Archive for the ‘Milestones’ Category

Kaelin: 5 Years

Filed under: Birthdays,Kaelin,Milestones,Newsletters — Amy @ 4:30 am

Dear Baby Girl,

You are no longer anything resembling a baby, but when I complain about that, you still reassure me that you will always be my little girl no matter how big you get.

Today, you are five years old.  FIVE.  I do not know how this happened.

I mean, I get how this:

Kaelin Baby

turned into this:

Kaelin Sailor Dress

But how this:

Kaelin Shoes

turned into this:

Kaelin Beachis a complete and total mystery to me.

(Insert the obligatory “WaaaaahMyBAAAAAYYYYYBEEEEEisGrowingUpTOOOOOFAAAAAST” mommyhood rantings)

You are active and friendly, setting up play dates with the kids at the library behind my back, and inviting the grocery store cashier to your birthday party (which, um, is going to be in Texas, so I hope you didn’t offer to pay her airfare).

Your main love at the moment is bugs and all things creepy-crawly.  In Texas, bugs are scary because of the huge variety of stinging, blood-sucking, biting ones.  But here?  You are thrilled beyond belief with the moths and other little winged creatures that make their way onto our porch and into our house.  Your teacher caught a butterfly for you and let you bring it home one day, and you would have thought he’d given you the moon.  We have to have daily conversations about how bugs aren’t pets and that you can’t bring them into the house, EVEN if they’re in a container.  I know that sounds cruel, but the container is inconsequential because of the fact that the bugs never stay IN IT.

You don’t know this yet, but you’re getting an earthworm farm for your birthday.  Because worms?  I can handle worms.  They’re still creepy-crawly and icky but they’re not bugs.  So when you’re talking to your therapist in a few years about how your mother restricted your childhood experience because I wouldn’t let you keep bugs, JUST REMEMBER THE WORMS.  I GAVE YOU THE WORMS.

(Please, please, please, please don’t let them loose in the house.)

You’re learning to read and write and do some math.  I have no doubt that you’re behind many of your Texas friends in these areas because your preschool seems to place little to no emphasis whatsoever on academics.  So the only academic environment you have is, well, me.  And the measly little homeschooling lessons we do at the kitchen table.  Which I will go ahead and apologize to you for because your Mama?  Was not meant to be a homeschool teacher.

You enjoy reading and your own progress as you begin to recognize and sound out more and more words.  You have begun to try sounding out words you see on cereal boxes and in magazines.  Also, you pick words and try to spell them in your head.  I often get random questions like, “Mama, what letter do you put in a word to make the ‘a’ say its name?”

Your writing needs some work because it bores you and I have to heavily reward you to keep you focused for 15 minutes a day.  Also, the concept of telling time is challenging and can be frustrating for us both.  You do enjoy math, because we use chocolate chips to demonstrate addition and subtraction. You’re pretty good at our little addition flash cards and can occasionally do the math in your head without the use of the chocolate chips.

You are becoming more and more independent and can play on the porch (catching bugs, of course) or in your room for long periods of time.  You have also developed the occasional ‘tude, which gets you sent to your room.

You are developing an interest in jokes, but don’t quite get the concept of a punchline.

“Why did the crayons color by themselves? Because they wanted to draw their owner!”

You have started a movement/dance class and are loving it.  I look forward to letting you try all kinds of extra-curricular activities this next year.  You have informed me that you wish to do ice skating and gymnastics when we move back to Texas.  Oddly, they don’t have any figure skating lessons available in this part of Alaska.

You have started thinking about the concept of marriage and are concerned about your lack of candidates.  You told me the other day that you couldn’t decide whether you wanted to be a boy or a girl (the concept of whether or not you actually get to MAKE that choice didn’t appear to be relevant).  It was good to be a girl because girls are better and more fun, but it would be a nice to be a boy because boys get to marry girls.  And it would be better to marry a girl than a boy because boys are mean and throw things.  And if you have to marry a boy, then you should be allowed to marry your Daddo.  Mama can just go marry someone else.

You are tenacious and think you can debate your way around any answer.  You are your father’s daughter.

You have a really selective memory.  You can remember a promise we made to you three months ago, but forget that I gave you a set of instructions within 15 seconds.  You are your mother’s daughter.

Little girl, you’re getting less and less “little” every day.  You’re tall and lean and love to run and jump and climb.  Your hair is getting long and we’re going to have to take care of that soon because you have inherited your mother’s tender head and brushing your hair in the morning is akin to ripping your fingernails off with a pair of pliers.

