Friday, October 25, 2013

There's Something About Willow

She continues to make me laugh everyday. She also challenges me on a daily basis, so the joyful moments and the tear filled moments even each other out. I've been trying to 'collect' cute things that she has said or done, in the past few months, and remember them. I'm not sure how long I am supposed to remember these tidbits of cuteness...for my whole life? Until I can share them with her? I've actually been meaning to record them on this blog...and now I've probably forgotten most of them. I need to write it all down before I forget these stories! 

All photos in this post taken by the talented, Kristi Witek, in July and August 2013. 
From day one, Willow has had a strong attachment to her brother and can be very protective/possessive of him. She started calling his pacifier his 'medi' (aka: medicine) the day we left the hospital. She still calls all pacifiers medicine. I'm not sure if she thinks that pacifiers emit some sort of liquid medicine or what...

She has started crossing her arms in front of her chest, or putting her hands on her hips. Such an adolescent already. Lots of sighing too. 

Much to our surprise/amusement/horror, she has started using slang. When frustrated about dropping her special bunny on the driveway (during a road trip), she said "oh gosh" under her breath. Adam and I just looked at each other, with our eyebrows sky high. Last week, I heard her say "oh darn" when she couldn't kill a bug. The bug was actually just a light which she thought was a bug. She might have learned these from me, but she definitely learned "oh man" from her dad.

She is terrified of her minion helium baloon that she got at the school carnival two weeks ago. I have to admit, it is pretty horrifying to walk into a room and feel like someone is watching you--only to look up and fine a large-eyed yellow freak floating in the corner of the ceiling. It's nightmare material and has freaked me out in the middle of the night when I'm soothing Noah. Also freaked me out today, when the almost deflated baloon was waiting for me on the other side of my bedroom door. Nearly lost all control of my bladder. Anyway, to help conquer her fear, she has started walking around the house, holding its hand. And then punching him repeatedly. Not sure this is funny or sad. Does it make me a bad parent?

She learned how to say 'gummies' in references to her gummy vitamins. I'm not sure how she learned that word, since I've never called her vitamins gummies. She learns words like this everyday--not sure how or where, but she's a sponge for vocabulary. 

When she wants something, she proposes her idea. When we repeat her idea back to her, she says "Oh yes!" with lots of up and down movement in the pitch of her voice. It makes it sound like WE proposed the idea and not she. Example:
Willow: ice cream!
Me: you want to eat ice cream?
Willow: oh yes! oh sure.
Happens many times, everyday. She's pretty good at persuasion.

When a friend's baby spit up, but no one noticed except for Willow---she ran over to find the baby's burp cloth and handed it to the newborn's mom. 

During bedtime one night, when I was tucking her in, she heard Noah laughing in his room. We had never heard him laugh before (Adam was playing with Noah). Her eyes lit up, she giggled, and then jumped out of bed so she could see Noah laughing for herself. She takes so much joy in his development, just like a little mom. Yesterday, when she came inside from playing outdoors with Adam, she heard Noah talking in his baby voice. It sounded a lot like "hi", so she was overjoyed and said "Noah's sayin' hi! Oh! He said hi again!" 

She talks about "Horton Hears a Who" everyday and can talk through the major points of the plot. She started doing this on her own, and I have been so surprised by this skill. I need to take a video of it, because it is priceless--and the teacher in me is so intrigued that she can already summarize a plot. 

She drops the 'g' in most words ending with '-ing'. It's pretty cute.
Willow: What are you doin', mom?
Me: Sitting here, feeding Noah. What are you doing?
Willow: Playin' toys. 

Instead of cereal with milk, she eats granola and yogurt in the morning. But she still calls it cereal. When we were making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies together, she called the rolled oats "cereal'. I thought that was pretty impressive.

Willow is finally counting correctly. The whole summer it was, "one, two, nine, ten, five, seven" etc. 

She can write a "W" and recognizes them in text all the time. She also says 'double-you'--which is pretty cute. 

Willow is currently obsessed with the baby kangaroo from a stuffed animal set. She likes to wrap it up in a blanket and carry it around all day. She burps and shushes it, gives it rides in her doll stroller, and lets it sit in Noah's bouncy seat. She also nurses her stuffed animals, burps them, cleans up their invisible spit up, and changes their diapers. None of this have I encouraged or taught her to do. 

The couch is actually an airplane or a boat, according to Willow. She is constantly navigating the sea or the sky in her vessel. 

She calls soup, "soot". 

