Saturday, June 27, 2015

Adessa's Birthday

Adesssa, also, had a birthday. And in a fluke of some kind of reverse birth order favoritism, I almost didn't get the darn thing done. The first two I was into, excited about. By Adessa's tea party I was a bit party-burnt. Three birthday parties, which I tried to separate as much as possible (4/26 for a 4/29 birthday, 5/9 for a 5/5 birthday, and 6/20, for a 6/12 birthday) in the span of two months. Too much birthday. But we do celebrate Adessa and her eight years of making us parents and brightening our lives! Next year, hopefully without a party. For any of them! (Just kidding, sort of).

Eight! NOTE TO SELF: Don't do another 2-bundt squashed together eight cake. Too much. Or if you do, self, get started on the squiggles right away, DO NOT attempt to smooth out the frosting.

Eliana's Birthday

Eliana's 6th birthday was, again, a tea party. We love the tea parties.

Table all set, she's ready for fun!

With her treats. The girls ate so well, they didn't want any of the cake. Or the cake was gross, also a possibility. I haven't found a white cake that's a crowd pleaser as of yet.

The cutest Charades you ever did see.

Blowing out the candles on the only four square cake I will ever make. NOTE TO SELF: Do NOT make another one of these suckers. Just because my mom had the pans and stand is NO REASON to make four individual colored icings, to smooth (try to smooth) four little cakes full of edges, to try to decorate them, and then to attempt to balance them on ill-fitting, wobbly platforms. Never again. Hope she enjoyed the one-time spectacle. :)

Dogpile on Daddy time.

Playing "Pass the Parcel".

Dinner on the night of her actual birthday, her choice, at Sake, a make-it-in front of you show-restaurant.

Holding my girl, on her six times 'round the sun.

Six year old Eliana: she still has the best static hair I've ever seen.

Birthday aside, it's now June 27th, dear readers. And a lot has happened since her birthday, even. Eliana is goofy and sweet and as long as she has the requisite four million hours of sleep, such an easy going, pleasant girl. I've discovered this summer that 8:00 is bedtime, no matter what else is going on or how light it is outside. At this age (6!) Adessa was still napping, and Eliana probably could still nap on most days. If they get to bed even at 8:30-- since there is no such thing as sleeping in-- we have a hard time. Harrrrrd. So I'm a little nervous about upcoming events that will involve new places and friends and trying to get good enough sleep to function. Still think kids should come with an off switch.

Eliana did great in Kindergarten, and the school year wrapped up busily but well. It was a great year for her, and so nice to watch her feel more and more comfortable and confident, both socially and academically. Since school's been out, she has learned to ride a bike! and just started the fledgling movements of swimming. So exciting. She is great (maybe too great?) with Annea, and gets along well with other kids. Happy six years, Eliana!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Annea is Three!!

Annea is three. She is lively and engaging and adorable so much of the time. She is sweet. She tells jokes, endears herself quickly to people, and puts G's into words they don't belong. Such as: Gazebra (zebra), gazert (dessert), gabrito (burrito), gortilla (tortilla), gabana (banana), and once I heard her describe something as "gistusting" (disgusting). She's funny. She perseverates much more than the other girls did at this age, gets stuck on a track, is a broken record about something she wants, is un-distractable. She now acknowledges, after much discussion, that it's hard to wait for things. (A well earned lesson, it took two days of talking about it non-stop to realize that she was going to have to wait for her birthday. And she now frequently comments that it is hard to wait.)

It's amazing, having her be three, because she's the last of the Lewihicans and all of ages one and two are now water under the bridge. Done is the baby stuff, done is the toddler chasing, almost done are the small kid things to worry about and deal with. Annea still lets me snuggle and kiss her, wants to be held and carried around at times, and it's easy to squeeze her and try to be present and soaking it all up, her three-ness, her smallness, her growingness. I see how capable Adessa is, how capable Eliana is getting, and I know the time of doing everything for everyone is almost over. There's not very much bitter about that, mostly sweet, but I'm told I'll miss it later.

*For the record, I've been feeling triumphant over my yelling, I think I've made strides towards being a less-angry mama. I am more patient, I am kinder, I am enjoying them more. Sometimes I think my praying and hard work in the anger-department might have paid off. And sometimes I think I may actually have not grown at all, it may be that I have just waited out the hard parts, time has passed and the girls are so much easier now. Rarely now is there more than one freak-out at a time (two kids crying at the same time makes my brain short-circuit), and there's more space in between freak outs for everyone to collect themselves and regroup. Whatever it is, I am happy about it. Onward!

Playing at the park.

I Love Sushi was her chosen birthday dinner.