“Mama, which laugh did Tinkerbell come from?”
“I’m not sure, hon.  The movie doesn’t say and I don’t know very much about fairies.”
“Maybe she came from one of my laughs.  Because I laugh a LOT.”
“Yes you do.  Maybe she did.”
“Mama?”
“Yes?”
“I think you’re beautiful.”

You are precious.  And charming.  And sweet (when you want to be).  You have my heart.

Love,

Mama

Lost Tooth #2

Filed under: Kaelin,Milestones,Videos — Amy @ 9:33 am


View on Vimeo.

The Story

Filed under: Kaelin,Milestones,Videos — Amy @ 8:43 am

We had a bit of a milestone here yesterday.  When I picked up Kaelin from school yesterday, she came running out of the classroom just as I arrived.  When she saw me, she started bouncing up and and down.  “MAMA MAMA I HAVE A SURPRISE FOR YOU BUT YOU CAN’T SEE IT YET BUT I’M SO EXCITED I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU BUT YOU CAN’T SEE IT YET I CAN’T BELIEVE IT I HAVE TO GO WASH MY MOUTH OFF!”  Then she ran off to the bathroom with her hands over her mouth.

Sorry it’s a little long and rabit-trailish.  I haven’t quite figured out how to trim a video without permanently deleting the trimmed part.  Once I do, you’ll get better-edited videos.

Loose Teeth

Filed under: Kaelin,Milestones,Videos — Amy @ 8:37 am

Random Tidbits

Filed under: Homer,Kaelin,Milestones,Peaves,Website — Amy @ 7:40 pm

In other news, Kaelin has 2 loose teeth.  Bottom-center.  Most kids don’t start losing their teeth until age 6 or so, but my daughter has always insisted on doing everything early.  She took her first steps before she was 9 months old and was speaking perfectly understandable English long before the other kids her age.  So I guess this just follows suit.

This morning was monumental because it wasn’t raining when I woke up.  In fact, the sun was out and it was quite beautiful outside.  By the time we left for church, it was overcast again and by the time we got out of church it was raining.  It’s now 8pm and still raining.  I forget how pretty it is here when the sun is out.  We so rarely see it anymore.  I feel like Margot in All Summer in a Day.  There were a couple of hours on Thursday that it was sunny.  We high-tailed it to the beach to take advantage of it because it’s been nothing but rain rain rain for 2 months now, with the occasional “mostly cloudy” day thrown in. 

I haven’t been jogging in weeks.  I’m actually starting to look forward to winter when all the rain will at least turn into snow and not be so…wet all the time.  I feel sorry for the kids, they don’t get to be outside much.  It’s a good thing they have a great school program 3 days per week to keep them busy.

I really like the kids’ school.  They do baking, gardening (weather permitting), field trips, and all kinds of other activities to keep the kids busy.  It’s so much more than just the “mother’s day out” programs we’re used to.  They only attend mornings, so I think I might add another day for the winter session.  I wish they had an option for a 3/4 day, ending at 2 or 3pm, but as it is, I either pick them up at 12:30pm or 5pm.

My aunt and uncle are coming to visit this week, so we’re looking forward to seeing them.  Hopefully the weather will give them a break while they’re here.

Anniversary

Filed under: Jens,Marriage,Milestones — Amy @ 12:00 pm

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary.  All this time and 2 kids later, Jens can still crack me up better than anyone.  He’s a terrific husband, father, and life partner.  He has a heart of gold and it still amazes me that after all this time he continues to love me the way he did when we were newlyweds.  (Obviously I managed to hoodwink him somehow.)

I love you Babe, and I look forward to the next 9 years and beyond!

Koren: 2 Years

Filed under: Koren,Milestones,Newsletters,Photos — Amy @ 11:09 pm

You love to run.  You chase your sister around the house and spin in circles until you fall over.  You go romping up and down hills and climb the stairs without even holding on to anything.

You’re fast.  Especially when making a beeline toward mischief.  I’ve banned you from our bathroom but somehow you find your way in there to wreak havoc at every opportunity.  You cannot resist the kitchen cabinets – which, unfortunately, are ALL at your eye level.

You get an immense amount of glee out of stealing things, usually your sister’s favorite toys.  This morning it was my granola, which you acquired by bringing the bathroom stool into the kitchen and climbing up to steal the box off the counter.  “I stole it! Mama’s gahnola!” you informed your father as you rushed into the living room, digging your little paws into the box.

