Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Accident Prone

From the beginning, my girls have been little monkeys. They love to climb and explore and test the limits of their physical skills. Clearly imprinted on my brain is the image of the skinny little leg of an 18 month old Chloe sticking out of some tall playground equipment as she contemplated whether or not she could leap from that height. I learned to stay back and let them explore. The only times Chloe ever got hurt were when other people interfered and "helped" her. I learned one caveat to that rule on our trip to Disneyland this last week. When my girls get tired, they get very, very accident prone.

Despite our best efforts to keep the girls well rested during our trip, there is just too much excitement at Disneyland. The third night we were there, we stopped in at the Golden Horseshoe and caught the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show. After the show, I got in line for dinner. While paying for my food, Addie was monkeying around on the rope barriers. Suddenly, there was a huge crash as she fell from the ropes, and the back of her head connected with the brass base of the pole. I'm pretty sure everyone in the restaurant heard it as I scrambled to collect her, and Chloe and get my card and receipt from the cashier who was frantically waving it at me as if it was the most important piece of business going on right then.

I got Addie calmed down and we ate our dinner. We started cleaning up and getting ready to go. Out of the corner of my eye, I registered that Chloe was rocking in her chair, seconds before it crashed to the ground and she smacked the back of her head. It didn't make nearly the sound Addie's did--hard wood doesn't reverberate like hollow brass--but her shrieks of pain and shock more than made up for it. We immediately packed up and headed back to the hotel for the night.

The next day, we played at Disneyland and played at the beach, and all the girls got naps. It soon became obvious that the naps were not long enough. After dinner that night, and before bedtime, we headed back to the park for a couple more rides. In the line for the first ride, Chloe suddenly started crying and I looked to find blood pouring from her bottom lip. Apparently, she took the name of the ride, Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, quite literally. After I refused a trip to First Aid for her, she got the consolation prize of an "Official Citizen of Disneyland" button. So, blood=citizenship. Remember that one folks.

We rode the ride, then went to the next one. While waiting to ride Flick's Flyers, the kids were again climbing on the line barriers. And suddenly, there was another one down. Addie was flat on her back, another near miss concussion. After the ride (no matter how severe the injury, we can't skip the ride!), we immediately headed back to the hotel.

In all, we spent 5 fun filled days at Disneyland. We got home from the park yesterday, and as I was unloading and unpacking the car, I thought about the fun that we'd had and the new information I had about my girls' limits. I wondered just where they got this exhaustion fueled attraction to disaster from. Then, as I opened it, I smacked myself hard in the face with the car door.

I wonder how many naps I will need to take before the knot on my forehead goes down?

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I took a few minutes to capture my girls this morning before church because they were all just so cute.

Addie came running in declaring, "Mom, I put my tights on all by myself!"

It's hard to see in these pictures just how baggy and elephant like her legs were since she had not put on her tights, but Chloe's tights.

And she refused to keep her skirt down while I photographed her. But doesn't her hair look cute?

Then Chloe came out and started posing. As a result of her dance classes, she can now do the cutest curtsies.

And I love her smile. I love all my girls' smiles.

Though for some reason, no one is really smiling in this picture.

And here, no one is actually smiling at the camera.

But this little girl loves to smile at the camera. She just loves to smile, period.

And be just plain charming. Oh, how my heart melts.

It melts for each one of them, each doing their own thing, in their own way.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And then there's this girl

My Adelicious. She certainly keeps me on my toes. Was she supposed to be gorging herself on See's suckers? Of course not. And if I'd asked her what they tasted like, I know she would have replied, "Stawbries." Occasionally, something tastes like mint, or lemonade, but most of the time, it's strawberries. Which fortunately, are, "Too-isus."
Is she supposed to be running wild with rings during gymnastics class? Nope, not that either. But isn't her little leotarded body the cutest?
I have to remind myself how cute she looks and how good the experience is for her because most of the time, I just find it exhausting. She seems to go deaf as soon as we enter the gym and though her Mommy and Me class is very loosely structured, it still seems to be too rigid for her. And she can't jump on the trampoline. She squats and kind of hops, but doesn't really clear any air. Kind of like watching a duck try to jump. So she returns to running around in circles on her tiptoes.

