Thursday, October 30, 2014

Where Do the Days Go?

It gets harder and harder to document life in our busy little family.  Ironically, the harder it is for me to sit down and write, the more I want to do it.  I know these days are so special and fleeting, and there's so much that I want to remember about them.

Lilly is five and a half, and what a wonderful age that is.  She got to play soccer on a team for the first time this year.  She still loves going off to school and she has quickly adapted to life in a neighborhood.  Lilly knows everyone and everything that is going on in our neighborhood at all times.  If you're not sure where to find her, it's a safe bet that she's either sitting out the back on the swing set, where she can monitor what's going on all around us, or sitting on the front steps waiting for a school bus to pick up or drop off children.  Lilly is full of spunk--she's happy, energetic and will never turn down the opportunity to play outside.  More and more, she comes out with comments or statements that catch me off guard.  Many of her expressions make me realize she is growing up and is extremely aware of everything going on around her, and other ones remind me that she is only five.  I have been having Special K for breakfast a lot lately, and Lilly and Jack jumped on this as a new cereal they had to try.  Because I was eating it, they both instantly loved it.  After she finished her first bowl, Lilly proceeded to ask if she could please have some more "Magic K".  It sounds a little bit more like a narcotic than I would like, but yes, Lilly, you can have as much Magic K as you would like in our house.  

Lilly knows where the boundaries lie and yet she constantly tests them.  For example, last week, we had little Grace who lives in our neighborhood over to play.  When Grace's sister Lauren came to pick her up, the first thing that Grace told her was "We had so much fun, Lauren...we peed in the yard!!" I almost died.  Lilly first denied it, as did Jack.  Clearly, they both knew it was wrong.  But Grace continued on to tell us that all of them did it.  Lauren followed this up by saying, "Well, Grace's pants are wet, so I think they really did."  I sent Lilly and Jack up to their bedrooms, and sent Grace's mom an apologetic, embarrassed message telling her what happened.  Grace is the youngest in her family, so her mom just laughed and said not to worry--she's seen it all.  But I was still mortified!  I talked to Lilly and Jack and made it clear that this was unacceptable (which they already knew) and didn't let them have dessert that night (which brought Jack to tears but barely phased Lilly).  Since that day, every night after dinner, Jack says, "Can I have dessert, Mom?  I didn't pee in the yard today."  Lilly has mentioned it a few times as well and has asked to have Grace over again so she can have another chance.  I thought coming inside to go to the bathroom was a pretty clear boundary, but clearly it was one that Lilly felt the need to push up against (and then go flying backwards).

One of my favorites. 

Jack is three--a newly turned three year old who couldn't love trucks any more than he does.  His best days involve garbage pick up in the neighborhood, watching the children get on the school bus, a UPS delivery and a trip on the highway.  Throw in any kind of siren or flashing lights and I would call it Jack's dream come true.  He still sucks his thumb diligently and has a ridiculously long nap every day--that he has to be woken up from, so he still seems so little to me.  Jack will be starting school with Lilly in January, and as much as I know he is ready, it still gives me a lump in my throat when I think about dropping him off every day.  A few weeks ago, he came up to me wearing a (fairy) backpack and asked me if it was after Christmas yet because he was ready to go to school.  I told him just a couple more months, and then reminded myself to soak up these mornings with this sensitive little guy, who can't get enough cuddles.

Amazingly decorated cake by Auntie Ells! 

We moved Jack into his own room about a month ago.  It is a room full of trucks and cars and everything boy, and Jack adores it.  This came about because Hannah was spending hours in the middle of the night calling everyone's names.  Jim and I tried everything.  We ignored it, but she was persistent, so the end result was that we were lying in bed awake for two hours listening to her call out, asking for all of us.  We tried going in and reasoning with her.  You can guess how well that worked.  It was bad for a little while though.  I knew just how bad it was when Ellie, who was staying with us, was googling things like, "why does my toddler wake up and yell at night?" and after doing some research, advised me to keep a sleep journal so we could start tracking what was going on.  Ellie was doing this.  Ellie.  So then we decided that Hannah needed a roommate, and what better roommate than her equally chatty big sister.  The same day that we made our decision, we spent the evening disassembling beds and cribs and rearranging everyone to put our plan into action.  The first night, when Hannah woke up, she quickly switched from calling "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy...." to "WIWWY!!!"  Lilly rolled over, told her that it was nighttime and that everyone was asleep, to which Hannah responded with a sad, "okay" and went back to sleep.  It has taken a few weeks of this new arrangement but I think that finally, Hannah understands that no one is going to talk to her or play with her in the night, no matter how much she yells.    

Hannah is 19 months old and as Mum as correctly guessed from all the stories that make their way across the ocean, Hannah is indeed a little dynamo.  She wants to do everything that the older two do, and she usually succeeds at it.  She swings on the big-kid swings.  She goes up and down the stairs comfortably.  She climbs on whatever playground ropes or balance beams she sees Jack and Lilly use.  She talks a mile a minute--at her most recent doctor's appointment, her pediatrician said she has the verbal skills of a three year old.  And really, she does.  For months, she has been walking around the house saying, "Come on, Mom" when she wants me to do something with her.  When Lilly or Jack send her on a mission to get a toy from the basement or their slippers from upstairs (you know, the really fun jobs that a third child gets to do...) Hannah's little voice can be heard saying a happy, "sure" which sounds more like "shaw!" She has a cheeky, toothy smile which makes me laugh every time.  Hannah has loved playing with Uncle Joef while he's staying with us, as he will sprint circles or hop like a bunny or skip with her around the house.  Sometimes he will hide from her and jump out when she comes around the corner, producing shrieks of delight.  She has taken to calling him Uncle Joefy, which makes us all laugh.

So that is a snapshot of our life at the moment.  We tucked three very excited children into bed tonight.  Halloween in this neighborhood is a big deal, so we're gearing up for a pizza party, parade and trick or treating tomorrow night.  They all love their costumes so tomorrow, despite my usual disdain for Halloween, should be a lot of fun.  Here are a few more photos of the past few weeks.  There certainly is never a dull moment with these three.

In heaven...driving the bus at Touch-A-Truck
One fierce looking bicycle gang.
Lilly went to visit Jack on their first night sleeping in different bedrooms

Time to wash Jack's trucks

Hannah has some serious hair in the morning! 
Hanging out at Lilly's soccer game...waiting for the post-game snack!