Friday, December 21, 2012

Sarah at Eight

Sarah turned eight today. In this moment, she's happy, horse-obsessed, and sings, chatters, and screeches constantly. She wants to be a large animal veterinarian when she grows up, but for now she's happy to dream and play and wear her cowgirl boots whenever she can. She's in a very good place, and for that I am so glad, and so proud. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Eric, Captain Underpants

Eric was practicing his yoga moves this evening, doing a downward dog in the kitchen after dinner, and I noticed that he had two pairs of underpants on. Now, there may have been a time when this would have surprised me. Not anymore. I've come to expect the unexpected with him. That didn't stop me from asking why - I'm always intrigued by the thought process involved.

"Eric, you've got two pairs of underpants on - what's up with that?"
He giggled. "Don't know." Always how he starts.
Me: "Did you put a second pair on this morning?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "Why?"
Him: "I wanted to."
That's about all I got until later, when I asked again.
He said, "Underpants are warm and fuzzy. Two pairs are better than one, right?"
Me: "Not really."
Him: "What about when it's really cold out? What about then?"
Me: "Two pairs won't make you any warmer."
Him: "Could I wear two pairs of pants then?"
Me: "You could wear long johns. They're kind of like tights without the feet."
Him: "I want to wear tights."
Me: "No you don't."
Him: "Yes, I do."
Me: "No, you don't."
Him: (Grinning.) "Yes I do."
He's a weird one, and I love him for it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ellie Mae

She's been with us since last Saturday - she's 9 weeks old and just over 3 pounds. She wants to snuggle most of the time and gives way too many kisses. We have no complaints!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

We had fun tonight, and for several days leading up to it. Sarah wanted to go creepy this year, and while it wasn't my first pick, she was a vampire. (She's holding Scarlett, my parents' dog, who is a Jack O'Lantern! That dog has some serious patience.) Eric had all sorts of ideas, and we thought he had settled on being a bat. (I liked this - it made Sarah's idea cuter.) But, in a last minute change of heart, he chose to be a ninja. Our dear friend Anna joined us as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. (She was wearing brown clothes with a clown nose and antlers. Loved it.) Her costume reminded me of how much of my own Halloween memories are tied to the costumes I wore. My mom made ours, and they were creative, unique, and special because of it. (One year I had told her I wanted to be a witch's brew, and she pulled through. It was so cool.) That said, I may not have sewing skills, but I do have pumpkin carving pretty well figured out. This year, we went with scared and scary . . . there was a pumpkin with arachnophobia and a pumpkin-eating pumpkin. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eric at 6

Today he is six. While another year is always bittersweet for me, I love who he is right now. He's funny, loving, sensitive, and generous. He's obsessed with Legos and often gets it trouble because he's too focused and can't pull himself away. He loves school and wants to go on weekends. He tells really bad knock-knock jokes. He never wants to move out of our house and gets sad and choked up thinking about it. He wants me to give money to homeless people when we see them on the street. He tells us all the time how much he loves us. And while I don't want him to grow up and it hurts a little each time I think about it, I also look forward to knowing the person he will become. I think I'm really going to like him!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Self Portraits - Eric

He's been into taking pictures lately, many of them include shots he's taken of himself. I like that he's showing an interest in expressing himself, and I'm happy to give him the camera whenever he asks. His preferred self portraits seem to be individual body parts - I've included several of them below. Now, I'm going to spare you from one photo that I happened across the other day in our August photo file. Can you guess what he might have decided to photograph? The good news? It's the rear view. When I questioned him about it, all I had to say was, "Eric, I found a photo you took." He replied, "Oh yeah, sorry about that." I am constantly bewildered and almost always entertained (though I do my best to not let on).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sarah's Swimsuit

Sarah picked out this swimsuit from the Little Girl section, and it brought to mind so many things when I first saw her in it. First, I couldn't believe that she actually wanted to wear it. She desperately wants to be a big kid, and I was fascinated to see her so excited about a suit that makes her look younger, rather than older. Second, I realized that this would be the last summer that she would be able to wear a suit like this. It's a 5T, and in a year, she won't be able to fit into little girl clothes anymore. (The cute "little girl" look seems to end abruptly at size 6 - why is that?) 

I was concerned she might notice that other kids her age weren't wearing tutu-skirted suits, but she loved it, and I bought it. Well, it took her a few swims, but she did realize that she was the only one and refused to wear it where she might know someone. This struck me because her awareness is fairly new - she's become self-conscious, as we all eventually do. It's just one more step towards growing up. The good news - she still loves the suit and wears it whenever she can, whenever she feels safe to be the little girl she still (sometimes) is. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eric's Teeth

Seriously. Why is it that so many posts I've written about him start out this way? Because it's deserved. Seriously. You want to know how he lost his first teeth? The ones that we had no idea were loose? He bit down on his Legos to pull them apart (of course - when in doubt, use your teeth) and found two bloody teeth in his hand. He showed them to us (and all of the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that were there to witness the event). He shoved a (now bloody) tissue in his mouth and went on playing - at the time he was dropping Lego cars down the steep driveway and watching them crash. Unlike his sister, there was no build up, no great anticipation. But, just like his sister, he couldn't wait for the tooth fairy to come.

Side note - That night Isaac learned that the tooth fairy doesn't really exist. He was so freaked out by the idea of someone coming into the house that Christine and Andre decided to break the news to him. He did a good job of keeping the secret, and Sarah and Eric still believe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chasing Fireflies

Watching them, so excited, so full of joy, brings me back. I have fond memories of chasing fireflies, cupping my hands and watching them glow. I couldn't get enough - and neither can they, it seems. 

I'm happy to let them stay up later, so that they can remember these lazy, warm, firefly-filled summer evenings. They're the best, aren't they?


