Sunday, December 2, 2012

Autumn: 3 Years Old Today

School Picture, October 2012

This post is an example of Autumn's life and personality. I started it on her birthday--December 2nd, and I'll post it as if it's still December 2nd--but I'm finishing it up on February 20th. Autumn tends to take a back burner way too often. It's not that we don't absolutely adore her, because we do. It's just that she has such a laid-back, easy going personality that it's easy to overlook her when there are more demanding personalities around. It's something I feel badly about. But she's like a comfort food: low-maintenance, delightful, and something I love and look forward to every single day. She's the sweetest of sweethearts and the past three years with her have been more than I ever could have hoped for.

Here are a few things we love about Autumn right now:

She wakes up every morning with a smile on her face. She calls to me to come get her from her crib (yes, she's still in a crib. See above.), and always says something darling like, "the sun is awake!" or "good morning, Mommy!" or "I had such a good dream last night (and then tells us all about it)."

Her favorite thing in the world is to make Calvin laugh. Currently that involves potty humor (I hate that Calvin's boyish obsession with poop has tainted my sweet, innocent little girl) or wiggling her rear and singing, "Na, na, na, na, na."

She loves school and church. Every morning she asks if it's her day to go, and she's sad if it's not.

She changes outfits/costumes dozens of times a day. No matter how many times I clean up her room, it's always a mess of fluffy pink gauzy sparkles.

At bedtime we always tell her stories, but often she'll tell us her own. Or most nights she'll sing songs until we tell her to be quiet and go to sleep.

Almost always, once she's in bed lying down, she'll go straight to sleep without any drama, sleep through the night, and wake up at nine or ten in the morning. She's always been an amazing sleeper.

A few weeks ago I was on a website looking at shoes. She came in and looked at the computer, gasped loudly and yelled, "it's shoes!" Then she climbed on my lap and helped me pick out a pair.

One night as I rocked her to sleep, she stroked my face and said, "Mom, you're my best friend"

She recently saw her reflection in my eyes and said, "look, your eyes are Autumn!"

Autumn loves to help and always asks what she can do. I've been trying to be better at letting her help, even though it takes twice as long, and I've been amazed that she will stick with a job until it's completely done.

She always wants to go with mom or dad or do what we're doing. She always wants to be with us. If Andy is working in his office, she'll sit quietly and draw on his whiteboard while he works. If I'm doing laundry, she's right there adding socks to the washer.

Her favorite color is pink. She adores anything and everything that is pink.

She is obsessed with anything having to do with princesses. Recently I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. She said all she wants is to "wear a white wedding dress and get married." The feminist in me died a little, but princesses and girly things make her so happy. I would never take that away.

She is the most appreciative child I've ever met. For weeks after getting/experiencing something new, she'll say over and over again, "I love this so much," or "thank you so much for ______," or whatever. She is always grateful for even the small things.

For four months after Halloween, she is still telling us every single night what she wants to be for next Halloween. She loved the holiday and is so fixated on it. (That's my girl!)

Bed time prayers, blessings on the food, whatever. She always wants to say every single prayer. For six months after Seattle, every single prayer she said she was thankful for the ferry boats.

If she gets in trouble, she is immediately so sad. If I am mad, she'll look deep into my eyes and say "are you grumpy?" Tonight I was mad at Calvin and she said, "you're not grumpy at me, right? You're grumpy at Calvin, not me, right?" If Andy and I argue, she'll say "we talk nice to each other. We don't fight." She's a little peace maker. She hates being in trouble or seeing anyone else be sad or angry. 

She loves play-dough. Whenever we get it out, she immediately mashes every color together. If we try to give her one or two colors, she demands to have all of them.

Calvin has a Princess Peach plush with his Mario collection. The two of them fight over it constantly.

She's addicted to soda. She'd rather drink it than anything else. She calls it "hot bubbles."

A few gems from 2012:

Swimming Goggles.

Hiding in the closet.

Valentine's Day Crafts.

A ride from big brother. 

Little sweetheart. 

Practicing for her dream.

Always a fashionista.

Trying to fly away ala-Mary Poppins.

Ravishing in Red.

Autumn is so lovable. She gives the best hugs and kisses. She says the nicest things to everyone around her. She almost always wears a smile. She is our little princess and we adore everything about her. We're so grateful that three years ago today, she came to live in our home. Autumn's a little angel, and we're so grateful to be her family.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Calvin: 5 Years Old Today

I've become so bad at blogging. I'm horrible at tracking my kids' accomplishments. Many days, I don't feed them a single fruit or vegetable. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a perfect mother. But the truth is, being a mother is the best part of my life, and today I'm feeling rather nostalgic about the boy who first gave me that chance.

 School picture, October 2012

Here are a few things about Calvin these days:

One of the things I adore about Calvin right now is his sense of humor. He is always trying to make us laugh. I'll be honest, sometimes it drives me CRAZY trying to force a laugh every single time that he makes up a joke, and if we do laugh, he tells it over and over and over. But he loves to make people laugh, and I can think of many worse things. He also likes potty humor, which drives me nuts. Of course his potty humor is not advanced to the Adam Sandler stage yet, but anything that involves poo, butts, kissing on the lips, underwear, or the bathroom sends him into a fit of giggles.

