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, May 30, 2009

So Much To Say

Leila has been having a bit of a language explosion, as of late. She will repeat anything she hears at least once and usually many times over. Sometimes we can tell what she is saying and sometimes not so much. It is so adorable to watch her when she is trying to say something that has more syllables than she is used to saying though. She purses her lips, opens her mouth wide, then starts moving her lips in an very exaggerated way, mouthing the sounds of the word she's attempting to say.

Her sentences still sound a little funny. She often skips "extraneous" words. "What doing?" she says to Elie. "You done mowin'?" she'll say to Dadam. She says "Come play, after done," as she points to whatever we are working on and lets us know what she wants. She has now moved from "chappy" for ketchup to "chap-up". But she can say "tweasure chest" as clear as day. We've recently moved from "me done" to "I'm done" and she's been saying "I'm hungwy" for weeks now. She often yells "You guys!" if the bigs are doing something and not paying attention to her. And when she says "Whatdaheck" (the best is when it is situationally appropriate) and it always makes us all laugh. I love hearing her say "Love you vewy much." It is adorable.

She announced the other day that she was going to go to school. I asked "What do you do at school?" She said "Centers!" (Centers is how the three bigs describe the rotating programs they do at school, so it is clear she is listening to what is going on!) And occasionally she breaks out with "Funny man, Mommy, Funny Man!!! hahahahahaha" No one really knows what *that* is about.

I often wish I could bottle this time between baby talk and full sentences. It is life distilled into what is most important, urgent or foremost in a two-year-old's mind. Sometimes it doesn't seem *so* profound. "Poop came ooouut, Mommy!" But it is always about what is important to her, in that moment.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oregon Adventures

Last post I mentioned that we have recently returned from a fabulous vacation to the lovely state of Oregon. We were there primarily to witness the legal union of my sister and her now-husband Don. And we were there secondarily to visit and have a great time. Happily enough we accomplished both our goals and had a super visit. Well, it was super most of the time, except for the time when we had sick offspring, which happened to be the whole time, BUT.....we used lots of ibuprofen and tylenol and just dragged the sick kids around anyway. (We are *totally* cruel parents!)

The truth is the kids *did* get sick. And true to form in my house, every.single.child. got whatever we were passing around. First to go down was Talia, then Leila, Elie got it after we were already down in Roseburg and Isaac brought up the rear. They had a fever, everyone threw up at least once while they had it, chills and generally more tired than usual. We did discover that when the fever was down, they felt much better. And since we had spent lots of money to visit the people we were seeing, I felt like it was okay to use modern chemistry to achieve at least the feeling of well being for my children.

It was lovely to see Aunt Kiwi and Uncle Don get married. And it was lovely to get to spend so much time with them. Uncle Don brought out sidewalk chalk for the kids the first morning we were there and they had a blast! He was always sought out whenever hand holding was called for and he was generally very popular. Leila said recently in the car "Uncle Don MINE!" They just loved being with him. The day we went to the zoo, I think Isaac held Uncle Don's hand the whole time. (Kudos to Uncle Don for not putting up with any of Isaac's monkey business!)

We got to go to the ocean twice; once was cloudy and cold, once was so windy everything was blowing away. The kids had a great time both times. They don't care about the weather, for the most part. They just want to collect stuff from the sand, dig, stick their toes in the water and run around exploring.

We got to see lots of extended family and spend tons of time with GranEde and GranDude. It was GREAT!

I have to say, one of the best parts, is that the kids are completely comfortable with GranEde and GranDude. One morning, Adam and I got to sleep in, together, while the kids got breakfast with their grandparents and played! We also got to take a walk together and go shopping, all sans munchkins!!! Oh it was spectacular. It's so nice to go and know that the kids are so comfortable. They are able to ask for what they want and get tons of love and attention. I just love seeing it in action (and reaping the bennies too!).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday, Lu-Lu!

Dear Talia,

Life's been pretty crazy around here as of late. Right before your birthday we went to Oregon to see Aunt Kiwi get married to Uncle Don. While we were there we celebrated your birthday twice; once at a joint celebration for cousin Holly, you, GranDude and some other May celebrants and the other time at GranEde and GranDude's house. On your actual birthday we spent the entire day in airports and on airplanes, traveling home from Oregon. When we arrived home, G-Daddy had left a beautiful pink cake and wrapped present as a lovely surprise for you, after a long, not-so-special birthday. And we celebrated again today, when I brought special Chipotle lunch to school, we ate together and we gave your class a birthday present of some books.

