Sunday, April 09, 2006

Updates on the kids

Ashton's really a great kid. He's just such a grown up six year old and he's so fun to talk to and do things with. And he's developing a very strong sense of right and wrong and really wants to do what's right. Lately he's really into confessing random things. He'll wait for a quiet moment and then gently and humbly approach me or Jared with little confessions. The other night I cut the boys' hair (it was SO long - it's just been so hard to find time to do anything about it! I cut it nice and short and it makes such a difference not to have to do their hair as we try to get out the door anymore. Eliza, on the other hand, looks like a cotton-candy-headed wild thing with her fuzzy mop of white blond hair - somehow doing her hair just doesn't often make it to the top of my priority list!). After cutting one side of Ashton's hair, he looked hilarious and Isaac and I were laughing at him so he wanted to look in the mirror. I searched for my little hand mirror (that Isaac found at the dollar store for me for Christmas last year) so I could show Ashton without having him go into the bathroom and get hair all over the place. But it was nowhere to be found. I went back in there and told Isaac I was so sad because the special mirror he gave me must have gotten lost in the move and Ashton figured out that he could see himself in the chrome plating on the hair clippers so all was well. Later that night, Ashton got out of bed a few minutes after we'd tucked him in and came up to the kitchen. "You know how I like to be honest? Well, there's something I have to tell you. When me and Isaac were playing with your mirror at the old house it actually broke and I put it in the bushes outside and I'm really sorry. I know it was special because Isaac got it for you and I can buy you a new one if I can earn some money." He'd obviously thought out his speech carefully and wanted to do what's right! Another day, he found me alone and said "Mommy, I have to tell you something. I was going potty and three drops of pee pee got on my underwear so I had to put on some new ones but I put the wet ones right in the washer, of course." On a mommy date to the grocery store today, he said, "Remember when I went with you last time to that clothes store (I vaguely remembered - it was a couple months ago). Well, when you said I could wait in the car (it was parked right outside this small shop I was in), I actually found some money in the car and bought a gumball and some nuts from those little machines when I came back in the store. I'm sorry I did that without asking." What a boy.

Isaac still says a lot of his words in his own little way. He says "yogrit" instead of "yogurt" and "gill" instead of "girl" and "thinger" instead of "finger" - plus he still uses the "w" sound instead of the "r" sound a lot ("I weally, weally need a dwink!"). He's this big strong 4 year old with this cute little voice (sometimes not-so-cute when he gets whiney, but mostly very cute). He totally blooms with just a little praise. When we point out something he's done well, he'll walk around bursting with pride and telling everyone about it for days. After learning to ride his bike without training wheeles before moving from California, he had a bad bike crash and wanted the training wheels back on. So he's had training wheels again for 6 months or so and Jared said to tell him when he was ready to take them off again. A couple days ago, he said he was ready to get them off and he took off riding without them, no problem. Within a few minutes, he was jubilantly riding down the big dirt hill between our house and Jonah and Aja's - like he'd been doing it all his life. He's a totally steady and great bike rider now. And he's somehow made a breakthrough on letters and numbers - he just hasn't been interested and has become very quickly bored and annoyed when I've tried to work with him on academic stuff. But this last week, as we've been filling out the forms for Kindergarten registration, I figured we'd better get going on this stuff and pulled out a kindergarten readiness workbook. He was totally into it and wanted to keep doing page after page! It seems like Isaac just "clicks" with different things when he's ready, and if you push him too soon, he's as stubborn and difficult as can be.

Eliza's been the best big sister lately. She's always talking so sweetly to the twins - "Don't worry, little guy, I'm your big sister and I'll help you eat this bread and then you'll be happy." She's always playing peek-a-boo with them and doing crazy songs and dances for them to help them stop crying. She definitely fits the phrase "absolutely adorable or absolutely horrible." She completely falls apart at the least provocation and when I tell her she needs to stop, she'll say "I can't get my tears out!" and insists on having me and only me wipe her eyes for her so that she can stop crying. She loves to help me do things and generally is delightful if she's happily engaged in something - but if she's a bit bored and/or tired or hungry, watch out! She loved to pick fights with me. She'll come up and say something like "Mommy, I'm not going to play with you" and when I say "fine" she'll say "well, I'm not going to pick up my toys like you asked me" and I'll say "fine, but you have to do it before we can go" and she'll find something else contrary to say to me and try to get me to argue with her. She's got some Eyre blood, I guess!

