Friday, May 4, 2018

Where Did My Baby Go?

Alternate title: Chickadee is SIX!

Chickadee turned six on Tuesday and true to our family tradition, she stretched it out for about a week. Chickadee is obsessed with outer space and astronauts so her birthday has revolved around that. There are planets (and one un-planet Pluto) hanging from our ceiling still. We cut into leftover Mars cake tonight, having already finished off the alien cupcakes and rocketship cake. Chickadee got a rocket ship tent and astronaut costume (among other space things) that she has not stopped using since last weekend.

Things to remember about Chickadee as a five-year-old:
1. Chickadee will say she wants to learn about everything. The other night she asked many many questions about babies and ended the conversation with: "Ok, so now I am into THREE things: space, science, and babies."
2. Chickadee's mind does. not. stop. Her sense of and why constantly on and catches me off guard regularly. Big questions like can babies die on their actual birthday? or how do we have more cows if all cows are female? or small questions about how things work, why we do things a certain way. Her best question asking time is bedtime. The perfect stall tactic.
3 Chickadee is pretty tall now. She is definitely NOT the tiny thing she used to be. But she still loves to be carried and held. She tells me all the time that she will still let me carry her when she is 17 years old. I figure that's probably not the case, so I will carry her while I still can. Admittedly, she's getting a bit long in the legs for this.
4. Chickadee has a BFF named Annie, a "playground BFF" named Kayla, and a "boy BFF" named Oliver but she calls him Mr. Banks from the Mary Poppins movie (and he's apparently a good sport about it). She also has two recent imaginary friends whose names I cannot remember, but apparently they scare her siblings but not her.
5. Chickadee is obsessed with meat. She tells us that when she grows up, she will not have children because she wants to spend all her money on meat that she can eat all the time. Except breakfast. For breakfast she will have chocolate pancakes.
6. Chickadee officially moved into my room over the summer due to needs of other kids and foster care rules. MY room being HER room means that I now have more stuffed animals in my room than I did as a child and I often go to sleep with a projector light shining Saturn or a constellation onto the ceiling.
7. Chickadee is a dancer and singer and actress, oh is she an actress. She says the best thing at school is Music and the best song in Music is "Senor Don Gato". She has spent the year in gymnastics and has recently decided to keep going next year. She is a girl on the move.

I could go on and on about this kid. The truth is that she is probably the happiest kid I've ever had in the house. If she is mad or upset, it lasts about 2 minutes. She can make any one of us laugh by doing a funny dance, reminding us of a funny story, or attempting to tell a funny joke. I've always said she is a ball of joy and that hasn't changed still. I am so lucky to be this kid's mama. 

I love you, Chickadee. Have fun being six!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Seven-Year-Old Sunshine

My kids have learned well how to stretch their birthdays out for a week. May as well maximize things, right? Sunshine declined a birthday party. She wanted a roller skating play date instead. She met 2 friends at the rink (with her siblings in tow), skated a couple hours, ate a big pickle at the snack bar and called it a day. Tonight, she had chick-fil-a for dinner and a red velvet bundt cake. Throw a few presents in there and the girl is happy.

Things to remember about Sunshine during her 7th year:
1. We got two cats in the fall--Simon and Heidi. Sunshine cannot pass a cat without picking it up. No matter what she should be doing, she CAN NOT ignore the cat. She is extra thrilled when one jumps on her top bunk.
2. Sunshine likes a lot of people but she's one of those kids who wants a few really good friends and that's all she needs. She has a couple good friends at school that she would play with night and day if time permitted. Apparently, she and the couple of friends have a "club" at recess and they swap love letters regularly.
3. If Sunshine were forced to play one thing for the rest of her childhood, it would be babies. Not baby dolls. Babies. She can easily convince Junebug or Chickadee to be a baby. Sunshine is either the mom or the teenager every time.
4. Sunshine loves books. She is not yet reading much on her own but she can sit and listen to them for as long as I am willing to read. Favorites this year have been Harry Potter (books 1 and 2), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and Dory Fantasmagory.
5. Sunshine is still the most serious out of the bunch. She doesn't mess around at dinner. She doesn't trick people or try to make them laugh. Every once in a while though, she crosses her eyes, sticks out her tongue and puffs her cheeks out, only to immediately go back to being serious. It's like all the silliness is tucked up in her brain and pops out for that split second.
6. Sunshine is still an animal lover. Her library books are almost always non-fiction animal encyclopedias. One was a vet book with real surgery pictures. On the ledge right now are two non-fiction books about sharks and sea animals.

I say it every year and it is still true. The thing about Sunshine is that her character doesn't change with age. She is the same kid she was as a two-year-old as she is now. She is loyal, kind, observant and just that teeny bit stubborn still. She keeps us grounded in a way no one else in the house does. We are all so lucky to have her loving on us.

Happy 7th Birthday, Sunshine.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Boy Boxers

A certain girl requested "boy underwear" for Christmas. She received 6 glorious pairs of slightly too big boxer briefs. Said child has spent the last 9 days in only her underwear when we have been home.

Two entertaining conversations re: these undies:
Two days after she had been wandering around in her underwear, she declared: Oooh look! These have a POCKET!

After sticking her hand in her "pocket" and realizing it was not at all a pocket, she said: oh, wait. I was wrong.


Last night, she was tucked into bed wearing only her undies when we have not reached a high of 32 in the last two days. It's freezing.

"Aren't you cold sleeping in just your undies?"
"No, I am so happy because boxers are so clean and so FRESH! They keep me warm!"


