Monday, March 30, 2009

A Leprechaun and a Ballerina

I realize that St. Patrick’s Day was forever ago—we’ve been enjoying the great outdoors and I haven’t been on the computer much—but I thought I’d still post a picture of my little leprechaun, Clara.

And then here’s a picture of the authentic Irish Soda bread we ate with our corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. At the last minute I realized I hadn’t really thought about the table centerpiece. Then I remembered I had a ton of limes that I just bought at Costco that would do the job!

And here is my little ballerina, Meredith, before her lesson last week. She takes ballet very seriously and even practices at home. It’s cute to watch.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kids' Journals

Most of my computer time (i.e., Clara's nap time) today was spent catching up on the girls' journals, which I've tried to keep for them since we found out we were expecting each of them.

I feel like so much has happened in their lives lately! Here are today's entries:


March 11, 2009—You are growing by leaps and bounds in every way. Today I took you to your first ballet class and also your first library “class” for preschoolers (which is a glorified story time with activities, games, songs, and a craft at the end). I watched you interact with the teachers and I was so proud of you.

You are so excited to be taking ballet. On the way there, you exclaimed, “Oh no! I meant to wear a bun!” You were also self conscious because you were the only one not wearing a leotard. We signed you up at the last minute and haven’t bought one yet. I reassured you that you could wear a leotard to the next class.

I have been very proud of you for being so good to Clara. She recently went to the doctor with a bad chest cold/wheezing and came home with a nebulizer to help with her breathing. She pretty much hates having to sit still and have her treatment. But, to both of our relief, her big sister is always right there to help entertain her by singing silly songs or by helping to turn the pages of books as I read. Bless you for that!!

You are assuming more responsibility now at three-and-a-half. You have a Responsibility Chart in the wash room where you put up a magnet every day for doing various chores and displaying various character qualities. You love this chart and look forward to picking out just the right magnets.

I am teaching you to read, with your dad sitting in for a few lessons as well. You are really picking up on it fast. We decided to go ahead and teach you because we know you’re ready. We don’t want to push you. We want your schooling to be fun at this age and we want you to develop a love for learning. Sometimes when your attention span wanes, it’s easy to get frustrated. So that’s when we put the book down and do something else. But then when we pick it up again after a few days, you’re such a quick study! It has been one of the greatest joys I know to see you unlock the mystery of reading. The other day you read (sounded out) a total of seven words during one lesson— am, eat, ram, see, rat, at, sat. (The book is called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and it’s been so great!) We are only on lesson 13 and you are doing so well.

You have had some questions about war lately because your cousin Cole’s daddy is going to Afghanistan as a soldier. You prayed for him the other day and we were surprised at your understanding of the situation. We had not really explained anything to you but here’s what you said: “Thank you for Cole’s daddy as he goes to fight. Help him to be safe and come home.” Your faith is very strong. You never hesitate to say, “Let’s pray about that!”

After watching a movie about a dog that had to be shot because of rabies, we were afraid you’d be traumatized so Kevin tried to break it gently to you. He asked, “Meredith, who is more important: dogs or people?” Without hesitating, you said, “dogs.”

For my birthday, your aunt Christy burned me some music onto CDs and I’ve been listening to them at the house. They’re an assortment of pop music. While it was playing the other day you announced, “This is Starbucks music!”

You surprised us by “reading” Harold and the Purple Crayon almost word for word the other day. I love it!

Your memory is as sharp as a tack. You’ll bring up things that happened two years ago! You were only 20 months old!! I can’t believe all the stuff you remember in vivid detail.

You love fairy tales. Whenever I read to you, you often bring your big thick fairy tale book to me. You are starting to enjoy more books with fewer pictures. When your dad was reading your fairy tale book the other night he almost skipped a dragon story because he said it might be too scary. You replied, “I’m okay if a dragon gets killed.”

The other day when I was cleaning the bathroom, you tried to shut the door. Here is the conversation that ensued:
A: What are you doing?
M: I’m shutting the door but don’t worry because I’m going to do something GOOD.
A: Keep the door open, please. And what are you going to do?
M: I was just going to check the weather.
A: I don’t want you going outside wearing those clothes (sun dress in 40 degree weather).
M: Well, I can just check the weather on the computer.
A: Okay.
M: But just so you know, sometimes when you click the computer (mouse), it sounds like a door opening. Okay?

