Friday, March 21, 2014

Claire Turned Seven and Mommy Blew It














Dearest Claire,

Please pay no attention to the date on this post.  I know that your birthday was a week ago.  I'm sorry to be posting this so late.
School Picture
On Thursday, your actual natal day, I worked, and then we went out for dinner.  You chose Pizza King where they have trains to deliver your drinks - not because it's your favorite, but because you knew it would delight your brother.  That sums up the kind of kid you are nicely.  You are always thinking of other people, and rarely think of yourself first.  I think that's a really rare quality in a 6 or 7 year old!

On Friday a bunch of your friends came home from school with you, and we had cake and ice cream and watched Frozen and played video games.  You have such wonderful friends, and everyone was super good and we all had a wonderful time.

Friend Party - slightly blurry
Saturday we had your "family party," including both the family we were born with and the family we've chosen.  Then Saturday night I had a party to go to, we had a reunion in Zionsville on Sunday, we went to Grammaland Monday (it's spring break), I worked Tuesday and Thursday, we had a bunch of errands to do on Wednesday...  Which brings us to today and here I am, FINALLY getting around to your birthday post.

Family Party
Frozen has been really popular all winter, and you got two sets of the "Elsa and Anna" Barbie dolls for your birthday.  I've been SO PROUD of the way you've shared them with your sister.  You've been extremely generous and kind to her.  Again, that's just the kind of person you are.

Even though you spend so much of your time worrying about other peoples' feelings, you're not a doormat! When you play you are a real leader, often scripting the dialogue between dolls and telling the other kids what you want them to say.  It makes me wonder if you're going to be a scriptwriter, or maybe the CEO of a huge corporation when you grow up.  Because you balance being compassionate and caring with being assertive, people are always willing to go along with what you want to do. 

The First Warm Day of the Year at the Park
You have gotten really into video games this year - you and Mary Grace play Wii Infinity almost every day.  I will confess that I have no idea what it is that you do with the Infinity.  To me it looks like the characters just run around an island, climbing things and jumping down.  I must be getting old, too, because I just don't get the appeal.

You started piano lessons this year, and you really love it.  I often have to chase you away from the piano because it's time to get ready for school, but you'd rather be playing.  I hope you keep that commitment to practicing as you get farther in your learning.  I love to hear the house fill with music.

Dr. Seuss's Birthday
We're so proud of you, Claire.  You're such a fun, caring, loving person.  I can't believe you're already 7 years old.  Try not to grow up too fast, ok?

Christmastime at Grandma Susan's
Here's the checklist I started when you were a baby:

Your favorite toy for playing is: Wii Infinity, Barbies

Your favorite toy for snuggling is: Biscuit went missing this year!  :(  You most love to snuggle with Jack

Your favorite food is: "Panda Chicken" (orange chicken from Panda Express), and crepes with Nutella

Your favorite book is: You've been reading The Hobbit with Daddy.  You read a hundred books this school year!  

Your favorite activity is: Wrestle Night 

Your favorite place to go is: Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Busters

Your best friend is: Jack, Mary Grace, Jocelyn, Emma, Caitrin, Juliet, and Cameron, and UNCLE CHUCK

Something new that you're doing: playing piano

Something you've mastered: fashion - you have a strong sense of your own personal style

Something people say about you:  People are always telling us how kind you are to all the kids around you
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Something that you're saying is:  Last year I wrote, "you're SINGING.  You are really good!  You have a natural ear for music.  I can't wait for you to start piano lessons next January.  You're going to be amazing."  I'm proud to report that you're still singing and you love playing piano, just like I knew you would!

Something Dad and I are proud of you for: your selflessness

Something surprising about you: you are very, very consistent.  Some of the answers on this checklist have been the same for years and years!  (I'm leaving this one, also, because it's still true!)

We love you, Claire Bear!

Love,
Mama





Monday, January 6, 2014

Make Snow Safely

Lots of fun science is happening during the Polar Vortex of 2014, or whatever this will be remembered as, but apparently there are a bunch of people burning themselves with boiling water because they're trying to make snow.

B.J., my brilliant husband, figured out a better way.  Observe:





Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

Happy new year, from the world's worst blogger!  As we bid farewell to 2013 and look forward to the coming year, I have a few reflections to share.

I didn't do the couch to 5k program that I started in January.  I didn't even finish a full week.  Turns out that while my internal organs weren't literally dragging behind me on the ground, it felt close enough to the truth to put me off of jogging and running permanently.  I guess if I'm ever being chased by something scary, I'd better hope that I remember where I put my car keys.

