How the time flies! I can't believe fall is almost here! Last time I was in these woods, it was still Winter!So, what have we been up to? Celebrating birthdays, mother's day and father's day and enjoying our Summer break. Though we did not take our annual camping trip, dad extra ordinaire more than made up for it by taking the kids to the exploratorium, the space center, the aquarium, the zoo and countless trips to the train station to look at trains - and even a time or two of riding the train! Sometimes, I take for granted just how good of a dad he is, until the kids tell me how many people stopped him to commend him for taking 4 young kids on his own to the various activities.
|Mother's Day breakfast - courtesy of two lovely boys who were too anxious to wait for daddy to wake up! Menu: turkey sandwich, day-old re-warmed chicken and apple juice!|
I cannot believe I now have an 8-year old! I am totally enjoying all the ages my kids are in. I can have long conversations with my oldest as he continues to ask deep questions about all things science and God. The twins have come a long way in speech acquisition and they can tell me all about their day, stories they "read" and they are always making plans for family fun days. My funny chatterbox baby girl blows everyone away at how well she speaks at three years old. She wakes up talking and goes to bed talking! The kids plan sweet surprises for mommy's and daddy's birthdays and for mother's day and father's day and really work hard to make sure we have super special days!
Super star big brother: loves third grade, his teacher and friends and still loves, loves math. One of his most exciting days this Summer was a trip to Barnes and Nobles to buy a third grade math workbook - you would have thought he was getting the newest coolest toy! He voluntarily spent all summer working on the workbook so that in his words, he could be prepared for third grade! He is a teacher's dream student - obedient, wants to please the teacher, careful in his work and very kind to his peers. He is always called upon to help new students in his class to acclimate to the new school and he still has his special group of friends from kindergarten! He still enjoys wrestling with the kids and nearly gives his mommy a heart attack as he thinks up new games to play with them - like getting the kids to slid down the stairs on a blanket. He is so very compassionate and the plight of the orphan is dear to his heart. He has started recycling bottles and cans so that he can use the money to help orphans. He took three big bags to the recycling center and was so proud of his $8 payday! He is always asking how much food the $8 can buy and is anxious to take the other bags he is filling up for recycling. I am praying I will be able to take him on a mission trip next year. He still enjoying soccer, karate and piano and did really well during his last recital.
Baby boy: the happiest kid on earth - he is such a goofball and is always laughing, dancing and being all around silly. He loves, loves preschool and he is finally at par with his peers in speech. He still gets Occupational Therapy for his gross motor skills, though he will soon be graduating from OT. He loved swimming this summer, but he surprised me at how cautious he was if his swim teacher was not around. I thought he would be my little fish, but he would not swim without his life jacket if he was not having a swim lesson. I guess he did not trust mommy's life guarding skills! He finally started soccer and boy, does he love it! On his first day (after a month wait since he got his uniform), he woke up at 6:00 A.M, dressed himself up right down to his shin guards and cleats and by 6:30 when I came downstairs, he was trying to get himself breakfast! He played with such gusto and all he talked about was how he won! Never mind that at 4 years old, they don't really have teams and don't keep score! His labile asthma seems have gone away and he now seems to have just the garden variety asthma. I love his pulmonologist who takes an aggressive approach in treating his asthma and really takes the time to educate parents and includes them when coming up with a treatment plan. I am so thankful for health insurance! His monthly asthma medication costs almost as much as the whole family's health insurance premium!
Baby girl: my most compliant child and just so delightful. She loves dance, music, gymnastics and is such a wonderful little helper. I am trying to include her in some simple kitchen duties - something she totally enjoys and is so proud to be mommy's helper. She loves going shopping with mommy, has a wonderful flair for fashion, is such a girly girl and loves all things dress up! She is sweet, funny, compassionate and is always the first to volunteer to help! She loves preschool and is tickled pink that she now has homework! I find the school experience for girls and boys to be so different! Girls seem to be so catty and into their little hierachies at such a young age! My mommy heart breaks when my sweet beautiful baby girl tells me about some of the mean things the other little preschool girls say. Right now, she misses some of those social cues and so it does not really faze her, but as she grows older, things will be more difficult. I fervently pray that God will lead her to sweet friends and protect her little heart. Mommy just fought an epic 8-month battle with the school district trying to get her speech therapy. We now see light at the end of the tunnel, but I hate that school budget cuts and apathetic personnel makes getting services so difficult. My heart goes out to those kids who need services, but whose parents don't know where to begin in a huge bureaucracy to advocate for their kids or who are not even aware of the services provided. This really lit the fire for me to take the steps to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate to help be the voice for children without a voice or anyone to advocate for them.
Mommy's baby: oh baby girl, baby girl: she sure keeps us on our toes! She is so, so smart, that it sometimes gets her into trouble! She taught herself the alphabet, colors, shapes and numbers by age 2 with a little game she was playing and continues to astound us at how she is such a sponge for knowledge. She has an amazing memory and we have lost count of how many words she can say - her grammar and sentence construction are so beyond her years, we have to remind ourselves she is only three. Sheis half princess, half tomboy and waltzes down the stairs in the morning announcing the princess is at your service. She ushers in visitors by welcoming them to her castle and then does a couple of cartwheels! She is funny, sassy, kind, loving, compassionate, has a beautiful smile, bosses her older siblings and has made mommy and daddy dust off their books on raising a strong willed child! She came from being the world's easiest baby and toddler and a month before her 3rd birthday, she decided being an easy child was over-rated! She does not do anything in small measures, so the challenges were interesting to say the least! We like to kid ourselves that it was our consistency and a unified front that have made her turn the corner, but as she does all things, I really think she just as suddenly decided that testing her parents was not all that it was cracked up to be! We are now in a sweet, sweet, sweet period where she is back to her delightful self, but she reminds us that parenting never gets easier - only the challenges change!