This is her daily uniform. Whatever she happens to be wearing, be it pajamas, jeans or a dress (and she would usually prefer it to be a dress), she always adds princess shoes, a purse on each wrist and a baby under each arm. While she tends to be much more of a bruiser than Chloe was, Addie also loves to dress up, take care of baby dolls and play with Barbies much more than Chloe ever did. For all of her wild child leanings, she really can be very sweet. And a ham.
This was a special day.
She painted the bookshelf, the bins and the books, fortunately with washable paint. I made her stay in timeout the entire time I was cleaning it up, then sent her outside to prevent further indoor destruction. Once outside, she found the paint roller Bracken had partially cleaned and she painted our porch with interior latex. I managed to scrub that off, then went out front to take a look at my flowers. She started climbing the rough wooden wall that separates our driveway from our neighbor's, which for some reason she calls "Lesson Number One" (that's the name of her favorite song from Mulan II, but I don't get the relation). She fell off said wall and ended up with multiple scrapes as well as half a dozen splinters. She was very patient though, making the splinter removal the easiest clean up of the day.

And there's that grin again. It's the only one I can ever capture on camera.
But I love her smile, no matter what kind of trouble she's using it to get out of.
This outfit was a personal favorite. It's her standard uniform, but the dress and the hat with the long beads are such a 20's win. If she'd had her way, she would be wearing the BCBG pumps I found at the thrift store the other day. I couldn't get them away from her for a couple days. Girl knows a quality pair of shoes when she sees 'em.
Another favorite Addie-ism lately is "company." As in "Babies are very soft, warm and company (cuddly)." Every day when she takes her nap, I read her a book in her bed before she goes to sleep. She then cuddles with the book and rereads it until she falls asleep. Because she is my daughter. I'll often take the easy way out and deliberately choose a short book. We've read "Babies" so often that she has the entire text memorized and can recite it with a minimal amount of prompting.

For all her crazy, I sure love this kid. She never stops surprising me and making me laugh.
And I will take full responsibility for this outfit. "Welcome to Music Town" anyone? I know, totally inappropriate, but I couldn't help myself. I guess I know where Addie gets it after all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And this girl

My sweet Chloe girl. I haven't blogged nearly enough about her lately. Part of the problem is that seemingly overnight the age of "everything that comes out of her mouth is totally hilarious" ended, and the world of "big girl who is usually more wise than funny, and prone to bursting into spontaneous tears when you laugh at her when she doesn't mean to be funny" began. Seriously, the crocodile tears are amazing. Almost instantaneous, overflowing eyes as soon as her feelings are the slightest bit dented. I worry that she will become dehydrated.

The other problem is that she is my oldest daughter and a wonderful helper and all the small acts of service she performs all day often go unannotated. I swore that as an oldest daughter myself I would never abuse the gift that an oldest child can be, but I'm afraid I often take Chloe for granted. I don't know what I would do without her. There is no way I could handle all three of them (assuming desperately trying to keep up with Addie can be considered "handling" her) if I didn't have Chloe by my side. She is a mini mom in so many ways. As exemplified by the picture below, proving that I am spending a little too much time on the computer.

In an effort to better document the inner workings of her "head brain," I took notes the other day while we were having lunch. Unfortunately, my notes and my memory aren't that great, and her trains of thought are quite inventive, so I can't piece it all back together. But the randomness of the notes themselves is pretty representative of the whole. We discussed
  • Long nails
  • How snail trails help the earth (how different things help the other is a major topic of conversation)
  • The need to be gentle on soft bones because they are the only bones we have
  • "I think Maggie thinks it's medicine"
Then she looked out the window and exclaimed, "Mom, it's snowing!" I looked out and saw the wind blowing the petals of the almond blossoms across the yard, and had to agree.

