Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 2010

I cannot believe it's been a year and a half since I last wrote on this blog. Wow. That seems like an unbelievable amount of time... I'm not even sure what to think. Of course, time passes so quickly with small children (yet some days seem like they take forever!).

I started thinking about updating here mostly because I keep realizing I have to write down some of the things that Thor is saying lately. As he approaches age 6, he is starting to realize so many things. Yet I feel he still has this otherworldly connection to the greater place we all come from. He says things like, "Mommy, nothing ever ends. It all just changes. The days never end. The years never end. It all just keeps going." Or, "I really wish that I could go back in your tummy. It was all dark and warm and cozy in there. And then I'd be with you all the time." And one of my favorites: "Mommy, I really wish you could be a baby again. Then I could play with you like you were a child. And it would be a really long time until you died because you wouldn't be a grownup anymore." He's been really philosophizing, and some of it blows my mind. One night about a month or two ago he spent over two hours crying while I put him to bed, because he was so so so sad that people die. He cried about Nana dying someday. And me, and daddy. He kept wanting to know *when* do we die? And how? And what happens? And it's so sad because I will never see you again. I had to really fight to know what to say. And all I could say is that we will always be together -- I will always be with you -- in your heart, in your head, and then we'll see each other again sometime. I'd try to distract him, and talk about something else, but he'd start crying again and ask me more questions. About two weeks after this talk he lost his first tooth. Which I think is very significant. In Waldorf philosophy, the losing of teeth is quite significant, and so is the 6 year old change. It's as if I could feel him separating from the spiritual world. He's almost fully here, almost fully grounded. It's quite amazing.

He's been struggling this year at school off and on. Mostly, I think, due to being in a larger group of kids. He also struggles with leaving me, which he has struggled with for years -- really, ever since he was born he's just wanted to be ON me. Some times at school is better and sometimes is worse. He gets quite overstimulated and has strange, hyper behavior, and has trouble listening to directions. Other than that, though, he enjoys it, and we have all made a lot of friends and great community through the school. I have really loved learning more about Waldorf and it has changed my parenting and the way I view my children and other children. And humans in general, really. I am glad we are there.

Next, Anna.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Long time since last update! Late Jan 09

Very due for an update!!
Evelyn Margaret Umlauf was born on October 29th, 2008. She was nearly born in the van! My water broke at 11:30pm on the 28th, and we all hopped in the van and rode the last ferry (12:15am) to Mukilteo. I realized I was starting to push when we were on the ferry. We made it to Suzanne, our midwife's house, at about 1am and Evelyn was born just before 2:30am, into a birth pool. It was a quick and easy birth, and completely, utterly fantastic.
Eve was pretty fussy from about 6 weeks to about 13 weeks. She is a fairly finicky nurser and rarely falls asleep nursing. She does take a paci though, and that seems to really help her. Since birth, she has slept well at night... that is awesome! Also, she is incredibly animated. She smiled very early, about two weeks, and is very "communicative." She squeals, "talks," and coos and makes all sorts of noises. She rolled over just a few days ago from tummy to back. She's very very big, and wears 6-9 month clothes easily. A very sweet baby, very thoughtful and sensitive.
Anna is over 2 1/2 now. She talks well, but can be hard to understand. I get a kick out of hearing her talk every day... she is always trying out new words and pronouncing things interestingly. She still calls Thor "bubba" because she can't say his name. She also talks about herself in the first person, instead of saying "me." So she'll say, "Anna go tar tore." (I go to the star store.)
Anna has been slow to potty learn. When we still lived in Alaska when she was only 20 months or so, she was already going in the potty. She'd go by herself, even. But then for the past 8 months it's been up and down, and lots of pooing and peeing on the floor! We actually put her back in diapers for several months after Eve was born, and now sometimes she wears diapers and sometimes she doesn't.
Personality-wise, Anna is very willful and independent. She is not super cuddly, and she wants to do everything herself!! She gets into everything because she thinks she can do it all herself. Brushing teeth (squeezing out the toothpaste!), getting things out of the fridge, pooping on the potty and trying to wipe herself (not so good!), getting dressed (good, but takes forever), feeding the cats, etc. She also LOVES to help me cook. I swear, she's going to grow up to be a chef. She loves to do everything, from chopping vegetables, measuring, stirring, even cleaning up and washing the dishes and loading the dishwasher. She's very industrious. It's nice, but it can be difficult because she will not take no for an answer if you don't want her to do these things! I try to remind myself to just be patient and not worry about messes. But when you're in a hurry or the baby is crying, it's a bit difficult. I think it's an awesome personality trait, though. Anna also loves to paint and draw and is very good at both. She recognizes a lot of letters as well.
Thor is an awesome little boy. He is still his super cuddly self, and still loves to cuddle and nap. He's very physical in general and loves to run around, jump on the furniture, and play movement games. He loves to play outside and climb trees. He also really likes to play with building things, such as tinkertoys and anything that connects together. At school (2 days a week) the teachers say he LOVES the music time, and loves to dance and sing. He is often singing under his breath. He's not super interested in writing yet, but is obviously getting the basics for reading and can recognize all the letters and knows a lot of the sounds. He gets excited when he recognizes his name and other letters. He can write his name but doesn't do it often. Thor loves a teacher he has, LaLaina, and has really bonded with her. He's very sweet and very sensitive, emotionally. He is a pleaser, and tries to please me a lot. He doesn't get into things at all and I can trust him to be by himself if I'm getting Anna and Eve to nap. He loves our cat Chewbacca a lot.
One amazing thing about Thor is that he has memorized a TON of nursery rhymes and songs. He can say nearly our entire nursery rhyme book by heart and loves repeating them. It's really impressive.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thor -- Almost 4, Anna -- 2 years 2 months

