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, January 30, 2009

Oh You So Funny

On Thursday I was tickling Talia. She loves to be tickled. She even asks for it sometimes, which is very funny. She tried to tickle me and I said, totally lying, "Oh, I'm not ticklish!" Then I started pretending to bite her and she said (shrieking with laughter) "Oh Mommy, I'm not bitish!"

At dinner this evening, Dadam told me that in the UK all restaurants and bars are smoke free starting 1 January of this year. I was very excited by this. Then Isaac chipped in and said "I know why there's no smoking allowed on an airplane."
"Why?" - Dadam
"Because if there was smoking on an airplane it would stink. Like deadness. Like a jug." - Isaac
(Yes, we too were wondering A:where Isaac has ever smelled deadness and B:what, exactly, does a jug smell like???!?!?!)

Tonight when Dadam went in to tuck in Elie and Isaac, Elie very seriously called him over.
"Daddy, I have something to tell you." She said this very seriously and in a stage whisper.
"Yes, Elie?" - Dadam
"Everything in this world is either a solid, liquid or a gas. Our bodies are a solid." - Elie
"Well, our bodies have liquid too, on the inside. And sometimes we make gas." - Dadam
"What? When do we make gas?" - Elie
"When we toot." - Dadam
Then Elie starts giggling uncontrollably...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day

Here in NOVA when the slightest bit of wintry weather comes in, people panic. They drive like maniacs and are generally totally freaked out by any sort of freezing stuff coming down from the sky. Soooo, this means that when winter weather makes its appearance, we also have school closures. This is not such a big deal to me. I like my kids and I like spending time with them. I don't work outside the home and so it doesn't throw a giant monkey wrench in the works when school gets called off. (As an aside, Dadam is out of the country and, of course, his work lets out early because of the weather. It has happened less than a handful of times the four years we've been here and OF COURSE it happens now while he's gone. Feh.)

As you've probably guessed by now, today was a snow day. When we woke up this morning it was actively snowing and snowed hard most of the day. Now it is raining down freezing rain. Lovely, no? I'm thinking no school again tomorrow, though I could be wrong.

A snow day does call for winter fun outside and so we took advantage. It was the first time this winter that we've had anywhere near enough snow to do anything with. We got all bundled up, after lunch, and headed outside. I was not expecting to stay out long, but I was wrong! Isaac and Elie immediately started running, jumping, landing on their sleds and sliding down the hill. Talia and Leila both wanted to get on their own sleds and be pushed down the hill. It was great!

Leila was totally into sledding. She kept saying "push, push" then bringing me a sled and laying down headfirst on her tummy and saying "ummy, ummy"! I'd push her and she'd slide down the hill, roll of the sled and head back up. She refused to go with anyone else, even me. It was such a kick.

Talia really loved the sledding too and wanted to go with me. So I'd lay down and she'd lay on my back and down we'd go. She went by herself a few times, but it was better with company, apparently.

Leila got cold first and so she and I headed inside. Elie and Talia followed soon after, but Isaac was really into playing and stayed out a long time. I felt bad for him because he declared he was having "buckets of fun" and didn't want to come in. He just wanted someone to stay out with him. I feel really conflicted because I want Elie and Talia to play with him, but it seemed cruel to say to them "you can't come in because Isaac isn't done yet."

We all had hot cocoa when he came in, though, and he seemed alright. Then more inside playing and watching the snow continue to come down. We'll have to see what other wintry weather tomorrow brings.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Dadam has a reputation around here for his epic gastrointestinal noises. He has, on occasion, told the children that the "toot monster" was around after he passed gas. So one night, he was patting Elie to sleep.
"Daddy, do you have a list of goals? You know, like things that you are working on to accomplish." - Elie
"Uhhhh (not sure where this came from). No. Not really." - Adam
"Well, I think you should make a list and at the top of the list you could put 'get rid of the toot monster'!" - Elie

Today Dadam was talking to the kids about the plan for the afternoon. He is headed to England and so he was telling the kids that they were going to take him to the airport and drop him off. He used those exact words - "You are going to drive me to the airport and drop me off."
Talia says, "How is that going to work?"
And he proceeds to explain that it will be the reverse of what happened on Friday when we picked him up from the airport.
Talia looks at him and says "But we can't drive!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends

Lately there have been some occasions where Dadam and I needed to be someplace, either together or separately, and we couldn't take the kids. This has led to a sort of uncomfortable feeling for me. It's not that the people we were leaving the kiddos with are irresponsible or untrustworthy. I have never been worried about how they are being taken care of. I know that they will be safe and warm and fed. I know that they are okay.

But I still feel an intense amount of guilt. I'm not there to see exactly what is going on. I'm not there to talk to them, kiss them and make sure that they are taken care of exactly the way that I would take care of them. I'm not there to talk to them or play with them or, or, or.....

