Thursday, January 26, 2012

Caleb: A snapshot

It's hard to sum up a person, but if the past two days count.....a few of Caleb's quotes can pretty much wrap him up!  Outside of these, I can say that he spends much of his free time running around outside or inside playing Ninjas or Starwars with his little brother and friends.  He lives to watch movies, but loves listening to audio stories  and reading books,.  He'll tell you he doesn't like school, but is doing very well and excels in reading, math, and recess! :-)  He gives me hugs every day when I drop him off to Kindergarten,  still asks to snuggle with me every night, and remains my tenderhearted snuggle bunny...

Here's a snapshot of my precious boy at 6:

Friend: " You are so not cool!"
Caleb: (in a pleasant voice):  "I don't care if I'm cool.  I only care if I think I'm cool." 

And while I'm preparing dinner, nerves frazzled, with Grace screaming in the background and Anna Ruth fussing at my feet.....pretty much at my wit's end:

Caleb:  "Mama, why do you seem like you are frustrated?"
Me: "Well, Caleb...Mama has a hard time sometimes when baby cries alot."
Caleb: "Yes, I understand. That's ok."

A few minutes later...(me still fixing dinner):

Caleb:  "Mama? Well, I don't want to cause you any more work or anything, but.....well....after you finish what you're doing, would you please get me some milk?"

Always the ever-thinking negotiator....working things into the plan, so that no one remembers the plan was created by none-other than Caleb. 

Caleb: "Emet? (Caleb frequently speaks to us via a verbal instruction to Emet)  Since Mama is going to the gym tonight, I bet tonight would be a good night to watch Star Wars.  But, we'll have to eat all of our dinner first."

And, today in the car on the way home from school:

Caleb:  "Hey Mama?  I know you won't remember this later, but I'm going to tell you anyways.  So, I think that we should make a marble jar for you and Papa, just like our marble jar.....and when you do something good, you'll get a marble.  When the jar fills up, then we'll go to the store after Papa gets off work, unless it's Saturday, and you and Papa can pick out a present.  Since you are trying to lose pounds, then we'll buy you a healthy drink.  But, if you're done losing pounds by the time your jar fills up, then we won't buy you a healthy drink...because you'll be all done then."

Then, we come back to reality for a while....Caleb is presently up in his bed with no books to read for a mandatory nap time following disobedience and a tantrum in the car on the way home from Kindergarten, which included a wild kick to the back of the seat, prompting the immediate wake-up of his newborn sister...who is now crying in her crib......  :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Anna Ruth: Joy Abundant

Anna Ruth,

You're my big two year old now, and as of this past month- a big sister too!  And oh how you have blossomed in the past month!  My goodness, it's as if you have been holding back all of your vocabulary....connecting words into sentences, showing feelings and emotions, and being silly...and now the floodgates have broken loose!  The pitter-patter and slap-slap of your bare little feet on the wood floors is a sound we have captured forever in our hearts.  Your infectious laughter and giggles will forever ring like Christmas bells in our ears, and the sparkle in your eyes we'll treasure for a lifetime.

When you came to visit us at the hospital to meet your baby sister, you seemed quite distraught to see Mama and Papa there, as we weren't at home with you.  You were excited to meet your new sister, but didn't want to come to Mama.  You clung to Grandpa B and wouldn't leave his lap.  As you sat there on his lap, looking quite forlorn, you burst out into sad tears.  That was the first time we had seen you express sadness, as before this point, we have only see you cry when you are hurt or frustrated.  Since we've been home, however, you have been such a big helper!  You love to climb up next to me as I nurse your sister and "nuggle", and you are always bringing Gracie her blankets and get diapers and wipes for Mama.  When she cries, you get so concerned and say, "Oh! Bebe Kying"...and you start to cry yourself.

You do not want to be left out of anything your big brothers are doing, and love to be in their midst, coloring, playing legos, or just playing nearby.  Now that Caleb is in Kindergarten, you and Emet spend hours outside every week following along or riding your new tricycle while Emet rides his bike.  (You haven't really gotten the hang of peddling yet, but you scoot along anyways.)


You adore your Papa and light up like a bright star each night when he comes home from work.  You love nothing more than having him pick you up, chase you around, or just spend time with you.  He puts you to bed with rocking, stories and songs each night. And since we returned from Grandma and Grandpa B's house  for now sleep in a big girl bed...the crib empty and ready for when Gracie moves up to your room.

And speaking of being a big girl, about a month ago the cold weather came upon us....and everyone's skin was beginning to dry up and crack.  Your poor little left thumb, the one you have sucked since birth, cracked open wide.  We had to put a bandaid on it, and Papa told you that if you sucked it, it would hurt badly.  You haven't sucked your thumb since.  You seemed genuinely sad, and when it was brought up, you clearly didn't want to talk about it.  So...there it was....a habit Mama and Papa worried about how you would break, and it happened in a day....a sad day for Anna Ruth.

Below are a few of the special things that you say and do that I don't ever want to forget...some you have been doing / saying for a while....and the some are the things that have come forth just this past couple of weeks.