Anna has been changing by leaps and bounds this summer. I guess there are so many changes around this time. Within the same month (about a month ago) she both weaned and potty trained. She still has some accidents but she does not wear diapers anymore. She also totally quit nursing, even though she wasn't doing it hardly at all anymore for the last couple months. I am glad for that because there will be another one to nurse here in a couple months! Not that I am not happy to nurse my babies, but two is a bit much.

Anna also wants to do everything on her own. She wants to get dressed on her own, walk on her own (NOT holding your hand), get into and out of her carseat on her own (even the buckles) and she will wander around seemingly not caring where I am. I swear, she'd wander away by herself in a restaurant or down a street without caring at all. She's very bold and not very shy -- very independent. Thor is actually more reserved than her, although he is older and understands more about getting lost or hurt or something.

Thor is awesome and still very imaginitive and excited about things. At our new house in Langley we have an apple tree in the back yard and he loves it. He climbs way up and picks apples and brings them inside and "stores them for winter" in the cupboards. He loves to read Thumbelina and loves any stories that are like fairy tales. He also got really into nursery rhymes for a while and now remembers lots of them and I'll hear him saying "Humpty Dumpty" or something like that. He's also a VERY fast runner. He can almost outrun me, and he loves to run around and race. He's just active all the time, even when I wish he'd stand still, he's doing weird things and flipping around. He needs to be in the circus or gymnastics or something. He has a ton of energy.

Thor is going to be in preschool this fall, 3 days a week. It's a coop so I will go some days too. I maybe will put Anna in 2 days a week. Not sure yet.

When both Thor and Anna get together and make mischeif they're like a couple gremlins. Or as Tony says, "It's like living with two ET's!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Anna almost 2, Thor 3 and 3/4!

In almost a month Anna will be TWO! It's amazing really, I can't believe it. She is so hilarious and sweet -- really such a perfect little girl. She is talking a lot, putting two words together. She says at least 40 words I'd guess, many of them in a cute Anna way. For "paci" she says "papi." For "moose" she says "moop." For "water" she says "wawey." And lots of other special Anna-isms. Anna sleeps really well now, sometimes sleeping all night in her own bed. She doesn't nurse at night anymore, and I didn't really nightwean her, she just quit doing it about a month ago. Some of Anna's favorite things are eating -- she loves to eat and will eat almost anything. She especially loves olives, avocados, cereal, frozen peas, noodles, and oranges. Both Thor and Anna have discovered that they love garlicky ceasar salad. Yes, I think that is weird. But both of them will eat an entire bowl. Anna also loves to play in the car outside, take baths, run around with Thor, and watch birds and animals. The only time she nurses is at night before bed, maybe 5 min or so.
Thor is really becoming a little boy. He is very funny, very energetic, and smart. He plays quite well with Anna, and is still so good at climbing and running and very active things. Lately we went to a circus and Thor was very impressed. He also loves dressing up and loves magic wands, hats, dresses, anything magic-like. He's learning more and more letters and numbers. He loves to read and to have us make up stories for him. Thor is also so sweet, and often says, "Mama, I love you!" And he sings good morning songs and gives hugs and loves to be cuddly.

We have so much fun with you both. And guess what? Another baby on the way around Halloween! Probably a sister... :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thor -- 3 1/4, Anna -- 1 1/2