Jack started speech therapy in January of 2013, and now we can hardly believe that we ever thought he needed it.  Hopefully by this time next year we'll be able to say the same about potty training.  (I hate potty training - I will happily give birth to your kids for you if you'll promise to potty train mine for me, because it is my least favorite part of being a parent - I'd rather deal with stomach flu.  I'd rather do nearly anything, honestly, than potty train man or beast).

In February I was slightly more awesome - I stood up for that kid at Chick Fil A who was being verbally berated by her grandfather for an accident (the whole story).  I didn't run anywhere.

In March I got an MRI of my head, proving once and for all that there is a functioning brain up there.  It was normal.  Here we are in December and I think we've finally found the right combination of medicines to keep my headaches away - I have only had one since December 10 and alcohol may have been a factor.  It has been a long year of "let's try this for 6 weeks and if it doesn't work we'll try the next thing for 6 weeks."  My answer has been, "Hey, I don't get migraines when I'm pregnant, BJ," but so far he's not a fan of that plan.  We'll see...  Claire turned 6.

In April I turned 37.  That's exactly 20 years older than I feel (until I hang out with actual 17 year olds, then I'm like, "Oh yeah, I'm a fossil.")

In May Kate turned 1, Jack continued speech therapy, and I didn't write much.

In June we bought our new home, and most of my time since then has been spent playing house.  BJ also turned 37.

In July I panicked about renters.  I shouldn't have, though, because the family we eventually found is AWESOME.

In August Mary Grace turned 8 and I accidentally got another dog.  The girls started 2nd and 1st grade.

In September Han Solo started showing up EVERYWHERE.  The girls discovered and then promptly blocked out the truth about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc.

In October, not much happened.  In November I didn't even post.  Truly I am the world's worst blogger.

In December Jack turned 3 and we spent most of the month partying instead of blogging.  You would know that if I ever posted pictures anywhere other than Facebook.

It's funny because this time of year I always look back and regret not writing more, but at the same time, I feel like the kids' stories belong to them more and more as they get older.  Last time I got all angsty about this I had another baby so that I would have new material.  Not sure that BJ is going to let me get away with that again.

Happy New Year, Internet!





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jack Turned 3!

Dearest Jack,

You are three.  I am so sorry for not writing your birthday letter on your actual birthday, but things have been ridiculously busy at our house.  But we'll pretend that it's because most of my pictures of you are on my work computer, because that's where I back up my phone, ok?  Cut Mommy some slack.


Last year I was so worried about you because you weren't talking much.  It makes us laugh now, because you never stop!  When you get excited you say something will be "so so much fun!"  Instead of "stop" you say "fop," and Superman is "Fooperman," but it's cute so we don't worry about it.  I apologize if you're reading this as an adult and calling me foopid for not fixing it.  Feriously.


When you go to sleep you still like to snuggle, and you're likely my last baby so I'm not as firm about it as I was with your sisters.  You like to feel my cozy arms (what is it with you kids and my arms?) and to rest your head on my tummy.  You love to read books - especially books about trains and dogs.


You are such a happy, sweet natured little boy.  It's very rare that you're grouchy or hyper.  You love to be around people, but you'll also play by yourself happily (it helps that you got lots of cool new stuff for your birthday).  You love your "gogs" (dogs).  You love Daddy and you break his heart when he has to leave for work and you're begging him to come downstairs and play trains with you.  


I'm so glad that we have had the opportunity to raise a little boy.  I hope that you grow up to be as strong and as gentle as your father.  I hope you stay as sweet as you are right now.  I hope you learn to do your own laundry at a prodigious age, because seriously...


Here's the checklist:

Here's the checklist:

Your favorite toy for playing is: anything with wheels, especially trains

Your favorite toy for snuggling is: your dogs

Your favorite foods: strawberries, apples, apple pie, chocolate

Your favorite book is: Spot Goes to School - books with trains, dogs, and flaps

Your favorite activity is: riding things (trains, bikes, etc.)

Your favorite place to go is: the park

Your best friend is: Penny

Something new that you're doing: counting

Something you've mastered: speaking, almost!

Something people say about you: "Look at his curly hair!"

Something that you're saying is: When I call you I'll say "Jaa-aack!" on a decending third, and you'll sing, "Whaaa-aaat," back to me, and I'll sing back, "I love you!" and you sing, "I love you too!"  Sometimes I lose you on purpose just so that I can hear you sing to me.

Something Dad and I are proud of you for: You are gentle with the dogs and almost never pull their ears and tails.

Something surprising about you: you have a sense of humor that is well beyond your age.

What you want to be when you grow up: Fooperman.

I love you so much, Jack Jack.

Mommy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autumn

In the car this morning:

"Look at the pretty trees, Jack!  Aren't the leaves pretty today"

"Why somebody paint doze trees?"

Oh, this kid, he is my heart.