Monday, November 20, 2017

The Best Anatomy Conversation I've Ever Had

Convo at toothbrushing time:
Kid: What's this in the back
Of my throat?
Me: A uvula.
It looks like a wee-nis.
A what?
A wee-nis.
What is a wee nis?
You know.
The thing boys have.
That's a penis not a wee nis.
No I'm not talking about the penis, I'm talking about that lumpy thing BEHIND a penis.
Um, those are testicles.
That's a dumb name. I think they are called wee-nises and that thing in my throat you see right there? It looks like a weenis.

Some Random Chickadee Comments

Just putting these here so I will have them to reference when Facebook goes out of style:

Re: quesadillas with refried black beans: "Why are you feeding us this fancy schmancy stuff?"
Re: cremation: "So if you die while we are at home, should we just put you on the stove and cook you then?"
Re: cat leg amputations: "So do they cut it off or just pull it off like a chicken bone?"
Re: Christmas: "You mean Jesus was born on Christmas??? That's so cool. Did Santa come to Him too?"

Junebug is FIVE!

Junebug's birthday was yesterday. She popped out of bed and said, "I'm going to tell EVERYONE at church that I am five today and it's my actual birthday."

A second later, she said "But why aren't we doing anything to celebrate my birthday?"

Because, my child, you have had a birth MONTH. One Saturday was a joint birthday party with Speed, the next Saturday was an extra-long visit at extra-fun places with her birth family and us, the NEXT Saturday was a trip to Sea Word, and cupcakes at school were squished in somewhere along the way.

This child has been WELL CELEBRATED.

Yesterday, she ended up with her choice for dinner (nuggets and fries), unwrapped the last two gifts, and had some candles in a piece of  leftover chocolate pie.

Things to remember about our little Lou Who as a four-year-old:

Sunshine will say that Junebug is "the loudest, most talking-est kid in our whole family." Ain't that the truth.

Junebug loves, loves, loves the cats but squeezes them just that bit too hard so she isn't allowed to carry them yet.

She loves gymnastics which she started officially a couple weeks ago but informally via lessons from Chickadee and Sunshine a few months ago. There's sort of a running joke about how opposite Junebug's real name is to Junebug herself.

Junebug writes her name sooooo beautifully. 100% backwards.

Junebug has embraced fruits and veggies more than I ever thought she would. I think she would say that strawberries and red peppers are her faves, but she's doing pretty well on all sorts of healthy foods. That's not to say that she wouldn't prefer junk food, but there's been some real progress lately.

Junebug's favorite color is orange, her favorite cake is chocolate, and her favorite thing outside is the swing. She loves school, her teacher and her classmates something fierce.

Junebug has been counting the days to be the same age as Chickadee, but when I mentioned that today, she said: We are NOT the same age because Chickadee is five AND A HALF.

What a surprise gift this girl has been the last year. I am so grateful that our door was open when she needed it to be and that we will continue to be able to love on this girl.

Happy Birthday, Junebug Lou Who!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Speed Turns EIGHT!

Last night marked a very hectic, very fun, very WET Halloween/Birthday for Speed. He will have his party (a joint party with Junebug) on Saturday so most of the focus was on Halloween. However, we managed to squeeze in lemon muffins for breakfast, cupcakes with classmates at lunch, and a few presents squished in between dinner and trick-or-treating.

Speed is really growing up and it's weird to see. I mean, EVERY parent watches their kids grow up, but I've been in preschool land for a decade now and watching that slip away, one kid at a time, is so different than watching different preschoolers enjoy the same things.

Things to note about Speed as a 7 year old:
1. Speed got his own room this summer. I no longer have a room of my own and that is fine. It has given Speed the opportunity to have some space, some independence, and to organize things EXACTLY the way he wants them without regard to what anyone else thinks or wants. He is still quite detail oriented when it comes to setting things up, so this has been perfect for him.

2. Speed learned to read. Like really read. Like I can't text anymore with him around because he will look over my shoulder.

3. Speed has always been a good big brother. His connection to Junebug though is above and beyond normal big brother stuff. Sure he can pick on her from time to time, but at the end of the day, he will do absolutely anything for her.

4. Speed has taken to writing. He can sit for well over an hour copying the words from a book. We once discussed why he can't write "written by Speed" on the cover of these newly created and copied books. Now he will often write "Copied by Speed".

5. When Speed turned four or maybe when he moved that one time so long ago, I wrote that Speed loved pushing (literal) buttons. He still does. Elevator buttons, dishwasher, garage door, car windows.... If it is a button, it will be pushed.

6. We are approaching that age where toys are less important. This has been interesting to watch as our friends' kids all do tech stuff--ipads, tv, video games--instead of toys but we don't do those things here. So Speed sometimes will just sit and watch people play. Or he'll organize something. Or he will do art. Occasionally, he will join in again just like the good ol' days and orchestrate some elaborate pretend play activity, usually involving car rides, church, babies and school activities.

7. Speed has learned to help a lot in the kitchen this year. He peels carrots till they are about half their size. He likes to wash dishes. He likes to sweep. If I could set him free in the kitchen to make a full meal, he would. The boy still loves his food!

I counted that Speed and I have now shared five of his birthdays together. I remember how fun it was to watch him make his 4 year old cake "by himself" and how different it felt when he turned five because I knew, at that point, that we would be celebrating many, many birthdays together. I am still so grateful for the opportunity to watch Speed grow.

Happy 8th Birthday, Speed! I love you.