I suppose it is fitting that we have celebrated your birthday this year so many times, in so many different locations and with so many special people. You are a child who has never had simply quiet surroundings. When you were born, you already had two siblings and you were quickly followed by one more. You were always a cuddly babe and grew into an even more attached toddler. I believe I was your favorite person on the face of the earth for a majority of the first three years of your life. Often if someone looked at you, you would run to me and hide your face.

But this year you have blossomed. Going to school and doing something on your own, for yourself and by yourself seems to have given you new confidence and spark. You love to draw and play. The people you create are amazingly creative and detailed. You have discovered a deep love for reading and now willingly sit through as many books as any one will read. You have learned how to speak up for yourself and to stand up to the occasional over-the-top bossing that your older siblings dish out. Of course, you have also learned how to cause trouble and how to quietly, but oh-so-subversively, irritate and pester those same siblings. Often you are seeking attention from them, but I believe sometimes you just need some entertainment.

You have come to realize that the best way of getting what you need in this chaotic household is to just repeat your request, over and over again, until someone notices that you are asking. You rarely yell for attention. I am rarely stymied by your behavior and often you are quick to apologize. You do not like conflict and do everything in your power to fix a situation when someone is unhappy. You even still cover your ears when someone yells in anger or cries loudly.

You absolutely love to sing and dance. You clap your hands and sing all sorts of songs. I believe you have a very good sense of tone and pitch. You also love to play involved pretend games. And you love, love, love the game "slap the jack." You like it so much you have taken to hiding the cards, so only you can find them when you want to play.

I often walk into a room and find you talking quietly to yourself. When asked what you were talking about, you dismiss the question, "I was just talking to myself." You are thoughtful and ask lots of fun questions. "Do police cars have big hooks so they can pull you over?" And you are so imaginative and creative. You spent the first half an hour on the airplane this most recent trip, searching the clouds for glimpses of Care Bears or the Tooth Fairy.

You have sparklingly bright blue eyes, round rosy cheeks with adorable dimples, and your hair has finally decided to grow (though it is still as fine as baby hair and never stays where it is put). Recently you have put together the gross motor skills required to skip, go down the stairs one foot at a time and run really, really fast. For a while your nickname has secretly been "TW", which happen to be your initials but also, lovingly, stand for "train wreck". During your third year of life, you were a pretty clumsy kid. (I can say this only because I am an extremely clumsy adult and was a horribly clumsy child myself.) You walked into walls and doors because you turned your head to talk to someone. I believe you hit your head on something, daily, for quite a while. But with this new physical and mental growth spurt, some new neurons have connected and the clumsy-ness has subsided.

It is hard to believe that you are already such a little girl; you are much less the toddler who could barely be separated from her mother and so much more a confident, bright, beautiful child. Soon we are going to be moving from the house where you were born. It is hard to leave this space so filled with memories. It is the only house you've ever known, but I know we will all be together, learning and having adventures. I wonder what you and I will search for in the dark blue depths of the ocean as we travel to our new home this summer. I can't wait to find out.

Happy Birthday, Talia. I love you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lost and Found

On Saturday we took a family outing downtown to the US Postal Museum. It was fascinating! We got to see a history of the postal service in the United States, all sorts of stamps and some interesting exibits on how the postal serivce works today. There was much of the museum that was over the kids' heads, but Elie and Isaac *got* some of it and found it interesting to boot.

One of the exibits made a mailing that the kids could then take home as a souvenier and there was another exibit where they could print a personalized postcard. We made sure that everyone got one of their own mailing AND got a chance to make their own postcard.

As we were getting off the Metro at our stop, Elie realized that her mailing was missing. She went into full on panic mode and she and Adam searched for a few seconds, but then had to rush off the Metro (lest they be carried to the next stop). Elie was heartbroken and began to cry. Talia rushed over and gave her a huge hug. "It's alright, Elie" she said, "I'll share mine with you! Don't cry! I'll share mine with you!." She clung to Elie as Elie sobbed. It was so heartbreaking and sweet all at the same time. Talia kept repeating that Elie could share hers and that she didn't have to cry.

Elie calmed down and we walked to the car. Everyone got situated in their seats and we got ready to head home. Adam looked down and saw one of the mailings from the museum. He opened it up and there were Elie's two postcards she had made! No one is quite sure when the mixup ocurred, but Elie's envelope was safe.

Oh. How I love my beautiful children!