Another conversation:
A: You’re getting so big. I’m so proud of you.
M: Don’t worry. If I get big and live far away you can come stay with me.
A: Will you have a guest bedroom for me?
M: Yes. And if I get a husband and he is big enough then he will make you a bed. But if he can’t make it then we will buy one from the store.

One of my favorite things you say is when I tell you, “Meredith I’m so happy you’re my girl.” And then you reply: “Mommy, I’m so happy you’re my girl too.”


March 11, 2009—You are in such a fun stage right now. You make us laugh constantly. One of the cutest things you do these days is identify whose thing is whose. You love to differentiate everyone’s coat, or drinking glass, or whatever. You point to your sippy cup and say, “Clah-lah.” Then you point to Meredith’s cup and say, “Mer-mith.” Then you point to mine, “Mama.” Etc., etc.

We were amazed the other day when you counted to nine at a friend’s house. You didn’t say ten but it sounded like “twelve.” Whenever we would say a few numbers, you would add on what the next number should be and you were right! I guess this is what happens when you have a big sister. You pick up on so much.

You are also stringing together more words. You told your dad, “Dada, coat off!” And the other day you told me, “Milk all gone! Mo’ milk!”

You are learning to pray, and repeat words after us, like “Father, thank you, love you, amen!” You always anticipate prayer time before meals.

You’ve had a chest cold the past few days. When your fever spiked a second time, I took you to the doctor’s office. He said you were struggling to get enough oxygen so he sent us home with a nebulizer. You really hate the treatments. Even though you don’t fight me when I make you do it, you just sit there, with your arms at your side, and cry. It’s really pitiful and I feel badly for you. It’s as if you have resigned yourself to your fate but you don’t like it at all. Thankfully your big sister helps to entertain you and try to make you feel better. She senses your distress and is empathetic by nature. There’s no doubt she loves you.

Today we went to an indoor play gym while Meredith was at ballet class. You befriended a boy who was about five years old. You followed him everywhere. Fortunately he was nice (and not annoyed). Whenever he started skipping, you copied him. Whenever he went to the other side of the gym, you followed him. Whenever he disappeared, you went looking for him.

At the park the other day, you were able to climb up the stairs and go down the “big” curvy slide all by yourself. You were enjoying yourself so much and you were so proud!!! When you got to the bottom, you started the process over again. I couldn’t believe I was at the park, sitting leisurely on a bench and watching my TWO kids play all by themselves! Last time we were at the park together I had to watch you like a hawk and help you do everything. My Clara is growing up so fast!

Take Two

I made the sourdough a second time and it was a success. If you remember (or even care! ha!) last time it was on the dense side. I think my mistake last time was letting the “sponge” phase sit out for a half-day longer than I should have. Good grief! So sensitive!

I think this is why I have traditionally enjoyed cooking more than baking. I’d rather explore an art than an exact science. But I’m starting to come around because things like fresh bread and pies straight from the oven are sooooo worth it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Unexpected Excitement

Yesterday as we drove down a curvy road bordered by woods on each side a large deer came out of nowhere and slammed into the driver’s side of our car.

In a flash, there was the sound of the impact, glass from Kevin’s window shattering everywhere, and deer hair floating all throughout the car. Seriously, there was even deer hair in my mouth! Meredith started screaming hysterically. We quickly checked the girls to see if they were hurt. We were surprised that no one had been cut by the glass. They appeared to be okay.

We pulled into a nearby driveway. The side of our car was completely crushed and there was a large chunk of deer skin/hair attached to the side of the driver’s door. Meredith was further traumatized by the fact that Bambi didn’t die until about five minutes after the accident.

So, two weeks ago I was without a car while it was in the repair shop. Now I will be without a car while it’s in an auto body shop. Ah, life!!

Seriously, we are just so grateful that everyone is okay. It could have been a lot worse. Praise God!