Willow expects Adam to take her to the market everyday after he returns home from school. She brings little kuai coins in her coat pocket so that she can ride the mechanical airplanes and cars outside of the shop. She also expects to eat a snack on the way home (like bread rolls or yogurt), and throws away the garbage in the trashcan outside our apartment building before she comes back inside. 

She asks for a drink every night, and places her sippy cup on the ledge of her headboard. It's the perfect sippy cup shelf, in her mind.

Willow loves to interact with Noah, and whenever his eyes are open she exclaims, "eyes ope!" That's right. No 'n' sound. 
She has been known to cover Noah up with his burp cloths so that he isn't cold. She wants him to try everything that she can do. Her favorite way to hold him lately, is on her shoulders. Either Adam or I will hold Noah steady as Willow walks (or runs) around the apartment with her brother on her shoulders. She asks, "Hold Noah on shoulders" everyday. It's slightly annoying, but also funny. 

The stool that I use in the kitchen and laundry room (because I'm too short to reach anything) is what she now considers her personal property. She's constantly tearing into the kitchen to retrieve the stool so that she can reach what she wants. 

Willow can finally say Tommy's name--and doesn't have to call him TT anymore. She remembers that TT made her smoothies and that Emma made her coffee--and that the coffee maker was very loud. She remembers that she took rides on tractors, rhinos, gators, and combines. She remembers feeding Jake and Elwood treats and telling them to 'get down' or to sit. She remembers all her grandparents and aunts and uncles too! We talk about our memories from our time in America everyday. 

One of her favorite things to do is put on excessive amounts of chapstick. All over her whole face. "I'm pretty, mom. OOh, pretty!" 

Willow takes so much pleasure in playing with Noah. She likes to make him smile and thinks his little hands and feet are cute. Whenever she thinks something is cute or small she calls it a 'noah'. She also says "it's a tute little noah" and touches her fingers in front of her face while she squints her eyes.

It's been fun taking care of a baby (Noah) and a toddler--who is somewhere between acting like a big kid and yet still my baby. She definitely keeps me entertained all day. She made a train with orange slices today and was jumping around saying "choo choo". She reviewed the principles of sharing this morning, before her friends came over for a play group--"sharing's nice. Kids playin' toys. My toys." 

There's so many cute things I could write about. Like how she checks my ears very carefully in the morning to see if I'm wearing earrings or not. How she snuggles with me in the morning, or asks for a kiss and song before naps. I could also write about how she's sneaky, devious, and disobedient. How she can be too rough, or make huge messes without meaning to. How she struggles with sharing, and hates bedtime routines. I could write about how she's addicted to technology, and can do more on the ipad than I can. Or how she acts out with hunger strikes and refuses to eat more than a bite or two at each meal. She hates wearing baggy clothes and asks for 'tight pants'. What the heck?!

No one can have a dance party like Willow, that's for sure. And her back massages are the hilarious. It feels like a mouse is running on my shoulders.

If there is an art to being cute, crazy, and full of life--Willow is definitely learning to wield it's power. This is a long post...but I really love my little two-year-old and I don't want to forget her at this fun age! Some of my favorite things about Willow right now:  when she looks at Adam, me, or Noah and says, "I love you."; when she sings "10,000 Reasons" with Adam at bedtime (hearing their voices together melts my heart!); her sincere hugs, crazy giggles, and her sass and energy!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

1 & 2

Noah turned 2 months yesterday, and I'm finally getting around to his 1 month milestone post. Might as well throw in his 2 month post too. Actually, it's late, and I'm trying to make sleep more of a priority. Let's just let the pictures do the talking. Sorry, Noah. But sleep deprivation has really started to take its toll after 9 weeks of caring for you + the sleepless nights I experienced in the last month of pregnancy.

You are so cute. We love you. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Three-Fifths of the Picture

This picture was taken earlier this year, I think in April (?). Our team had a record of 5 pregnant mamas at the same time! We took a picture together, and are standing in order of our due dates.

 Now, four of those babies are born (though one is in Americ, now). Just waiting for the fifth baby...although now there is also a sixth baby on the way. Another friend on our team has just announced she is pregnant! 

The funny thing is, since we moved here in 2009, there has always been someone on our team who is pregnant. At least one lady has always been pregnant. As soon as she delivers, you hear of another pregnancy! I was trying to count the number of babies since 2009, and I think it's around 15...(?) Plus, many families also have taken care of foster babies. Considering the size of our team, we have quite a lot of babies and small children. 

Here are the babies (three-fifths of them anyway), outside of the womb!
They're sitting in birth order. The baby who is in America, should be sitting between Noah and Nora.

Noah is about 7 weeks.
Nora is about 2 weeks.
Elisha is about 1 week
I think I am correct on those ages....