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Month: July 2015

nearly toothless simon

nearly toothless simon

Oliver woke me up this morning with big news: Simon’s tooth was even looser. He might as well have told me the baby was on its way. We have been looking forward to Simon losing his two front teeth for the better part of the year. I think he first noticed they were loose in January. So this news that they were even looser really was big news. For real.

Simon couldn’t finish his granola. It was hard to eat with his tooth being so loose. So I gave him some toast. Bread must have magical mystical properties because he now credits it with helping him lose two of his teeth.

Once that tooth was out, the other must have gotten super jealous because it start looking mighty dangly. We thought he might lose it at the doctor’s office this afternoon. And then while he was eating some free sample cookies at the grocery store he had another moment of shock when he bit just wrong enough to feel a twinge and drop his cookies. But no dice. The tooth still dangled.

But Simon pieman, pudding and pie hadn’t yet stuck in his tooth and pulled out a plum. Or something. That’s how it goes, right? Well, whatever. It was the plum. I don’t know if he actually bit it, but that was what was in his mouth when the tooth came out, so that is what gets the credit.

I’m pleased as punch that he’s slightly toothless. My only twinge of sadness comes from the fact that his big teeth are already visible and so he likely won’t have a toothless school photo when he gets his pictures taken in a month and half. Too bad.

 

ps Other biggish news for Simon: he starts piano lessons with a new teacher next week. We are really excited to see what comes from this new partnership.

tres anos

tres anos

We are, of course, astounded that Elsa turned 3 yesterday. Mostly because we were sure she should be turning 4. Or maybe 5. Because it was certainly years and years ago that her favorite phrase was “dobby!” (“stop it!”), she was stealing my shoes, and she couldn’t ride a balance bike

But that was only a year ago. Now she converses fluently, makes funny jokes, wows the world with her cruising speed on the bike, and . . . has taken a break from stealing my shoes.

She is also very good at finding ways to be helpful (much better than I am) and does an excellent job of moving the chopped veggies from the cutting board to the roasting pan, loves to make sure her brothers get a little bit of whatever she is taste-testing, and hopes to one day be a good little runner in her little running clothes and little running shoes. (Like mine, but smaller.)

Her only request for her birthday was a purple cake with purple frosting. I did my best. But when I asked if she would prefer her purple cake to be made with blueberries or blackberries, she looked at me like I was crazy. “Purple berries!” Of course. (I used both blue and black and she didn’t seem to notice a lack of purple.)

I could go on about my favorite things about her, but suffice it to say that she is my favorite thing about her. All of her. From her messy curls to her cute little overbite to her love of flip-flops and toenail polish. She’s pretty much the best.

adventuring

adventuring

Some of our more daring exploits this trip:

Swimming lessons. I won’t say we are fishes yet, but at least one of our kids can probably swim to save his life now. The other two show promise of achieving that level of proficiency some day. Simon can do a wicked sweet dive with almost no splash. Oliver has pretty well mastered “monkey-airplane-soldier” as a means of moving around the pool. And little miss Elsa overcame much fear and exhaustion to stick her face in the water on more than one occasion. Tiger arms, ballerina legs, and blowing out birthday candles are likely to become a permanent part of our family swimming jargon.

Elephant Rock. We braved a cloudy, rainy day. We explored the wilderness off-trail. (Then had to retrace our steps to get back on it.) We counted hundreds of pill bugs. We were separated and miraculously reunited. (Simon went solo for 10 minutes or so when he went on ahead, but somehow came up behind us when we stopped to wait for news from ahead.) We got dirty, bloody, scraped and sprained. But we made it to the Rock and we proved that the worst laid plans make the best memories.

Hurricane. The southern Utah town, not the weather phenomenon. We stopped there to stay with my sister-in-law at her parents’ house on our way to Arizona. There was a pool, a slide, a jumping cliff, swings, dogs and cousins. Oliver wondered if that was where we were going to live forever. Sorry kid, not any time soon.

The Grand Canyon. After first surviving a somewhat sketchy motel experience (the first room they assigned us to hadn’t been cleaned from the previous tenants . . . ) we made it to the canyon and spent a couple of hours hiking down to Ooh Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail. Micah and I managed not to have heart attacks every time the kids wandered near the edge of the trail. (The kids were strictly forbidden from running and were constantly reminded to stay close to the wall.) We enjoyed watching some mule trains heading back up the canyon. And let us not forget our encounter with the ground squirrel who looked like he really was going to steal the kids’ protein bars. Elsa claimed she would have let it eat her face if it wanted to. We also saw crows (or ravens?), an elk (right next to the visitors center), and a lizard.


And finally: Micah went with his brother on a hike up the Clear Creek Canyon while Jodie and I wrangled our 8 kids for a few days. More on that later.

the missing

the missing

The boys got out of school Friday and we hopped on a plane Tuesday for our summer vacation. I didn’t stress about it one single bit until Tuesday afternoon when everything (I thought) was packed and I was left with pretty much nothing to do until we had to head to the airport. That’s when I started pacing and worrying and fretting about how we would survive the next week without Micah, who couldn’t take off the entire 3 weeks that we’d planned on.

(Oliver at the airport: “They said no water, no juice, and no soda, but that means you could still have beer. And “I just want to get to the gate and cuddle with something soft.” And “Maybe our flight was delayed because the plane got in a battle.”)

He came home early from work with bagels for us to have for dinner at the airport, and we said goodbye at the train station. I took the kids on 4 trains and a plane by myself. (Just FYI: taking 3 kids who can walk and use the restroom and eat by themselves is 100% easier than taking one kid who can only walk by himself. Also, we only had 1 checked bag and 3 backpacks. Packing light is key.)

(Elsa was all about the emergency procedures; Simon had his unicorn to keep him from being lonely.)

So that means that he missed Elsa’s excitement about taking her first flight that she is aware of. He missed Simon sitting apart from the family for the first time. (He sat in the row ahead of me and the other kids.) He missed Elsa climbing a tree for the first time. He missed Simon trying his darnedest to properly roast a marshmallow. And he missed Oliver’s and Elsa’s first experience with fireworks. (Simon wasn’t interested in sitting and waiting for them to start, so he stayed back at my parents’ house.)

(This little kitty almost got stuck up in a tree. But not really. She was totally fearless.)

We are having a good time. We are relaxing and playing and letting the kids have more freedom to roam than they have in Brooklyn. But at the same time, we are missing Micah. It doesn’t feel quite right to be making memories without him. It’s like there is a hole in the snapshot memories I have in my head of the past week.

(Oliver and Elsa kept themselves well entertained while we waited for the fireworks to start.)

(As you can see, Simon has excellent marshmallow roasting form.)

And I really can’t wait to have our family altogether again.