Monday, August 27, 2007

sounds good to me

"Mom, when I'm big like you and Dad, will I still get to be with you?"
"Seth, when you're an adult, you'll have your own family that you'll live with."
"But Mom! I want to stay with you and Dad!"
"You don't want to grow up and live with your own family?"
"Well, yes...I want to grow up but I want to stay with you and Dad."
"Okay Seth, that sounds good to me."

(Rather than argue, I decided to just agree with him. I'll bring this up when he's a teenager and anxious to move out and be on his own.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

skills, teamwork and a mission

Seth's self-portrait

I am constantly suprised by what comes out of Seth's mouth lately. (I'm pretty sure that most four-year-olds elicit this same response from their parents.) Seth picks up on everything--and he remembers everything too. Jon and I have found that we have to be very careful what we talk about around him because he will bring it up later--sometimes days later. His four-year-old logic is so pure. Here are three examples of conversations we have had over the last few days.

- Last week, we took the kids to a park one evening after dinner. There was a bunch of kids there, mostly younger but some older ones too. One of the older girls (9 or 10 years old) was doing cartwheels in the grass. Yesterday Seth said to me:

"Mom, I can't do any skills."
(me) "What do you mean 'skills'?"
"You know, skills! Like this!" (He proceeds to do some sort of spin move on his knees on the carpet.) "Maybe when I'm a big kid, I can do skills."
"How do you think big kids learn how to do those skills?"
"Mom, they don't learn skills, they just do them!"

- Earlier today, I was downstairs on the computer and I could hear Jonas upstairs getting fussy. It was lunch time-so pretty much all of the kids were hungry. I was just about to head back upstairs (I promise) when Seth comes down and says:
"Mom, I need your help up here, I can't take care of these two babies by myself!"
"Okay Seth I'm coming right now."
"We need two people to take care of two babies, I'll take one and you take the other."
"Which one will you take care of, Seth?"
"I'll take care of Maryn and you take care of Jonas."
"What will you do to take care of Maryn?"
"I'll just sit and watch a show with her or something." (It's nice to know someone's got my back in this taking care of baby business!

- Also earlier today, the kids were watching "Little Einsteins" on TV. Seth turned to me and said: "Mom, here our missions are for Jesus, right?" He has probably seen this show hundreds of times, but today it clicked in his brain that he knows what "we've got a mission" means. At least, he thinks he knows what it means.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I have been thinking a lot lately about language acquisition as I have been a first-hand witness over these past several months. It fascinates me that little toddlers learn how to conjugate verbs and create sentences simply by listening to others.
Maryn has been speaking in full coherent sentences for quite a few months now, which is both to her advantage and my detriment. She is a feisty little girl who knows what she wants and doesn’t let herself be pushed around by anyone, including her older brother and me. She is also very, very sweet and a true girly-girl. Even before I had Jonas, she loved to wrap her “babies” (any stuffed animal) in “blankets” (any piece of fabric). She has more recently been very vocal about her preference for all things pink, Care Bears, Tinker Bell and wearing her pretty hair bows. Her absolute favorite song is “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. She sings this song to herself all the time when she thinks no one else is listening. When she hears the song played, either by a toy or by someone singing it, she immediately shrieks, “It’s my twinkle star!”

The following are some examples of Maryn’s adorable language.

  • In general, she has a very pronounced lisp when she says words with “s” in the end: Sefferths (her brother’s nickname- Seffers), Care Bearsh (which actually ends up sounding like an “sh” sound rather than a “th” sound)
  • She never says the “s” sound on words that begin with “sn”: 'nake (snake), 'now (snow), 'poon (spoon), and my favorite: 'nuggle (snuggle)
  • She can identify all colors: wed, ornedge, yayo, geen, boo, puple, peenk, wipe (white- I think you can guess all of the others). She also loves to color pictures (I'm pretty sure this is how she learned all her colors).
  • Since moving to Champaign-Urbana (and even before!), whenever she sees the orange and blue University of Illinois "I" she says, "Oh-noy!" (Illinois).
  • She calls her brothers Sefferths (as I mentioned before) and Bebe Donis (baby Jonas)
  • She loves singing. Besides “Twinkle Star” she knows: “I Love You” (the Barney song), “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (with actions), “ABCs”, “I am a Child of God” among others. During our summer in Tucson, Jon noticed that if you sang the words to “Camptown Races”, at the end of the phrase, she would sing “Do-Da, Do-Da”. So cute. It would sound something like this:
    Me: Maryn is our favorite girl
    Maryn: Do-Da, Do-Da
    Me: She’s the best girl in the world
    Maryn: Do-Da, Do-Da day
  • Also, you can catch her singing the Star Wars theme song. Star Wars (and Lego Star Wars videogame), as you will read in Jon's recent post, are on at our house a lot lately. Jon is particularly proud of this one.
  • If you call her anything: pretty, sweet, little, etc., she says, “I not a pretty (or sweet or little) girl, I "Meh-win".
  • She is intrigued by bugs. When she finds one in the house, she tries to smack it with her hand and says “Got you bug!” (meanwhile Seth is running away screaming in terror). She makes no discrepancies between butterflies and fireflies and calls them both “fie-fies”.

I love my beautiful little girl.

p.s. Seth still has his moments too: He and Jon are watching Empire Strikes Back right now. When Luke first arrives in Dagobah, he tells Yoda that he is looking for a great warrior, Seth turned to Jon and said, "Dad, what is a great Oreo?" (Jon helped me with the SW details here.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

not to be outdone...

After I heard that cousin Ellena was sitting up on her own, I thought I should be practicing with Jonas. So I sat him up yesterday and surprise! He can sit up on his own! Of course anytime he reaches for anything, he falls, so we're still in the beginning stages. I also love these pitcures because they show what a smiler he is! Jonas smiles at everyone!

The surprise photographer behind the camera for this picture was Seth (he was very pleased with himself).

Monday, August 13, 2007


Do tantrums ever stop? I mistakingly thought that 4 1/2 years was old enough to have kicked the habit. Apparently not. I don't even remember what triggered this one, although you can bet Maryn was involved. As you can see, she decided to join in on the noise too.

First Foods

I tried to give Jonas rice cereal for the first time last night. It didn't go over very well. He would hold it in his mouth for a while and then spit it back at me "raspberry style". I don't seem to remember my other kids disliking their first solid food meal. I tried again tonight, this time mixing it with applesauce, and he actually swallowed some (big surprise!).

...but it's a dry heat

I never truely knew what this meant until now. My first taste of extreme heat coupled with extreme humidity occured when I stepped out into a St. Louis afternoon. Yes, the arch was spectacular. Yes, the Mississippi River was vast and awesome to behold. But I could not wait to get back into the air conditioned comfort of my vehicle and get the heck out of there. The humidity during our first week here in Champaign has been more of the same. I guess when you walk outside and feel like you've just walked into a sauna, you know you're in the midwest during summertime.

I miss Arizona, give me 115 degree heat with 10% humidity any day.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Maiden Voyage

I have embarked on two adventures. I have yet to realize my place in both the world of blogging and the city of Champaign. I am a little more than just a stone's throw away from the place I am used to calling home. But I realize that the word "home" is relative. So the journey begins--into the blog world and the midwest.