It seems like so much has changed since I last posted. Anna especially is changing so much. She's starting to talk a lot more, and understands seemingly everything that we say. She can say: mama, daddy, bubba (Thor), apple, ham, hi, boo (frog), eye, ow, up, snow ("no"), poo poo, pee pee, baby, ba ba, dog dog, pumpa (pumpkin) and, her all time favorite, "MEE MEE" which means nursing. Anna still loves to nurse -- sigh. Of course, intuitively I know that it's still good for her, but I'm really hoping she cuts back soon. I nightweaned Thor at about 13 mo. or so, but Anna, at almost 19 months, is still nursing at night. Partly it's because the past 8 months have been pretty crazy, with moving and living different places. So I haven't really tried. But I want to soon.
Anna is also getting her 2 year old molars, which is making her extra cranky lately. But still, she is so incredibly cute!!!! Sometimes I look at her and her cuteness and beauty take my breath away. She loves to play hand games and nursery rhymes, like "10 little monkeys" and "Isty Bitsy Spider." She can play along and laughs every time. She also loves daddy and wakes up in the middle of the night asking for him. She plays with Thor and copies him a lot. Mostly they get along OK, but sometimes fight over toys, or Thor takes toys away from Anna.
Thor is doing really well. He's doing a lot of imaginary play lately. He has an extreme fondness for Pippi Longstocking and Dorothy from the wizard of oz, and he often pretends to be Pippi, or pretends to be a munchkin, or pretends he's in the Nutcracker Ballet, or pretends he's a bear in the forest searching out blueberries. Really it's amazing, I think, his talent for pretending and makebelieve. He's also learning letters more, and can count and draw better. He can make a sort of rudimentary person.
Living in Homer has been interesting and mostly good. It's been an adjustment getting used to a small town, and getting used to the cold and snow. The kids can't last outside for too long -- especially Anna gets cold and complains. So that's been kind of hard. But we went to Kauai recently and that was so fun -- Thor and Anna loved it and it was so lovely and warm. We played on the beach and at the playground every day. Thor keeps saying, "Mama, I really want to go back to Wahai (how he pronounces it)."
Me too, Thor!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thor turned 3, Anna almost 16 months

Where to start...

Anna is starting to talk. She can say Mama, Dada, Poo Poo (her favorite), Up, Eye, and Hot (sort of). She also signs "more," "eat," and "all done." She is going to be in the circus some day, I swear. We cannot keep her on the floor. She climbs everything, and balances precariously on the edges of things. It's like this insatiable urge she has... and if you pull her off of her circus act she melts down. She climbs into her own high chair, climbs on the diningroom table, climbs into chairs and onto end tables, climbs onto bar stools, and attempts to climb trees outside. It's crazy! I remember Thor climbing too, but not this much.

Thor is lately really into climbing trees. He'll climb 8 ft. up in a tree if you let him, and then hang out there for a good 20 minutes. It actually makes me really nervous. He doesn't understand what could happen if he fell out. He certainly doesn't have any concept of broken bones or anything of the sort. So we try to keep him out of the high trees and instead let him climb the alders in the yard which are a lot safer and smaller.

It's great living at Eileen's -- the kids love the chickens and the horses. Thor goes into the chicken coop by himself and gathers the eggs on his own, talking sweetly to the chickens and commenting on how nice and warm the eggs are after he reaches under the chickens to grab them out. He also always wants to "ride" the horses -- we just put him on their backs bareback and he sits there (not riding of course).

I'm hoping we can find some good friends for Thor & Anna. I think Thor misses playing with his friends back in Bothell. Tony takes the kids to the Boys and Girls club here, and there is a kid's swimming time and library time, so those are good for being around other kids, but we don't know very many of the kids by first name, so it's not really the same. It will take time I suppose.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thor is almost 3!

In less than a month, Thor will be three years old. It's amazing to think the changes that happen from birth to three. Thor is a little boy now, a child, though still so young. It's hard to remember sometimes that he's ONLY three, and to not expect the world from him.
Thor is amazingly sweet, and full of energy. He is quite disinterested in toys. He is interested in playing outside, climbing trees, climbing rocks, climbing bluffs, playing in water, sand, mud. He likes to read books, watch movies, and play with other kids and us. He's understanding things like saying you're sorry if you hurt someone, he's being nicer to Anna, and he says "I love you" a lot. He sleeps like a rock and loves to cuddle. He also loves looking for mushrooms in the woods and eating carrots out of gardens. In general, he loves plants! So cute.
Anna is changing at time warp speed. She has all four of her one year old molars and two of her canines. They all came in at once starting when she turned one. Sleep has been bad, but that's to be expected with 6 big teeth coming in. She nurses a lot still, but also eats pretty much everything now -- a big change from 2 months ago. She says "ma ma" in relation to me, and maybe says "up" and "eye." She understands everything -- it's crazy. She can follow complicated directions, understands when we talk about going bye bye, getting in the highchair, throwing the diaper away in the garbage, giving a toy to Thor or daddy or grampa frank, going and getting her shoes on, etc. Anna is really incredibly cute and funny and every day I think how much I love being with her.
Together, the two of them can be hilarious. Although Thor is sometimes still too rough (like when Anna tries to push the buttons on the TV), more and more they are playing together. They chase each other around, play in boxes together, play in the bath together. Anna adores Thor and they laugh together a lot too.
Move down to Homer in a couple weeks -- both of you should enjoy the chickens and horses and woods!