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, March 28, 2009

Thighs of Steel

About two weeks ago I got a bike trailer so that I could ride and pull Talia and Leila. I had been jogging everday and my knees were starting to feel it. I wanted to do something that moved a little faster than walking and so I decided a bike trailer was the way to go. That led to the purchase of a new bike for me, since the one I had needed some major TLC to make it nice to ride again.

Elie and Isaac got very excited about riding their bikes too and so we did some riding around the neighborhood. The rides around the neighborhood weren't very long, just a couple of miles at most, but everyone did really well and really enjoyed themselves.

Then came a gorgeous, beautiful, just-right-spring day. And a friend of ours, suggested that we meet at a shopping center for some playtime. And that we all bike there! So we got on our bikes and got on a bike trail and they got on their bikes and got on the same trail and we started riding towards each other.

I had ridden that trail to the aforementioned shopping center a week previous and while it had seemed like a long ride it didn't seem like *too* long a ride. I didn't know how long it was because I hadn't been able to make the gps do what I wanted it to.

We started out and the kids did great! We got there and met our friends, though we didn't get to go to the shopping center because it took us about and hour and fifteen minutes to get there. So we turned around and went home. The trip home felt a bit longer. Isaac was a trooper and was biking so fast that he stayed about 15 feet in front of Elie the whole way home. Elie had a bit of a hard time, but with some loud singing of made-up-songs by mommy, she made it.

When we got home, I checked the gps. It said we had gone..... TWELVE MILES!!!!

At first I was concerned that I had possibly hurt the kids. (I don't know how I would have hurt them, but mommy-brain isn't *so* logical sometimes.) Then I was a bit worried that I may have put them off bike riding forever. Thankfully neither of these worries were real. And we can't wait for another beautiful day to have another super-adventure!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guessing...It Works Everytime

Yesterday we went out to dinner. I had a horrible day, culminating with a sobbing breakdown on the phone to Adam, while I was sitting in the garage and the children were playing in the house. Part of the reason I was crying is that I hadn't managed to get together anything for dinner, nor had I managed to even get to the grocery. (It was a long and mangled day, don't ask.)

We went to a chinese place and at the end of dinner we all got fortune cookies. Everyone cracked their cookies open and the readers read their fortunes and the non-readers had someone read to them. Adam had read me Leila's but Elie picked it up and read it out loud. She read "You will be a great ventriloquist later in life."

You can probably guess that this is, in fact, NOT what the fortune read. A few tries later she finally managed to sound out the word that was *really* written on the paper.

"You will be a great philanthropist later in life."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dentina Fairina

Of course, directly after I blogged about doubty-mustafa, she lost another tooth. Yesterday, MissElie lost her third tooth. It got quite loose on Sunday afternoon when Dadam attempted to yank it out, but didn't quite manage to. (It was my opinion that it wasn't *really* ready, but Dadam was all to happy to oblige Elie's desire for it to be out of her mouth, with a good hard YANK.)

Elie was VERY nervous that it was going to fall out and she was going to eat it and worried it the whole rest of the day, but didn't want anyone else to try and pull it out. She worried it during dinner, "has it fallen out? Oh, I don't want to swallow my tooth again!" She worried it during teeth brushing, "I can't brush over there, what if my tooth falls out and I swallow it?" And she worried it right before bed, "What if my tooth falls out in my SLEEP? Then I will swallow it and I won't have it to give to the tooth fairy?!?!?!"

(I didn't realize that she was really so concerned about the swallowing situation. She seemed okay - not thrilled, but okay - with it when she unintentionally swallowed the last one. And I truly had no idea that she was THIS distressed about the possibility of it happening again!)

Monday morning, when we woke up, there was no question but that it needed to come out. She could push it backwards so that it was perpendicular to the other teeth. It came right out when I gently pulled. Oh she was So Excited! We put it in a safe place and off she went to school.

While she was at school, I did some quick internet searches for ideas, settled on beaded barettes and made a trip to the craft store; all so that I could create a magical tooth fairy gift!

She came home and asked for an envelope. Then she put her tooth in and drew an adorable picture of herself and the tooth fairy. She also wrote a brief note to the tooth fairy asking to know her name! This seemed to be Very Important because we had about three conversations discussing what name the tooth fairy might have.

Dadam and I didn't quite know what to do. I didn't want to respond, but he thought since she was so curious that we should. We ended up writing a nice note and letting her know that the tooth fairy's name is "Dentina Fairina."

This morning she woke up and came into my room. "Mommy, the envelope is gone from underneath my pillow! But there is nothing there...." I got up and walked with her into her room where I "spotted" the note and gifts. Oh she was so excited! She was thrilled to know the tooth fairy's name. Even Isaac was happy to say it. He went around singing "Dentina Fairrrrrina" in a high pitched voice and rolling the "r". The barettes were also a hit (thank goodness) though I didn't get a good picture today. I'll have to take one tomorrow.