Both babies are running around these days. They are totally stable on their feet and have started chasing each other around and laughing at each other which is totally fun to watch. They also love their older siblings to chase them. Whenever I get down on the floor at their level, they'll take turns giving me hugs and kisses - they both do this adorable "awwwww" sound as they lean in for a hug. Silas gives the sweetest tight, fairly long hugs and Oliver's more into short little hugs and slobbery kisses followed by some pats on the cheeks and some pulls on the ears and sometimes a hair pull and nose pull for good measure. They were great sleepers for a while there, but they're back to some bad stuff - mostly Silas again - waking up and wailing away for seriously hours at a time if we don't go get him a bottle. We'll lay there in bed, determined not to go in there and comfort his bad behavior, but he'll seriously go on forever and finally wake up Oliver and then they'll both be wailing away, keeping each other awake and getting hysterical. So we'll finally go in there and give them a little water and if that doesn't work, some milk. They both have little colds right now - but this waking up thing started before the colds so I don't know if its connected. These babies are the best in every way but sleeping! Good thing they're such adorable little guys during the day because it's sure hard to feel loving towards them at night sometimes!

Oliver is totally into playing peek-a-boo and it's so cute to see him pull a blanket over his head and sit still, waiting for someone to say "where's oliver?" so he can pull it off and great us with a huge smile and laugh. He's also developed this great little dance he does whenever he hears music. He'll position himself right under one of the speakers we have in the ceiling and do some knee bends - carefully keeping his balance, very serious about the whole thing, then as he gets more confident, he'll start flapping his arms and smiling while keeping the knee bends going.

Silas seems to be the instigator on getting into things, although Oliver does his share too. Their favorite thing is to pull out all the spice jars on the spice rack and they do it about 30 times a day. We tried to put a child lock on the thing but it won't work and we keep thinking they'll get sick of it - but no luck so far! Silas always has this mischevious grin ready to flash at you as you find him making a mess. When we firmly tell him "NO" or take away something he shouldn't have, he just falls apart, seeming to feel so offended and sad. He's a tender hearted little guy.

I'm re-writing the descriptions of the furniture on the Mountain Interiors website and tracking down new products to feature on the site as well as working on finishing this manual for CareerMothers (in my spare time, ha, ha, ha). Jared's working a lot on Mountain Interiors, on another possible business venture, and on finishing this house. Jonah and Aja lived with us for a couple weeks as they finished their house and now they're in there - it's beautiful! As their house passed up our house as far as how finished it was, we both decided it's time to get this place done once and for all. Jared's got all the towel bars and door stops installed and he's
99% finished with the baseboards now and he's done a fabulous job. I've filled a lot of the nail holes with putty, unpacked the last box, and worked on lots of other little details. Now we just need our painters to come stain the last 6 doors that had been made wrong and had to be sent back and redone. The painters/stainers have promised to come about 30 times and they've yet to come, but they promised they'd be here Wednesday - we'll see!

The weather's been amazing and the scenery fills my heart and soul every day. It was great having Jo and Aja with us for a while and we love having them right next door now. After having their kids here a lot during the Parade of Homes and as they worked on their house and then having them live with us for a while, it now seems pretty quiet and simple to have "just" five kids here some of the time. I keep thinking someone's missing as I put out lunch for just our three big kids. It's been crazy, but it's also been really fun working on our houses together, seeing Jo and Jared working away on doorknobs and baseboards and installing cork and so many other things on these lovely homes. It's really cool that this actually worked out after Jo and I emailed back and forth between New Zealand and California, contemplating the idea of living near each other and brainstorming places where both our famlies might like to live. Who would have guessed we'd be here in St. George in these amazing houses, looking out at the most lovely scenery and watching our kids play on the empty lot between our houses!

We're stressed out and very busy but very happy and very grateful.

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