Your vocabulary has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 4 months.  You have your own way of phrasing things that makes it seem like English is your second language and has earned you the nickname “Little Yoda.” Your most frequent phrases include, “I drop it, my boppy” or “I stole it, Kaelin’s kitty,” or “I no like it, the beach.”

When you can’t quite express something that you want us to see, rather than your old method of (heaven help me) screaming at the top of your shrill little lungs, you now take our hand and lead us to it, saying “Come, I show you.”

The screaming hasn’t completely disappeared.  You are very possessive of things, regardless of whether or not they’re actually yours, and frequently let loose a shrill shriek when you think Kaelin is encroaching on your property or not sharing her things to your satisfaction.  “MINE” is a word you have learned very well and you use it often.

You’re still a good eater and will try nearly anything, then inform us whether “I like it” or “I no like it.”  Your favorite food is bacon, and sometimes you get so happy about it that you break out into a dance.  You also really love blueberries.  You and your sister can down 2 cartons of blueberries in a single sitting.

You’re not a huge fan of the beach anymore.  Ever since you were surprised by a wake wave a couple of months ago, you have been very anxious at the beach and want to turn around as soon as you can hear the water.

You have gotten noticeably better about boats though, and don’t seem to be bothered by the noise anymore.

You’re a total ham.  You make silly faces and try your best to be a total goofball at every opportunity.  A couple of days ago I was changing your diaper and asked you why you were (insert silly goofball antic that I can’t remember).  You smiled at me and said “‘Cause I silly.”

Yes, son.  That you are.

You love school.  Perhaps it’s because you can be in the same class as Kaelin or maybe it’s because they have guinea pigs, but there was no adjustment period of prying you off my leg during drop-off.  You love going and every time I pick you up you are happily busying yourself around the room.

I had prepared to write about your miraculous transition into (FINALLY!) sleeping through the night just before your 2nd birthday.  We had 3 good nights in a row this week.

And then you were up about 6 times last night.  So never mind on that.

You have gotten very particular about how your blanket is placed at night.  You insist on having the dark side facing upward – if it isn’t you complain, “Turn over” until we comply.

You have a sweet nature and are empathetic when other people get hurt.  When Kaelin fell off the bed and cried the other day, you practically smothered her with attention and “What happen, Kae’n?  What happen, Kae’n?”  Sometimes you get in trouble for hitting or playing too rough, and when we scold you and tell you that what you did wasn’t nice, you immediately offer “Hugs nice, kisses nice” and give a sweet hug and kiss.

You thoroughly enjoyed your birthday today.  Since we couldn’t go to Seldovia this weekend due to Daddo’s recent injury (more on that later), your Ana came to see you and you have thoroughly enjoyed having her around.  After a low-key morning and a nap, we all went to the park where you swung, climbed, slid, and ran around until you could hardly stand up anymore.

Then we came home for some good grilled food, followed by cake and presents.  You were a little unsure about the cake at first but warmed up to it pretty quickly.  At least, you warmed up to the frosting.  I don’t think you ever actually had any of the cake itself.  You enjoyed opening all your gifts and took to the books immediately, persuading your Ana to read them to you until your bedtime.

I am hopeful that tonight will turn out to be a good night for sleep after your big day.  Goodness knows we could both use it.

Happy Birthday, my little man.  You find new ways to make me smile each day, and I look forward to the next year with you.

Love,
Mama

First Day of School

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Milestones,Parenting,Photos — Amy @ 2:15 pm

I realize that a lot of mothers enjoy summer vacation and relish the time they can spend with their children.  And don’t get me wrong, my kids are awesome.  But I simply do not possess the ability to play toddler games for hours on end, and I don’t have the mental capacity to read the same 10-word book 2,378 times in a row without going completely bats__t.

Taking the kids to the mall play area wears me out and raises my blood pressure because they’re both running in opposite directions and weaving in and out of other people and Where’s Koren, he was just here, OMG SOMEBODY RAN OFF WITH MY BAAAAAAYBEEEEE OH WAIT THERE HE IS TRYING TO DO A BACK FLIP OFF THE TOP OF THE 5’ BUGS BUNNY.

Besides the mall, the summer entertainment options in Texas are basically swimming or playing at an indoor facility (which, I might add, always costs money).  Both tend to get old after about the 15th time.

