Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our Family in Pictures

The talented photographer Amanda Reed did family photos for us about a month ago. Here are a few:

Eye contact

He thinks we're funny - You guys stuck me in a bucket?!

Best sister, cutest pose

Pure sweetness


My sister, just returned from two years in Madagascar, with her niece and nephew

I'm pretty sure these are the cutest kids in the world.
I know I will treasure these pictures forever. Thanks, Amanda!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Three and a half

My darling daughter has unique tastes.
  • lunch yesterday: peanut butter, mayonnaise, cheese, pickles, and pretzels in one sandwich
  • outfit today (and regularly): all pink - shirt, tights, skirt, undies, shoes
  • hair: down, with the biggest barrettes or headbands or both that she can find. Sometimes she will let me braid it or do a ponytail, but she prefers it down and wild
Some of my favorite things she is saying lately:
  • "let's all split up and work together"
  • "we can do it with teamwork!"
  • "acciwentady" (accidentally)
  • "Mom, that's not my plan!"
  • singing "Henewy, stop crying! There's no crying in baseball, or in volvos" in a loud loud voice in the car, which inexplicably will often actually make Henry stop crying
  • "let's do ballalet!" (dancing, ballet)
  • "that trip to the library makes me have to watch a show"
  • "I want to take a bath WITH Henry" (them in the bath together is one of the cutest things I have ever seen)

At age three and a half, Stella
  • likes to hide and be found
  • plays involved imaginary games with multiple characters, and will sometimes role play an entire book or movie, sometimes following the original plot, sometimes making changes.
  • loves "la la loopsies"
  • can sit and listen to a very long story, quietly absorbed, or watch a full-length movie
  • can also run and run and run
  • can ride a bike without training wheels, but still prefers her strider bike (no pedals) most of the time
  • remembers wrongs others have done her for weeks, or even months
  • feels sad and says she's sorry if she hurts someone
  • LOVES to make her brother laugh
  • can navigate on her own and has mastered most of the games
  • prefers cereal in the morning to any other breakfast
  • loves to play with friends, and is so good at asking "do you want to play with me?"
  • has many favorite books and series, including Fancy Nancy and Maisy. We read 2-4 books every night before bed, and sometimes tell stories too. After my explanation of "a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end" she can tell stories herself, but she still prefers to take turns putting a story together.
  • is already planning her 4th birthday party. Theme: Fancy Nancy AND princesses. There will be balloons and cupcakes.
  • can't decide between a butterfly and a princess for her Halloween costume
  • wants her father and me to dress fancy every day
  • loves ice cream, and her favorite restaurants are Dickie Jo's, Cornucopia (pronounced corn-a-de-copia by her), and Dairy Queen.
This age has introduced us to occasional tantrums, even stronger opinions than before, and a sassy little voice. It is also fun and endlessly entertaining. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dear Departed

My last living grandparent passed away on September 30. His obituary is here. I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Pennsylvania with my children, husband, father, step-mom, and sister, and spend time with members of my dad's family that I hadn't seen in three years. I also got to do a reading at Grandpa Bob's funeral. The sweetest moment of the whole trip for me, besides hearing people say how much I looked like my grandma Anne, was when I finished the first reading, at the front of the church my grandparents were married in, and read the thanks to the lord, and my darling daughter replied "Thank you, Mama!" She doesn't know the norms of the Catholic mass but she is learning manners.

Both kids did pretty well with the long days of traveling, thanks in large part to lots of helping hands from my family. It was so special to spend time in the place my grandparents were from and see where they are buried. We stayed in a really nice hotel, with a good free breakfast, and Henry and Stella both slept well. Really, it couldn't have gone any better. But still, it was such a great feeling to come home and sleep in our own beds and have our routine again. I am absolutely loving being home with my children this year, with the odd day of work here and there. Life keeps changing, we goodbye to those that depart, but life is good.