Tonight at Costco, someone mentioned how cute Addie was, and I, exhausted after dealing with a child in the throes of 2 1/2 year old dependent independence, told the woman she could have Addie. To which Chloe added, "But if you take her, you have to love her!"

Chloe also desperately loves Maggie. She is always asking to hold her and carry her around, even if Maggie is not interested in the trip. It is amazing helpful, though, to have someone around who can pick up Maggie and bring her to me or remove her from danger if need be. Or run and get me a diaper or a glass of water. And who can get her own snacks, since she needs a snack at least every 20 minutes. And who will "read" stories to both of her sisters when Mom is busy. It will be very exciting when she can read for real. She did sound out and spell her first word the other day. She drew a picture about "The Emperor's New Groove" and labeled it Cosco (Cuzco). I was impressed.
Chloe is very aware of relationships with boys and girls. This is her and her friend Josh in a box. Her friend Josh who she prayed for months would decide not to be a firefighter and just be a dad. Dads are very important to Chloe.
We were at Old Navy the other day, and I had the two younger girls loaded up in the stroller. A male employee walked by and jokingly asked if he could have a ride. With a smile I replied, "Only if you promise to stay in your seat and not touch anything!" As soon as he was gone, Chloe turned to me and said, indignantly, "Mom--you're not supposed to talk to other boys--only to Dad!"

She is becoming quite competitive. She only wants to do things she can win at. Which doesn't remind me of anyone who lives inside my head at all. Every night she and Addie race to see who can get into their pajamas first. Last night she was excitedly celebrating her victory when she stopped and said, "Ooops. I forgot to put on my underwear!"

I need to remember that incident, not just because it was funny, but because she actually forgot something. This child has a memory like an elephant, unless it's related to what happened at church that day. Then her mind goes extraordinarily blank. But I know it's sinking it. There's a church song she loves that says, "I am a builder, working each day, to build my family." She certainly does that, whether it's helping set the table and fill the glasses every night, or praying every day that my hands will feel better, or begging to help a little more with Maggie, my Chloe is certainly doing her part to build our family.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh, this girl

If you can tell me how this kid could be cuter, please don't. Because I just don't think I could stand it.

She has the best cheeks for kissing and squishing.

And this smile, oh, this smile.

And this smile, with gums tightly pressed together, the new teeth that arrived the last week of January peeking out.

And the nose all wrinkled up as she smiles at Chloe.

And she loves to eat everything. Seriously--not a rejected food yet. She was a little hesitant about cereal, but she's warming up to it. However, when it comes to drinking, she absolutely rejects formula. As in gagging, dry heaving, rejects formula.

And then there's her personality. I have long maintained that 3rd children are either angels or demons, multiply and replenish or birth control. This one just couldn't be sweeter. We started gymnastics classes for Addie and Chloe in January. Addie's class is a Mommy and me class, so I keep Maggie in her seat, give her a bottle of juice, and hope for the best. And every week, she stays in her seat, drinks her juice, and watches the class, hardly making a peep.

She loves to entertain herself, and will just play and play as long as her sisters don't take away all her toys. They're going to have a harder time doing that now that as of today, she is officially crawling. And I'm going to have to become a better housekeeper.

Also today, as Bracken was walking out the door, he said, "Bye-bye." It was amazing. Okay, fine, it wasn't amazing. What was amazing was that Maggie then said, "Buh-buh," in reply. We were shocked. At the risk of making her think we were getting rid of her, we told her, "Bye-bye," a few more times, and she replied, "Buh-buh," every time. How did she get so big?
And cheesy?

I'm sure glad she came to stay with us. And so is Chloe, because now she eternally has someone to photobomb .