I didn't leave Elie with anyone but family until she went to school at 2 and a half. Even after that I was uncomfortable with leaving her. And so I very rarely chose to leave the kids with anyone other than Dadam for a really, really long time.

Now Dadam and I are in a situation where we are regularly having appointments that we have to be at together. It's not a great situation, but I feel as though its necessary for our marital, and by extension our familial, health. And so we end up needing to leave our children with friends.

I hope they don't remember that they were there because Mommy and Daddy HAD to leave them. I hope they remember having fun and being together with friends. I am thankful for knowing that my children are surrounded by parents who love them very much and friends and family who do as well. And I hope that these sort of situations, where I HAVE to leave them, don't come up very often much more.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Adventures

During the winter break we took a trip to upstate New York to visit some friends (the Mama author of the Monkey and Frog Blog) and some other friends from Pittsburgh also came up to visit. The New York friends have two boys (ages 3 and 10 months) and the Pittsburgh friends have no children. I love visiting with these friends for quite a few reasons; the kids play fabulously together and typically leave the adults alone for hours on end, the adults all enjoy each others' company and have a great time hanging out and visiting or having adventures, and the adults all enjoy the kids (which really does make a HUGE difference in the quality of a visit). Whenever we get together we have some really fun adventures and spend lots of time lounging around. It is wonderful.

This visit, they had plenty of snow for playing in! Our kiddos were thrilled. We spent the first morning watching the snow come down and the afternoon playing in it. The kids (and grownups) sledded and had a great time. The temperatures outside were arctic and Leila didn't last outside long, but the rest of the kids had great staying power and were really able to enjoy sledding and playing in the snow! I'm not sure if we'll get any snow around here, but I'm really happy that the kids got a chance to play.

On New Years Day we took a group trip to the ice skating rink. The most difficult part was that Leila couldn't go on the ice with us and she did NOT want to be left with the two adults who weren't skating. But leave her we did and I'm so glad. Adam and I each got a chance to go around a couple times with each Big. Talia and I were together for a while and then she pooped out. The ice was slippery and she was really much happier riding in the chair we were using as support, than doing actual skating. Adam and Isaac had a great time going around together and Isaac caught on to the skating very quickly. For a little while, Elie skated around with Lo (adult friend from Pittsburgh) and they had a great time together. Elie also caught on quickly and was skating while only holding on with one hand. Then Elie and I skated together. It was so nice to not be worried about the other kids and just focus on one at a time. Elie and I talked and slipped and skated and laughed. It was so much fun.

Friday we took a trip to Rochester to see the Museum of Play. It totally made me wish that I lived in Rochester, because I'm sure that we would be members there and spend lots and lots of time roaming around. The kids had a great time leading the way and spending the day playing. Talia and I were playing so thouroughly that we didn't even get through half the museum. We were sad to have to leave. I hope we can see the rest someday.

It was a marvelous vacation, that truly felt like a vacation. We didn't worry about cooking (thanks to our lovely hosts) and the kids played and had fun and we were all together. We even managed to make time for naps (for Mommy) and caching (for Dadam). I really did not want to come back to the grind, it was so nice to have a break.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Today Leila is 21 months old! I can't believe how fast the time has gone. She seems more and more like a big kid everyday. She's now completely potty trained, night and day. We can take very little credit for all this, we just followed her cues and let her go. She is pretty darn reliable and we love, love, love not having to carry around diapers ANYMORE! Hooray! (which, by the way, is one of her new words)

And that brings me to my next toot-my-child's-horn subject, which is: speech. Her language is taking off. Often she tries to put to words together and I swear she is picking up at least two new words a day. I love hearing her little vocabulary expand. Of course, there are still words that are a mystery, but (unlike her brother) she finds it hilarious when we can't guess what word she is saying. She'll say it a couple of times and then laugh uproariously when we aren't guessing right. Then she just lets it go.

Leila is also an expert hugger. She loves to find any reason to hug. She hugs all her siblings, adult friends of ours, Dadm and I, all with wild abandon. I love it because I think her hugs are adorably tiny and sincere.

She loves reading and will sit through book after book. She completely skipped over the board book stage and has gone right to enjoying the picture books that the Bigs love to listen to. I'm still holding on to the board books, but I don't quite know why. No one is using them anymore.

Of course, she experimenting with temper-tantrums and pouty faces. She is also working hard on expressing her own opinion and never hesitates to let her siblings know that she isn't pleased with whatever is going on. But it kills us all because she's too darn cute and she knows it.

It's hard to believe she's quickly approaching two. I'm not really sad that we aren't having anymore kiddos, but it seems starange to be in this whole new world!