Birthday party! Without a nap!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

On Not Going to the Pascha Service Last Night

Unlike most of my Orthodox Christian compatriots, I am awake today, on Orthodox Easter, at 6:30 in the morning. I blame the 5:30-Bird--darn him-- who sits on our carport directly outside my window and repeats one note over and over every morning at 5:30. Today he was late, so I slept in to 6:09, ensuring that I will be sleep deprived to my usual level today. I won't complain, though, as the majority people of the Orthodox Christian persuasion had church from 11:00pm to 2:00am, and most of them stayed to break the fast with an exuberant party afterward that sometimes lasts long into the morning. They would have slept deeply through the 5:30-Bird. Today they will be tired but exultant, and I will make excuses as to why I didn't take my family to the biggest (is it the biggest?)(seems like the biggest) feast of the year.

Maybe it's because I'm not a night person, but in the best of times I don't like going to midnight services. I understand the concept, celebrate the first instant you possibly can, and... I don't like it. Before I had kids I would go and each and every year wonder why we are still subjecting ourselves having church at ungodly hours? Round about the second hour of standing and swooning, yawning and nodding off, tired and out of it in the middle of the night, I get loopy. I start singing along with the choir in my best opera voice, complete with gestures. I play with my candle, drip wax on my hand in interesting patterns, and feel jealous of kids sacked out on pews. I understand our Church is cranky about making changes and isn't actually very democratic, but I wish we could vote to make the Pascha service some other time. It doesn't have to be a vote to (Gasp!) change things, even, but a poll. A poll so I don't feel like the only one who isn't ecstatic to be awake and trying to function after 10:00pm. Who would one appeal to about this? How essential to everything we hold dear is it to do a beautiful, glorious church service, for hours, in the middle of the night? Or do I just accept that it's part of our Orthodox tradition, the loopy-ness and afterwards exhausted joy that everyone carries is part of the dizzying, out-of-the-ordinary, second-, third-, and fourth-wind inspiring jubilation of the day?

So, last night we planned to go. Calvin had overtime that ended late but he would meet us at church. My girls were set on going--especially because they get their own little candle throughout most of the service and I promised them rice crispy treats afterwards. We were set, all systems go. Except not really, because I kept having to do one-more-thing to get ready for all the festivities, and by the time I went to get the girls ready for bed it was already 9pm. By then it seemed a shame to have to struggle to get them to bed just to struggle to wake them up less than two hours later, groggy and grumpy, and so I told them they could stay up. Oh Happy Day! They were so excited and jazzed, this was going to be great, staying up late and going out into the dark of night and having their own candle and basically being excused from all frowned-on behavior in church because they're kids and it's the middle of the night. It quickly became apparent that staying up wasn't really that great, after all.

At about 10:25, when we were getting ready to leave and no one could function, I surrendered and swept my girls into bed. That's it, too bad for us, maybe next year, we are not risking the unknown of over-over-tiredness with three small people who cause me stress to manage in the best of times. I will know to plan ahead better next year, put my kids to bed better and earlier, and let them get a "nap" in before going. They will be a year older, slightly more cognitively developed, slightly more able to function next year. Or, there's always the very real possibility that we won't go next year, either. And I'm okay with that.

An Aside: There are plenty of Orthodox people who only attend church on Christmas and Easter, we're just doing the opposite.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

More Recent!

Elsa hair. Like many things with Annea, this started out as a good idea. She loves Frozen, and Elsa, and long hair, and initially loved the hat. She gets outrageously frustrated when things aren't exactly right--this doesn't fit her well--(sound like any other kid you know!?) and we have resorted to hiding the Elsa hat because it makes for tears and gnashing of teeth all around.

Ikea TROFAST DURKABDA put to new uses.

Sky Park slide-static-electricity wonders.

Adessa's first science project.

Roller skating at a friends' birthday. So much torquey fun.

The girls holding hands. Where or why is irrelevant.

Annea in pigtails! We've also gotten a ponytail.

A fun day at Wilder Ranch.

In the end, it started pouring rain. I left the girls huddled here under the big tree and ran up to the Wilder parking lot to get the car for us. They were commanded not to move, to stay together and dry. It took four minutes tops for me to get the car, but I worried about CPS, child abandonment, if I were to get struck by lightening or sudden amnesia and leave them there. I was right to worry. An alleged brown spider crawled onto the backpack, and the girls scattered. They were mostly dry, and I did find all of them. Success!

How Can It Be March? Christmas Fun. In March.

I see I need to put Christmas on the blog. Girls, your record for posterity as interpreted by your mom is going to have some holes in it. Here's Christmas:
Our family picture this year, a selfie.
After tree-picking refreshments.
So happy about the traditional hot chocolate.

Decorating the tree.

Decorating the Gingerbread House. And sucking frosting right out of the tube, if you're Annea.

Posing for Christmas Cards.

Vasona Tree Lights, never gets old for these girls.

Visiting Grandma Edna's grave on Christmas Eve, the third anniversary of her death.
Visiting Eema, too. We brought them each an ornament.
Adessa braved the neighborhood-fire-truck-Santa on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Breakfast with Daddy. We had a lovely Christmas morning, and then he was off to work as usual.
Opening presents. The long awaited moment did not disappoint.

Our fancy Christmas dinner a few days late, since Calvin worked on Christmas.