So with that in mind, I was equally dreading the waiting period after we moved here, knowing that the kids would have no friends, no school, no babysitters, and no schedule until we could work our way up the wait-list for the local early learning center.

…The kids started school yesterday.  And it totally snuck* up on me.

First Day of School

It seems that we’re just so busy here that I didn’t even notice the 2 months of No! Schedule! going by.  That, and the kids have gotten surprisingly good at entertaining themselves for longer stretches of time.  Kaelin is always coming up with some creative pretend game and Koren is all too happy to play along.  He’s also been taking really good naps – 2½ to 3-hour naps are pretty normal.

The kids loved school.  Koren clung to me for a few minutes until they gave him a carrot and told him he could feed the guinea pigs.  Then Mama was old news.  I didn’t even get a goodbye.

Kaelin got to go down to the harbor on a field trip and tour a “big boat with a gun.”  Koren got to do some gardening, and earned himself the nickname “Mr. O.K.” (apparently he was very agreeable).  When I came to pick them up after lunch, Koren had the full attention of one of the teachers and was bringing her one book after another to read.  Kaelin was socializing with the other teachers and kids in the class.  She made two friends, named Hope and Elsa.  When they came home, both kids took really long naps.

I believe they are looking forward to going back tomorrow.

*Yes, I KNOW the grammatically correct term is “sneaked” but that sounds retarded and I refuse to use it.

The Toddler Guide for Using a Spoon

Filed under: Koren,Milestones,Photos — Amy @ 5:31 pm

This demonstration brought to you by Macaroni, the color Purple, and the letter K.

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Step 1: SCOOP

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Step 2: DEPOSIT

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Step 3: SCORE!

What’s that? You need to see it again in slow motion? Ok.

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Dad’s 65th Birthday

Filed under: Family,Memories,Milestones,Photos — Amy @ 7:47 pm

Toward the end of January, we celebrated my dad’s 65th Birthday.  As a tribute, I (with the help of my mom) put together a slideshow of his 65 years to run in the background at the party.  Here is that slideshow. 

Warning: It’s about a 20 minute slideshow, so grab a cup of coffee.

Happy birthday, Dad!  I hope I look that good at 65!  May this be your best year yet!

Pavement?  Meet my Face.  Glad we’re friends now.

Filed under: Hobbies,Milestones — Amy @ 5:43 pm

So I’ve been jogging lately.  It’s a good form of exercise, a good way to relieve stress, and a good way to push myself into doing something I never thought I was capable of.

See, I’m not a runner.  Actually, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not an ATHLETE.  I can’t think of a single sport in high school P.E. that I remotely excelled in.  Swimming, maybe, but that’s because most of the girls in my class were pretty bad swimmers.

But I’ve always hated running.  In high school, we had to run a mile each week during P.E. It took everything I had to make it around that 1/4-mile track ONE time.  I usually felt that my lungs were going to give out on me afterward, despite the fact that I had walked about 3/4 of the mile.  My personal best time was 12+ minutes, and I remember being pretty near death after that one.

The other thing that has always prevented me from running is the fact that I have bunions, so I can’t use my big toes too much or else it’s hard to walk the next day.

Today, I ran a mile.  An entire one.  Without stopping, even once.  My time was somewhere around 11 minutes, according to the clock on my iPhone.

And when I finished that mile, I continued to run 2 more miles, walking only about 15% of the time.

Now, I know an 11+ minute mile isn’t anything spectacular.  This guy I know just ran a 5K in under half an hour, while pushing 2 kids in a stroller.  But I couldn’t help thinking how at almost 30 years old, and 20 pounds heavier, I’m apparently in better shape (muscle-wise, anyway) than I was in high school.

And how even at this stage in life, I can push myself to accomplish something that I used to believe I would never be capable of.

As always, my moment of glory passed quickly.  Shortly into mile #2, I tripped over a ridge in the sidewalk and totally ATE IT on the pavement.  As in, belly flop onto the ground – my knees never got the chance to catch me.  My hands, thigh and lifeline iPhone paid the price.  As did my pride.

I never did that in high school either.  I guess some things do get worse with age.

First Whole Plum

Filed under: Koren,Milestones,Photos — Amy @ 12:26 pm

He came.  He saw.  He devoured.

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“Am I going to get in trouble for taking my plum into Daddo’s office?”
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“Ha ha, did it anyway!”
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About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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