Whoohoo! The tooth fairy is back. For now. ;-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Non-Believer (or Too Smart for Her Own Good)

Yesterday, Isaac came home from school and we were chatting.  All of a sudden he revealed to me that Elie does NOT believe in the tooth fairy.

"Yeah, Elie doesn't believe the tooth fairy is real.  She thinks that it's you.  And she thinks that you are giving her old toys, from when you were a kid."

WOW!  I was shocked.  She has seemed so excited both times the tooth fairy came.  And excited to see what she brought and to play with the stuff.  She still seems excited about loosing teeth and seeing what the tooth fairy will deliver.  I asked Isaac what he thought and he said "Well, I don't know.  Are you?"

When Elie came home from school we were on the couch snuggling and talking about her day.  At a quiet point in our snuggling I asked her exactly what she thought about the whole situation.

"I just don't understand how the tooth fairy could possibly be real.  How could she get small enough to get into our house.  It just doesn't make sense.  So, it must be you.  Or maybe you are letting the tooth fairy in at night.  Are you letting her in?"

I just did the old "What do you think?" trick.  I'm not really sure she's convinced I'm not.  At first I was a little sad about the whole situation.  But then I realized I'm proud of the fact that she has thought it through, thoroughly and honestly.  I'm also happy that she likes the magic and mysteriousness of it enough to let it ride, even though she has serious (and legitimate doubts).

My verdict is that we'll just keep on trading teeth for presents.  And I hope that she's smart enough to keep her guesses mostly to herself so that the others get a chance to enjoy the magic.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's Good for the Cat...

Dadam and I have always had pets. When we got married he had two cats. Through the years we have had some other pets and when the last of the first cats passed away, we adopted two relatively young kitties. It was a great experience. The organization we used to adopt them, really did its research and we ended up with two very friendly, mostly laid back cats. They did really well with the kiddos, their little grabby hands and chaos, and they stayed friendly and loving through the whole experience.

When we found out we were moving to England, one of our first thoughts was of what we would do with the cats. It used to be that when Americans brought pets into England, they had to be quarantined for six months! I definitely did not want that for our kitties. After doing more research, we discovered that with some paperwork, microchip and vaccines for the cats, we could bring them in with no quarantine. But then when we looked into how we were going to get them over there, we quickly came to the conclusion that a day in the airport, six hours on the plane, another day at the airport in London, and kennel time until we could find a rental home that would accept pets, seemed like a ton of undue stress on the animals that we love so much.

A few more discussions later, we decided to ask Adam's cousin Jeremy and his wife Jamie if they were interested in adopting our kitties. (They had met them when they shared Thanksgiving with us in November and seemed to be very taken with them.) Thankfully, they were very excited for the chance to adopt some kitties that they knew were friendly, sweet and clean and so they took us up on our offer!

This weekend we met them in Pittsburgh and handed over the kitties (and all their assorted paraphernalia). We met them at the Carnegie Science Center, which was a great place for everyone. We got to take the kids on a WWII diesel submarine and everyone thoroughly enjoyed that experience. All the kids had a grown-up to hang out with, or more appropriately - drag around, because Jeremy and Jamie had brought Jeremy's brother Daniel and Jamie's mom met us all at the science center. It was a great time.

Leila enjoyed the aquariums the most and the loud science experiments with electricity the least. Talia really enjoyed the huge roomful of model trains and also like the loud science experiments the least. Elie and Isaac pretty much enjoyed everything!

We stayed the night with Laura and Joe, some friends, and the next day got to see the dinosaur bones at the Natural History Museum. In the beginning, I think the dinosaurs were not as *exciting* as the kids might have expected. But soon we got to talking about what they ate and how we could make a guess based on their teeth. And they had great fun sounding out the names. And they really enjoyed looking at some of the fossils and seeing similarities between them and animals we see today. The many interactive touch screens also helped to keep interest and I was really pleased with how much reading Elie and Isaac wanted to do! It was a great weekend filled with great museum adventures.

I was expecting more upheaval about the cats moving to a new home, though. But it seems as though Isaac and Elie both understand why we chose to adopt them out and that it was best for the cats. Last week, when we told the kids that this weekend was going to be when we said goodbye to the kitties, Elie said "But I didn't want them to leave until one month before we left. I'm not ready!" And she said today "Isaac and Talia, you left the Legos out and the cats are going to steal all the tiny pieces....Oh, there are no more cats. They went to live with Jeremy and Jamie. I'm sad about that. I didn't want the cats to leave. I'm sad they don't live with us anymore." But she hasn't been crying about it and as soon as the "sadness" passed she didn't say anything else about it. I do wonder if we'll here more later.

I'm sad the cats don't live with us anymore either, though I'm completely happy and at peace with the decision we made and how it worked out. The cats would have been miserable on the plane and it would have been a very stressful situation for them. But it is a little quieter around our house, can you believe that?, and I do miss petting them and talking to them and enjoying them near me.