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eric's Graduation

Eric made us proud on Friday when he graduated from Ms. Nancy's preschool. Not because he graduated, but because he behaved himself far better than we expected. Last year at this time, we cringed/laughed when he sang his own opera instead of following along with the rest of the kids. Last year, he played to the crowd, and he had parents cracking up. A friend of mine who showed the video to her extended family mentioned to me how much everyone "enjoyed Eric's performance". Ah, yes. Eric and his performances . . . what mixed feelings I have about those . . . 

This time, he was serious and focused. He followed along and did his best, and it was good to see. While I'm sad to see our time at Ms. Nancy's come to an end, I'm so glad to know that Eric has grown up in the last year. In the fall, when he goes to kindergarten, I'm less concerned about how he'll handle himself, and that is a relief. 

Side note: Ms. Nancy hands out awards at the end of the year, highlighting every child's strength. Eric got the "Engineer Award" for his constant building while at school. Aunt Christine and Uncle Andre will be proud!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Toad

The story goes something like this - Sarah had an early release day a couple of weeks ago, and we picked Eric up from Ms. Nancy's preschool. There were several toads hopping around, and the kids were catching them. (Eric is really good at this, I've noticed. He's fast and doesn't hesitate, and his "catch rate" is probably 4 out of 5.) Well, there he was, holding a toad in his hands, showing it off to all his friends. Ms. Nancy generously offered the toad to us, and in a weak moment, I said yes. We did some quick research and went to pet store to get supplies and food. I never thought I'd have a pet who eats live animals, but I've honestly enjoyed watching him. We find grubs, worms, crickets, slugs, and anything else we think he'd like to eat and then watch the show. He's an impressive hunter, watching, waiting, and then pouncing. 

I still have some ethical issues about whether we should keep our little friend. (Basically, I wonder if he's "truly happy", knowing that he came from the wide open world and is now sitting in a tank in our dining room.) We'll see how long this lasts, but for now we're enjoying our own small live version of a National Geographic program.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Brian's 40th Birthday

We celebrated Brian's 40th birthday today, with fettucini alfredo and chocolate cupcakes. Sarah's card included drawings of a squid, an angler, and an octopus. She also gave him several paper presents - a set of hands, a mouth, a bracelet and a heart. Eric made him a bunch of Lego inventions, including a box with fire in it. His card was random, as usual, and included a "connect-the-dots" puzzle for Brian to play later. (What I find interesting is that Sarah's card and presents were even more random than Eric's this time - that one's a first.) I wasn't as creative (or weird), and I went with a store bought card, some beer, and some snacks. I think he appreciated and was entertained by it all.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Maggie and Scarlet

We had a lot fun with these two girls. If I could keep up with this blog, I would have posted these photos quite awhile ago and shared the happy smiles that were on my kids' faces for the entire week that we dog-sat Maggie. Scarlet was the icing on the cake. They've been talking about the dogs ever since, although Eric is still a huge Lucy fan. I've decided that Sarah (I'm sorry to say) would love to have her very own pocket-sized dog. She kept picking up Scarlet every chance she got - and I kept telling her to put the poor puppy down (gently, and right now!) 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rugged Maniac

Before the race
After the race 
I donated my shoes to a good cause. They'll go to someone in need far, far away.
My new bottom line for a race - they need to have a giant slide at the end!
Brian's new Facebook photo. Nothing better than a man in tight leopard shorts.
Except for four men, looking so serious and wearing superhero underpants. 
She didn't run the race, and this wasn't a costume! She was in charge of the over-21 crowd. I don't have to tell you, really, but the people-watching was almost as good as the race. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Finding Balance

I'm enjoying my entry into the work world, and there are many moments in each week that I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity. At times, I can hardly believe my luck - I get to work with plants, and to support others' introduction to growing food. How amazing is that? At this point in my life, I don't think I could find a better fit.

But that doesn't mean I'm finding this transition easy. To put it bluntly - eight hours of manual labor makes me tired. And it makes me miss my kids. I feel torn and unsure about whether this opportunity is the best choice for our family. For the most part, Sarah and Eric are adjusting well, but when they have long days, we all feel their exhaustion. Brian is incredibly supportive - but I know he's tired too.

We're all adjusting, learning about how to find time and space to continue to do what we love, as well as learning to let go, when those things we love don't happen as often. This new life is more demanding, but we're working through it, and I hope that (for the most part) we'll be better for it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our Treehouse

Tree House

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.

A street house, a neat house,
Be sure and wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all --
Let's go live in a tree house.

--Shel Silverstein

Happy Easter

My New Year's resolution was to start attending church on a regular basis. It took a few weeks, but since the beginning of February, the kids and I have been going each Sunday. And - how exciting - this meant that (for the first time) Sarah had a place to wear her lovely Easter dress. My mom came with us, and from what she said, the sermon was very well done. I wouldn't know because I was too busy trying to get Eric to stop lying on the floor. It was the first multi-generational service I've been to, and I was looking forward to sharing the experience with both my mom and my kids. Next time we have one of those, I may decide to stay home . . . or maybe I'll go with Legos and Matchbox cars in my pockets, better prepared to listen and enjoy. Happy Easter!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Eric, in a dress

So - the story goes like this: my friend dropped off clothes for Sarah, who (as always) had to try everything on immediately. We were listening to music, and Sarah was dancing, spinning, and falling in her new clothes. First, Eric tried on the footie pajamas, and if they weren't pastel blue with pink ice cream cones, it would've made complete sense. I forget what happened next, maybe Sarah talked him into it, maybe he made the choice on his own, but he ended up in a dress, dancing, spinning, and falling with Sarah. They had a great time, and I was quite entertained!