling followed this annoucement).

Ah and so it begins. I'm not really sure I'm ready for this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Today He Is One Hand!

Yes, the boy-about-town, Isaac, turned five today. And what a day it was. He got to bring brownies to school to celebrate with his class. (He requested brownies and I spruced 'em up a bit with crumbled oreo's. He said it was a good surprise.) While at school he got a crown, which he was wearing when he got home and proceeded to wear the rest of the day. (I'm not kidding.) He got to play with his sisters outside for most of the afternoon and then the day was capped off with a delicious birthday dinner of mac'n'cheese, salmon patties and freezer vegetables, opening presents and a transformers birthday cake. (see above) The cake was exactly as he requested it. "I want a transformers birthday cake, with transformers on the top that I can take off and play with." (I was concerned in the beginning that he wanted a cake in the shape of a transformer, the reality was much less detailed - thank goodness!)

I teased him most of the day about there not being any cake. He took it well. At one point we were discussing it and he said "There's no way there is none cake for my birthday, Mom!"

And now he's five. He's so big and so smart. But this birthday doesn't seem like such a transition. He's started school and it just seems like a natural extension of that beginning to have this birthday and be a new, bigger age.

I don't think I ever wrote down this boy's birth-day story. So once again, if details about a human entering earthside bothers you - don't read any further. And don't worry, after I write Elie's in the spring there won't be any other birth stories to tell. ; )

When I got pregnant with Isaac we weren't sure where we were going to deliver. I knew that I did NOT want to deliver at a hospital. But there were very few options in Colorado Springs at the time. There were a few direct entry midwives and that was about it. We really didn't know what to do. Then our friend told us that she was starting a practice that was going to do homebirth. And she offered to be the attending at our birth. Adam was still not sure about the whole homebirth situation, so we said we'd think about it.

Then Adam got deployed. It was a voluntary deployment, but he was going to be gone for three and a half months. He was scheduled to get home about three weeks before the baby was due. So we put off the decision about where we were going to deliver and focused on making plans for Elie and I during Adam's deployment.

The short story is that Elie and I took the three cats and dog and drove to Oregon with my father to live with my parents while Adam was gone. It was marvelous to be with them and hard to be away from Adam, but we managed. A week before Adam was coming home Dad and I drove back to Colorado and got Elie and me settled back at home.

As soon as Adam got home we realized we had a care issue. Where was I going to deliver? Who was going to take care of me? Several trips to the civilian OB practice I had been sent to for care convinced me that unless my life or the baby's was in danger, I did NOT want them touching me. So we decided to take Tracy up on her offer of attending the delivery. I was still very nervous about birth. Could I really do it? I had had an epidural for Elie's delivery, would I be able to handle labor? Would I know when I was in labor soon enough to call the midwife? She was coming from Denver, would she make it in time?

Adam had two weeks off work, which was lovely. He got readujsted to living with a toddler and Elie and I got reajusted to living with him and in our house again. Then he went back to work. I was still 12 days from my due date.

Then 10 days from my due date, I woke up and didn't feel all that well. I was just draggy and tired and I just didn't feel good. In the early morning I lost a large chunk of mucus plug. In the early afternoon I lost an even larger chunck of mucus plug. Elie went down for a nap and I laid down to get some rest, but I couldn't get comfortable and started having some light contractions. I called Adam to come home because they were starting to get a little more intense and I wanted him to take care of Elie. He came home and I hung out in the shower, then out, then back in. While I was in the shower I became convinced that my water had broken, but my contractions did not pick up at all. We called Tracy and she said that it could be a while still. She was planning on having dinner with her family and then she would head down. We made the bed and started setting up the water tub. (I was going to try and have a water birth.) I was still having regular contractions, but I was still talking through them and feeling alright. We called my parents at some point and my mom said that she was getting on a plane as soon as she could. Then my contractions started to pick up. First I walked during them and then I started sitting in the lazy-boy and rocking through them. The contractions would be really intense and then move to less intense, but there was never a break in between. I was dealing with it by zoning out and just letting the contractions happen. It was very surreal and I still feel like I was having an out of body experience. Adam fed Elie dinner and got her to bed. I remember her coming up to me and rubbing my knee, but Adam just explained what was going on and she took it in stride. I also talked to my Mom while she was waiting to take off. At that point, I did not think she was going to make it to the birth.

Contractions became more intense and I moved upstairs. I tried to get in the tub, but our water heater couldn't keep up and the water was cold and not very deep. I got frantic and hopped out. I sat on the toilet and moaned. I remember telling Adam that I needed Tracy to get there soon, I didn't think I was going to be able to do this much longer.

Tracy and her assistant arrived. I told Tracy I couldn't do it and she said "But, Olivia, you are doing it. Your body is doing it." We moved to the bed and Tracy checked me. It was so uncomfortable to be laying back on the bed. Tracy suggested I try and push, but I wanted to stand up.

I stood up and grabbed the edge of the birthing tub. I pushed once and my water broke (for real this time) and gushed everywhere. I pushed again and out slid Isaac Uri. 8lbs 3oz, 21 inches long. It was 9:02 pm. The first words I said were that I wasn't cooking for the bris. I guess I wanted everyone to know that. I sat back and I held him in my arms. He had a huge bruise on his head. And he had a head full of fine, bright red peach fuzz. He was perfect.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Garden Goodies!

We planted a garden again this year. I decided that I wanted to use heirloom seeds, which are rumored to give better tasting yield. So we picked cantaloupe, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and strawberries. I also was exceptionally lazy and we just put the seeds in the ground and let what was going to grow, grow.