Eye yee (little blanket're trying to say "Owlie" which is what we all call her)
Nigh Nigh (your light pink and brown snuggle blanket with flowers)
Wah ooo (water)
muck or mult (milk)
peas (please)
Ut? (up?)
Yesth (yes)
Yaw (yeah)
No! (No! :-)  )
Doon (Down)
Ways Papa Gohn? (Where's Papa going?)
I you you! (I love you)
I you you too (I love you too)
I lah you (I love you)
Bah bl (Bible)
Boot (book)
Boot (boot!)
my shoo? (my shoe? you LOVE to put on your shoes, and are very particular about which ones you wear)
my (meaning mine)
dat (that)
dah yee (dolly)
Ta ta (Greta)
puh-kins (pumpkins)
nacky (snack, especially fruit sauce crushers)
gihn? (again)
Uhmut (Emet)
KB (Caleb)
Cub (Caleb)
Bobos (brothers)
muhn (Good Night Moon)
Thank You (I'm Thankful Each Day)
nuggle (snuggles)
Oh! (followed by whatever you need/want)
Uh oh!(followed by whatever is wrong in your world) Uh oh! Pay! (meaning you want to pray when you hear a siren)
Mah Men (Amen).....reaching out to hold two hands for prayer time
Mo! (more)
Mo Whites (What you say each time we see Christmas lights outside - you get sooooo excited!)
Mo Song (to Papa at night when putting her to bed...she wants more singing)
No Song (Ru bear does NOT want singing)
No Papa Nigh Nigh (Anna Ruth does NOT want any blankets "nigh nigh" other than her own special one)
Question: "Anna Ruth, what sound does a [insert any animal] say?"  Answer: "MOO!!!" (lots of giggles from everyone...repeat)
Gumma/Gamma (Grandma)
Gumpa/Gampa (Grandpa)
Cah nee (Candy)

Reading order at night: Children's Bible Storybook (Mindy MacDonald), I'm Thankful Each Day, Goodnight Moon.....recently the Children's Bible Storybook has been switched out for 9 Fruits Alive

Songs sung at night by Papa: Jesus Loves Me, Blessed Assurance
And if it is Mama.....Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Jesus Loves Me

Very recently....

Kih miss tee (Christmas tree)
Bug bug bug bug (She reaches out and touches our nose as we do when we say, "God bless you dear bug" each night to every child)
Peek-a-boo-I-see-you!! (said rapidly as you dart into the room with a brilliant, happy smile)
Jesus la me no no no (as she sings the song "Jesus Loves Me" by herself)
Figuring out how to count by listening to Bobos play hide and seek the past two weeks since I wrote the above, the floodgates have completely broken loose.  I would say you are now fully conversant.  So, from many disjointed words to fully just a month.  It was a whirlwind of change.  And now, truly now, is when time will speed ahead so quickly that in a few short months, we will have a hard time believing that just six months before, you were our happy little baby girl who wasn't talking.  This seems to always be the transition from toddler to little people.

God bless you, our dear little Anna Ruth.  You are a joy like no other.  We are blessed to be your Mama and Papa, and we look forward to watching you grow and change in the amazing year between 2 and 3 years old...the full transition between baby and preschooler.



One Month Old: Growing, growing, growing...

Growing, growing, growing......over 3lbs in a month!

Little billy goat noises are slowly giving way to soft vocal inflections such as "Ah"....Cries are no longer quite so sharp....movements are not so jerky. And, somewhere in this month, the tiny curled up bundle on my chest has begun to stretch out....Legs and arms don't pull in and tuck anymore, but stretch out.  Your head doesn't automatically nuzzle in toward the place where you lived for over 9 months.

The newborn clothes that never fit according to numbers, yet fit because of the frail figure and scrunched up body....all of a sudden look like they could have never fit at all!!!....So much so in fact that the next size is almost too small!  How did I miss this?  Happens every time.  Unopened diapers are also about to be exchanged...again.

Eyes are beginning to focus and look directly at us, instead of up and just beyond....the stage Papa always calls looking at Jesus.

Instead arms and legs are straightening out, and muscles strengthening to hold a sweet head...though it still bobs to and fro....every now and then jerking backwards or forward, especially when sleepy and full of milk.

Time in the baby gym now includes looking in the mirror and batting at the little jungle animals hanging above your head.... more often than not the silence turns to cries of tummy discomfort....but every now and then, a happy little sound comes out.

The newborn appearance is almost gone, yet that infant stage hasn't arrived are somewhere in between...but not for long!  As the puffiness of birth recedes, big blue eyes with sparkle and long lashes are emerging, and a beautiful smile is breaking forth with amazing dimples!

Sleep for all of us is a little more regular with a feeding schedule starting to stabilize: 6, 8, 11, 2, 5, 8, 11.  Though, with four little ones and a still gassy tummy, naps are sporadic and come with relaxation and no tummy pain.

Little breaths come in frantic rapidity when it is time to eat, sometimes along with tiny snorts.  Afterwards, a completely relaxed torso, head and neck with closed eyes flops back and forth as we seek a burp worthy to save hours of discomfort.  It isn't always easy.

Milk covers your mouth and chin and slides to the neck where it can quickly smell sour, though a bath in the little tub makes you sweet and fresh within minutes.  Lavendar baby scent fills the air.

Soft blonde downy hair turns oily and darker with kisses, nuzzles, and pats.

Years later we will look back to your newborn furrows and frowns and recognize expressions you've had since birth. But we don't know those yet....not just yet.

And now is when we will begin the process of getting to know you, our best Christmas package of all.