Here he is making out with our zombie girl. He said, "hey mom, here's something that will make you laugh. Watch this!"
Messed up? Maybe. But he's so much fun. One of my favorite things is listening to him play with his friends or cousins or sister, when he is just happy and laughing and delighted with life. He has an infectious laugh and an unbeatable sense of humor.

He also fixates on things with laser focus. For example, candy corn during Halloween.

A few weeks ago he asked me how to spell God. That's generally not the type of question he asks, so I waited until he ran off and then I took a peek at what he had been working on. It says "The Candy of God." It made me laugh. Later he told me that he meant to write it about blue cotton candy saltwater taffy--that's his REAL favorite candy apparently. But for a while it was candy corn.

And then the next day, his teacher texted me this picture from school:

Her text said: "Just doing God's work at preschool! :)" If he likes something, he has absolute focus on it until it runs its course.

Speaking of obsessive focus, let's talk about Mario. He loves all things Mario. He has a million Mario toys that he's been collecting for the last two years, and that phase shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

Mario posing with puppets (Mario's pets):

Mario and Peach. He drags everyone along with him in his obsessions.

Full Mustachioed look:

Eating popcorn, watching a movie, and doing nothing Mario related, but still wearing the outfit:

Mario, doing...whatever:

 Calvin has drawn about fifteen of these:

He tells me that they are different mini-games to play Mario Party. He is very creative in all the ways that he brings Mario into his life. When he's outside, he's leaping from rock to rock pretending he's penetrating Bowser's fortress to rescue Peach. When he's supposed to be sleeping, he's dancing Mario plush toys around his bed. In the bathtub he pretends Mario and Luigi are swimming. Mario is always on his mind. Always. For Christmas I bought lots of Legos and dinosaurs because, heaven help me, I cannot take any more Mario.

He's super technologically savvy. He loves computers and electronics and he's really good with them:
We limit the time he spends on electronics (the ipad especially) because he would spend all day on them.

He loves to build things. He's brilliant and innovative and loves to make things come together. Even cups:

Calvin and Autumn fight a lot. Nothing could have prepared me for how tiresome it is to listen to kids squabble every day. But there are also many moments when they are so cute together. When they get along, they are like peas and carrots. They love to be together. They make each other laugh. Autumn pretends to be Princess Peach to please Calvin, and he pretends to be Prince Charming or Geo or Bot (from Team Umizoomi) to please Autumn. Nothing makes me happier than when they are each others' best friends.

He loves to draw. He loves to make up stories. I told him the other day he should write comic books when he grows up because that would use both his stories and his pictures. He kept getting more confused the more I tried to explain what a comic book is. I'm not sure I even know exactly what they are, but it was a thought.

Here's a drawing he did of a game he likes to play:

This is the game it's based on:
 Not bad, eh?

Today he put together this sign. It says (with spelling corrections), "Pizza Parlor Coming Soon in 1 Minute. Now it's open. 0 minutes."
He has taken off with reading and writing. He reads everything he can get his hands on--books, signs at the store, cereal boxes, menus, shampoo bottles--and he loves that he can now create his own words. As someone who has spent a lot of my life being obsessed with reading and writing, nothing thrills me more than his interest in the written word.

A few more random things:
- He freaks out if you push PLAY on a DVD before he has heard the entire menu song
- A year into the phase, he would still rather wear pajamas than anything else. However, the last few months he has been a lot better about putting clothes on and doesn't freak out quite so much as long as his pants and shirts are "cozy."
- If he's about to say something that he wants you to take seriously, he'll start with "I want to tell you the truth..."
- He has some mad dance moves. We like to turn the radio on in the kitchen and bust into spontaneous dance parties. This kid can seriously do things with his hips and feet that appall his rhythm-less mother.
-  He will not let me kiss him. If I sneak in a kiss, he'll immediately wipe it off. It kind of breaks my heart.
- We have subscribed to Amazon Prime which means that everything we order from Amazon arrives at our door two days later. At one time, he made a wish on the wishing star for some random Mario plush. I decided to order it as an incentive for something, and there it was two days later. He is now 100% convinced that 1) wishes do come true if you ask the wishing star, and 2) those wishes will be delivered in 48 hours.
- The other day I kissed him and he said, "I don't like it when you kiss me. Your breath smells" (I was becoming incredibly self-conscious while he thought of the right word, wondering what I had eaten that day that was so awful) after a long pause he said, "It smells so... minty!"
- Once in a while he'll randomly come wrap his arms around me and tell me how much he loves me. They don't happen super often, but they do make everything else worthwhile.

The last five years with Calvin have been a roller coaster of fabulousness. He is brilliant. He is sweet and kind. He is hilarious. He is a wild little bundle of never-ending energy. He wakes up happy and running and goes to bed begrudgingly. He loves life. We adore Calvin and are so grateful that 5 years ago today, he came to live in our home.

Happy birthday, Big Boy! Now, quit growing up so fast. Please? 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another Baby Shower

(August 8th)
My cute sister is pregnant with her 6th child--her 1st boy. Since she owns more pink, girly things than anyone I've ever met, we decided to throw her a baby shower to celebrate the new man of the house. We went with the classic theme:

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails, 
That's what little boys are made of. 

And here's what we came up with:

We played a few indoor games while the guests arrived. 

Then ate lots of good food and enjoyed the lovely evening outside:  

We played obligatory awkward shower games like

Diapering the balloon:

 And drinking bottles of apple juice:

 And Alicia received a ton of adorable little boy presents. She should be all set for her new little guy: