Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh Dear!

So this afternoon, the girls were playing hide and seek around the house while I cleaned up after dinner. Caleb was running around chasing them and hiding behind doors and such trying to play along. Right before finishing, I noticed it was really too quiet around the house... no Caleb noises, so to speak. I asked Sarah if she'd seen him, and she responded no. I asked Hannah, and she replied that he wasn't hiding with her. So then I listen...
(Sounding as if it's in a tunnel)
"Caleb, where are you?!"
(again, tunnel-ish sound... I begin to look in closets where he's been known to lock himself a time or three)
(Sound seems to be getting further away... I look frantically to the stairs, nope, no Caleb)
I look at the front door... yup still closed, but the sound is coming from that direction. I quizzically look out the door, only to find my 16 month old son wandering around on my front porch aimlessly, calling my name all the while.
I've been leaving my door unlocked starting at 5ish so Ryan can get in. That won't happen again. It seems I've got an escapee on my hands.

Farm Fun

Sarah caught this one all by herself!

We (meaning I) took a day to play hookie from our housework and spent the day at Hunt Club Farms petting zoo today. It was a real blast. And yes, Aunt Stacey, we payed perfectly good money to do what you get to do every day :)

Enjoy the pix!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Four Years Old

Can you believe those are my precious babies, now turning four tomorrow? Always 2 peas in a pod, they held hands even from the first days after being born. I loved sneeking up on them in the crib, always delighted by the way they would cuddle up to each other while sleeping. Nevermind that at about 9 mo we had to move them apart because they'd drive each other crazy... stealing pacifiers, sitting on each other, etc :)
And now they continue to grow and blossom. I'm so delighted to see how lovely my little ladies are. They have a beautiful love for Christ already, and their sweet faith inspires me to be better myself. They have learned so much in the past year... how to recognize letters and numbers, how to associate sounds with those letters, how to ride a bike (with training wheels), how to care for (and be infuriated by) their little brother. They play board games and work puzzles, they recite songs from memory flawlessly (better than I can), and they can play on the bigger parts of the playground without my having a heart attack. They now no longer scream and run fearfully at the mention of going in the pool- and even swear they're going to learn how to swim this year. And they continually surprise and delight me (with occaisional infuriation thrown in).
Hannah has had her share of tough times this year. Her asthma seemed to really worsen in severity. And we must have dragged the poor kid all over town trying to find answers to why she would occaisionally turn blue-lipped, complain of tiredness all the time, and tummy aches. But my goodness that girl is plucky. She has so much spirit and humor and wonderful cuddliness to her that it amazes Ryan and I. She has an amazing temper, and tends to blow her top sometimes just for sport, it seems, but in the next moment after she's always looking to crawl into one of our laps and get a good long cuddle, which she calls "loves" (as in, "Mommy, I want some loves")... often with thumb in mouth. We tease about how tough she is, too, in that when disciplined she has an amazing ability to keep a stiff upper lip and appear unfazed by rebukes. She has a thick skin, which is a great trait in this tough world, in my mind. Hannah loves to play games, thoroughly enjoys a good plate of spaghetti, loves singing songs (loudly and with the funniest changes in wording), and adores animals (unfortunately at times, because she's also allergic to them). She has also surprised me in her love of school this year. Though attention to and recall of things learned appear to be difficult for her at times, she really appears to relish and appreciate school, and tries so hard, often to the point of perfectionism, with all she puts her mind to. In fact, Sarah and I often have to soothe her during tantrums after a letter is not perfectly written and reassure her that it's ok to move on and try again rather than getting upset about imperfections. And the girl LOVES crafts. When school starts, it's "what are we going to make today"- she loves all things crafty. And also surprising has been her continued bond with Caleb. She is his guide and protector around here. She is quick to tell others how he should be cared for, and is my little helper whenever I need assistance with something for him, whether it be diaper fetching, feeding, entertaining, etc. etc. I really thought she would be the one who was jealous of him, but she adores her brother and we just love it!
Sarah has had a tough year, on the other hand, adjusting to having another sibling and sharing the attention with him. Sarah's love language has always been quality time, and she has been none-too-happy with Mommy's time being split three ways. She is a smiling, goofy, silly little young lady who also happens to be completely addicted to t.v. - I think she'd sell a sibling (or two) for the chance to watch t.v. more often each day. We've giggled over her new langauge this year, too, as she apparantly speaks "cat"- that's right, she speaks in meows when she's feeling her silliest. And she is so ridiculously curious. Sarah's word is "WHY?"- she must ask it a million times a day. But she's also very quick to pick up on new information. And technical-minded, as well... she can build some amazing things with just a jar of tinkertoys and some imagination. She is imaginitive in so many ways, as well, often leading the games of pretend, and often getting herself in trouble in equally imaginitive ways (i.e. having water-park-like escapades in the bathroom while supposedly handwashing). Sarah has a sensitive, brooding side, now too, in that she gets her apple-cart upset very easily by a look or a word, often leading to cascades of tears and loud sobs from hurt feelings. And when feelings are upset, we've also noticed a new tendancy to snap back and sass at Ryan or I, largely out of a sense of apparent righteous indignation at being rebuked for something she sees as perfectly ok. Her greatest loves are learning new things (esp. about the natural or mechanical world), playing games, esp. with Mommy, imaginitive play with Hannah, and riding her new bike. She loves Caleb, too, as long as he's not in the way :). I just love watching her figure stuff out and absorb information like a sponge, and she's a constant source of funny comments and phrases, often taken incorrectly from something she's heard from the adults around her. She's a silly, fun-loving spaztastic little girl, and keeping up with her energy is rough, but fun!
Happy Birthday my little darlings. Mommy and Daddy love you with all our hearts, and we always will. That's a promise.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Note to self