It worked fantastically! Our tomato plants are taking over the side of the house, but we are daily picking yellow, purple, red and pink tomatoes. They all have fantastic flavor and the kids love to spot the ripe ones and then eat them in mass quantities. The carrots have also been a huge success. We planted orange ones and a red variety. They are delicious and the kids love to help pull them out of the ground. Thus far we have gotten three cantaloupe off of our vine, one of which was not ripe yet. But the other two were quite yummy. There are still two more growing and we'll see if we get to enjoy those or not. The strawberries are still going strong, although I didn't give them enough room and so they haven't been prolific. We've had just a few to nibble every now and again. Maybe next gardening season we'll be able to get some good strawberry plants going. The one failure we did have was the pepper plants. They don't seem to be faring very well, though the plant does keep growing. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not too worried about it though because everything else was such a smashing success!

I really enjoy gardening with the kids. They are full of questions, observations and excitement. It makes me so happy to see them totally enjoy learning about where our food comes from and how it gets to our table. I'm making a garden a goal of ours, no matter where we are, from here on out. It doesn't get any more satisfying than growing some of your own food!

Monday, September 8, 2008

School For Three

Today I took Talia for her first ever day of school. She is going to the same three day program that both Elie and Isaac attended, thrived in and loved. It's someplace she is completely familiar with, as we've go there for school and for synagogue. All in all, it is the best of situations.

She's been talking about school for weeks now, actually months. When we arrived home from Oregon the first morning when she woke up, the first words out of her mouth were "Today are we getting me some school shoes?" She was excited. And I was pretty sure she was ready.

But last night there was some anxiety. She "had some tears" about going to school. And in the night she had an extremely vivid dream that Isaac (and Isaac's green hat) got washed down the drain. This morning we vascilated wildly between being so excited that we could hardly stand still and having "more tears and some sad" about going to school. Truth be told, I wasn't sure at all about what was going to happen when we walked into school and I kissed her goodbye.

So we all piled out of the car (I'm watching Graham and Dean this week while Ping does some work down here) and walked inside. I gave her a hug and a kiss and off she went, busy opening her backpack and getting settled with her teacher. I wanted to linger. I wanted to hang around in the hallway and watch her. I didn't want her to just be okay while I walked away from her. I wanted her to miss me while other people got to listen to her, pay attention to her, learn with her and enjoy her cuteness. But I also wanted her to know that she would be okay; that she could navigate her little world without me. I wanted her to be secure in the fact that I would come back to pick her up.

It was hard to leave. I missed her chattering and observations. I missed snuggling her and holding her soft hand. But then I got to pick her up. And I got to hear all about her day. "We had lunch and played on the playground and did music and had lunch and played on the playground!" (You can tell what made an impression....later I did hear that she played with the farm in her classroom.)

So it goes. She was ready. She had what she needed from us; when she was littler she was secure in the knowledge that she was safe to explore because we were there. And when it was time, we had the strength to step back.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh My....

Some of us, in this family, have a bit of a temper problem. Alright, alright, you guessed it, I'm the one between Adam and I who has this issue. So it should come as no surprise to me that some of our children lean towards my disposition. And it is no surprise that every child goes through a stage where they experiment with temper-tantrums, some of them grow out of it and some of them just don't. Elie and Talia both went through the stage and emerged from the other side. Isaac went through the stage and some of it stuck with him. Leila seems to be headed to the start of the stage and I think she's the worst I've seen.

For a while she was just screaming when she didn't get her way. We've now progessed to the full blown, fling our body, throw back our head, bang our head on the floor, hit, flail, wail and gnash our teeth stage. Oh My......

If, for instance, I need to move her physically from one place to another and she decides that she doesn't want to do that, then her legs turn to jelly and she becomes magically unable to walk. If I decide that she needs to sit in my lap, she throws herself around, desperately trying to fall out of my lap. (Yesterday at the drs office she threw her head backwards and hit it on the arm of the chair. I had very little sympathy for her.) She will often, when we tell her no, throw herself to the floor, lean forward and bang her forehead on the ground. Lovely, no?

I don't want to give in to it because I really, really don't want these behaviors to stick around. I just hope she moves through this stage quickly. I dislike it to the extreme.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's That Time Again

The alarms went off, the children leapt out of bed (well, not really, Elie did, but Isaac just laid there while his alarm went from beep beep to "hurry up and wake up and turn me off before I blow up" mode), breakfast was eaten and off we went to the bus stop!

Elie was excited but guarded. New experiences leave her feeling overwhelmed, in the beginning, and this was no exception. Isaac was beaming, ear to ear, and so happy to *finally* be going on the bus to school. There was a brief moment where a flicker of concern passed across his face, but then the bus was there and Elie took his hand and together they walked across the street and got on to the bus. As it pulled away, I could see his face, just barely poking above the window, smiling his huge smile, excited to be experiencing school, the universe and everything.

From all accounts they each had a great day. Isaac said school was fun, but boring, and Elie just said that she loved everything and that it was all her favorite. As for me, I had a couple of tears when the kids stepped on to the bus. Some tears for my boy, who seems so small still in so many ways, but is clearly well on his way to being Big. And some tears for my girl, who I cannot believe is growing up so amazingly, right before my eyes. Summer was a fabulous time and I'm gonna miss having them around all day everyday, at least a little bit. And it is strange to think that 50% of my brood now attends public school. I'm still wrapping my head around that.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bah - Bah - BAH!

I made a delicious dinner this evening. A yummy casserole of brown rice, feta cheese, sauteed onions and broccoli. Deeeee-licious. At least it was supposed to be delicious. It smelled good while I was putting it together. But then....it got ruined. Because I wanted to put some paprika on it. Why, you ask, did putting paprika on it ruin the delicious, healthy, lots of leftovers casserole that I created?????


end rant/