Bathtime AFTER Spaghetti dinner. A F T E R.
p.s. Caleb finally learned to say "Cheese!" for the camera. It's the cutest. thing. ever.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Where I've been...

Easter Sunday
On the Train

Stacey, Rebeccah, Micah, Eliahna, Hannah, Sarah

Havin' fun in the sun

Vroom Vroom

Well, I'm finally crawling back out of my hole after several MONTHS of my kids being too sick or too ornery to be able to take the time to blog. In the last couple months, Hannah's asthma has worsened to the point of her having to be taken to the hospital, the kids all had colds, then stomach bugs, then colds again, and Caleb cut 4 new molars... ok 3, but the fourth one is almost there, so the end is in sight. I've had a tough run as a Mommy, constantly juggling puke buckets, tossing tissues to runny nosed sickies, rotating doctor appointments, and following little ones around with hand sanitizer and a bleach bucket. But like I said, the end is in sight, and I'm finally getting to sleep most nights for more than 5 hours, and I don't have to sleep in the hall just so I can get to either kids' rooms quickly in the event of "waaaaah!" or "Mommy, I think I'm gonna throw up! Oops, I already did."

On the upside,

School is winding down for the year, so that I'm only doing it when we have a free day, i.e. the weather isn't sunny, warm, and we don't have other plans. It's been such a lovely year and I've LOVED teaching the kids. They've now learned all their letters, upper and lowercase, and alot of their corresponding sounds, all their numerals from 1-20, and can do simple addition problems (with help). That may not sound that great, but hey, I can look back at the beginning of the year and say, "wow, I did that! I taught my girls those things!" Neat.

We also recently had a lovely visit with Ryan's family, including getting to visit with Stacey & Daniel, and their lovely family of 4 (and 1/2, Stacey's 35 weeks pregnant with #5) kids. I wish we could see them more often, but we relish every visit. We went with Barry and Dianne (Ryan's parents), all the brothers and sisters, in-laws, and their 11 (and 1/2) kids- all under 6 years old- to the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County, PA, and had a fun train ride and visit to the train museum one day. It was just a fabulous time for all. The visit was so much the better, too, since we invested in DVD players for the car, thus silencing at least 2 of the 3 whines in the car on the 5 hour drive to Jersey and back. Paradise was, however, quickly lost after returning home and the next morning having Hannah puke all over the kitchen floor and Caleb come down with his cousin's cold. Oh well, it was totally worth it.
So now we're starting to settle into "normal" life again, and preparing for the girls' fourth birthday in about a week. Sorry for the lack of updates, to the 2 or 3 people who read this regularly... hopefully you'll see this more often- assuming noone gets sick again and I get some stinkin' sleep. :)